Franklin County, FL -- April 12, 2012 --
U.S. Senator Bill Nelson made a stop in Franklin County on Thursday. He was there to meet with local business and government leaders.
"He's always very cordial. He has a great staff that we work with. And, uh, he really has our concerns at heart," said Pinkie Jackel, Chairwoman of the Franklin County Board of Commissioners.
Senator Nelson's main message to people in Franklin County.....they work hard and deserve to keep the BP oil fine money.
"It's a hard scrabble community but it is a beautiful community," said Nelson.
Nelson urged people at the meeting to tell their representatives to pass the Restore Act. If passed, it will put billions of dollars directly into the Gulf communities. If it doesn't pass the House, the fine money will go into the general treasury of the U.S.
"The harm was done to the people of the Gulf and the Gulf and that's where we ought to spend the fine money," said Nelson.
Nelson said that money can be anywhere from 5 billion to upwards of 20 billion dollars.
Another concern brought up at the meeting was the drought. People say the lack of fresh water in the bay is causing major problems. Shrimp and oyster levels are at dangerously low levels.
"We really need the senator's help to get the flows down here that we need to keep the river and the bay alive," said Dan Tonmeier, the Apalachicola River Keeper.
Most of that fresh water comes from Georgia. They are hoping Nelson can help deliver their message.