State’s Beach Mansion Getting Facelift With BP Funds

Alabama's Governor's Beach House
Repairs have begun for the first time in two decades.

For two weeks, work crews have been slowly making headway on the almost two million dollar renovation of the state’s beach house on Fort Morgan.

Built in the 60’s, the two-story, 75 hundred square foot Governor’s beach house was boarded up and abandoned after hurricane Danny. Restoring the structure has been a long time coming for folks like Rick Nash who live near the eyesore.

“I just want it fixed up. It will really look nice.”

Aerial of beach house in 2008.

Planning started in March. Contracts were signed in November.

We’re not allowed to go inside the gate and show all the work that’s being done but what we can tell you is, it’s a total renovation from the roof to the floor and everything in between.

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Taxpayer dollars are not being used for the repairs. Instead, according to the Governor’s office, leftover money from a BP grant in 2010 is funding construction. “I don’t have a problem really with BP money doing it as long as somebody does it,” says Nash.

The Governor has drawn criticism for using BP money, but spokesperson Jennifer Ardis says, “It’s not about the Governor, it’s about the future of the state. It can be used for economic development to showcase the best of Baldwin and Mobile counties.”

Construction is expected to be finished in May.

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State Auditor Jim Ziegler claims the Governor is making repairs now because he lost two other beach houses in his divorce. A spokesperson denies those claims and says Governor Bentley has already purchased personal property on the peninsula and plans to build.

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