BP grants provide equipment windfalls for coastal communities - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

BP grants provide equipment windfalls for coastal communities

JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) – Several weeks ago, BP said it wanted to make sure every community impacted by the Coastal Crisis had the equipment it needed to cleanup after oil came ashore. So, it gave each governmental agency in coastal Mississippi a $2 million block grant. Later today, we get a status on some of those purchases.

When Jackson County Supervisors get together Tuesday morning, the county's purchasing agent is supposed to recap how the $2 million BP Deepwater Horizon Response Block Grant has been spent. Supervisors will also analyze what else must be purchased to prepare for the arrival of oil.

On supervisors' agenda Tuesday morning are four emergency purchases funded by the BP grant. One purchase goes to the road department to help that team clean marsh areas. The other three benefit the county's emergency management agency. Jackson County wants permission to buy two new vehicles for emergency management. It's also using the grant to buy additional hazmat equipment the emergency managers will need to deal with the Coastal Crisis.

Gulfport also has BP purchases on its Tuesday afternoon agenda. The city council will be told how Gulfport's $2 million grant paid for items like a new fire boat, a police patrol boat, ATVs for police and fire personnel, diving equipment, barricades, and solar arrow boards.

Over in Biloxi, more than half of that city's BP block grant has already been spent. We're told by the city's public affairs manager that Biloxi bought large items such as a new boat, and two trucks. It also purchased smaller items like the gloves public works teams may need if they have to scoop up any oil or any tar balls.

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