Panama City, Florida leaders are getting creative in how to rebuild the two city-owned marinas following Hurricane Michael

Panama City, Florida leaders are getting creative in how to rebuild the two city-owned marinas following Hurricane Michael, which devastated the city in October.

The Panama City Commission will establish a nonprofit relief fund for hurricane recovery purposes and will end marina slip rentals to get boats out of the way and speed facility repairs. The commission will vote to ratify the termination of slip rental agreements at the marinas and has already sent letters requesting that renters who still have boats at the marinas remove them quickly.

While the US Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will cover most of the bill, the city will still be required to pay 12.5% of the tab – already in the millions of dollars, with damages still be accessed.

“There’s going to be a gargantuan bill that we’re going to have to pay,” Mayor Greg Brudnicki told the News Herald. “We need to do anything we can to raise money to help us offset all these costs.”

Brudnicki said there was not yet a cost estimate for repairs to the marinas or a timetable for when they would reopen. “We’ve already got divers over there now, salvaging boats now. We’ve got to get that all cleaned out.”

Some of the donated money may be used to provide relief for city employees who have been working since the storm struck, despite being left homeless from the hurricane.