PANAMA CITY — Commissioners have approved a $73 million settlement with the Florida Municipal Insurance Trust for damages caused to more than 200 city-owned buildings by Hurricane Michael.
In 2018, the city had nearly 250 insured assets that were damaged by Hurricane Michael, but still has about 200 unresolved insurance claims.
City officials have already received $43 million from FMIT through contractor repairs and cash payments. The final $30 million will complete the settlement, allowing the city to continue reconstitution.
Historical ship repaired:145-year-old schooner Governor Stone sets sail to be rebuilt after Hurricane Michael
‘We’re finally here’:County’s rebuilt water treatment plant reopens after Hurricane Michael damage
Mayor Greg Brudnicki said the city is well insured and the question is what damage city officials can document after Michael’s destruction.
“A huge amount of work is needed to prove how much damage was caused by the storm. … Someone in the church has to be careful that we maintain those assets at a certain level before the storm so that they aren’t paying for something they shouldn’t be paying for,” Brudnicki said. “So it’s exactly the same thing that the owners went through and other business ventures went through. We went through it the same way, except we had a lot of buildings.”
City officials will begin receiving payments 30 days after the official release is signed.
Brudnicki said he thought they had found a great settlement.
“Now we can move on and move on. We’ve already received some funding, many buildings that they were responsible for…(are) being repaired,” Brudnicki said. “And now we had to sort out the rest. I guess there was another $30-40 million that still had to come in. Now that it’s all settled, we can move on. We know what we’re going to do. to get and we’ll spend the money wisely.”