The Pensacola City Council will vote to tonight on Mayor Ashton Hayward’s request to provide Offshore Inland Marine (OIM) a partial deferral of rent on Warehouse #9 and the ground lease premises at the Port of Pensacola.
OIM has already paid their July, August and September rent. If the council approves the mayor’s request, the port tenant would be issued a credit for half rent and then apply the over-payment to their other outstanding balance, which last month was over $700,000 for dockage.
Port Director Amy Miller told the Council during its Monday agenda review that the dockage balance is not growing at the present time because the port now requires OIM to prepay for any ships that are docked at the port or the vessel is billed directly. Neither Miller nor CFO Dick Barker, who is paid a stipend to oversee the port, could tell the Council the current balance on the dockage.
Miller said that other Gulf Coast ports are struggling this year.
“Currently, as we all know, the offshore industry is in a depressed state right now,” she said. “In fact, I just got back from the Gulf Coast Association fall conference and the discussion among all of the ports is what a bad year this is for ports.”
She said that the rent deferral gives the City of Pensacola another nine months to if the offshore industry turns around. Miller said that OIM officials will attend tonight’s meeting to answer any questions.