Okaloosa to form committee for RESTORE Act (DOCUMENT)

FILE PHOTO | Northwest Florida Daily News
Published: Wednesday, January 16, 2013 at 11:27 AM.

FORT WALTON BEACH — Okaloosa County commissioners will form a nine-member advisory committee to help decide how RESTORE Act money should be spent locally.

Take a look at the meeting agenda and its PowerPoint presentation. >>

Commissioners discussed the county’s treatment of RESTORE Act funds during a workshop Tuesday night attended by a large crowd of local business owners, government officials, educators and residents.

County Commissioner Dave Parisot, who briefed the board on the RESTORE Act, said the county must demonstrate that it has a plan in place to keep state and federal officials from “interceding and making decisions for us.”

Although the fines against BP for the April 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill have not been finalized, the county should begin developing its multi-year plan for how the money will be spent.

“We must press forward with planning activities to be ready when the funds are made available,” Parisot said. Under the RESTORE Act, which was approved last year, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas will receive 80 percent of all the fines levied against BP for its role in the environmental disaster. The eight

Northwest Florida counties directly touched by the oil spill will receive 75 percent of Florida’s share.

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