Bay County Commissioners aim to make area more water accessible when wildfires strike

Published: Nov. 1, 2022 at 7:19 PM CDT
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BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Bay County Commissioners are finding ways to protect residents from future wildfires. They voted to apply for a Post Fire Mitigation Grant from FEMA at Tuesday’s commission meeting. It’s aimed at providing funding for fire safety.

The idea for the grant was sparked after wildfires burned thousands of acres last March in the Panhandle. The roughly $1.5 million grant would allow the county to build a new water main with fire hydrants along North Star Avenue.

It would connect with the main water line in Callaway and a different one in Panama City.

“Before, we relied on tanker trucks,” Bay County Commissioner Robert Carroll said. “Now we’ll have that water pressure already there. It’ll be a large enough line where we’ll have future flow capacities, higher pressures. It’ll interconnect the two water systems in case there’s any water outages. It could help Tyndall because it now loops all of our systems together.”

The timeline of the project is dependent on if and when the county is granted the money. Officials said it will take three years to build it. The deadline to submit the application is Dec. 2.

It’s about a $4 million dollar contract. The remaining cost of the project will be paid for by the county.