Port of Pensacola past due receivables have skyrocketed

September 23, 2016

At the September Agenda Review for the Pensacola City Council, CFO Barker presented a slide that showed that OffShore Inland owed the Port of Pensacola over $700,000, of which $445,647 was more than four months past due.

Barker is paid an extra 10 percent of his salary to supervise the port, airport and gas utility. The entire operating budget of the Port is only $1,782,591, excluding overhead allocation and capital outlay. The Offshore Inland’s outstanding receivable is almost 40 percent of the cash needed to operate the port.

“Immediately, we could have evicted them from the port, but from a management standpoint, it was determined it was best to continue to work with that relationship,” said Barker when he was questioned about the debt. “We don’t have other relationships knocking down our door to come into the port.”

In January 2013, the Port’s total receivables were only $506,939. Only $166K was over 120 days past due. Three years later, one customer owes more than three customers in 2013.

Barker said the Port is receiving a $2 million FDOT Economic Development Grant that will add a crane facility for Offshore Inland. “When those improvements get made, the port will have an asset.”

He said that the Port had a plan to work with the company. “The plan was to hold the 120 days at $363,000. We all know where the oil industry started and where it is today, so they are having their challenges, but we continue to work with them.”

Port Director Amy Miller has begun charging the ships that dock at the port, rather than Offshore Inland.

“She did make that decision, and so hopefully, the receivables won’t increase, but decrease,” said Barker. “But we’re still looking at it from a port aspect, and the city aspect as them as a partner, and working with the issue that they’ve ran into as part of the economic downturn in the gas industry.”

He said Miller had chosen to give Offshore Inland “some latitude.”

“I think the direction that she’s taken to not make the number any larger is a positive. They are paying their current rent for the lease and that type of thing. They have asked for some concessions on that that we’re looking at. But, I think, Ms. Miller is doing all she can in order to facilitate a bad situation, bad economy, with the other customers that we are looking for.”

Councilman Brian Spencer said, “I’m not faulting Ms. Miller, I’m faulting us.”

The slide detailing the outstanding receivables of the Port of Pensacola was not included the Monthly Financial Review uploaded to the City’s website. The City Administrator’s monthly updates are no longer posted. The last administrator update available is for March 17, 2016.

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