Federal Beach Project Update. Joshua Revord, SLC Erosion District, provided an update on the final critical steps to securing the 50-year Federal Beach Project. The PPA, one of the pillars of the project, is in its last stages of legal review with USACE and the County expects to receive the final version in the next couple of weeks. The plan is to take the PPA to the November BOCC meeting. The perpetual construction easements are the last element to ensure the success of the project. In the next 2 weeks, beach front property owners will receive from the County the construction easements for signature. Although the due date is not until February 1st, Harvey Alligood emphasized the need to get started early by contacting your attorney to ensure that everything is in order and completed with signatures prior to the deadline. Joshua emphasized the importance of this project due to the increase in storms and sea level rise and offered his support throughout these final steps.
Harvey reinforced the importance of this final stage and highlighted Joshua’s efforts on our behalf to complete the contract with USACE. The perpetual construction easements are critical and are the same as the 2013 temporary construction easements, except that they extend for the 50-year life of the project.
A question was raised regarding the FPL project installing concrete domes offshore the plant to help control erosion. Joshua indicated that he was aware of the projects to dampen wave action off FPL shores and agreed to provide any further information he can gain regarding any impact on those properties south of the plant. PC is also working to schedule a meeting with the FPL engineers to better understand the projects’ impact on us.
Several new projects have been added to the County’s New Development listing. The projects are in various phases and continue to be progressing through the SLC Planning & Development Dept. We will request to be placed on the County Planning & Development meetings agenda distribution list to ensure that we are notified of any development project that is located on the Island. We appreciate all of Kori Benton’s efforts, Sr Planner-SLC Planning & Development, to keep us informed on the progress of these projects. The details for all of the projects are being finalized in the next week, and will be placed on the PC website, Governmental Affairs Committee page.
PC membership renewal notices, invoices and contact information forms will be sent out November 15th. They will be distributed via email to the current primary representative and manager. Please return your check and contact information by January 1st
2020 Property Tax (TRIM) Notice
The SLC August 2020 Notice of Proposed Property Taxes, also named 'Truth in Millage' (TRIM) Notice, have been distributed. If you have not received your notice, please contact St. Lucie County (SLC) Property Appraiser's Office at 772-462-1000. For those property owners within the 3.4-mile Federal Beach Project area, there is a new line item this year described as “SHI Erosion Control” that is in keeping with the So. HI MSTU authorized in December 2019. Column three (3) indicates a tax rate of “0.2131”. This rate was confirmed at a September 10th meeting of the SLC Board of County Commissioners (BOCC), will be finalized at the September 24th, and will be reflected in the November 2020 tax bills.
It has been confirmed that this new tax is only for “initial project startup costs” such as survey and title work etc. to support the acquisition of the required Construction Easements and NOT any subsequent construction costs. This is supported by the information that the staff outlined and updated August 17th: “The costs of the MSTU may be phased-in, with first-year costs beginning November 2020 only including initial project startup costs and not full-term construction costs.” (Source: SLC-ED https://www.stlucieco.gov/departments-services/a-z/mosquito-control-coastal-management-services/erosion-district/2020-south-hutchinson-island-renourishment-project/south-county-renourishment-project-funding-plan)
Important Note: Per the County, any reference to “S Hutchinson Island – Beach/Dune Restoration (772-462-3500” (the 2013 Project) will be removed and not included on any November 2020 tax bill.
B&D Status Update Federal Beach Project - Funding
Remaining to be determined during NEXT year’s budget process (for fiscal year 2021/2022) is the funding solution for the “local share” (costs not funded by either the federal or state government). More specifically, construction costs for the USACE’s “Initial Start” (the first nourishment project), scheduled winter 2021/22. Its completion fulfills requirements for continuing participation within the 50-year federal program.
The County reminds residents that the Federal 50-year Beach Preservation Program is not yet “locked in” and potentially still at risk of being “lost”. Federal and State funding is collectively around 63.5%. Also included in the 50-year program is the qualification for any Federal Flood Control and Coastal Emergency (FCCE) funding to protect or repair Federally authorized shore protective works threatened or damaged by coastal storms. Together both are significant benefits and there are no other government funded programs available on the horizon.
The “worst case” scenario described by County staff (also within the above “Source: SLC-ED”), indicates 100% of the “local share” (everything NOT funded by either the federal or state governments) be funded by the local So. HI MSTU (Municipal Service Taxing Unit). It outlines an estimated tax rate of “1.2529 Estimated Millage Rate (tentative)” for “six years”. The PC letter to the County, dated August 11th, (available on the website, B&D Committee) advocates additional County-wide funding. It is our intention to continue to pursue it throughout next year’s budget process. A September 7thletter to the Commissioners (also available on the website, B&D Committee) requests “. . more clarity concerning the annual funding of the “local share” to fulfill the So. SLC Federal Beach Preservation Program.”
