CCA discusses RESTORE act, lighthouse at meeting


Jonathan Hayes, Chief of Staff for Rep. Steven Southerland, spoke to members of the Coastal Community Association on Saturday.

Wes Locher | The Star
Published: Thursday, July 17, 2014 at 09:39 AM.

The Coastal Community Association of Gulf County held its annual meeting last Saturday at the St. Joseph Bay Golf Club.

Jonathan Hayes, Chief of Staff for U.S. Rep. Steve Southerland, attended the meeting.

Hayes apologized for Southerland’s absence, saying that he was busy preparing for the upcoming election season.

Hayes used the opportunity to speak on the RESTORE Act, explaining that after three years, the U.S. Treasury officials are still deciding the rules in order to decide how much money each area is entitled to, post the BP oil spill in 2010. Money available through the act would make up for lost revenue in affected areas. Funds are expected to be available in late summer.

“Southerland is pushing them to make their decisions in a quick and efficient manner,” said Hayes.

Hayes also said that Southerland was fighting to get the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to respond to an appeal by the state to provide funding for sand replenishment on the Cape. An agreement had been reached before the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Department Services filed a complaint and the funding was retracted.

Hayes said that Southerland introduced legislation through the farm bill that could potentially re-designate funds for use in the infrastructure of rural counties. If passed, there may be a way to use the funds for beach nourishment purposes.

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