The full effects of the Deep-water Horizon Oil Spill are yet known, but we are starting to learn how much money each of the affected counties could get because of it.
Early estimates show the Panhandle could get $210 million on the low end. And for commissioners in Florida, this is what we need to bounce back.
Commissioners from 8 Panhandle counties met with leaders of the Florida Association of Counties Thursday morning to discuss the Restore Act. The feds recently passed this piece of legislation, which awards the 8 counties 4.2% of the BP fines.
"The brand for the Panhandle was damaged. What happened in the height of the tourism season 2 years ago, many have not recovered." FLAC Executive Director, Chris Holley says.
If BP dishes out $5 billion in fines, Bay County would see $32,403,000. Walton, Gulf and Franklin counties would get $29,106,000; $12,642,000 and $16,653,000 respectively.
The money can be used for a variety of projects. "We need to demonstrate to our citizens, to our state and the nation that we do appreciate that these dollars came back and affected our citizens. We'll have transparency and accountability." FLAC president, Bill Williams says.
The estimates provided are preliminary numbers; the final distribution formula will be finalized in August.
BP is still in litigation to determine how much they will owe the federal government in fines.