Beloved watering hole gets license renewed

By: Crystal Cole/ Islander Editor
Posted 11/21/18

A packed house greeted the Gulf Shores City Council Monday night, but not in opposition to any proposed development. This crowd came to show support of a local bar seeking to renew its liquor license …

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Beloved watering hole gets license renewed

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A packed house greeted the Gulf Shores City Council Monday night, but not in opposition to any proposed development. This crowd came to show support of a local bar seeking to renew its liquor license under a new LLC. 

The Flying Harpoon has long been a sanctuary for locals, many coming off work at some of the busier, tourist-oriented businesses. They come by, grab a beer and go sit by the channels off Little Lagoon hoping to catch a glimpse of some marine life or some friendly faces. 

A recent change in the name of the LLC required the Harpoon to apply for its liquor license again, face the city council and submit to a public hearing. 

The first woman to speak at the public hearing was a local who has lived in the area for 15 or 16 years. She said her family found a home at the Flying Harpoon. 

“It’s a place for all us locals,” she said. “They’ve been on national TV and brought great exposure to our town that we never would have experienced if it weren’t for that little place. I just want it to stay there.”

The next man, an Army veteran of 25 years, said the Harpoon has given him somewhere to go and shake his social anxieties picked up from combat duty. 

“I go there, I have great friends,” the man said. “I found some people that have encouraged me not to just get out and do something else with my life, but I now have a business license. I’m doing side jobs to help keep the community looking nice. It’s a gathering place for us veterans.”

Mayor Robert Craft said there were some concerns about the business, but nothing that would preclude the license being renewed. He said most of the issues came from parking and being respectful of the neighboring, residential communities.

“They’ve got to keep the parking on their parking site,” Craft said. “We cannot have parking on the right of way, and you cannot park on other people’s private property. You have to fit into the surrounding areas by recognizing that other people might not be in a partying mood at 3 o’clock in the morning.”

The license passed with unanimous approval. 

Voting machines

Also passed at the meeting was an intergovernmental service agreement with Baldwin County Commission for use of voting machines and the services of the county voting nachine custodian and employees for municipal elections. 

Through the years, the Baldwin County Commission has allowed municipalities the use of the county voting machines for municipal elections at no cost. In June, the State Ethics Commission issued an opinion that counties and municipalities may enter into contracts through which the municipality reimburses the county for the use of the county’s election equipment and county employees who possess the required skill and knowledge to operate the equipment; but municipalities may not directly engage the county employee to do so under these facts without putting the employee in the position of violating the Code of Alabama 1975, Section 36-25-S (a) and (c). In order to continue this service, the county adopted a resolution providing for the commission to enter into an intergovernmental service agreement with municipalities wishing to continue to use the voting machines at no cost. As always, each municipality shall be responsible for all costs associated with the provision of such services such as equipment delivery, testing, and return provided by the county voting machine custodians and any and all other election related costs.