Derelict boats, a muddy parking lot, and a rundown building, that’s the current state of the Fairhope Marina. The city is now looking into ways to fix those problems and the money could come from the marina itself.
MARINA IN DISREPAIR
Down at the end of Sea Cliff drive is a part of Fairhope few see. For years the city-owned section of the marina has fallen into disrepair.
Councilman Kevin Boone told us, “Over the years the site has not been taken care of or properly managed. Really it’s a nice area we need to start utilizing.
Boone is on the Harbor Board and recently they’ve been throwing around ideas to improve the marina. Things like paving the potholed parking lot, repairing the docks, and removing and old building called the ‘ice house’. The city has tried to rent out the building but the cost of code compliance keeps it empty.
“When the gentleman that was looking to rent it looked at the overall cost it was going to cost him, it was just way too much money because of the new flood law.”
Another priority is getting rid of derelict boats. There are a few of them at the marina and they are eyesores, but getting rid of them is difficult.
The City is trying to track down the boat owners. One of them was out today tearing apart one of the old boats.
MARINA USERS HAVE THEIR SAY
“Anything that could promote business I think is a good thing. Especially for Baldwin county.”
Captain Dale Croy is a contractor for the Coast Guard. He’s most concerned with just getting in and out of the marina.
He told us, “We transit the channel in and out on a daily basis and it’s extremely shallow. Especially during the winter time, when the winds are blowing out of the north.”
Shrimper Robert Barry wants to see improvements as well, but hopes the board keeps in mind the commercial interests.
He said, “I don’t think you want to make it a tourist area. These are work boats. It’s kind like the back of a garage you don’t want somebody back there it’s a liability.”
COULD PAY FOR ITSELF
Paying for the improvements could come from the marina itself. Slip fees bring in around $50k dollars a year. The Harbor Board is recommending that money go into a fund specifically for the improvements.
The Harbor Board is writing up a list of priorities at the marina. When ready, that list will be presented to the city council for a vote.