Do you have ideas on how Pasco could use funds from money received from penalties that will be paid due to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill of 2010?
The Pasco County Government is giving you an opportunity to share them.
It is inviting residents to apply to sit on the county’s advisory RESTORE Act Committee. The volunteer committee will come up with ideas on how penalty money could be used.
Eighty percent of the administrative and civil penalties BP or other parties deemed responsible for the spill are paying is being dedicated to the U.S. Gulf Coast. Five Gulf states are eligible to seek a percentage of that money: Florida, Louisiana, Texas, Alabama and Missisippi.
Pasco is one of several Florida counties eligible to seek money from the pot of penalty funds. It is uncertain, however, how much Pasco will receive, if it receives any money at all. A Tallahassee-based consultant recently told the county it could net $19 million of penalty money, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
It’s also unclear how much the parties deemed responsible for the spill will actually pay out.
The payout to the Gulf region is based on the federal RESTORE Act, passed last year. The money from any penalties paid will be stored in the RESTORE Act Trust Fund.
“The RESTORE Act Trust Fund was established to maintain funds and certain
percentages will be used for ecological and economic restoration of the Gulf
Coast region,” according to a press release.
The RESTORE Act committee will provide ideas and input to the board of counyy commissioners, but the commissioners are the ones who will make decisions.
The county is looking for a variety of people to serve on the committee and recently put out the call for committee applicants. It’s looking for the following people to sit on the committee:
- a higher education institution (college or university)
- a member from the aquaculture industry
- a member from the workforce development/job creation industry
- a member with experience in economic development
- a member from the tourism industry
- one at-large citizen member
- a member recommended by the West Pasco Chamber of Commerce
Anyone interested in a seat on the committee should email email@example.com and provide a brief bio and description of what role they can serve on the committee.
How would you spend the money? Tell us in the comments below.