Advisory Committee Setting Criteria for Awarding Funds for Restore Act Projects

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PANAMA CITY - Bay County's RESTORE Act Advisory Committee met again Tuesday to discuss distribution of BP settlement money.

Committee members are responsible for sorting through a list of projects that are being submitted for RESTORE Act funding.

At Tuesday's meeting, the committee approved a plan that will be the guideline for money that comes from the $6.3 million settlement with TRANSOCEAN, who owned and operated the Deepwater Horizon, and up to $114 million from the settlement with BP, which is expected to be completed early next year.

They're establishing criteria to rank the projects in order of need and how to distribute the money over a number of years and put objectives in place for economic and environmental impact.

Jim Muller is the RESTORE Act Coordinator for Bay County and said, "We're setting the frameworks on how we want to, what type of projects we want to do. What we're trying to accomplish. So, we just setting out the goals and objectives and a process and when we get those nailed down, then we'll look at setting up the process for soliciting projects to be funded by restore."

The committee will recommend their list of projects to Bay County Commissioners, who will have the final word.

The next Advisory Committee takes place September 9th.