Council thanks U.S. Navy pilots for flyover at middle school football game

Council thanks U.S. Navy pilots for flyover at middle school football game
Air Wing Five makes first football game between G.S. and O.B. memorable

By John Mullen
It’s not every day a middle school football game gets a flyover during the pregame national anthem but Orange Beach wanted Oct. 24 to be a special day and game. And, it turned out to be just that.
“I don’t have the words,” Mayor Tony Kennon said. “It was a huge deal from just being our inaugural kickoff rivalry game.”
Orange Beach Middle School squared off with Gulf Shores in the first meeting between the schools soon after two planes screamed by over the Orange Beach Sportsplex. U.S. Navy Training Air Wing 5 Training Squadron 2 and five of its pilots received certificates of recognition at the Nov. 19 city council meeting for coordinating the flyover. During the meeting, the council also heard a report on the annual Toys for Children fundraiser organized by Terri Long and Candice Duncan from Wildflowers Boutique.
There was still a buzz in the crowd over the flyover as the proclamation was read and stories told.
“I don’t think there’s ever been a flyover in Baldwin County and maybe not even in Mobile County,” Kennon said. “It is beyond my comprehension how Chris (Litton) pulled it off and we got it done. I just want to recognize these pilots and the air wing that made it happen.”
It wasn’t without a hitch. There was a little excitement as Litton, the Logistics Coordinator for the city, scrambled to get the planes over the stadium at the right time.
“The national anthem was scheduled for the fly-by to be at the very last note of the national anthem and after all the coordination something happened and the singer started two minutes early, not by her fault,” Litton said. “I radioed them and said ‘oh my gosh, guys they started two minutes early. Can y’all get there on time?’ They said they’d do everything we can even if we have to go full throttle. And they were smoking when they came by.
“They made it happen, they got it done and I was so appreciative of that.”
Oh, and the Makos won the game over Gulf Shores.
City Council Also:
• Heard a report from Terri Long of Wildflowers Boutique and her annual Toys for Kids event at the Perdido Beach Resort on Nov. 16. The event raised more than $40,000 which will go to the Christian Service Center’s Christmas Cheer program. Last year’s event raised $23,000, Long said.
“We’re still taking donations,” Long said. “This is year-round. It’s not just for toys.”
Kennon said the center helped 190 families last year which included 566 kids.
“We know what a good friend Christian Service Center is to our community,” Kennon said.
The council discussed:
• The purchase of four lots at the corner of Bonita and State Route 161 most recently occupied by Pappas Pizza. The price for the property is listed at $650,000 in city documents. Orange Beach wants the property to expand city facilities.
• A resolution authorizing the donation of a surplus ladder truck to the Elberta Volunteer Fire Department.
• Heard from Chris Litton who said the city’s insurance company did a safety inspection on city buildings. Litton said the city received a near-perfect score which was the best that Orange Beach had ever had.
During the work session, the council discussed:
• Moving city meetings on Dec. 3 from 5 p.m. back to 4 p.m. to accommodate the annual Christmas tree lighting at The Wharf at 5:30 p.m
• Giving almost $19,000 to the to the Makos Academics, Arts & Athletics Club (MAAAC).
• A resolution awarding the bid for Magnesium Hydroxide Slurry for the Utilities Department.
• A resolution appointing members Mindy Smith and Desiree Blackwell to the employee’s leave bank committee. Permanent members on the committee are City Administrator Ken Grimes, Human Resources Director Vicki Pishna and Finance Director Ford Handley.
• A resolution authorizing an additional one-time payment of $1,000 for fulltime employees who have fulfilled a one-year probationary period.
• A resolution for a taxi franchise for Coastal Express Shuttle to operate a taxi service within the city limits and police jurisdiction in Orange Beach.
• A resolution authorizing the purchase of four historic markers in an amount not to exceed $12,000.
• A resolution authorizing the execution of a professional services agreement with Goodwyn, Mills & Cawood, Inc., for project engineering services.
• A resolution authorizing the execution of a task order with Goodwyn, Mills & Cawood, Inc., to perform professional engineering services for sewer force main improvements from the Wharf to County Road 12 in an amount not to exceed $487,000.
• Resolutions appointing the city attorney and appointing other attorneys for the city for 2020.
• A resolution authorizing the execution of a service agreement with NxtSoft Cybersecurity Solutions for city employee cyber security training.
• Setting a public hearing date of Dec. 17 for a Tom Thumb project at The Wharf. It will include a convenience store, gas station, car wash and fast food outlet.
• Setting a public hearing date for the final planned unit development for Cotton Bayou Cottages containing 34 cottage lots. The property is located on the north side of Perdido Beach Boulevard across from Admiral Quarters Condominium.
Pictured: Orange Beach City Council thanks U.S. Navy pilots for flyover at middle school football game. From left are council members Jerry Johnson and Annette Mitchell, pilots Lt. Cmdr. Matthew Clark and Lt. Christine Hammons, council members Jeff Silvers and Jeff Boyd and Mayor Tony Kennon.

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