City lists January’s $9.7 million in expense vouchers; As was always expected, food trucks are now permanent part of zoning
By John Mullen
Gulf Shores suspended the rules during the Jan. 25 council meeting to add food truck regulations to its zoning ordinance.
“This is an amendment to the zoning ordinance to place the mobile food unit regulations that we used for the pilot program into the zoning ordinance to make them a permanent regulation and to permit use,” City Planner Andy Bauer said.
Also, during the meeting, the council approved about $10 million in expense vouchers, a higher than usual amount and Mayor Robert Craft asked Finance Director Cindy King to present a breakdown of the expenditures.
On the food trucks, concerns were raised over having units along State Route 59 north or along an arterial five-lane highway.
“At a meeting in December of 2020 there were questions and debate about the locations,” Bauer said. “We took a chance and made one modification. What we modified is previously the mobile food units would be allowed in any nonresidential areas of planned unit developments. “That change does not cap the amount of permit applications we allow for food trucks but I think it addresses the questions and concerns brought up at the last meeting,” Bauer said. “Staff recommends approval of this zoning text amendment.”
Big Beach Brewing General Manager Ryan Shamburger, a big proponent of food trucks for Gulf Shores, thanked the council and those in the community for backing the proposal.
January Expense vouchers were at $9.7 million which is a higher than usual amount so Mayor Craft asked King to break it down. King reported that $976,530 was for regular operating expenses, $2 million for inter-city transfers and another $8.8 million was for with certificates of deposit for $5 million expected to yield $25,000 over a year.
Several capital improvement and transportation costs were $2.8 million with a breakdown of:
• $918,745 in city school improvements
• $609,301 in improvements to the medical facility
• $51,146 for Waterway East work
• $31,800 for land and improvements
• $75,815 for retainage payable
• $824,998 for Coastal Gateway Boulevard work
• $98,972 for transportation improvements
• $247,285 for beach walking district work
Grant reimbursable items included:
• $629,723 for Hurricanes Sally and Nate
• $65,000 for improvements at the Gulf Coast Center for Ecotourism and Sustainability
• $36,808 to match a grant for Little Lagoon from the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs and the Land and Water Conservation Fund
• $95,904 for improvements to the Fort Morgan Trail
• $19,636 for BUILD grant improvement
• $23,400 for improvements to the Oyster Bay Fire Station
• $70,000 in a transfer to the debt service fund for final payment on the Oyster Bay Fire Station
During the combined regular
& work session, the council also:
• Authorized the mayor to execute a letter of agreement with Volkert for $27,500 to assist the mayor and council on the program criteria and site selection for the relocation of a city justice center, a new fire station and a new training tower for current and future public safety needs. The scope of services provided by the Volkert program management team will include providing the city council assistance in selecting a site in north Gulf Shores for a new fire station and training area, finding a location for a new justice center inclining police offices, jail beds, police dispatch and municipal court and help selecting an architect for these projects.
• Authorized the mayor to execute a construction contract for about $4 million to Ben Radcliff Contractor and adjust the architectural services contract for $420,511.68 to Walcott Adams & Verneuille and Goodwyn Mills Cawood for an elementary school addition that includes six additional classrooms and two STEM labs so to accommodate school enrolment and generally enhance elementary school education. Council OK’d $3.3 million for the project in July.
• OK’d an application from two families in the Granite Cove Subdivision off of County Road 8 West for annexation into the city.
• Declared Feb. 27 as Arbor Day in Gulf Shores which has been declared a Tree City for the past 25 years. Trees will be handed out at the drive through at Gulf Shores Elementary from 8:30-10 a.m. with a limit of four trees per car.
• OK’d a zoning change for 162 acres on Coastal Gateway Boulevard, formerly County Road 8. Developers of Raley Farms want to decrease the number of houses from high density to three per acre. The city council voted unanimously to approve the zoning change after much discussion about a road between the development and Stonegate subdivision to the east.
• OK’d a resolution accepting four streets in Craft Farms Phase 5 subdivision for city maintenance. They are portions of Alton Street, Inverness Circle, Craigend Loop and Ross Drive.
• Reappointed John Turberville and Grant Brown to the board of zoning adjustments and appeals. Both members terms expired on Jan. 7 and both have agreed to continue to serve and would like to be reappointed.
• Accepted a bid for athletic uniforms for the 2021 youth sports seasons from Ad-Ware & Specialty of Texas. They were the lowest conforming bid of the eight received by the city.