At its regular meeting on Tuesday, the Mexico Beach City Council decided to issue a 75-day temporary moratorium on new or expanded beach vending businesses.

At its regular meeting on Tuesday, the Mexico Beach City Council decided to issue a 75-day temporary moratorium on new or expanded beach vending businesses.

Recently sworn in Mayor Al Cathey was the only dissenting vote.

The measure was introduced by Councilman Bill McGlothlin, who stated that after looking over the multiple ordinances dealing with beach businesses he became confused and was seeking clarity on certain ordinances.

Cathey in response stated that he didn’t understand what exactly the problem was, reading from the proposed ordinance stating that the city has historically reviewed all new businesses on a case-by-case basis.

“The reason I raise this question is because I am not aware of any issues,” Cathey said.

The mayor also called into question the $54,000 that the city has budgeted for attorney’s fees.

“I’d rather spend $54,000 and get the opinion of a lawyer,” McGlothin later responded, “than spend $200,000 through our insurance company because we didn’t make correct decisions.”

Ordinance 669

The council also undertook the first reading of Ordinance 669 which would ban metal buildings being used for residential purposes in the city.

Cathey again raised the question of the necessity of a new ordinance.

Stating that there are already rules in place that would allow the city to block construction on residences that don’t fit in with existing Mexico Beach structures, Cathey believed that the city made a mistake in allowing a home in question to be built in the first place.

McGlothlin stated that while the current council may have clarity on what types of residential structures they approve, he wanted to add new legal confines for a future date.

Leave No Trace

A mysterious memo was brought into question by Councilwoman Linda Albrecht involving Leave No Trace.

Albrecht questioned where the memo, which would allow beachgoers to retrieve good taken by the city from the beach, came from.

Cathey stated that after speaking with city employees, he thought it was best that the city be flexible dealing with Leave No Trace and that city employees agreed.

While the other council members agreed with the contents of the memo, they questioned why Cathey had not brought the matter to the council for approval.

Cathey stated the lack of council direction since the implementation of Leave No Trace led him to believe that the memo was appropriate.

“I just don’t know why we would wait 90 days, or 120 days,” Cathey said.

Noting that the April public town hall for Leave No Trace was cancelled, Cathey asked the council their opinion on possible amendments to Leave No Trace, and also for public input.

The mayor introduced the idea of an evening expansion of hours to 9 p.m, and a possible vender exemption.

McGlothlin, Albrecht, and Councilman Rex Putnal all stated that they didn’t support the exemption, and Councilman Jerry Wallace stated he could see an exemption for current businesses.

Other amendment ideas introduced included possible handicap and disability exemptions.

While acknowledging that they have received some negative feedback on Leave No Trace, multiple council members stated that the majority of the feedback they have received was positive.

“I do have to agree that the beach looks much better than it has,” Wallace said after stating his initial disapproval of Leave No Trace.

While all of the council seemed to agree on a time change for Leave No Trace, no motion was put forward to draft an amendment.

Canal project

The city will seek out a liquated damages claim against the contractor of the Mexico Beach Canal project after work on the project has exceeded the allowed time in the contract.

The contract has already been expanded multiple months with a major completion date of May 29.

The contractor has now set a completion date of mid-week next week, but has been slowed by weather.