Golf cart owners in Orange Beach, Alabama, will have to register vehicles, make other changes.

By John Mullen

November 10, 2019 – Orange Beach, AL – (OBA) – Making good on a promise from the Oct. 1 town hall meeting the Orange Beach City Council is discussing spending $18,000 to explore locations for new pathways in the city.

“The mayor would like to look into the feasibility of constructing golf cart paths,” Community Development Director Kit Alexander said. “Shared paths between golf carts, bicyclists and pedestrians. This is the first attempt to look at the feasibility of constructing multi-modal paths including golf carts on roadways that have a speed limit greater than 25 mph.”

Also, during the dual meeting on Nov. 5, the city formalized phase two of an agreement with Island Fiber to help the company bring fiber technology and high-speed internet to neighborhoods in Orange Beach.

During the town hall meeting, Mayor Tony Kennon said the city will have to move forward on a new golf cart ordinance to address growing numbers and concerns of the carts throughout the city. The city is writing the ordinance to comply with state law which states golf carts can’t be operated on roads with speed limits of more than 25 mph, must be driven by a licensed driver and must have lights and blinkers.

“Our goal is an ordinance that will be minimal in nature, to accomplish what state law requires us to do,” Kennon said at the Oct. 1 meeting. “What we think will happen is you will have to retrofit the lights and all that stuff. It’s about $650, average, to retrofit golf cart to make it so-called street legal which is not really a correct term. That is probably going to have to happen. We’ll have a phase-in period, a grace period. But eventually, every golf cart will have to meet those standards, be inspected and permitted.”

This new study will cover the entire city but Kennon said the city has more leeway on city-maintained streets than it does on state highways like Canal Road from the Wharf to State Route 161 and 161 south from there to the beach.

“My point is everywhere we see an opportunity to create a golf cart path, Marina Road may be one because it’s a city street,” Kennon said. “That may be something we can do. We may be able to come in and widen that to 10 feet and declare it a golf cart path then that’s what we’re going to do. I promise you we are going to attack in every way we can to create arteries for golf carts to go anywhere they want to go.”

Kennon also said that Canal Road was another possibility from Doc’s Seafood Shack all the way to Bear Point because the city recently took over maintenance of that portion of what used to be Alabama 180. It’s still under state control from Doc’s west as is all of Alabama 161.

“We will have to have the state’s permission to create a golf cart path on 161 north and south because that’s all state right of way,” Kennon said.

The study, Alexander said, will determine what’s required for the golf cart paths along both city and state roadways in Orange Beach.

“This is all brand new to us so we need to research what the appropriate width would be, we’ll have to look into where there are utilities,” Alexander said. “Just basically become familiar with the rights of way that we would look at and what the criteria and specifications would be.

ISLAND FIBER

Orange Beach finalized an agreement with Island Fiber to pay $1,000 for every customer signed up for the first 1,200 households or $1.2 million. The company will submit a monthly bill for payment on the customers signed up for that month starting in November.

To pay the loan back, Island Fiber will then make quarterly payments of $5 per customer until the full amount is repaid to the city. Those payments will begin on May 1.

As part of the agreement, Island Fiber is to provide a construction schedule and set up public meetings to inform residents of the availability of the new service and when to expect it in their neighborhoods.

“Island Fiber will work with the city to plan a marketing strategy to generate sufficient interest among target constituents to meet the necessary subscribership levels in order to make the construction of the Project economically viable,” the agreement states. “Island Fiber agrees to develop verbal presentations and written communications describing the proposed services and the benefits of the project to the target constituents.”

During the regular session, the council:

  • Approved a lounge retail liquor license application by Ramp Enterprises for Seaside Liquor 4, 25751 Perdido Beach Boulevard.
  • Approved a resolution declaring certain personal property as surplus and unneeded and authorizing the mayor and city clerk to dispose of such property. Those include a 1999 Ford Crown Victoria and a 2000 Ford F-650 flatbed truck and two knuckle boom trucks.
  • Approved a resolution awarding the bid for SWAT vests and plate carriers for the Police Department to Gulf States Distributors in the amount of $21,588 and per-unit pricing for a maximum of three years.
  • Approved a resolution awarding the bid for on-call electrical services to A&B Electric Company of Mobile per unit pricing for a maximum of three years.
  • Approved a resolution awarding the bid for a lighting system for baseball field 2 at the Orange Beach Sportsplex to M. Gay Constructors in an amount not to exceed $110,000.

During the work session, the council discussed:

  • A resolution authorizing the execution of an extension to the professional services agreement with Harbor Communications for voice and data telecommunication services.
  • A resolution authorizing the execution of a professional services agreement with Burk-Kleinpeter for project engineering services.
  • A resolution reappointing Julian Brackin as Municipal Court Judge for the City of Orange Beach.
  • A resolution authorizing the purchase of LED lighting for Sportsplex Baseball Field number 2 through Sourcewell in the amount of $145,900.
  • Resolutions extending the entertainment districts at SanRoc Cay Marina and Perdido Resort and The Wharf.
  • A resolution accepting ownership and maintenance responsibility of Surrey Lane and Webster Lane in the Shore Acres Subdivision on Canal Road west of the Presbyterian Church.
  • A resolution approving the Fiscal Year 2020 Budget for the City of Orange Beach.