Gulf Shores okays budget change, beach restrictions

By: Crystal Cole/ Islander Editor
Posted 6/18/18

The Gulf Shores City Council passed a budget amendment that would decrease general fund expenses by $414,477.

Councilman and Chair of the Finance Committee Dr. Jason Dyken offered some clarity to …

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Gulf Shores okays budget change, beach restrictions

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The Gulf Shores City Council passed a budget amendment that would decrease general fund expenses by $414,477.

Councilman and Chair of the Finance Committee Dr. Jason Dyken offered some clarity to the amendment and said debt service payments would almost double.

“That’s because we had those line of credits we talked about before, but we were paying interest only,” Dyken said. “We finally refinanced that and got new financing in place. Because we amortized those loans, that increased the amount of payment we have going toward principle and interest. Additionally, that added debt service that we’re paying is providing $17 million of funds that we have for infrastructure projects.”

Finance Director Cindy King said that approach to debt service was novel and that not many cities had done something similar.

Mayor Robert Craft said he was proud of his staff’s ability to manage tax-payer money productively and effectively.

“We’ve proven over the years our ability to build surpluses and balances,” Craft said. “I’ve got a high degree of confidence in the folks that work here.

For those well-versed in financial matters, 2018 Amendment 2 proposes the following:

- General Fund– Move $7,500 from Programs & Events to Contract Labor expense line for contract labor for sound/technician contract labor help. Reduce debt service payments by $414,477 due to cost savings from 2017, 2018A &B warrant issues.

- Fund 40– 2014 GO Warrant Fund. Reduce use of proceeds by $4,238,700 from 2014 GO Warrant and increase line Transfer from 2018-A funds to reflect use of 2018 Warrant proceeds.

- Fund 41– Debt Service Fund. Reduce transfer from General Fund by $414,477 and add transfers from 2018 A (nontaxable) and 2018 B (taxable) lines to pay down the 2014 GO Warrant and the 2016 B taxable line of credit to $0 with the 2018 A&B warrant issuance. Reduce 2008 A Debt Service Principal line by $1,080,000 for 2008A warrant paid off with the December 2017 Debt Issue. Reduce interest expense for 2008A and 2014 GO Warrants due to refinancing. Add interest-only payments for 2018 A&B lines. Net debt service revenue and expense increased $15,975,162.

- Fund 42– 2016 B GO Warrant Fund. Increase Proceeds from 2016-B GO Warrant fund by $1,175,126 for Sacred Heart Building purchase and $36,296 for Gulf Place expenses. Add $2,056,444 for 2018 B GO Warrant funds. Increase Gulf Place design/contract management services by $102,000 and Improvements– Gulf Place Redesign by $221,513 for Gulf Place construction anticipated in late 2018. Increase land expense line by $2,908,057 for Sacred Heart

Building Purchase. Net Revenue and Expense increase by $3,231,570.

-Fund 43 – 2018 GO Warrants. Add proceeds from 2018 Warrant issues and estimated interest totaling $37,090,000. Add expenses totaling $23,200,700 for Transfers out to pay estimated 2014 GO Fund (nontaxable) and 2016-B Fund (taxable) expenses and transfers to the debt service fund to record pay down of the existing lines. Estimated borrowed nontaxable funds available for out-year transportation expenses are $17,331,377.

Also approved at the meeting were:

-A resolution accepting an ADECA law enforcement grant to facilitate obtaining financial assistance for the purchase of police backpack portable x-ray equipment and awarding the bid to Atlantic Diving Supply, Inc. In the amount of $42,400.

-An ordinance to amend the code of ordinances, adopted July 24, 1989, at Chapter 6, beaches, boats, and waterways, article I. In general, by addition of Section 6-18 to further regulate activities at, on, and over Gulf Place City Beachfront and to prescribe penalties for violations. Items and activities not permitted include: animals (not including trained dogs or miniature horses as service animals); tents or shelters; beach equipment left out overnight; motorized vehicles; digging and/or removal of sand; breakable containers; overnight sleeping; fireworks; sound reproduction devices (any stereo, etc. emitting sound more than 30 feet); fishing; solicitation; fires, grills or cooking devise; alcoholic beverages; tobacco and E-cigarettes; drones and laser pointers. The majority of this was already restricted at Gulf Place.

-A conditional use permit to build a 23-space off-site parking for Bayou Village Shopping Center. The proposed off-site parking is shifting into the next block along West 6th Avenue and will be accessed from the existing parking lot at the former Dairy Queen site and has no access to West 6th Avenue. This is an area of the City which quickly transitions from commercial to residential uses and is sensitive to increases in traffic congestion and noise.