Author: Dale Liesch

City, county officials cut ‘ribbon’ on new park restrooms

To mark the opening of a new Midtown park bathroom, city and county officials joined together to use toilet paper, but not in the way you may think. Mayor Sandy Stimpson and County Commissioner Merceria Ludgood seemed relieved to cut a ribbon of toilet paper Friday afternoon at the site of a new restroom facility at Herndon (Sage) Park that capped a complete transformation of the park. They hope the new facilities will really make a splash. While soccer players swirled on synthetic fields nearby in practice for a tournament, Stimpson and Ludgood each remarked about the cooperation between the city and county that made the transformation possible over the last three years. “It’s all about the partnership,” Ludgood said. “We can do this better together than apart.” The upgrades started with county funds for lighting, Stimpson said, and continued with a commitment from the city for synthetic soccer and kickball fields. In all, the transformation represents roughly $380,000 from Ludgood’s county funds and $1.6 million from the city, spokeswoman Laura Byrne said. While the park was flush with upgrades throughout, the number one improvement remaining, Stimpson said, was a new restroom. The county absorbed that cost. “After that, we had a world-class facility, except for the (bathroom) facilities,” he said. “That’s not important until you need to use the...

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Public services committee to meet Tuesday

Council Vice President Fred Richardson announced today that the Public Services Committee will meet next Tuesday, February 21, at 1:00 PM in the Council Conference Room on the 9th Floor of the South Tower in Government Plaza. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss proposed changes to Ordinance 57-005 (right-of-way construction and administration ordinance) to require those utility companies who cut into our streets to affix an identification tag into the asphalt before compaction of the final layer commences. Council committee members include: Fred Richardson – Chairman, Joel Daves and C.J....

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Hours changing for city permitting windows

The City of Mobile is changing its hours for the customer interface that oversees planning, zoning, inspections, permitting and engineering. Starting on Monday, February 20, the windows located on the third floor of Government Plaza will be open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. On Wednesday, the windows will remain open from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. The windows will be closed the entire day for additional training on Wednesday, March 1. The Build Mobile staff will utilize the time when the windows are closed for software training, data entry and updating major processes. The end result will be a new and improved permitting application process that will provide customers with more accessibility and transparency. “Please pardon our progress as our Build Mobile team huddles to create a more streamlined process,” Mayor Sandy Stimpson said. “These changes will make doing business in the City of Mobile more modernized and efficient with the release of new development...

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Public housing shortage amplified while MHB evolves

With two of its largest and oldest assets vacant and awaiting demolition, the Mobile Housing Board finds itself at a crossroads. The board of commissioners and the public housing agency it oversees must find a way to make existing conditions better for current residents, while also committing resources to a $750 million renovation of two entire sections of its decades-old housing stock. Additionally, MHB is working through a backlog of thousands on its waiting lists — which some have attributed to an affordable housing shortage — and is dealing with an occupancy of only 50 percent at two of...

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GulfQuest’s new exhibits explore shipwrecks, pirate lore

Hundreds of artifacts will await visitors to GulfQuest National Maritime Museum of the Gulf of Mexico when it reopens Saturday, Feb. 18 with a new exhibit called “Shipwreck! Pirates and Treasure.” In addition to several interactive elements, like a LED map of shipwrecks around the world and hurricane tubes that simulate winds of 75 miles per hour, the exhibit features 500 authentic artifacts from various shipwrecks, notably, the SS Republic paddlewheel. This is a replica of the machinery used to unearth artifacts deep underwater. This interactive element allows guests to attempt to pick up coins using a robotic arm. Pirate bodies were often displayed like this in iron cages as a warning. This interactive elements challenges guests to spot various types of ships through a spyglass. This is a gun artifact found as part of a shipwreck. The exhibit allows guest to zoom into the the wreck of the SS Republic at 1,700 feet deep using a large-scale photo mosaic to view precisely where artifacts were discovered. Pieces include iron spigots, ceramic tableware, bottles and coins. Also on display at the exhibit is some of the technology used to find shipwrecks on the ocean floor, include Odyssey’s remotely operated vehicle, side-scan sonar and acoustic transponders. The exhibit includes full-scale replicas of the equipment and innovative technology the Odyssey uses to discover shipwrecks, including a robotic manipulator arm that guests...

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