The Town of Vidalia has entered an agreement with American Cruise Lines to develop a docking port on the riverfront for the company’s Mississippi River cruise ships.
The board of aldermen approved the agreement during its regular meeting Tuesday night.
Specifics of the deal will be determined in the days ahead, Mayor Buz Craft said.
American Cruise Lines CEO Charles Robertson, speaking to the mayor and aldermen via telephone, said in addition company ships currently in operation that more are under construction.
He said the company wants the docking port in Vidalia so that its ships can dock overnight.
The company would prefer a location north of the Mississippi River bridges, he said.
On average, approximately 200 guests are aboard each ship. When a company ship is docked, those guests and the company’s crew would spend time in Vidalia dining, eating and shopping, Robertson said.
He said the company would like to make use of the amphitheater on the riverfront for concerts and crawfish boils.
Craft said three options are being discussed with the company, but that he favors one in which the company would handle the expense, liability and maintenance of the docking port with American Cruise Lines paying the town a fee to operate on the riverfront.
The mayor said American Cruise Lines was a “first class operation” and “financially secure.”
On another matter, Town Accountant Debra Moak provided a report on the town’s finances for six months ending Dec. 31, 2020, noting:
General Fund: $1,088,879, year to date (YTD) fund revenue; $4,631,191, YTD expense; -$3,541,312, net loss; $3,826,190, transfers in; and $283,878, net change in fund balance.
Special Revenue Fund: $6,878,327, YTD fund revenue; $5,724,041, YTD fund expense; $1,154,286, net profit; -$2,698,042, transfers out; and `$1,543,755, net change in fund balance.
Enterprise Fund: $6,110,785, YTD fund revenue; $5,619,651, YTD fund expense; $491,134, net profit; -$1,469,630, transfers out; and -$978,496, net change in fund balance.
Governmentwide Fund: $746,667, YTD fund revenue; $1,077,941, YTD fund expense; -$331,274, net loss; $341,480, transfers in; and $10,206, net change in fund balance.
The net change in net assets was -$2,228,167.
In other action, the town approved occupational licenses for four businesses, including:
-- 1827 Spirits LLC (Finley Hootsell, Kyle Greer and Charles Bearden), 1622 Carter Street, a distillery with limited retail sales.
-- Smith’s Sno-N-Go (Michael Smith), 2002 Carter Street, snow ball stand.
-- LA VDL Clark Alpha LLC (Adam Scott), 113 Clark Drive, mobile home park.
-- Delta Coffee Company LLC (Jordan Farmer and Matthew Wells), 2096 Carter Street, drive-through with coffee, protein shakes and breakfast muffins.
In other action, aldermen:
Appointed Floyd W. Gardner to the Town of Vidalia Board of Adjustment.
Approved an agreement for professional services between the town and Neel-Schaffer Inc. for engineering costs related to the expansion of the Vidalia Water Treatment Plant.