Recovery projects across the City of Panama City are planned or underway and focus on four critical growth areas: Safety and Security, Key and Vital Infrastructure, Economy, and Quality of Life. These projects will help the City become the “Premier City in the Panhandle.”
Recovery Progress Report
The City has made progress in all four areas of effort, despite the severe damage caused by Hurricane Michael and major challenges like Hurricane Sally and COVID-19. Moving forward, infrastructure improvements for the Panama City Marina, the St. Andrews Marina, and the City’s roadways and water management systems are a major priority. In addition, to restore and preserve the unique artistic and cultural features of the community, the City is working to create new opportunities for local artists and community youth and is pursuing improvement projects at many of the City’s parks and recreation centers.
The City is pursuing multiple resources to help fund recovery projects. Many recovery projects are funded through insurance reimbursement, allocations in the City budget, and federal funding opportunities. Some of the main funding programs are described below.*
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Public Assistance (PA)
Public Assistance is a reimbursement program providing federal funds to assist communities in responding to and recovering from disasters (e.g., hurricanes and tropical storms). Funding can be used to reimburse the cost of debris removal, emergency protective measures, and permanent repair work to infrastructure that has been damaged or destroyed by a disaster. It is critical in rebuilding the City’s infrastructure, facilities and utilities systems.
FEMA Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR)
CDBG-DR funds focus on long-term recovery efforts and must be used for “necessary expenses related to disaster relief, long-term recovery, and restoration of infrastructure, housing and economic revitalization.” Examples of recovery activities eligible for CDBG-DR funding includes activities that rebuild or replace infrastructure (e.g., roads and bridges) impacted by a disaster.
Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) Funds
The Panama City Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) has four districts to alleviate conditions of blight by reinvesting Tax Increment Funds (TIF) into those areas. The districts are Downtown created in 1984, St. Andrews created in 1989, Downtown North created in 1993 and Millville created in 2004. CRA districts are one of the few remaining tools that local governments can use to attract new business, invest in infrastructure improvements and rebuild blighted areas. CRA districts are a popular and effective redevelopment tool, used in 44 states across the country.
The Panama City Community Redevelopment Agency provides matching grants to asists property owners within the four districts in improving their properties. To learn more about grant opportunities, please visit the City’s website, www.pcgov.org/604/Grant-Applications.
State of Florida Hurricane Housing Recovery Program (HHRP)
Hurricane Housing Recovery Program funds are locally administered to accommodate the housing needs of different communities, such as repairs and rehabilitation of damaged units, replacement housing, rent payment assistance, and foreclosure prevention. The City of Panama City launched the ReHouse Bay Program to assist residents with housing needs. To learn more about the available programs and apply for assistance, please visit www.ReHouseBay.org.
Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP)
The HMGP may fund activities which allow for state, local, tribal and territorial governments to rebuild in a way that reduces, or mitigates, future disaster losses in their communities. Such activities include the protection or purchase of public or private property which experienced, or is in danger of experiencing, repetitive damage. It is important to note that there is a cost share requirement for FEMA funding for hazard mitigation grants.
|Fire Stations #1, 2, 6 Wind Retrofit||Subrecipient Agreement Signed||» Retrofit of windows and doors at three fire stations||» $622,316|
|Fire Stations #2, 3, 4 Safe Rooms, phased||Awarded||» Retrofit of windows and doors to bring buildings to safe room standards||» $338,719|
|Dwelling Wind Mitigation, Wind Retrofit||Subrecipient Agreement Signed||» Retrofit of windows and doors at five City-owned dwellings||» $64,183|
|Public Works Safe Room||Awarded||» Construction of a 3,000 sq. ft. safe room at the Public Works Complex||» $1,832,289|
|Utilities Building Safe Room||Subrecipient Agreement Signed||» Construction of a 1,500 sq. ft. safe room at the Utilities Complex||» 839,477|
|Millville Wastewater Treatment Plant Generator||Awarded||» Install new twin generators outside of the gates at the treatment plant.||» $3,400,761|
|Emergency Operations Center (EOC) Safe Room, Wind Retrofit||Awarded||» Construction of 10,400 sq. ft. safe room to act as an EOC near Panama City Police Department||» $3,632,038|
|Lift Station and Sewer Hardening, Phased||Subrecipient Agreement Signed||» Retrofit or relocate 14 lift stations, new gravity lines and new force mains. The lift stations identified for improvements can be viewed on the City’s website, https://www.pcgov.org/DocumentCenter/View/6448/Infrastructure-Project-Areas-Map.||» $24,653,489|
*Awarded means FEMA has accepted the scope of work that the City submitted for the project and has approved the funding amount. The City is preparing to request proposals from engineering firms for architecture and engineering services for the above projects.
Florida State Revolving Fund (SRF)
The City of Panama City has received two State Revolving Fund Loans from the Florida Department of Economic Protection (DEP) to replace and repair water and sewer infrastructure. The loans are a Drinking Water State Revolving Fund Loan in the amount of $73,411,597 and a Clean Water (“Wastewater”) State Revolving Fund in the amount of $39,971,236. The terms of the loan are that 20-percent of the loans will be forgiven with the remaining balances to be repaid at zero-percent interest over a twenty year period.
The Infrastructure Project Areas Map can be viewed on the City’s website, https://www.pcgov.org/DocumentCenter/View/6448/Infrastructure-Project-Areas-Map. Mott MacDonald, an engineering firm contracted by the City, surveyed the City’s water and wastewater infrastructure and identified the areas with the most vulnerable infrastructure. The map displays the first phase of improvement projects that will be funded by the State Revolving Fund Loan.
The Clean Water and Drinking Water Facilities Plan can be viewed in this link: https://www.pcgov.org/DocumentCenter/View/5578/Clean-Water-and-Drinking-Water-Facilities-Plan