For years Bay County has been looking for land to build a county office to house all county departments, many of which currently call downtown Panama City home.
But all the talk about moving the county offices away from downtown has businesses there concerned.
Tuesday, county commissioners decided to put off a vote to pay a design firm over half a million dollars to come up with plans for a new county library to be build near the marina.
The reason? Commissioner George Gainer is suggesting the county might want to build the new three-story, 60,000 square foot facility at one of two possible sites under consideration for a county office complex, both of which will move county offices away from downtown Panama City.
The Downtown Improvement Board is already reacting. It has released its agenda for the monthly meeting and the last item on it is to discuss the possible new county office’s location.
The DIB, like many businesses we spoke to, is worried that if the county moves its offices, it could lose a lot of business in the downtown area.
Commissioner Gainer believes the county might save money by combining the office complex and the library projects on one piece of land.