Gulfport Council requesting BP cut out the middle man

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - For months, the Gulfport City Council has expressed its disappointment with how BP has handled the city's claims.

Now, leaders are looking to cut the middle man out of future negotiations with the company.

The council unanimously voted to formally request that high management officials in BP be directly involved in future negotiations.

"BP is continuing to work with the city once the city presents its claim. The Mayor has indicated he would like to meet with our senior claims team who will be in Gulfport on Tuesday, so we anticipate meeting with the Mayor on Tuesday," said BP spokesperson Ray Melick about the request.

The council approved to send one of its members to hand deliver a letter of the resolution to Lamar McKay, president of BP America.

On the issue of claims, Melick said BP records indicate that around $90 million have been paid to Gulfport individuals and businesses.  Nearly $50 million in grants has been awarded to the state overall.

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