Southport Moving Closer to Incorporation

By: Mike Tolbert
By: Mike Tolbert

Ah… fried mullet, hush puppies, and bar-b-qued chicken, not to mention music you can clap your hands to.

Around these parts this is called an old fashioned fish fry, but Doc Ferland hopes the food helps him drum up support for Southport to become Bay County's newest city, an issue he feels means more now with more development expected because of a new airport.

"We're a corridor to all this new development. If we don’t take control of our own destiny then somebody else will. I think it better if we control our own," says Doc.

Because Southport is not a city, the area is open to annexation by neighboring cities like Lynn Haven. Around 1,200 people have signed the petition to incorporate with more names coming each hour.

In addition to several hundred people, Commissioner Jerry Girvin, Bill Dozier and State Rep. Marti Coley stopped by.

"It seems like they have a very large group of supporters and people are excited. I'm impressed," Coley says.

Along with the food, those here seem to get the message.

Marie Rooks, a Southport resident, says, "I don't want to go into Lynn Haven or Panama City, or even Panama City Beach. I want Southport."

It those not here that Ferland worries about since this same issue was voted down in 1999.

"This is the second time, and hopefully the people will want to do this."


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