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Bay recovery task force moves ahead

PANAMA CITY — With no time to lose, the Bay County’s effort to craft a comprehensive recovery plan is getting organized.

Working under a stiff, eight-week deadline (with two weeks already passed), the county’s Long-Term Recovery Task Force met Thursday and announced that six working groups are now organized and are set to begin compiling specific recommendations for the most effective use of federal and state disaster relief funds, other government appropriations, and private investment capital.

“We don’t want a normal disaster recovery plan,” consultant Tim Moore of the Tallahassee-based Integrity Group told task force members. “We want a robust, full-throttle economic recovery.”

Organized to coordinate recovery planning from the county and its seven cities, the task force set as an interim goal a thorough information-gathering effort by the six working groups, or “branches” as they have been termed. The panels and their areas of interest are:

• Infrastructure, chaired by Keith Bryant, Bay County public works director: transportation, utilities, flood control, public works and public safety.

• Economic Recovery, Chaired by Will Cramer, CFO Bill Cramer GM: economic revitalization, business development, private-sector investment.

• Natural and Cultural Resources, chaired by Dan Rowe, president, Bay County Tourist Development Council: land management, marine and coastal environmental protection, cultural resources.

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