Mexico Beach continuing to rebuild, focusing on infrastructure

Published: Oct. 28, 2020 at 10:42 PM CDT
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Mexico Beach city officials say to date they’ve received more than $50 million to help with recovery after Hurricane Michael.

But now, two years after the storm they’re looking for additional funding through grants to kick start the next stage of recovery.

“That $57 million was really mainly cleanup, getting our water, our sewer, our power, our roads back to just functioning,” said City Administrator Mario Gisbert. “These are the things now that will actually move us forward on buildings.”

The city is submitting plans and proposed expenses for five priority projects to try and get money from the Community Development Block Grant to help out where FEMA money cannot, such as dredging parts of the canal.

“FEMA has come through and helped us with the main portion of the canal, but this is the portion that is the balance of the canal, where the homes are and where the docks are,” said Gisbert.

Another project is beach renourishment.

City leaders say they have a small renourishment project in the works but are hoping to get funding for a much larger one.

“The city has been going after beach renourishment for some time. Only one mile of our beach is considered critical” said Gisbert. “We’re hoping to get all three miles listed as critical.”

Other priority projects include repairs to the pier, rebuilding the police and fire station, and starting a section of a master stormwater system.

The deadline to submit the plans for the grant is November 30th and officials hope to find out if they got the money a few weeks after that.

“We’re very thankful for everything that we’ve gotten,” said Gisbert." We still have a long, long way to go but little by little we’ll get there, as will everyone else.

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