City approves Alternative FEMA project for Tiger Point Golf Course

Posted on August 8, 2016 by Mat Pellegrino

At Monday night’s Gulf Breeze City Council meeting, council members approved the send-off of their FEMA Alternative Project proposal, which could essentially help bring the Tiger Point Golf Course greens and bunkers on the west end back to life.
The city was slated to receive a little over $533,202 from FEMA due to damages incurred during the April 2014 flood.
The money was to go towards revamping the west golf course bunkers, which were heavily damaged during the flood.
An alternative to utilizing the $533,202 to revamp the bunkers was to select an “Alternative Project” for the same area where the damage occurred.
The Alternative Project would have to benefit the same area FEMA was divvying out money for originally. The city could come up with an alternative project and submit it to FEMA for approval.
Several months ago, an Alternative Project was proposed by the city’s operations consultant Vernon Prather.
His suggestion?
Have the city utilize the alternative project funds to purchase maintenance equipment for the golf course.
That equipment could aid the city in rebuilding or better maintaining the west golf course, according to City Manager Edwin “Buz” Eddy.
“If we get approved for the alternative project, that equipment is primarily going to be used to maintain the west course area,” Eddy told South Santa Rosa News back in July.
Since the city purchased the golf course back in 2012, the west course has sat in ruins and many residents have complained about the overgrowth on the course.
The city does maintain the west course, but has no plans to revamp it and reopen it for regular play.
With the alternative project money, Eddy said the city can utilize the equipment to better maintain the west course and put residents’ minds at ease.
The equipment could also be utilized by the city to rebuild the overgrown bunkers on the west golf course.
“We’re not inclined to repair the bunkers,” Eddy said. “We can use that (alternative money) for equipment we were going to buy anyways over the next few years.”
When the city obtained the golf course 4 years ago, they obtained some maintenance equipment from the previous owners. But that equipment was outdated and on its last leg.
The city obtained old tractors and backhoe loader equipment from the golf course’s bone yard, which they have been utilizing to maintain the entire golf course. But the city knows the equipment is showing its age and needs to be replaced sometime down the line.
“We can use that (alternative money) for equipment we were going to buy anyways over the next few years,” Eddy said.
The alternative project money would be 25 percent less than what they would have received if they had taken the $533,202 from FEMA originally, or $399,902 to be exact.
Prather came up with a list of maintenance equipment and vehicles the city could purchase with the nearly $400,000.
That list included:
– A 90 horsepower backhoe loader
– A 50 horsepower excavator
– Two heavy duty Ford pickup trucks, and
– Two 60 horsepower tractors
The city approved sending the proposal out to FEMA at their Monday meeting, and FEMA will have to approve the proposal before they divvy out the money to the city to purchase the equipment.
Eddy said the city will go ahead and purchase the equipment once they get the approval from FEMA and pay themselves back once they get the check from the agency.
The city had the opportunity to take the $533,202 and utilize it to revamp the west end bunkers, but let the deadline slide by in order to apply for the Alternative Project. The city asked FEMA back in July for an extension on the alternative project deadline as well so they didn’t lose the opportunity to seize the $399,902.
Eddy told South Santa Rosa News back in July that the city was supposed to host two public hearings to get input on the alternative project. But those hearings were never scheduled and the city moved forward with sending the proposal off to FEMA.