PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WMBB) — When it comes time to establish a city budget, there has to be some give and take.
Unfortunately for the Panama City Beach Public Library, that means it could cut its six days of operation to five.
“I just was not for cutting the hours of the library,” Panama City Beach Mayor Paul Casto said. “I think we can find some other sources to keep it open. I think it’s an important part of our community.”
The city council members all agree the library is important.
However, most believe it’s reasonable to take away from them in order to have more money in their general fund.
They have to weigh the community’s needs against the strategic plan.
“We are going to have a lot of road projects going on in the next couple of years on Panama City Beach and that’s our top priority to get traffic free flowing and moving,” Casto said. “That’s where we’re spending a bucket of our money is on road projects.”
The city’s Community Redevelopment Area project could have a 220% increase over the 2022 fiscal year budget.
“So the property values, when they go up we get extra money to put into the road projects,” Casto said.
The proposed stormwater fund expenditures budget is a 113% increase from 2022.
It will help fund the offshore outfall project and drainage problems around the city.
Council members will approve the final budget at their meeting on September 8.
Mayor Mark Sheldon told Casto if he can find enough library funding they won’t have to reduce the hours.