The BP oil spill happened four years ago, but BayCounty is still working to recover from it, economically and environmentally. The Bay County Restore ACT Advisory Committee is tasked with putting together a multi-year plan to use the money allocated to them in the Gulf Coast Restoration Fund. The full amount of money that will go to BayCounty is still unknown, but an estimated $6.3 million is already promised.
Tuesday afternoon, the committee spoke on three topics to integrate into the plan. Those topics are infrastructure that benefits economic growth and job creation, Infrastructure benefiting the environment and flood relief efforts in the county.
They also spoke about the current partial plan draft which has derived from previous meeting topics. “I think it is going to go to the environment first. and the bays and the beaches are most important,” said Chairman Jack Bishop. “Then, how we can economically impact our tourism industry and the other things that go along with BayCounty. It will be how we determine if we are successful or not with using the funds." The committee will continue to meet through the end of the year. Bishop says the US Supreme Court ruling, Monday in the case against BP does not affect them at this time. He thinks that, if anything, it would only cause a delay in the funding process.