PALMETTO - The Palmetto City Commission unanimously voted Monday night to seek counsel to file a suit for lost revenues following the 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
“This city has been terribly hit by what took place,” said Commissioner Charles Smith.
Smith said real estate property values had declined and restaurants also have experienced financial losses as a result of the oil spill.
Palmetto would be able to claim losses related to reduced sales tax as a consequence of a decrease in tourism, according to city documents.
Mark Barnebey, city attorney, told the commission the city would need to seek outside counsel who would work on a contingency fee basis. Barnebey said that as of now, he could not tell how much compensation the city would receive if the claim was successful.
Commissioner Tambra Varnadore said she was concerned expenses for outside counsel could exceed benefits. “The city doesn’t have a lot of money to throw out,” she said.
Barnebey said he expected “minimal” costs would be incurred.