Hancock Co. officials say oil spill expenses unpredictable - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Hancock Co. officials say oil spill expenses unpredictable


By Danielle Thomas – bio | email

HANCOCK COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Hancock County supervisors say unforeseen expenses related to the oil cleanup are starting to escalate. They say the county received $2 million in BP money to carry that burden.  Board President Rocky Pullman said it's not possible to predict every expense ahead of time. He said there's been a lot of budget adjusting. 

On Wednesday, the Sheriff's Department told supervisors it needs 10 more radios to improve the security it's providing for BP at Stennis International Airport. Deputies say the radios cost about $5,500 each.

"All of our full time deputies have the equipment necessary," said Deputy Chief Ronnie Cuevas. "The reserve unit does not have issued radios. Therefore, we are requesting an additional number of radios for them to have service while they're performing their duties."

Tar balls closed down a beach front road earlier this month.  Hancock County officials say it's an example of how the oil spill is affecting overtime for county workers.

"We had oil that was washing onto the roadways," said Pullman. "We had road maintenance department. It's a multitude of people that gets involved. It's not just road. Law enforcement, you've got the EMA [Emergency Management Agency]. They're being stretched to their limit."

Supervisors say they quickly realized there would be more expenses from this oil spill than the cleanup itself. They say it's their job to be good stewards of the money they receive from BP.

"There is some escalating expenses that comes along with this," Pullman said. "Sometimes you can't think everything out before you do it. You do it, and then you have to come back and make some adjustments to the budget. "

He said, "We don't want to spend it needlessly. We want to make sure that everything that is eligible is in fact cost over into BP and they're paying for it."

Supervisors agreed to submit the request for the radios for the Sheriff's Department.

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