State Auditor Challenging Gulf State Park Lodge Funding

Construction has already begun on the new 350 room lodge at Gulf State Park in Gulf Shores.

State Auditor Jim Zeigler has asked to become part of a lawsuit questioning the funding of the construction project that is already well underway.

Part of the beach in Gulf State Park is being transformed into what will be a 350 room lodge and educational center. All funded with money collected by the state from the 2010 BP oil spill.

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On Monday, Governor Robert Bentley announced the project is on schedule to open in the summer of 2018.

“Governor Bentley is simply spending the BP money on pet projects of his choosing,” says state auditor Jim Zeigler, who is asking a Montgomery judge to add him to a lawsuit challenging the use of BP money for the project.

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“That’s not the purpose of the BP money,” said Zeigler in a Skype interview from Montgomery, “It is for the affected areas.”

Building the lodge is only part of the state park project. It also includes nine and a half miles of new hiking and biking trails and dune restoration.

Governor Bentley didn’t acknowledge Zeigler’s latest challenge but did say the project will continue to move forward and that, “The redevelopment of the Gulf State Park will benefit Alabama as well as all state parks throughout the state.”

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