Historic Train Depot May Be Thing of the Past

By: Dana Arquilla
By: Dana Arquilla

The trains don’t run here anymore. There are no porters toting baggage, no passengers waiting for a trip north out of Bay County.

Although it hasn't had regular train service in decades, the Bayline Train Depot is a part of local history dating back to 1924, but that rich history may be coming to an end.

Panama City police recently hit the depot owners, the Downtown Improvement Board, with five code violations.

The DIB says it will cost as much as $80,000 just to clean up the environmental problems. That's the kind of money only a developer can afford. That's not sitting well with Panama City Mayor Lauren Degeorge.

Degeorge has waged a campaign against new development, particularly high-rise buildings. Whatever the decision, it must come quickly.

The Downtown Improvement Board has 30 days to arrange for refurbishing plans or demolition plans.

Earlier this year the city rejected a proposal from developer Bob Blackerby for the depot and the surrounding property.

Degeorge is encouraging residents to attend upcoming city commission meetings to voice their opinions on the depot future.


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