Thursday, July 11, 2019

Fairhope Docks Showing First "Profit"

Fairhope, Alabama

Fairhope Docks on Fly Creek


Revenue from fuel sales, slip rent, and even selling ice more than offset daily operational costs at the city's marina on Fly Creek for the first time; any excess revenue (over costs) are put back into improvements/maintenance needs there.

new fueling station
The city took over management of the marina about two years ago from Eastern Shore Marine and began selling fuel itself using a new tank installed about a year ago with that as a goal (sustainability); the city makes about $1 on ever gallon of fuel sold with pricing competitive with the nearby Dog River marina. 

Docks Manager Sean Seay said he had manned the fuel pumping station himself over the July 4th holiday: "We're over the break even point now ... looks like we are going to show a profit ... had a 70% slip occupancy rate over the 4-day holiday."

City Special Projects Manager Lyn Maser said 159,550 gallons of fuel (gasoline and diesel) had been sold through June with a "profit" of about $152K; she projected total profit at $212K for the fiscal year (ending September 30).

3,355 gallons were sold over the busy July 4th holiday weekend alone, she said.

No figures were available for usage of the sewage pump out station ($5/use).


The shrimp boat Captain Sam B, (Heritage Seafood LLC - click) is actually selling shrimp off their boat there; ice for preservation is sold in the city's office.


Mayor Wilson commented later: "The Fairhope Docks performing this well in a short period of time since taking it over is exciting news. It will only get better."


The committee also passed a resolution to appoint two members to approach the city council about hiring a consultant  (fee about $10K) to help them decide what top do with the property formerly leased by Eastern Shore Marine.

Options include another boat repair yard, a dry boat storage facility, or a combination of the two.


* Skip Jones was unanimously re-elected as harbor committee chairman.
* Repairs to 'G dock' should begin in October

July 2019 Fairhope Harbor Board meeting.

Baybreak Grocery Building To Be Demolished

Fairhope, Alabama


A building on S. Mobile Street where the Baybreak Grocery Market and gas station once operated is to be demolished to make way for a two story, 3-unit, multi-use structure with office space on the first floor and two residences upstairs.

The building, partially constructed with clay city tile,  dates from the 1930s when it was called Monk Green's (some say it's "Mont"); old-timers recall buying bait and snacks there over the years.

Trees in back to be saved

It was damaged in 2008 by fire; and the Baybreak store was severely impacted by the BP oil spill of 2010; the building itself has been vacant for several years but other parts of the lot were used for scooter rental and other purposes.

Two parallel parking spaces will be allowed (on the B3b zoned site) along Mobile Street (three were requested) and space dedicated to bicycle racks to help meet the 8-space on-site parking requirement.

Existing large oak trees at the rear of the property will remain; some relief from the city's tree/landscape ordinance was granted by the municipal judge due to the odd shape of the lot.

The Planning Commission approved the Multiple Occupancy Project request during its July meeting.

Wise Properties LLC is the current owner; Henry Wise the developer.

Pier Street Marketplace


Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Library Roof Repairs Finally Completed

Fairhope, Alabama

library west entrance


Specially-made tile have been installed on the portico at the west entrance and a final inspection was scheduled for this week, bringing to an end the $1.01 million library "envelope" repair project that began late last summer ... to address chronic water leaks that plagued the building almost since its completion in 2009.

The chronic problems had been attributed to everything from faulty design, construction techniques, and materials used, ... as well as to improper maintenance; all warranties on the building expired some time ago.

M.W. Rodgers was the repair contractor.


Sunday, July 7, 2019

Geese Causing High Bacteria Readings At Beach?

Fairhope, Alabama

Duck pond outfall


During its June meeting, Gary Gover the city's environmental committee chairman said his own testing indicated the Canada geese are most-responsible for periodic high e-coli bacteria readings in the bay along municipal beach.

He said readings at the outfall of the duck pond were especially high, "hundreds of times" more than periodic testing by ADEM/ADPH in the vicinity in many cases.

Gover: "... even during dry weather my test results are showing pollution rates higher than recommended.  A likely cause are the resident geese ... each deposits 4# of fecal matter in the park every day."

"Children may be found routinely playing in the pond effluent, in geese feces, and polluted water along the beach."

Blinking lights installed by the city only move the geese from one area of the park to another, and "no wildlife feeding" laws are not being enforced, he said.


One committee member suggested using herding dogs to frighten the geese away as is done in other parts of the country; more blinking lights have already been ordered to install all over the park.

Mayor Wilson told the Times she agrees something more needs to be done; but wants it done in a "humane manner."

(Goose population usually peaks in mid-summer then begins to decline.)

Gover standing