Panama City's Annexation Proposal Hits Another Roadblock

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Panama City commissioners are looking at a request by a landowner to annex an area off of Highway 231. City staff says the move is legal because the railway across the street from the proposed annexation site is already part of Panama City.

The city of Cedar Grove surrounds the seven acre site, and leaders there say Bay County need to put a stop to the city's plans now before they go to far.

"If you allow this it will set a precedent for future annexations. Regardless of the mistakes you made seven or eight years ago, the city of Cedar Grove asks you not to make a mistake this time around," says Cedar Grove City Manager Chris Hubbard.

Cedar Grove leaders say the county should have done something a long time ago when Panama City annexed a large portion of the railway. They say they're using these tracks to illegally spread their boundaries. Now, some county commissioners agree and say the same mistake won't happen again.

"We authorized the chairman to sign a letter objecting to the annexation. The next step is dialogue and discussion hopefully between the county and city, or look at legal action to intervene," says Bay County Commissioner Cornel Brock.

Panama City Commissioner Bob Barnard says the move across 231 is legal. In fact, the city did it a short time ago with Winn-Dixie property, but several local cities in this area say they want to put an end to it now before their cities are lost to Panama City.

Panama City commissioners will hear the second reading of the annexation proposal at next Tuesdays' commission meeting.