ROBERTSDALE, Ala. (WALA) - Baldwin county is moving forward with its plan to sue BP for millions of dollars as a result of last year's oil spill. The commissioners took another important step in that direction Thursday.
It's been more than a year since the BP oil spill devastated the tourism industry in south Alabama.
The county said the impact on the rental business and retail sales cost the county nearly $12 million in tax revenue. They want BP to pay.
The commissioners spent most of the morning Thursday in a closed door meeting with their attorneys. When they came out, they voted to move forward with the initial filing for the multi-million dollar lawsuit.
"This is really a 'T' crossing, 'I' doting part of the procedure, but we just had some other parts of the components that we just wanted to make sure we had good clarification on as a group," Commissioner Tucker Dorsey said.
The commissioners met in the heart of Robertsdale, but they said the tax revenue lost because of the BP oil spill last year affects the entire county.
And it doesn't stop at the county border. Cory Maze with the Alabama Attorney General's Office was also at the meeting.
"If they have any questions, then we can work together as a group. The A.G. and the governor are standing firm to help all of the local governments. Anybody that needs their help can always call us if they have any questions about what's going on with the litigation, and etc. So we're just here, sort of in support of the county," Maze said.
Bob James is the only commissioner who voted no on the motion to move forward. James said he wanted to meet with other agencies in the county, including the school system first.
"It's something that you may do today, may affect you in a different aspect tomorrow. It's kind of like a chess game that you better be careful what moves you make in your second move, because it'll affect you in the end game," James said.
However, James and the other commissioner agree the end of the legal process is still a long way away.
The Baldwin County School System has filed a separate lawsuit against BP.
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