Gulfport Wants $12 Million from BP to Cover Revenue and Quality of Life Losses Caused by Oil SpillBy Rhonda Miller | Published 30 Nov 2011 02:16am |
The City of Gulfport is stepping up its effort to get BP to agree to a settlement for losses in revenue from last year’s oil spill. MPB’s Rhonda Miller reports on the bottom line.
A lobbying firm hired by the City Gulfport laid out its reasoning on how it came up with a request for BP during last night’s City Council forum. Losses are about more than hotel, restaurant and retail sales tax revenues. They’re about a drop in property values. Businesses closing down. Continuing concerns about the safety of Gulf seafood.
City Council President Ricky Dombrowski said earlier attempts at settling with BP have not been fruitful.
"Our offer that came from BP was what we thought was a little bit on the low side, actually a lot on the low side, $76,000, which would have been about a dollar per resident of the city of Gulfport, $1.11," Dombrowski said.
City Council announced it has its own proposed settlement figure for BP - $12 million.
The city is also claiming community losses - that includes recreational and lifestyle issues.
Gulfport native and Sierra Club member Howard Page says he thinks the city’s $12 million request is conservative, considering the way the oil spill impacts local residents.
"When you constantly hear in the news, BP’s line is there’s been no harm and the seafood’s safe to eat, but we see week after week, dolphin deaths , about shrimp that don’t have eyes, about a very weak shrimp harvest this year, that the shrimp never got to the proper size, just lots of concerns that people have of things that have always been healthy and good here," Page said.
At BP’s Gulfport offices yesterday, spokesman Ray Melick said while the city’s claim is separate, BP has paid substantial amounts to Gulfport residents and businesses.
"We know there are still some outstanding claims issues and we’re sensitive that people are still going through the claims process," said Melick. "But I think $91 million in the Gulfport area alone for businesses and individuals is a fairly significant dollar amount."
Melick said BP will continue to work with the City of Gulfport in an effort to reach an agreement.
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