A major beach renourishment project for the 18.5-mile Gulf beachfront in Bay County is a step closer. Tourist Development Council President Dan Rowe said the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has released the funds that will cover the cost of replacing 1.4 million cubic yards of sand estimated to have been lost from Hurricane Michael. While the amount of funding was not stated the Bay County Long-Term Recovery Task Force said it would cost about 15 million dollars. Rowe said dredging could begin this winter. An even more ambitious beach renourishment program is being considered to restore the three-mile beachfront at Mexico Beach, which took the full brunt of Hurricane Michael’s storm surge. That project has an estimated cost of 25 million dollars.