County failed to bill pier vendor

Posted on December 8, 2015 by Romi White

For about 18 months Santa Rosa County was covering the cost of power at Navarre Beach Fishing pier. Then the pier operator, Coastal Concessions, LLC, inquired about the cost, which is part of their contract, and was back billed $28,908.02.

County Administrator Hunter Walker said he is “unsure” which county department should have been forwarding the pier’s power bill to Coastal Concessions. “Between this office, county attorney and Navarre Beach should have caught it,” Walker said.

“Right now I don’t know if we pay the power bill or if they pay it,” said Santa Rosa County Clerk of Court Donny Spencer, who oversees the county commission’s finance department. “I would assume that Gulf Power should have billed them,” Spencer said Dec. 8.

Walker said Coastal Concessions General Manager Stephanie Maddox told him Gulf Power had changed the account into her company’s name Oct. 29.

“We’re the ones who found the mistake,” said Maddox, who has been dealing with financial woes at the pier for several months.

“If the county did not send a monthly bill, then the county should work with the pier vendor to get the problem resolved,” said Wallis Mahute, who attended Monday’s commission meeting where the matter was discussed. “However, if the RFP stated that the pier vendor was responsible for the electric bill, I would have to ask why they did not question why they had not received the bill,” she said.