City will join suit against BP

Published 6:04 pm Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Greenville is joining a potential class action lawsuit against BP to recover lost tax dollars due to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, council members approved on Monday.

Hartley & Hickman will represent the city. Securing the Greenville law firm as representation is just the first step in what is sure to be a long process, said city attorney Richard Hartley. Cities and small towns across south Alabama – especially those who rely heavily on sales tax from out-of-state travelers – are taking preliminary steps to make-up any budgetary deficits, money possibly lost because of the millions of gallons of oil in Gulf waters.

Hartley said the national media had many travelers thinking beaches along Alabama’s Gulf Coast were inundated with oil, when that wasn’t really the case.

But the coverage of the oil spill created the perception, he said.

“It kept people off I-65, out of the hotels, out of the restaurants and out of the gas stations,” he said.

Hartley said the city is still waiting on sales and lodging tax figures to determine the exact impact the oil spill has had Greenville.

In other business:

– The council authorized the police department’s grant application for $5,685 through the Mid-South Resource Conservation & Development Council for the purchase of three mobile radar units to aid in traffic enforcement. The grant is 100 percent funded.

– Approved an application by Deliverance Temple Church to establish a cemetery in its churchyard at 1337 Aztec Rd.

– Authorized the renewal of the city’s contract with Dean E. Boan to lease land from which the city extracts dirt and sand for public works operations at a cost of 75 cents per yard.

– Approved the following expenditures: $45,907 to Southern Software, Inc. for the police department’s records management software along with training and support; $2,840 to Lee Electric to replace a 20-year-old HVAC unit at the animal shelter; $1,827.87 to ALDOT for traffic signal repair at Cahaba Rd.; $1,710 to Camellia Printing for 350 Dixie Youth State Tournament programs; $3,975 to Royal Palm for Mite League, Softball, Day Camp, All Star and Staff shirts; $3,302 to Championship Trophy for trophies, state medallions, winner and runner-up individual team member trophies, ball cubes for home runs, host bags for officials and Dixie Youth League hats for officials for the Dixie Youth State Tournament.