Commissioners and City Officials ADMIT grant funding can be "repurposed" as our team has said for months.


Do you remember the news stories a few weeks ago declaring that the city could NOT repurpose the $8 million in grant funds it received in an appropriation from the state legislature originally sought for W. Beach Drive? The city stated that the funds could only be used on W. Beach Drive for a 1.3 mile multi-use path, even though the grant application stated the purpose as “Panama City Sidewalk Improvements”. Well, turns out that what the city said was not correct! FUNDS CAN BE REPURPOSED!! See the video on this page to hear newly appointed City Manager Johnathon Hayes admitting grant dollars can be repurposed.

While the reallocation process in the state legislature is more difficult and time consuming, it can be done. What is appalling, is that there is also another way which is quick, easy, and known to many city staff and elected officials. If the city wanted to, it could request that the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) repurpose the $8 million in grant funds, as long as the funding is applied to other similar (sidewalks, road and gutter) projects. Imagine, there could be sidewalks in neighborhoods throughout the city where there are none, instead of sacrificing the trees to construct a second sidewalk along W. Beach Drive.

The letter to the city from the FDOT confirming the grant award and containing the “Notice to Proceed” written in March 2023 states, ”Remember that all changes in scope must be approved by the Department (FDOT) before proceeding.” thereby confirming that changes may be made if the FDOT approves.

Why did the city deliberately mislead all of us? Why did our state legislators, Jay Trumbull and Griff Griffiths help them do so? Why did city and state elected officials charge Mayor Rohan with wrongdoing when he attempted to see if funds could be reallocated?

Do you want city staff to behave like this? Do you want them to take sides on a project and mislead the public to get the result they like? What about your elected officials? The two new Commissioners Lucas and Grainger were likely misled, also, along with Mayor Rohan. But they all know now, as the correct information was presented in the Commission meeting on February 13, 2023.

Stay tuned to see what happens next! If you think the $8 million could be better spent in your neighborhood to construct or improve your sidewalks and/or fill the potholes on your street, let your city Commissioner know!

You need to know….Repurposing grant funds CAN be done!!