Sunday, July 12, 2015

Competitor Emerges For Expiring 'Boatyard' Lease

Fairhope, Alabama.

Updated: some spelling errors.


Tyler Niehoff at center
When its current lease expires later this year, Eastern Shore Marine may have some competition for leasing the city's so-called 'boat yard' property along Fly Creek: Tyler Niehoff (Niehoff Marine Solutions) expressed interest in bidding on the lease whenever it is to be renewed.

Mayor Kant who dropped in for the latter part of the meeting, told Niehoff that the future of that lease had not yet been decided: it could be extended for another two years to coincide with the expiration of another one held by Eastern Shore Marine for the marina-area on the west side.

Both leases could then be put out for bids simultaneously and awarded to the highest bidder; another option could be "breaking" the current marina lease and seeking new bids for both later this year.

The city council will have to decide what it wants to do soon, Kant said.

Tony Chavers, Mayor Kant
The current rent charged for the boatyard property is $1000/month -- or 5% of  gross receipts whichever is greater; lessee must also provide proof of income by submitting a copy of its federal tax return to the city.


In an effort to confirm the terms are being adhered too, the Times has requested ESM's tax returns for the past two years, but has so far been denied access by the city clerk's office on grounds they are protected by federal privacy laws and not available for public inspection.

According to our understanding of the contract, if 5% of the actual gross annual income is greatly over $12,000/yr., a considerable amount of back-rent may be owed the city over its 10 year term.

The Times' legal department thinks that any privacy rights were waived when he signed the lease requiring the records be given to the city: they are now a public record.  The matter may be appealed to district court.


Long-talked-about repairs to decaying bulkheads and dredging of city creek marina slips is awaiting final approval by state environmental regulators: bids have already been solicited and obtained ranging from about $40K - 45,000.
cul de sac, city marina slips

Bulkhead repairs may be done first costing about $18K -- and dredging later, maybe this winter.

Two methods are possible: by crane-barge or from shore.

There is still no progress on outer channel dredging; the federal govenment had been responsible at one time -- but apparently special funding sources dried up; apparently commercial activity there is no longer sufficient to qualify.


Ben Raines at right
* Ben Raines, Director of the Weeks Bay Reserve requested a slip in the city marina be made available for a 44' boat he wants to use for eco-tours of the Mobile/Tensaw delta; the Mobile Bay Wooden Boat Club intends to restore the inoperable, donated craft. He was told no slip is currently available, but other arrangements may be possible.

* A new lease with Mike Francis for the cul de sac road property at the north end of the city's slips is almost complete; the term still needs to be worked out. The mayor wants it to be for at least five years so the city gets "value" out of bulkhead repairs being planned their (there is a possibility Francis may sell it).  Francis is a heir of the famous Charlie Gay, who's 'marina' still operates there.

* City attorney Wynne has "tweaked" the committee's newly-proposed bylaws but changes may be needed to the original ordinance as well for compatibility.

* Heard that Bob Pope did not meet the Mayor's latest final-deadline for removing the remaining sunken boat at the main pier marina.

*Renewal notices for annual slip rentals that expire at the end of the month will go out soon. Photos of boats to be docked there will be required.

*A boat being repaired on city property in the parking lot has exceeded the 60 day time limit.

Raines' boat

1 comment:

Publisher said...

When asked about it later, councilman Burrell said the city's administration should be seeking the tax returns for leases to its waterfront property -- when rent-amounts are tied to the businesses gross income or the CPI (consumer price index).

Apparently it has been working according to the "honor system" for many years.

To our knowledge, currently only the two leases on Fly Creek (marina, boatyard) and one on the main pier (former Yardarm restaurant) have such clauses.