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Landlocked Florida City gets $1M oil spill settlement

via @ChuckRabin

Five years after the worst offshore oil spill in history, a small city in South Miami-Dade miles from any beach or coastline has received a hefty settlement for losses linked to the environmental disaster.

Landlocked Florida City — which bills itself as a gateway to the Florida Keys and Everglades National Park — last week accepted a $1.01 million settlement from British Petroleum, just a small piece of an $18.7 billion settlement the oil giant agreed to pay to four southern states for economic damages from the 2010 blowout of a drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico.

In a city that receives a good chunk of its revenue from a half-mile strip of gas stations, hotels and restaurants along U.S. 1’s entrance to the Keys, the infusion of cash into its general fund had the mayor promising relief for homeowners this year.

“We haven’t made plans for it just yet,” said Florida City Mayor Otis Wallace. “But there won’t be any tax increases, that’s for sure.”

The million dollar settlement amounts to almost 10 percent of the entire operating budget for the city of 13,000 residents. The payout represents compensation for the thousands of tourists who avoided the Keys and Everglades in the months after the spill — and by extension didn’t drop dollars in Florida City’s hotels, restaurants or gas stations.

More here.