Presidents Council Members,
This Update Includes:
Important Updates on the Federal Beach Project
As was announced late last month, the agreement for the Federal Beach Project between the USACE and SLC (PPA) was approved by the Commissioners. It is now signed by ALL parties.
This paves the way for the next, and residents’ final, project-dependent milestone: acquisition of construction easements from each beachfront property owner (Association not individual condo owner), as required by the USACE. The effort will officially “kick off” with the mailing of Construction Easement Packets from the County. The USACE has issued the “green light” and the packets are already being mailed. Each packet includes the USACE approved construction easement agreements and are being sent to those owners and/or agents of record (such as an attorney or management company).
PC Representatives, please inquire of your Association’s Manager &/or Board about:
· Receipt of your Association’s packet. If it has not been received by the last week of December, please contact Joshua Revord. (contact information below).
· And, adding an agenda item for your January Board meeting. Thank you!
Still anticipated is a meeting hosted by the County to answer questions; we are told in January 2021. Further notices will be sent out to all PC members as more information is known.
Extensive information regarding the beach project is maintained on the County website: https://www.stlucieco.gov/departments-services/a-z/mosquito-control-coastal-management-services/2020-south-hutchinson-island-renourishment-project”. Joshua Revord (772-462-1269) welcomes your inquiries, is available for meetings and anticipated to attend upcoming PC meetings.
New Developments on Hutchinson Island
As you can see by the number of new signs up and down A1A, the island appears to have a flurry of residential development activity. PC Board members are meeting with the County Planning Staff and the Commissioners to help ensure that the needs of both the developers and island residents are understood and addressed. We are now also receiving information on development concepts earlier in the process, so that public input can be presented at the most effective time. The goal is to help ensure that the unique characteristics of the island are incorporated with all future growth plans.
At the SLC BOCC meeting December 15th, the Commissioners discussed the need to ensure appropriate consideration of the evolving environment, especially in light of climate change and the impact on sea level rise, as well as design requirements based on changing customer demands, when reviewing the plans. Commissioners plan to have further discussion at a future BOCC Informal Meeting.
We are also pleased to announce that representatives of the SLC Planning Staff, in addition to Commissioner Mitchell, will be among the guest speakers at the PC member meeting in January, which will provide another
opportunity for SHI owners to learn more about the new development review process (see below for more details).
Development project updates are shared on the website (https://www.pcofhi.com/updates/category/governmental-affairs ). The next update will be in January.
The PC website (https://www.pcofhi.com ) will continue to be a primary source of information to members. Meeting summaries, all updates and committee activities are available on the website. New links have been added providing all local, state, federal officials, and various resources of interest to island residents. Please let us know any information that you would like to see placed on the website.
PC 2021 Membership Renewals
PC membership renewal notices, invoices and contact information forms were sent out November 16th. They were distributed via email to the Association primary representative and manager. Please return your check and contact information by January 1st. Those who have already sent in your check, we appreciate your renewal!
Summary of the November 17th Membership Meeting
The guest speaker was Jennifer Hill, SLC Office of Management & Budget. Also, in attendance was Alphonso Jefferson, the new SLC Deputy County Administrator, and Joshua Revord, who provided an update on the federal beach project.
Ms. Hill provided an extensive, informative and interesting presentation explaining the County budget process, where tax funds are spent and the challenges/opportunities looking ahead. The complete presentation is available for viewing on the website (https://www.pcofhi.com/updates/category/governmental-affairs ). Following are some of the highlights:
· The new budget for FY 2021 is $563.6M, 813.5 FTEs and an aggregate millage rate of 8.76. In the last 10 years, the budget has been reduced by $28M with a population that has increased by 43,000.
· As a result of the 2008 recession, the County worked to develop a 5-year plan to reduce spending to sustain the budget including staff reductions/reassignment, deferred capital projects and overall reductions.
· The total millage rate for all SLC taxing districts is 22.5628. The portion of the taxes for which the SLC Board is responsible is 39% or 8.8786 and includes funding for the constitutional officers, dependent districts and MSTUs. Other portions of the tax include: School Board (27%), Independent Special Districts (17%), and Municipal (17%). It takes a significant effort by all taxing agencies to make a significant impact on the overall tax bill.
· While the SLC millage rate is higher than the statewide average, our taxable values are lower, thus allowing our ad valorem taxes per residential unit to be slightly lower than statewide average.
· There are various exemptions that can reduce the assessed value of the property and therefore the amount of tax paid (i.e. “Save Our Homes”).
· With the tax funds the SLC Board provides a wide variety of services, including, public safety, culture/recreation, economic development, transportation.
· Early in the pandemic, the County responded to the unknown coronavirus impacts and took steps to reduce spending and preserve capital. Looking ahead, the challenges include the on-going Covid-19 impacts, and also beach renourishment, which is critical to SHI property owners.
Federal Beach Project Update. Joshua Revord, SLC Erosion District, provided an update on the recent milestone accomplished with the approval of the PPA by the BOCC. The FDEP and USACE are co-partners on the project and are working on the design plans. The Construction Easements (CE) are the next critical step. Both Joshua and Harvey Alligood emphasized the importance of signing the CEs by the deadline 2/1/2021. These easements are not different from those signed in 2013 and for the benefit of the owners. Joshua is available for any assistance.
Upcoming PC Membership Meeting in 2021 – Next meeting January 19th
During 2020 in response to Covid-19, PC meetings transitioned to the Zoom platform and will continue to be virtual into 2021. Fortunately, during the past year, we have been able to schedule various guest speakers including local, state and federal officials, legal experts, and other entities that impact our lives on SHI.
Guest speakers will continue to be scheduled for the 2021 meetings. If you have any suggestions for speakers of interest to PC members, please send in your recommendations.
January 19th – SLC Commissioner Sean Mitchell will join us to share his perspective on the County’s directions/plans, listen to our concerns, and answer our questions. Also, representatives from the County Planning Staff are attending to provide information on the overall planning process, historical context of the requirements for development on the island, the review/approval committees and their authorities, and vision for the future development. We look forward to an informative and engaging discussion with the Commissioner and Staff members. All owners are welcome to attend.
Although final dates have not yet been confirmed, 2021 Guest Speakers will include: Jane Cornett, Becker & Poliakoff, for the Annual Legal Review; Florida Senator Gayle Harrell; SLC Commissioners and other staff members; Cable consultants and cable company representatives.
HAPPY HOLIDAYS….See you in 2021! Stay Safe.
Presidents Council Board of Directors