Commissioners recommend 11 of 25 projects to Triumph board for funding

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BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - The oil spill of 2010 resulted in a flood of money to be used for projects across Florida.

(Image Source: AzDude / MGN)

After much debate, Bay County Commissioners have narrowed down a list of 25 applications for funding to just 11 that will likely take priority.

Five of the eleven projects slated to see millions aim to improve local education. A new STEM Workforce Training Center and improvements to Haney's pipe-fitter program are expected to better prepare locals for more high tech jobs.

"We take the group, our youth coming up, growing up now, the next generation and are training them in being able to find a good job in Bay County when they get out and have the skills necessary to make a good living," Bay County Commissioner Tommy Hamm said.

Three more projects high on the list include improvements at Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport, including the multi-million dollar crosswind runway. And once the visitors fly here, they'll have more to do because another project taking a top spot is the Panama City Beach Sports Complex, a massive project that increases the area's appeal as a competitive sports tourism destination.

Last but not least, two projects in business growth are also getting the green light. One is expanding the east terminal at Port Panama City, the other is assisting Eastern Shipbuilding as it expands its business and jobs in the community.

"We reached a good agreement today [Wednesday] and I think those projects that we're forwarding on with a recommendation are very good projects," Bay County Commissioner Guy Tunnell said.

The top eleven items will be submitted to the Triumph board as they make the final decision, but the specific projects and programs recommended by commissioners are listed below:

1. Crosswind Runway at ECP
2. Project SoHo at ECP
3. Project Blue Star at ECP
4. PCB Sports Park & Stadium Complex
5. Vessel Manufacturing at Eastern Shipbuilding
6. East Terminal Expansion at Port Panama City
7. STEM Workforce Training Center
8. Manufacturing Academy Expansion: Welding Workforce Training Lab by Bay District Schools
9. Haney Pipe-fitter Program Renovation/Expansion by Bay District Schools
10. Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Institute at Gulf Coast State College
11.Panhandle Aging Research Center at Florida State University, Panama City

The projects that didn't make the recommended list are as follows:

-Sports Park Expansion in Lynn Haven
-Emergency Operations Center in Lynn Haven
-Pier Replacement in Mexico Beach
-Environmental Sciences Center by Bay District Schools
-Triumph Pre-K Academy by Bay District Schools
-STEM Education and Training by Base IT, Inc. (Non-profit)
-Bay Youth Summer Work by Bay Youth Summer Work Foundation
-Commercial Laundry Equipment Manufacturing by B&C Technologies
-The Gulf Coast Economy Preservation Project by PumpOut USA, Inc.
-Lynn Haven Warehouse Space for Start-up Business by Miracle Strip Property Management, LLC
-Infrastructure Improvements for Former Air Force Fuel Depot Site by Marina Island, LLC
-501 (C) Non-profit Corporation of Local Academia, Econ by Bay Defense Alliance
-The Arc of the Bay, 3YR Culinary Employment Training Program by St. Andrew Bay Center Inc. DBA... The Arc of the Bay