Panama City Beach Christmas Tree Lighting

Ring in the holiday season with the annual Panama City Beach Christmas tree lighting celebration.  This annual event is held at Frank Brown Park, and this year marks the 31st year Panama City Beach has been doing this.

Every year we attend, and every year we meet you and others and take part in having fun as a community. Every year local churches and schools provide refreshments and entertainment is provided by local school choirs.

Come picture ready and ready to tell Santa what you’re wanting for Christmas, kids.  Santa will be out for pictures all evening.

The event starts at 6:30 pm and is at the Frank Brown Park Community Center in Panama City Beach.  For more information, you can call 850-233-5045.

TDC Meeting – Klages, Sea Oats, JBInc, New Board

Bed tax numbers were reported to be up for October, but no percentages or numbers were provided.

Lisa Armbruster presented the preliminary plans for the Sea Oat Planting and Sand Fencing project and encouraged public comment.  The goal is to implement this plan next year after turtle nesting season, and Lisa advised that the funding is already in place.

After a presentation from Walter Klages that emphasized a need to increase international visibility, the board voted to follow staff’s recomendation and approve the contract for the current year including the extra money to start doing occupancy and rate studies.

The board voted to approve the Memo of Understanding with Jennifer Barbee Inc. under the assumption that they could renogotiate the stipulation requiring 1/3 of the budget to be deposited in advance with her firm.  The board agreed they would like no more than 1/6 of the budget to be deposited in advance with JBInc.  It was discussed that Jennifer Barbee Inc has been working on the new spring break site even without a contract.  Andy expressed his concern that $95k was too much for a web site, but the board seemed to disagree.

New officers will be chosen in January and another 6 months was added to all the board member’s term.  Originally, the 2 year appointments were to end in June 2009, but now they will end in January 2010.  I though this was a decision to be made by the County Commission/PCB City Council. ??

The New Year’s Even Ball Drop being held at Pier Park is sponsored by the CVB and will include an 8 foot ball dropped 145 feet from a crane.  Board members are unsure whether, at this point, it will be allowed to smash into the ground on top of a car.

Oh, and don’t forget the special meeting called on the Bed Tax issue on the 17th of December.  I’ll add it to the calendar on the side.

Panama City Beach is Getting Lifeguards

Well, the Panama City Beach City Council decided that we need lifeguards, but they don’t know how they will pay for it yet.

Mike Hudson, a resident of Panama City Beach, started a beach rescue service – Bay Medical Center EMS Surf Rescue Unit. His team put together a lifeguard program proposal with was the topic of discussion Thursday’s meeting.

After discussion is was decided that they would push through an already approved budget item to hire lifeguards at the City Pier. They also decided that they will put pressure on Bay County for them to follow suit with similar lifeguard placement actions. As part of discussion it was decided that they would update the existing ordinances that require beach service vendors to be lifeguard trained and update equipment that may be more suitable for current lifeguard needs.

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