Presidents Council Members,
It has been a busy summer and fall on several fronts impacting the Island. Following is an update on the status of the projects.
Beach & Dunes
The County remains committed to refining the cost of the total project presently forecasted at $25MM, and to better understand the proposed $22.8MM “contract” with the United States Army Corp. of Engineers (USACE) who will oversee the Federal project. The Federal cost share can be increased from +/-35% to +/-65% of the Corps’ contract or about $6MM by adding public beach accesses within the project area. Thus, a significant reduction in the local share (cost borne by the County and Island residents) can be achieved. This is why the County focus is to obtain easements from various Associations. The beach access points are critical to moving forward with the project and the PC is working diligently to identify cost effective ways to gain the needed access points. Anyone interested in providing input or gaining more information may contact Josh Revord at the County (772/462-1269).
The County has maintained that until the total costs AND Federal share (beach access points) are better understood, the funding options for the “local cost share” cannot be forecasted or discussed meaningfully.
To date the contract with the USACE for the 50-year project has not been signed. Until then, if a named storm hits there is no obligation to restore the beach. The deadline for signing the contract is July 2021 and the actual re-nourishment is targeted for the 1st quarter of 2022, before turtle season. The rationale and support for the re-nourishment projects is property protection, while maintaining a turtle friendly environment. Beaches are surveyed at least annually to follow-up from the 2013 project.
November 19th Meeting – Mark Perry guest speaker.
Get informed by going to Florida Oceanographic Society and Rivers Coalition websites for critical updates. On pcofhi.com, you will find the links to these websites. Also included is a link to the handout with options for getting involved: “A Healthy Estuary is the Foundation for a Healthy Economy”. (attached to this email)
October 15th Meeting – Commissioner Dzadovsky guest speaker.
Commissioner Dzadovsky provided history on the financial condition of the County and the 5-year budget plan. Links to the presentation materials have been included on the PC website.
SLC Utilities – Reclaimed Water
As you were advised in October, after discussions between the County and the PC, the District agreed that reclaimed water distribution was part of our plant process and there would be no charge to customers for reclaimed water usage.
In addition, the District claimed that based on identified repair and maintenance projects, there is a funding shortfall at the plant that will need to be covered by a rate increase. After further discussion, the District agreed to spread this increase over 7 years, effective 2/2020.
The PC and the Utility District have agreed to continue the dialog regarding the plant funding requirements and rate schedules to ensure a better understanding of the needs of the SHI plant.
The Utilities District has also agreed to schedule small tour groups (4-5 max) of the plant after the first of the year. If you are interested, you may send a request to email@example.com to be placed on the list.
The Incorporation Committee explored forming a township between the Martin County line and FPL power plant on Hutchinson Island. After review and preliminary evaluation, the committee recommended to discontinue the project at this time.
Future Meetings (complete listing is provided on the website)
Have a Happy Thanksgiving!
Presidents Council Board of Directors
Remember to stay informed through the website: pcofhi.com