Gulf Shores to spend $1.2 million for paving on Commerce Dr. loop $35K in design work approved for Oyster Bay-Huggers Landing Firehouse

Gulf Shores to spend $1.2 million for paving on Commerce Dr. loop
$35K in design work approved for Oyster Bay-Huggers Landing Firehouse

By John Mullen
Gulf Shores agreed to spend $1.2 million for paving to connect the Commerce Drive loop in the Business and Aviation Park at Jack Edwards National Airport.
“This will not only support the redevelopment of the Business and Aviation Park, but we also have a location for a future control tower here,” Public Works Director Mark Acreman said. “And Resicum International is relocating its headquarters here as well. We have a five-acre commercial apron that’s ready for development. It will open up 50 acres of Business and Aviation land that will help us continue to diversify our economy in the city and high-paying jobs that aren’t relying on the tourist industry.”
Also, during the meeting, the council agreed to spend $35,000 for design work on a redesign of the former Oyster Bay-Huggers Landing fire department building and parking lot. Gulf Shores bought the building in December for $190,000 and it is now operating as Fire Station Four.
The paving and utilities contract was awarded to Cunningham and Delaney Construction and will include a waterline and connection to the city sewer system.
“This would be to complete the roadway infrastructure and the waterline and the gravity sewer system,” Acreman said. “We would tie that into a recently completed manhole at Waterway East that Gulf Shores Utilities just recently installed. Originally for this project, we had a lift station planned for this and we will no longer need that lift station. Probably saved the city about a quarter of a million dollars and us being able to tie in with Gulf Shores Utilities.”
City Administrator Steve Griffin said bringing an entire loop to the waterline will help with fire protection as well.
“What we’ve been finding out is the fireplug pressure because of the water lines there have to be such because of the hangars and gasoline and airplanes getting in there,” Griffin said. “By creating a looped water system it gets that fire flow up needed for the minimum requirements of a lot of those buildings that are going in there.”
Acreman said this is phase five a project that was started in 1995.
On the Fire Station No. 4 renovation, Griffin said the work will be an assessment of what needs to be done to get the facility upgraded.
“This is to provide the design services so we can have firm costs when we do our budget presentation for next year,” Griffin said. “It’s a need for rehab. The HVAC equipment in there is just not doing the job for the entire square footage. There’s no office per se for the battalion chiefs that are there and just an upgrade and general improvements.”
Outside, Construction Manager Clint Colvin said there are some cosmetic needs as well as better use of the areas around the station.
“It is need of some renovation and some upgrades to make it look better for one thing and make a bit more functional,” Colvin said.
“It’s just a plain-Jane metal building. Currently, we have a gravel entrance so we would probably concrete that and maybe pave around to get to the back, add some parking in the front and rear and put some fences on the sides just to make this thing look a little better. We would create a façade to cover the metal siding.”
To address the lack of office space the front two smaller engine bays will be converted for other uses.
“Probably some meeting, training spaces and offices,” Colvin said. “We would create a new entry and walkway, update the existing restrooms, address any ADA or compliance issues. We need two new coiling doors over the two large bays. We’ll go through exactly what all needs to be done in there. We’ve been having some issues with HVAC so we would do an assessment of that and make any corrections to fix those issues.”
During the meeting, the council also:
• OK’d the purchase of a parade float from Kern Studios for $49,000 for use in the annual Christmas and Mardi Gras parades.
• OK’d a sign variance request for One Club to put more signs on the east side of State Route 59 south of County Road 6 and another sign on County Road 6.
• Agreed to a public hearing for a liquor license for the Safari Club, a restaurant that will part of the new Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo campus.
• OK’d a taxi franchise request for Fancy Taxi to operate in Gulf Shores. Each franchisee pays a $200 franchise fee annually and is required to maintain a business license. Annual business license fees are based on gross receipts and start at $135. Individual drivers also pay an annual permitting fee, $25 for new and $10 for renewal.
• OK’d adding a credit card to be used by the jail detention officer to buy supplies with a limit of $3,500.
• Appointed members to a Complete Count Committee to oversee the upcoming 2020 U.S. Census in Gulf Shores. On the panel will be Chairman Steve Jones, Grant Brown, Steve Griffin, Lee Jones, Hanna Lairy, Dean Long and Jennifer Watkins.
• OK’d an assembly permit for the Brett Robinson Alabama Coastal Triathlon on Sept. 7. The events start and finish at Gulf Place near the Hangout.
• OK’d an assembly permit for the city to have a Sunset Series event each Thursday in September. There is a showing of the movie Aquaman planned for Sept. 5, a Songwriters Showcase coordinated with the Frank Brown International Songwriters Festival on Sept. 12, the Jimmy Lumpkin band (below right) on Sept. 19 and the John Hart band (below left) on Sept. 26.