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Environment

St. Petersburg Mayor Plans For $6.5 Million from BP

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File

Florida is getting more than $3 billion from the BP over the 2010 "Deepwater Horizon" oil spill, and St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman on Wednesday announced how he wants to spend the city's 6.5 million share. 

Kriseman said it's fiscally responsible to use the one-time payout from the settlement for one-time investments. His proposals include $1 million dollars for improving the city's wastewater facilities and another $1 million to support local artists.

Kriseman said while the spill in the Gulf was an environmental disaster, the proposed investments affect more than just the Gulf waters.

"When you're looking at sustainability -- in my mind -- you're talking about doing the things that you need to do for the long-term for your community," he said. "Having a strong arts community is good for our economy. It's a major driver for our economic development efforts. It's why people come here, because of the quality of life."  

Councilwoman Darden Rice, who attended Kriseman's announcement, said she supports the mayor's proposals. 

"I think it's so important that the BP funds be applied towards natural resource protection on one hand, and also towards resiliency and sustainability planning," she said. 

The city council, which has the final say on spending the settlement money, will begin discussing the proposed investments on Thursday.