Alabama - Mobile County to buy bayfront property with state GOMESA grant
The Mobile County Commission has moved to accept a $4.4 million state grant that will fund the purchase of about 165 acres on the western shore of Mobile Bay.
The commission voted on Monday to accept the grant, which consists of money from oil and natural gas leases in the Gulf of Mexico. The federal Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act (GOMESA) directs some of that revenue to Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Alabama, in turn, has assigned this portion of the money to fund the specific land purchase being pursued by the county.
The county commission said it won't provide specifics on the property until a purchase agreement is finalized. However, a statement from the commission said the purchase will serve a larger goal of "providing increased water access to area residents."
“The state sees this property as important to preserve, and is entrusting us to purchase and be the caretakers of it,” said Commission President Jerry Carl. “No county money is being used and we are very fortunate the state sees the value in preserving this land and providing shoreline access for the citizens of Mobile County. We will be good stewards.”
In recent months the county has purchased a park on the Escatawpa River and a small boat launch on Fowl River, at least some of which was paid for with GOMESA funds. It’s also developing plans for a county-wide blueway for small craft such as kayaks and canoes. That project is being funded by RESTORE Act money, which comes from penalties paid in the Deepwater Horizon disaster.