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Bay County Officials Enlist Residents' Help In Looking At New Spring Break Rules


Bay County Commissioners are expected to hold their first workshop Tuesday to get public input as they consider potential changes to that area’s Spring Break policies.

Thousands of people flock to Panama City Beach for Spring Break, but Bay County Commissioner Mike Thomas says the large crowds come at a cost to the area, like more crime, as the climate of youth has changed.

“When we bring this many youth together at one time, our problem has escalated. And, we’re looking as a community—the city, the county, and everybody together—to try and see what we can do to make it more palatable,” said Thomas.

He says he hopes many people come to Tuesday’s workshop to offer some of their suggestions, and he listed some recommendations that he likes by the Bay County Sheriff.

“He suggested banning alcohol on the beach for the month of March, closing the clubs, anybody with an alcohol beverage must have an ID with them,” added Thomas.

Other what he calls “serious regulations” include enforcing capacity limits on clubs and parking limits in certain places as well as using city funds to advertise the changes so Spring Breakers know the new rules. While the Bay County Chamber of Commerce has not taken a position on the issue, some bar owners have said they support looking at some changes.

Tuesday’s workshop is expected to start at 1: 30 p.m. in the Commission Chambers of the Bay County Government Center.

For more news updates, follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter: @SaschaCordner.

Sascha Cordner has more than ten years of public radio experience. It includes working at NPR member station WUFT-FM in Gainesville for several years. She's worked in both radio and TV, serving in various capacities as a reporter, producer and anchor. She's also a graduate of the University of Florida with a bachelor's degree in telecommunications. She is the recipient of 15 awards from the Associated Press, Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), and Edward R. Murrow. Her award-winning stories include her coverage on the infamous “Dozier School for Boys” and a feature titled "Male Breast Cancer: Lost in the Sea of Pink." Currently, Sascha serves as the host and producer of local and state news content for the afternoon news program "All Things Considered" at WFSU. Sascha primarily covers criminal justice and social services issues. When she's not reporting, Sascha likes catching up on her favorite TV shows, singing and reading. Follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter:@SaschaCordner.