County leaders hold private meeting with tent city property owner

PANAMA CITY, Fla (WJHG/WECP) - What's next for Bay County's backyard tent community? That's what county leaders were hoping to find out during a closed-door meeting Thursday.

Bay County leaders and the owner of a backyard tent community held their first face-to-face meeting Thursday to discuss long-term solutions for the tent residents. (WJHG/WECP)

It was the first sit-down meeting to discuss possible long term solutions for the residents of Shelly Summers' backyard.

Summers opened up her property to victims after the hurricane and says she's had 50 displaced victims come through her backyard.

Recently, the county issued Summers a letter encouraging her to consider more long-term solutions, warning that the county will eventually have to enforce code rules.

Joel Schubert, Bay County's Assistant County Manager, said, "As far as a long-term solution in comporting with the code, which eventually, again, will have to happen, we did offer several solutions and it's not our property, it's up to them which options they select and certainly we're here for them to offer support."

Both Schubert and Summers say the meeting was successful. Summers says she feels there's more the county wants to do but can't.

"I would like to say to the negative naysayers that have been bashing county to back off. It is not what people are perceiving it to be. It is not they're trying to shut us down. They are, in all honesty, trying to work with us," said Summers.

There are no future meetings scheduled between Summers and the county at this time and neither party could reveal the long-term options discussed.

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