"Life is better here"

Welcome to the City of Orange Beach's
community newsletter. 

Vol. 3, Issue 22


Happy retirement, Fire Marshal Stephenson!


A chapter in the Orange Beach Fire Department’s history is closing as Fire Marshal Craig Stephenson retires. A beloved mentor not only at the fire station but at Orange Beach Elementary School and on the sidelines of youth football and baseball fields, Stephenson received a drive-thru parade at Fire Station No. 1 on Friday as he stepped out of the fire administration building as Fire Marshal for the last time. 

Friends, firefighters, parents, children and other community members lined up in vehicles, holding signs of appreciation and congratulations, to bid Stephenson a happy retirement. 

Stephenson said he was surprised and humbled by the parade as he always strived to make an impact in the community. The outpouring of appreciation on Friday validated that, he said. 

Fire Chief Mike Kimmerling said Stephenson has been the face of the Orange Beach Fire Department. 

“He has been actively involved in the schools and community and everyone knows him,” Chief Kimmerling said. “This has greatly aided the Fire Department's efforts in fire prevention and safety for our residents. We are grateful for the service Craig has provided to our community, our profession and all the members of the Department for the past 21 years. Thank you very much Fire Marshal for all you have done!” 

Deputy Chief Jeff Smith said he has worked with Stephenson since the early 1990s, starting out at Medstar Ambulance Service. 

”Craig has always been a joy to be around and has always been there for anyone needing help, Deputy Chief Smith said. “His abilities with not only the children of our community but the citizens has been an appreciated asset to our department. We will always be grateful to have Coach ‘Paw Paw' Craig a part of our organization.”

City Administrator Ken Grimes Jr. added, "I wish there were more guys like Craig! When you look at a career filled with true impact on a community, especially on the children of the town, Craig has created a lasting legacy for so many who will always remember Mr. Craig shaking their hand, driving them on that fire truck or a knuckle bump at the ballpark. We appreciate what he stands for and how he carried himself through good times and bad."

Read more about Stephenson, his journey to Orange Beach, his community involvement and future plans: Community turns out to wish Orange Beach Fire Marshal Craig Stephenson a happy retirement

Video: Orange Beach Rec Center Campus Progress 

Orange Beach City Administrator Ken Grimes, Jr. explains the upcoming projects at the campus of the Orange Beach Recreation Center. Starting June 1, 2020 construction will begin on the new 24/7 Adult Fitness Center, as well as the demolition and rebuilding of eight tennis courts and drainage improvements. The construction will require some adjustments to parking at the Orange Beach Aquatics Center, as well as access, from mid-June to early July.
City Council to meet June 2nd

The Orange Beach City Council is scheduled to meet at 5 p.m. Tuesday, June 2nd in the City Hall Council Chambers. Social distancing will be maintained for those who attend. To view the council agendas, visit
Hope for the Coast, a free food drive-thru, returns Saturday, May 30

Central Flora-Bama Church, Flora-Bama Oyster Bar & Restaurant, Ole River Grille, The Flora-Bama Yacht Club, and Feeding The Gulf Coast are once again partnering to present Hope for the Coast, a free food drive-thru, this Saturday, May 30th.

This "Stop, Pop, Drop & Roll" food distribution will take place Saturday, May 30th, from 8 a.m. to Noon, in the parking lot of the Flora-Bama at 17401 Perdido Key Drive, right on the Florida-Alabama State Line.

Items included: veggies, fruit, pork, chick, fish, eggs, cheese, milk and more.

This event and assistance is for all of our Gulf Coast residents and communities.

PPP Flexibility Act info from Alabama Small Business Development Center Network

The House of Representatives on Thursday, May 28, approved changes to the CARES Act legislation that would make it easier for businesses to have their Paycheck Protection Program loans forgiven by relaxing restrictions on how the loan money can be used and extending the period that businesses have to use the funds.

Among the items in the proposed legislation:

  • Extend the PPP covered period from 8 weeks to 24 weeks.
  • Reduce the required ratio of 75% payroll / 25% utilities ratio to 60% / 40%.
  • Extend the June 30 deadline for (re)hiring workers.
  • Allow payroll tax deferment for PPP recipients.

The bill enjoyed bipartisan support, and passed 471 to 1. It now moves on to the Senate, which returns from its week-long Memorial Day break on Monday. The Senate's version of bill maintains the 75/25 ratio, and only includes a 16-week covered period.

As of May 23rd, over $150 billion was available for PPP loans. If you - or a business you know - has not yet applied, act quickly.

For more information on the Alabama Small Business Development Center Network and to sign up for its free newsletter for all businesses in Alabama, visit

Details on the latest state health order: Governor Ivey Issues Amended Safer at Home Order

For COVID-19 updates in Orange Beach, go to

Latest News

Summer Camps 

Summer is finally here and the city has a few camps for kids that are filling up fast.

Art Camp 

Registration is open for the Coastal Arts Center’s Teen Arts Workshop that will be held July 6th, 8th and 10th from 1 p.m.-4 p.m. and is open to rising 8th-12th graders. Cost is $120. The art center’s kids’ camp for rising 3rd-7th graders will be July 20th-24th from 9 a.m.-noon and registration opens on June 1st at 9 a.m. Cost is $175 per camper. The theme this year is "Summer by the Sea." Find registration information for both camps on the Coastal Arts Center page on the City Website.

Culinary Camp 

Culinary Camp 2020 is set for July 13-16 from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. at the Orange Beach Community Center. Cost is $150 and registration is ongoing. The camp is open to rising 3rd-12th graders. Space is limited. For more information, visit the “Events” page on the City Website.



Have you filled out your Census form yet? If not, make sure you are counted. You can complete your Census online at MY2020CENSUS.GOV or take it by phone at 1-844-330-2020. Find more information at

Showcase Thursdays 

The Coastal Arts Center of Orange Beach's "Showcase Thursdays” artist demonstration program will feature oil painter Craig Reynolds from noon to 3:45 p.m. on June 4th. Social-distancing protocols are being followed. For additional information, call the art center at 251-981-2787. 


As a reminder during the Red Snapper fishing season, do not discard fish carcasses in our waterways. It is illegal and continues to be a problem. For all boaters, please dispose of unwanted bait and gutted fish well offshore, not at a marina or in inland waterways. If fish are gutted on land, double bag the fish waste and properly dispose the bag in a covered trash can. Another responsible option is to freeze the bagged fish carcasses until your regular garbage pickup day. Please keep our waterways clean!

Red snapper fishing for private anglers opened last weekend and will consist of four-day weekends, Friday through Monday. The season is anticipated to last for 35 days and is scheduled to close on Sunday, July 19, 2020.

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Copyright 2020 | City of Orange Beach | All rights reserved.

City of Orange Beach 
4099 Orange Beach Blvd.
Orange Beach, Alabama 36561

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