Community forum held to discuss the possible future of the Marina Civic Center
PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) – Since sustaining extensive damage during Hurricane Michael, the Marina Civic Center in Panama City has been closed.
But there might be some changes coming in the near future.
“We need a facility for sure, for all sorts of things,” said local resident Crook Stewart.
It was a plea made by several residents of Panama City during a community forum held at City Hall on Tuesday afternoon.
During the meeting, community members came together to discuss ideas of what they would like to see done with the Marina Civic Center. Which has been idle since sustaining damage in Hurricane Michael.
“We really don’t know what it’s going to be,” Panama City City Manager Mark McQueen said.
According to city officials, they are considering endless ideas and they are reaching out to several different influential groups in the community.
“We solicited a lot of feedback from the artistic community. We received a number of comments from the education community. We are looking for citizens to participate as well as other industry representatives to participate in the process,” McQueen said.
With all the contributions, city officials hope to build a better facility for the community.
“We can really relate to what we want this facility to be and what we want it to be able to do for our community,” McQueen said.
Some residents are optimistic about what will happen.
“I think we really need it, you know our region needs something like this. We’ve been missing it since the storm,” Stewart said.
“We can take a ferry to bring them from Panama City Beach by boat here. Unload them, transport them there. It would be safe, it would be very affordable for the community,” said Edward Bell, another local resident.
However, they also have slight concerns about the length of the process.
“I also hate that you know they’re looking at a window of about four and a half years before we have something up and running,” Stewart said.
“You have events coming to Panama City, but they’re at the beach. We have to go there and our funds are left there,” Bell said.
Still, they say they’re interested to see what happens to the facility in the near future.
According to officials, this marks the first phase of a multi-phase plan the city is organizing regarding the project.
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