State funding will help Bay County recover

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BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — Financial help from the state of Florida will soon make a major impact in Bay County.

More than $150 million is coming to Bay County alone and even more is headed to other local governments.

Governor Ron Desantis visited Bay County on the one year anniversary of Hurricane Michael to make three announcements that will continue to help the rebuild. 

“We were here at the beginning,” Desantis said. “We’re gonna continue to be here to help the folks of Northwest Florida rebuild and be back better than ever.” 

Florida’s Department of Emergency Management will be sending Bay County over 150 million dollars for debris removal reimbursements. 

“Of the 250 million dollars that we borrowed to help with storm-related costs, this is a huge portion of that,” said Bay County Chairman Philip ‘Griff’ Griffitts. “So, we’ll pay back our debtors very quickly.” 

This will help residents too. 

“We have about seven and a half million dollars in interest, so we can cut those payments in half,” Griffitts said. “It’s a huge savings for the people of Bay County.” 

In Panama City, the Desantis’ administration will be implementing a job growth grant fund investment, which will bring in two new roads. 

“By going ahead and getting those roads done, then the private sector money can come in and apartments can be built,” said Panama City Mayor Greg Brudnicki.

Desantis is also requesting that legislators create another grant program next year using 23 million dollars in interest gained from the Triumph Gulf Coast Fund. 

“It’s another subsidy that comes back in the community,” said Brudnicki. “It is another way the state is partnering with us until all the federal funds are able to be expensed.”    

Both leaders say they’re grateful for the Governor’s support

“I think he has a true affection for the citizens of Bay County and knows what we’re going through,” Griffitts said. “He’s doing his very best to help us.” 

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