Residents having trouble clearing hurricane debris on private property


PANAMA CITY, Fla. — Cleaning up after Hurricane Michael is an issue that affects nearly every Bay County resident.

People like Rodger Freeman, a retired and disabled Air Force veteran, are no exception. He’s been trying for months after the storm to remove several downed trees from the front yard, which he says are on county property.

“I’ve got grandkids that come out here every once in a while,” said Freeman. “I tried mowing this stuff and you got a bunch of snakes coming out through here.”

The county says they are on his private property, and therefore they can’t help. Bay County Public Works Director, Keith Bryant, explains.

“Pursuant to the Florida constitution, we can’t spend taxpayers’ money on private property,” said Bryant.

However, while Bay County says they are not responsible for the trees, they are trying to help. Officials have set up an office at Government Center to help people like Rodger solve these issues.

“The citizen is eligible to go to P.P.D.R., Private Property Debris Removal,” said Bryant. “Where there’s private property, and they can’t clean it up, this program will help them do it.”

The P.P.D.R. office is located on the second floor of Government Center and any Bay County resident is eligible to apply for help.

For more information on the program and to apply for assistance click here.

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