TDC and Bay County Commissioners Finalized on 15 million For BP - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

TDC and Bay County Commissioners Finalized on 15 million For BP Oil Spill

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With only 8 days left until the statute of limitations runs out, the tourist development council meets to discuss its claim against BP from the 2010 oil spill.

For the three years since the Deepwater Horizon oil spill the TDC and its lawyers have researched and studied the effect on tourism dollars lost to the area due to the spill. On Friday lawyers recommended the TDC Board accept the $5.5 million offered by BP to cover those losses.

The next step is to bring the recommendation to the Board of County Commissioners, if they accept the money, it will absolve BP of any future monetary claim.

TDC Executive Director Dan Rowe says the settlement is fair and the TDC is happy that they reached it without going into litigation.

"So I think that this is a very good thing for the TDC and it demonstrates again that this organization has been forward thinking and really trying to work through the system to get the best results," says Rowe.

It was a  unanimous vote by the TDC Board, but what about the Bay County Commission?

They met for a special meeting to discuss  the BP recommendation.

The lawyer for the TDC spoke with the county commission to explain why they want to accept the five and a half million dollar claim.

They say along with the 9.6 million for Bay Counties claim, together it will be around 15 million.

The acceptance of both financial claims will prevent any further litigation with BP, but BP will still be responsible for any cleanup associated with oil spill damage that turns up.

Commissioner George Gainer is optimistic that this financial claim will be paid before the statute of limitations run out on April 20.

"They told me to be prepared to stay around awhile today because I will be signing a lot of papers to go ahead and get that check written and get it sent to bay county as we understand it now it will probably going to be less then thirty days away," says Gainer.

When BP pays this claim it will be the largest claim paid to any governmental agency on the Gulf Coast.