Triumph Gulf Coast
Triumph Gulf Coast, Inc. was established by the Florida Legislature "to provide a long-term source of funding for efforts of economic recovery and enhancement in the Gulf Coast region". Three-fourths of the funds from the State of Florida's economic damages settlement with BP related to the Deepwater Horizon disaster will go to Triumph.
The payments will be made over 18 years, with a total of $1.5 billion for Triumph. The funds are for the benefit of the eight Florida Panhandle coastal counties from Escambia to Wakulla. The first BP payment of $400 million was made in 2016; 75% ($300M) goes to Triumph Gulf Coast, Inc.
The Legislature allocated an amount to be spent in each of the 8 counties, with all funding decisions to be made by the Triumph board. For the initial $300 million, a minimum allocation of at least 5% ($15M) per county must be used for projects in each of the eight counties.
For funds allocated to be spent in each county, the Triumph statute specifies "Each board of county commissioners shall solicit proposed projects and programs from other elected local governing boards within the county and shall provide Triumph Gulf Coast, Inc., with a list of proposed projects and programs located within its county. The submitted list of proposed projects and programs must include projects and programs submitted by other elected local governing boards and projects and programs recommended by the board of county commissioners."
October 10, 2017: The board of Triumph Gulf Coast, Inc. opened a pre-application cycle to accept proposed potential projects for Triumph funding. The pre-application is mandatory for anyone who wishes to submit a full proposal. Proposals may be submitted directly to Triumph by anyone by the November 15 deadline.
In order for Bay County to meet the November 15 deadline a list needed to be provided of proposed projects and programs to Triumph. On October 17, the BoCC voted to solicit pre-applications from each of the local elected boards, with the pre-applications due to the BoCC by October 31, at the latest. Bay County received 19 Triumph pre-applications from local governing boards, nonprofits and private firms.
November 7, 2017: The BoCC will compile the list of projects and programs from the boards that meet the BoCC-approved criteria and provide the list to Triumph.
It is likely that in this first round the Triumph board will favor projects that are ready to start immediately. Some of the words frequently used by the Triumph board to describe their intent for projects include "transformational", "economic diversification", "infrastructure" and "sustainable".
Meeting dates of the Triumph Gulf Coast, Inc. Board are shown on the RESTORE Act calendar, http://co.bay.fl.us/calendar.aspx?CID=23
Additional information on Triumph Gulf Coast, Inc. can be found here.
Interested people/organizations can ask to be put on Bay County's Triumph Program Interested Parties List by sending an email to Bay Triumph with the subject line "Subscribe Triumph Program". (Please note that Florida has a very broad Public Records Law. Most written communications to or from State and Local Officials regarding State or Local business are public records available to the public and media upon request. Your email communications may therefore be subject to public disclosure.)