Supers say ‘no thanks’ to BP cash ‘hand-out’

“If BP has $10,000 to throw away, they need to give it to the families of those 11 people who lost their lives.” – Rocky Pullman

The Hancock County Board of Supervisors asked its Emergency Management Agency to begin scaling back on its workload last week and told British Petroleum “no thanks” to a gift of $10,000.

The $10,000 gift was to be used to allow the county to purchase a portable kitchen.

“We are not going to be cooking on this issue,” Board President Rocky Pullman said Wednesday. “In fact, this gives me heartburn. If BP has $10,000 to throw away, they need to give it to the families of those 11 people who lost their lives.”

EMA Deputy Director John Albert Evans told the supervisors Wednesday about the proposed portable kitchen.

Supervisors said it was a nice gesture, but no thanks.
“I’m sure this is being offered in good faith, but I don’t know if we need to take any hand-outs from BP,” District One Supervisor David Yarborough said.

Pullman said the county is currently building a full-service EOC and storm preparedness center in Kiln and that Waveland and Bay St. Louis are doing the same.

Since the oil spill response, the EOC has been temporarily moved to the WIN job center facility in Waveland.

Dozens of state and federal officials have been in the area as a result of the oil spill.

Pullman said let the local businesses benefit.

“If you start cooking for everyone, all of the local restaurants are going to be complaining,” he said.

Supervisors also asked the EOC to slightly cut back on its hours of operation.

“You guys are doing a fantastic job,” Pullman told Evans. “But, we don’t want you to kill yourself with this and then a storm come along in a month or two.”

The EOC had been open for 12 hours daily, now it will be eight-hour shifts.

Last week, there were dozens of sightings of possible oil-related materials. This week, the reports seem to have tapered off quite a bit.

EMA Director Brian “Hootie” Adam said the offices will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The EOC will also close on Sunday, but clean-up crews will continue to monitor the beach, officials said.

“We can always go back to the 12 hours shifts if we need to,” Adam said. “We all need a little break, we have been non-stop for four weeks.”

Adam said he and Evans will remain on-call for response at any time.

Anyone wishing to report any suspicious materials on the beach call the EMA at 228-466-8229.

After hours, reports can be made to the central dispatch at 228-255-9191.

BY: Dwayne Bremer

The Sea Coast Echo

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