Pier operator faces ousting

Posted on December 10, 2015 by Romi White


Despite its success changing the Navarre Beach Fishing Pier into a more family friendly place, the contractor hired to operate the facility is facing more problems after failing to turn over pier admission fees collected since September.

At Thursday’s county commission Scott Rayner, managing partner of Coastal Concessions, asked the board for an additional extension to pay roughly $54,000 past due for gate fees collected in September and October.

However the board denied the request. County Attorney Roy Andrews told Rayner the company must meet the previously extended deadline of Dec. 11. “If you’re not cured, you’re out on the 17th,” Andrews said.

Rayner noted the company, which was contracted in January 2014 to operate the pier, has been allowed to make late payments in the past. “I don’t understand why we were given grace last year but not this year,” he said.

Commission Chairman Lane Lynchard explained it could be the amount of money which is due, pointing out September 2015 collections alone total $28,762.61. Lynchard explained that if commissioners allowed more extensions the amount owed could climb to $75,000 or $100,000.

“I’m concerned that you may not be able to cure a default,” Commissioner Rob Williamson said.

Several commissioners agreed the company is doing a good job operating the facility but stopped short of giving them more time to pay, citing the potential need to reissue new bids for the contract ahead of the busy Spring Break tourism season.

If Coastal Concessions can meet the deadline, the County said it may grant an extension on remaining past due amounts, including $28,908.02 in power bills the county had been inadvertently paying for about 18 months.