Posted on June 8, 2022
Gulf Shores, Ala. – (OBA) – The city is looking to cash in on about $25 million in RESTORE funding for a major road project in the Waterway Village District and rehabilitation work in Little Lagoon.
The Waterway project will include improvements to 2.8 miles of roadway north of the Intracoastal Waterway between State Route 59 and the Foley Beach Express. Initially, the award was to be about $14 million but the city has asked for an amended award to cover growing costs.
“The City has also requested additional contingency funds for the project in the amount of $5,609,492 to cover recent construction cost increases,” city documents state. “Once approved, this … amendment will allocate a total of $19.6 million RESTORE funds for this phase of the project.
In February of 2020, the council approved $4 million to Volkert for engineering and design services for the project. Those costs are 100 percent reimbursable.
The goal of this project is to enhance the water quality and improving the habitat in the Little Lagoon in a partnership with three universities and the Dauphin Island Sea Lab.
This project will improve habitat and enhance water quality in Little Lagoon through a coordinated program of restoration activities implemented by the city and its university partners.
“The City of Gulf Shores will work in partnership with Auburn University the University of South Alabama, Dauphin Island Sea Lab and Mississippi State University to implement programs that improve water quality, increase and enhance habitat area, and improve ecological productivity,” city documents state. “The five-year project will have secondary beneficial impacts to the region including more resilient and sustainable infrastructure and increased recreational and ecotourism opportunities. Specific programs will include living shorelines, improved hydrologic connectivity of the existing canal system, conversion of approximately 200 individual septic systems to municipal sewer, shellfish restoration programs, marsh and seagrass restoration, hydrodynamic modeling, ecological research and long-term water quality monitoring.”
Objectives of this project will include:
- The construction of approximately 1000 feet of living shorelines and shoreline habitat.
- Improvements to the hydrology of the existing canal system.
- The connection of approximately 200 individual septic systems within the
- Little Lagoon watershed to city sewer.
- The establishment of an oyster restoration program.
- Marsh and seagrass bed restoration.
- Hydrodynamic modeling of Little Lagoon.
- Ecological research and long-term monitoring by university partners.
These objectives will be accomplished through the implementation of seven discrete programs:
- Shellfish Restoration Program by Auburn
- Septic to Sewer Conversion Program by the city
- Shoreline Restoration Program by Mississippi State
- Living Shoreline Projects by the city
- Hydrologic Connectivity Program by the city
- Hydrodynamic Modeling/Monitoring by South Alabama
- Seagrass Restoration Program by Dauphin Island Sea Lab
During the work session, the council also discussed:
- Updating the employee handbook “to incorporate the 2010 and 2020 Slavin studies, reports and recommendations approved by the City Council on compensation, incorporate new and separate State laws establishing Police department pre and post disciplinary procedures and overall current practice not formally adopted by the Council.”
- Adding a safety manual for city employees to “to provide the City of Gulf Shores employees with a uniform set of safety guidelines derived from industry best practices to assist in the administration of our safety program and to aid in the performance of job duties in a safe and efficient manner.”
- A request from the LA Taxi Service for a franchise to operate within the city.
- An assembly permit for the Shaka Beach Bash volleyball tournament Aug. 26-28.
- A new agreement with Surfside Laundry to handle linens for the city’s rental department. Surfside recently bought out Starr Textile Services the previous provider and the new provider is substantially raising fees.
- A conditional use permit for Waterway Wines to operate a wine-tasting shop and limited restaurant as well as four multi-family dwelling units. It is located at the northwest corner of East Second Street and East 22nd Avenue. The Planning Commission gave the request a 7-0 favorable recommendation.
- Annexing three lots in the Granite Cove subdivision in the County Road 8 west area.