Hillsborough officials to look at ways to spend oil spill restoration money

03/20/13 Janelle Irwin
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Hillsborough County commissioners will workshop ideas on how to spend money allocated as a result of the 2010 Gulf oil disaster. It’s not known yet how much money will be allocated to Florida and individual counties for restoration projects because litigation with BP over damages is still happening. Commissioner Les Miller said the eight counties most affected by the oil spill will get the most money, but other gulf coast counties, like Hillsborough, will still get some of the funding.

“You’ve got to realize, we are the big boys on the block. The other closest county to us is Pinellas. The other counties are very, very small and we will be playing a major role as a major county as to what plans we will be coming up with as we go forth and looking at what we need to do.”

Guidelines are still being worked out on how recipients can apply for and use BP oil spill recovery money. Miller said the workshop will give the commission an idea of priorities that can be tweaked once the process is finalized. A date for the workshop hasn’t been set yet, but commission chair Ken Hagan asked that staff try to work it into an already scheduled workshop.

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