Biloxi accepts $4.9 million BP settlement

As part of a group settlement of local government claims for economic losses caused by the 2010 BP Oil Spill, Biloxi Mayor Andrew “FoFo” Gilich announced today the City Council has authorized the Mayor to accept an offer of nearly $5 million to settle Biloxi’s claim.

The City was also informed a separate offer was made to Biloxi Public Schools.

“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,” 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.”

Biloxi expects to receive payment of $4,943,751 in about 30 days to settle its damage claims against BP over the Deepwater Horizon explosion that sent hundreds of millions of gallons of oil spewing into the Gulf of Mexico five years ago. Biloxi’s payments are part of an $18.7 billion settlement of civil claims filed against BP. Governor Phil Bryant announced last week 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.”
See the measure OK’d by City Council