Bay County is vying for more than $30.6 million in the first round of Hurricane Michael-related federal infrastructure grants to fund projects outlined in the county’s Long-Term Disaster Recovery Plan, including a new public hurricane shelter, fire station, various stormwater drainage improvements, two community centers and a new sheriff’s substation.
The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) has allocated more than $223 million in federal Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) dollars aimed at addressing unmet recovery needs related to damage from Hurricane Michael. More than $111.5 million in funding will be available during this first round of CDBG-DR grant funding, and DEO will release the remaining $111.5 million in a later round.
“This money is a great example why we worked so diligently as a community in those months right after Hurricane Michael to carefully establish a Long-Term Recovery Plan,” Bay County Commissioner Robert Carroll, who also chairs the county’s Long-Term Recovery Task Force, said. “We carefully chose projects located across Bay County that have the very highest likelihood of being funded at the full amount requested.”
The federal money has stringent compliance and eligibility criteria. Applicants must propose programs that align with priorities outlined in the Federal Register. Bay County is submitting five projects for consideration in the first round of funding:
Bay County Community Center/Multi-Purpose Shelter and Fire Station Campus - $18.5 million
This multi-purpose campus will include a new access road, site improvements, a heli-pad, a fire and Emergency Medical Services station, a community center/hardened shelter facility for first responders, residents and special needs residents, an animal services facility, a shelter storage warehouse and a staging area.
East Hiland Stormwater Improvements - $2.4 million
This project intends to reduce residential, commercial and roadway flooding and improve stormwater quality in a low- to middle-income area bordering Panama City, Springfield and Cedar Grove. The project request is for funding property acquisition and construction for a stormwater facility. The project entails construction of a 12.5-acre stormwater detention facility to service a flood-prone area.
Redwood Avenue Drainage Improvements - $1.35 million
The proposed project will help reduce flooding of the area between U.S. 231 and East 11th Street by abandoning the existing culvert and replacing it with a new 48-inch culvert along U.S. 98/East 15th Street and Redwood Avenue. The scope of work for this project involves preliminary site investigations, engineering and design, permitting, construction of the new culvert pipe and abandonment of the existing culvert pipe, site controls and restoration and construction administration.
Watson Bayou Drainage Improvements - $2.47 million
The proposed project will help reduce flooding of the Watson Bayou drainage basin between U.S. 231 and U.S. 98/15th Street areas through the construction of a new 15-acre, 127 acre-foot stormwater storage facility between Industrial Drive and the rail line to its south. This project will improve stormwater capacity within the service area of the facility, thereby improving flood protection and reducing the incidence of flooding for nearby communities. This project will benefit an estimated 51 low- to middle-income units and 131 residents. The scope of work for this project includes property acquisition, preliminary site investigations, engineering and design, permitting, construction of the new stormwater storage facility, site controls and restoration and wetlands mitigation.
Fountain Community Center and Sheriff Substation - $5.9 million
This complex will consist of a new hurricane-resistant building to house a community recreational center, office space and storage, a sheriff’s substation, parking and site improvements at 12331 E. State Road 20 in Fountain. During emergency events, the community center will be a hardened shelter for first responders and residents, a staging area for Public Works crews, a post-disaster recovery center and a business recovery center.
The public is invited to participate in a survey to provide public input on the proposed projects. Comments may also be submitted in writing by emailing Josee Cyr at email@example.com. To view the County Infrastructure Repair Program presentation click here
To learn more about the Hurricane Michael action plan, click here.
To view the General Infrastructure Program guidelines, click here.
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