Panama City holds open houses for community input on parks

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — Panama City officials are requesting the public’s help in the process of rebuilding after Hurricane Michael.

The requests involve some of the city’s parks.

“We want to make sure that we’re getting as much public input as possible to build what the community would like to see going forward,” Panama City Quality of Life director Sean DePalma said.

The city hosted two open houses on Monday, inviting residents to look at the design concepts for three parks: Cove Lane Park and Harry Edwards Park in The Cove area, and Hentz Park in St. Andrews.

“We’re getting great feedback from the public,” DePalma said. “It’s been positive, a lot of solid recommendations.”

Some of the plans for Hertz Park include a new walking track, fitness equipment, playgrounds and a water-retention pond.

City Commissioner Josh Street said he’s excited about the projects.

“These parks specifically are really important to me personally, because it’s a neighborhood park… This is where people that live in the homes around it come to gather, it’s a place where they can have birthday parties, where they can have lots of fun events to happen,” Commissioner Street said. “So it’s a really, really great project and I’m super excited to see it happen in the city.”

Officials said FEMA money will help pay for the park improvements, and Panhandle Engineering is leading the design process.

DePalma said he’s ready to get the ball rolling on these projects.

“I’m excited, my team is excited, to serve the community and also bring back something better than they had prior to Hurricane Michael, and something that their children and grandchildren will be able to truly enjoy in the future,” he said.

City officials said all three park projects should be completed within two years.

Visit the City of Panama City website for information on how to submit your input.

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