Take A Survey: County Seeks Input On RESTORE Fund Spending

January 31, 2015

Escambia County wants to know how you would like to see RESTORE funds spent on projects.

“Projects can be anywhere in the county,” Kathleen Dough-Castro, Escambia County’s public information manager, said. “It’s not funding just for the beach; projects could be completed using RESTORE funds in Century, for instance.”

The RESTORE Act was created to help the Gulf of Mexico’s environment and economy recover from the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster and other harmful influences. Signed into law in July 2012, the RESTORE Act (Resources and Ecosystems Sustainability, Tourist Opportunities, and Revived Economies of the Gulf Coast States Act) dedicates 80 percent of all Clean Water Act administrative and civil penalties related to the Deepwater Horizon spill to a Gulf Coast Restoration Trust Fund.

The amount of money that Escambia County will receive through the RESTORE Act is unknown. The main source of funds is anticipated to be the federal lawsuit against BP. On August 15, 2014, the United States Treasury released its Interim Final Rules regarding procedures and policies to apply for funds. Once the BP trial is completed the amount of funding coming to the County will be finalized.

However, the federal government and Transocean have agreed to a settlement, which will provide $10.6 million to Escambia County after the County has an approved Multi-Year Implementation Plan (MYIP), which will include a list of selected recovery projects. In order to create the MYIP, the RESTORE Act Advisory Committee (RAC) is currently in the process of developing criteria to use to assess various projects that will be brought before the committee in consideration for funding from the RESTORE Act. These projects will be presented by the project stakeholder in front of the Committee and then evaluated using this criterion. Public input is critical to ensure that the approved projects are in line with the community’s wants and needs with regard to expenditure of the RESTORE funds.

The RAC recently adopted an Interim Needs Assessment, which outlines the needs of Escambia County and supports the development of the Project Selection Criteria.

he RAC recently adopted an Interim Needs Assessment, which outlines the needs of Escambia County and supports the development of the Project Selection Criteria.

The current draft Project Selection Criteria reflects the needs identified in the Interim Assessment. The criteria has been divided into five categories:

  • Baseline
  • Environmental
  • Economic
  • Infrastructure
  • Bonus

The comment period opens today, Wednesday, January 28 and runs through Sunday, February 8.   There are three ways to submit your comments:

  • Take an Online Survey. This survey will take approximately 15-20 minutes to complete.
  • Email your comments to RESTORE@myescambia.com
  • Attend at the February 2 RESTORE Act Advisory Committee meeting to present your comments directly to the Committee. Each speaker will be limited to a maximum of three minutes. Allowed time may be less depending on the number of speakers. The meeting will be held at 4 p.m. on February 2 in the BOCC chambers.


7 Responses to “Take A Survey: County Seeks Input On RESTORE Fund Spending”

  1. Susie Black on July 22nd, 2015 8:16 am

    I feel like there are those who will pocket some of the monies. For what will remain please repair some old bridges, pot holds, sidewalks, etc. The Bellview community is beautiful the only thing that is needed in the area is A park for the kids can have somewhere to play. It is well over due.

  2. Cindy on February 2nd, 2015 5:30 pm

    DON’T spend it. Save or invest for future needs. Like rebuilding the 3-mile bridge.

  3. THE DOER on February 1st, 2015 2:38 pm

    A major need in the northend of the county would be an adequate number of fire hydrants. If you look along Hwy 4, they really only start once you hit Byrneville; then they go all the way down into Century. From Byrneville back to Bratt, however, they are almost null and void!
    We pay fire tax just like everybody else down here does!

  4. 429SCJ on February 1st, 2015 8:51 am

    Restock our depleted streams, creeks and rivers. Build boat ramps.

  5. disheartrd on February 1st, 2015 6:22 am

    fix all roads and drainage in the county,that the TAX payers already paying for. not just some but all, and no excuses,

  6. jeeperman on January 31st, 2015 4:36 pm

    I would like to see worthwhile projects be completed without involving everyone and their brother getting a cut of the funds via endless red tape.

  7. EMDi on January 31st, 2015 10:49 am

    Thanks for the opportunity.