PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WMBB)–Disaster response was a top priority at Tuesday’s Bay County Tourist Development Council meeting.
The board discussed the creation of an indoor sports park to be built on the same grounds as the Panama City Beach Sports Complex.
While the indoor park would allow for the hosting of sports meets such as volleyball, pickle-ball, gymnastics and more, its purpose would go much further.
The indoor facility would double as an emergency command operations center, helping to house out of town first responders and acting as a central meeting location for west of the Hathaway Bridge.
While the TDC has not squared away all of the funding just yet, if all goes according to plan, the federal government would pay for 75% of the project using FEMA funds. This being possible because the facility would double as a disaster response center.
The board is then requesting Triumph Gulf Coast to assist with the rest.
“We have to have a local match to pay the other 25% and that we’re requesting Triumph to help us with. So if the federal dollars don’t come, then Triumph doesn’t have to expend any dollars for this project. But if the federal dollars do come, we already have that match lined up,” said Dan Rowe, President of the TDC.
The TDC says they have wanted to build the indoor park for a while with the sports complex being a perfect location.
The next to step is to get the County Commissions support moving forward.