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Oil spill won’t deter local condo users

Several people in Demopolis own or rent condominiums on or near the beaches of the Gulf of Mexico. With the British Petroleum oil spill affecting the coast, several of those people were asked if it would affect their summer plans as well.

“The oil would not make me change my plans,” said Kayte Randall. “We like to go out to dinner, and Terry likes to play golf, so I can ride with him and play golf. There are plenty of things to do, even just sitting out on the beach or sitting on the balcony. That’s what we enjoy doing. I usually don’t get in the water, anyway.”

“We share a condo, and we have it reserved for a specific weekend,” said Bill Meador. “We’re going whether the oil is there or not, because we have a family vacation planned with my brother.

“We’ll find other things to do. We’ll lay around the pool or, if it’s just so nasty, we’ll come back.”

Kris Mullins owns a place on the beach, but his daughter, who works in real estate in the area has seen first-hand how the oil spill is further affecting the real estate market there.

“The oil spill has not affected my vacation plans, but my daughter works for Meyer Realty in Gulf Shores,” he said. “Brett/Robinson, which is right next door to Meyer, has already had 1,500 cancellations for the summer.

“It’s almost devastating. It’s been extremely dramatic. What’s going to happen is those people who own the properties who can only afford them because they are rented most of the time are in real danger of losing them. That will further exacerbate the problem that property at the Gulf has gone through because of the economy, anyway. It impacts me because my property value is still going down, but I wasn’t depending on rental income, anyway.”

Donald Lowe just returned from the Gulf waters, having retrieved his boat.

“We went down last weekend and got our boat and brought it up here,” he said. “The oil was moving in, and we were not willing to stay there, and we wouldn’t be able to use the boat, so we thought if we had it here, we could use it here. We had planned to bring the boat up here for the Fourth of July, anyway.

“I saw the beach briefly while I was down there. I saw people in the water, and they were swimming. You hear things on the news, but you don’t know what to believe.”

Some people who have beach places don’t use them very often, and aren’t affected much by the oil spill.

“We don’t go down there much, anyway,” said Barbara Harris. “My daughter and her children go. I was talking to Putt Perry (Tuesday), and she said the oil was really bad at Gulf Shores, but at Orange Beach, it had not reached there. That’s next to Gulf Shores, so I’m sure it’s on the way.”

One Demopolis resident and his beach neighbors took it upon themselves to protect their own properties.

“We have a home on the bay, so (the oil) is not going to affect a thing” said Dan Wilson. “The people who live on the canal that I live on went together, and we got our own boom to put across there. We put it a couple of times across to try and make sure that no oil came into our area.

“We weren’t waiting on the State of Alabama. We weren’t waiting on the government to come and do their part. We took it into our own hands, and we are prepared to look after ourselves and not waiting on somebody else to do it.”