Cities seek seats on Gulf Consortium

Published: Thursday, March 21, 2013 at 03:33 PM.

Apalachicola and Carrabelle have each become the first Florida cities to request membership in the Gulf Consortium.

Carrabelle’s city attorney Dan Hartman and Apalachicola’s attorney Pat Floyd said Franklin County’s two incorporated cities are about to become the first municipalities to join the consortium, a joint public entity formed in Oct. 2012 by interlocal agreement among the 23 Florida county governments bordering the Gulf of Mexico.

The attorneys cite Article 3 of the interlocal agreement to justify their membership in the consortium, which was mandated by Florida law.

That article requests the members of the consortium include any of the 23 counties affected by the spill and any “Florida municipality, county or other public agency” that has approved the interlocal agreement and is approved by the majority of consortium representatives. Additional conditions may be imposed by the consortium on members outside the original 23 counties.

Carrabelle and Apalachicola both passed resolutions approving the interlocal agreement on Feb. 28. Apalachicola posted a letter requesting membership on March 1 and Carrabelle’s was mailed March 15.

Neither city has received a reply but Hartman said he is not surprised because the consortium has not convened since the letters were posted. Consortium directors, representatives of the 23 counties, have to vote on new requests for membership.

The city attorneys said they do not believe other cities have applied for membership “The interlocal agreement and its authorizing statute section encourage participation by a variety of public agencies,” Hartman said, adding that he believes the cities have a “unique perspective that should complement the county perspective.”

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