CORPUS CHRISTI — Getting fuel at the city’s marina is a problem; and some twirlers weren’t the first youths duped for cookie dough.
Less Shook, 62, operated Kapalua Fuel and Marine at Corpus Christi Municipal Marina until 18 months ago. He removed his fuel tanks after an outside supplier brought diesel to a large yacht, he said. The discounted sale conflicted with the exclusivity clause of Shook’s fuel vending lease.
Marina superintendent Peter Davidson says the problem is bigger than losing a fuel dock operation, it’s a sign of tough economic times. He sent requests for proposals for a fuel station vendor to 36 companies.
“We offered to let a vendor operate any complementary business to make the fuel operation viable,” Davidson said.
One company responded, but the owner decided it wasn’t worth the cost, Davidson said.
Severo Garza, a petroleum salesman, considered the lease. He believes the city wants something more high-end with more eye appeal than a fuel docking station; something more than what’s viable, he said.
“Cost is keeping folks away” Garza said.
Davidson said the city is looking for a restaurateur or big retail store that will attract tourists while also selling fuel.
Shrimp, tour and fishing boat operators are now pooling their needs to get fuel delivered.
“Have you ever heard of a world-class marina without a fuel dock?” asked Capt. Buddy Clark, owner of the 400-passenger Capt. Clark’s Flagship, whose family has operated bayfront tour boats for 70 years. “It should be an embarrassment to the city.”
Maverick Volesky Jr., general manager of Oil Patch Petroleum Inc., supplies some of the marina’s boaters with fuel. But he requires at least 300-gallon orders to deliver.
“A lot of people want 50 or 60 gallons,” Volesky said, “but they can’t afford hundreds of gallons.”
Many private boat owners have been piggybacking on Jane Stubbs’ fuel deliveries, she said. Stubbs runs six shrimp boats and has operated Jane’s L-Head Seafood and Bait Shop for 25 years.
The city needs to run the marina fuel facility, she said.
“I’d add it on my contract,” she said, “but there’s just not enough markup on fuel to be worth it.”
Stingerette Twirlers of Corpus Christi agreed Sept. 10 with South Texas Fundraising Solution, Inc. to sell cookie dough from Varsity Gold Inc., said Nancy Eisenhauer, the twirling school director. The school didn’t know Varsity Gold went bankrupt in March.
The twirlers collected $3,030 for sales and on Oct. 27 gave South Texas Fundraising $1,818, 60 percent, as agreed. After not getting any dough or return calls from owner James Campbell, Eisenhauer on Dec. 23 filed a police report for theft of service exceeding $1,500.
It’s not the first youth group who didn’t get their dough from South Texas Fundraising Solution. A Flour Bluff summer basketball league had to refund about $650 to their dough buyers and didn’t get the uniforms they needed, said Shawn Campbell, who helped with the league’s fundraiser. He isn’t related to James Campbell.
James Campbell did not return Troubleshooter’s calls either. But they aren’t going to stop yet.