Beach Council Adjusts “Leave No Trace Hours" - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

Beach Council Adjusts “Leave No Trace Hours”; Starts Final BP Claims Process

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Panama City Beach officials approved enforcement adjustments to its "Leave No Trace" ordinance. The hours of enforcement have been extended. They are now 7pm-7am.

This will be the first spring break that "Leave No Trace" is in effect, which means more volume on the beach; but beach City Manager, Mario Gisbert, said he's not worried about the pending spring break season.

He said the demographic of spring breakers doesn't lend itself to bringing tents or chairs and other items that could potentially be left over night on the beach and would be subject to disposal.

He said they've got their sights set on the summer tourist season, in which families generally bring their tents and leave them on the sand.

The hour change will better help the city enforce the beach cleaning system, allowing the crews to get out earlier in the evening and stay out later in the morning.

Previously, the hours were 9pm to 5am.

Additionally, language was changed in the ordinance to clear up confusion over items that should be considered abandoned.

City Manager, Mario Gisbert said they now have to get the message out to the public.

"The TDC has done a wonderful job keeping in mind they are providing all this information for the public to utilize they are flying their banner plane, they're providing the signs out on the beach access and then they're providing the information for the rental units," said Gisbert.

Getting ready for spring break, the city also passed stricter moped laws dealing with inspection and rental deposit coverage.

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Panama City Beach is moving forward with the final BP economic damage claim.

The council approved the next step, allowing City Attorney, Doug Sale, and City Manager, Mario Gisbert, to break down the economic impact of 2010's BP oil spill on the city.

At this point, Gisbert would not release a dollar amount they are considering to present to BP for a claim, but said they will take into account many factors to assess a fair and proper monetary amount to begin this final step in the BP litigation.

"Our City Attorney, along with consultants, are determining a good number and then that number will become a base line for us to understand where we need to be negotiating towards. BP will have their negotiations and we'll work things out," said Gisbert.

Gisbert said Bay County, along with several other municipalities in the area, have begun a similar BP claims process.