Biloxi accepts $4.9M BP settlement - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Biloxi accepts $4.9M BP settlement

Tuesday night, the city council authorized Mayor Gilich to accept the offer. It's part of an $18.7 billion settlement of civil claims filed against BP.  (Photo source: WLOX) Tuesday night, the city council authorized Mayor Gilich to accept the offer. It's part of an $18.7 billion settlement of civil claims filed against BP. (Photo source: WLOX)
BILOXI, MS (WLOX) -

In just about a month, the City of Biloxi will receive nearly $5 million from BP as part of a group settlement of local government claims for economic losses caused by the 2010 BP Oil Spill. 

"Although we believe Biloxi's total damages from lost taxes are greater than the amount of the settlement, there is no guarantee an extended legal battle will generate a higher number," Mayor FoFo Gilich said. "If we chose to reject the settlement offer, we'd be looking at several more years of litigation without any guarantees. This is a prudent choice considering the alternatives."

Tuesday night, the city council authorized Mayor Gilich to accept the offer. It's part of an $18.7 billion settlement of civil claims filed against BP. 

Last week, Governor Phil Bryant announced that Mississippi will receive a total of $2.2 billion and will use a large portion of that money to help restore the ecological damage incurred.

Gilich said he will suggest to the city council that Biloxi use the $4.9 million to establish a special reserve account that can be used to leverage other federal and state monies for economic development, and to help ease cash pressures caused by tardy FEMA reimbursements for ongoing capital projects.

"This money will allow us to more rapidly respond to development opportunities," Gilich said. "We must utilize the money wisely to maximize the potential benefits."

City officials say a separate settlement offer was made to Biloxi Public Schools, but didn't specify how much the school district could be getting. 

Copyright 2015 WLOX. All rights reserved.

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