We will continue to work closely with and in support of the County’s efforts toward a successful “Initial Start” for this project. (Further details are provided on the Website pcofhi.com, B&D Committee page.)
FSBPA Convention Underway
This week the FSBPA (Florida Shore & Beach Preservation Association https://www.fsbpa.com) Convention was held. Harvey Alligood joined various presentations virtually during the week. Presentations will be available to view in 6 weeks on the FSBPA website and a link will also be available on pcofhi.com.
"PC letters to SLC regarding Federal Beach Project" (2 letters attached)
8/11 Letter to_slc_bocc_Tipton.pdf
Summary of the September 15th Membership Meeting
Guest Speaker: Capt. Paul Langel, SLC Fire Dept. (BDA-bio-directional amplifier survey and code requirements for high rise buildings)
Capt. Langel provided background information, Florida statute and code requirements and future timelines. This legislation addressed issues in communication coverage discovered by first responders during 9/11. The April 27, 2020 letter (attached to this email and available on pcofhi.com, Governmental Affairs Committee) from the SLC Fire Dept. provides more details on deadliness and those impacted by the requirements. It is unknown at this time if there will be any changes in the process or deadlines during the next legislative session.
Capt. Langel emphasized the need to be proactive and this meeting was meant to help build awareness of the process/resources available. To ensure that your Association receives all current information from the Fire Dept., contact Kelly Machado, Assistant to Capt. Langel at 772-621-3322 to ensure that current email addresses are provided. Capt. Langel’s email is firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, in attendance was Josh Franklin from Signal Corp 561-699-8748, email@example.com. Signal Communications performs the surveys for the Associations.
Additional information provided during the discussion:
· Legislation applies to buildings 75’ at the highest occupiable space.
· Deadlines included in April 27th letter from Capt. Langel. (available on pcofhi.com)
· Process improvements are for the safety of the first responders and the residents.
· Lack of communication coverage is attributable to the type of construction of the high rises, in addition to the location of the signal.
· Solutions for the Associations to improve the coverage is costly and various alternative options to improving it at a broader level were discussed. (i.e. add a new site; strategic antennas on the building roofs; add an amplifier to the fire trucks). Capt. Langel advised that the Fire Dept has all updated radios and signal boosters.
Capt. Langel’s openness and willingness to work closely with us is greatly appreciated. PC Board will continue to look for alternative solutions, connect with expert resources and communicate new information to the membership as it becomes available.
August 18, 2020 Meeting SummaryGuest Speaker: Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch, Governing Board Member South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD). (website: sfwmd.gov)
Charles Grande introduced and welcomed Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch to the meeting. The two have worked together over the years on water related issues in the area.
Ms. Thurlow-Lippisch launched into her discussion by explaining the organization’s structure, reporting relationship, and the direction. It is composed of 5 Districts with the South being the oldest. The current problems with Lake O were placed in context by explaining the history of the development in the state since 1923. (Meeting presentation is available on the PC website, Governmental Affairs Committee.)
SFWMD began a new journey in 2019, when the Governor replaced all of the board members and the current mission was developed. For the first time “to safeguard and restore South Florida’s water resources” was included in the mission. Governor DeSantis 2019 Executive Order 19.12 outlines the new strategic plan and is useful to review in order to gain a better understanding of the direction.
The SFWMD projects all tend to be long term efforts and the 3 significant projects were described: the EAA reservoir, C44 reservoir, and C-43 reservoir. Funding for all of the efforts was also explained and more information is included in the presentation slides, including other major project timelines.
Ms. Thurlow-Lippisch was asked what we, as interested residents, can do to support water resources efforts. “Become an advocate!” was the reply. She further explained the need to build relationships with elected officials, speak out during public meetings and voice what’s important to you.
Additional questions from participating PC members were discussed, including one on the Lake O height schedule (LORS). The criteria for determining the level now considers “Human Health & Safety” impacts, along with agricultural needs. The Army Corp manages the Lake level and SFWMD is the local sponsor.
Ms. Thurlow-Lippisch’s enthusiasm and passion are infectious. We all took away information that we can share with others to support the effort to improve the water quality in our area.
Harvey Alligood provided a brief Beach & Dune update: the PPA has not yet been signed but, expected at the September BOCC. Also, at the September meeting, the final budget will be confirmed for the fiscal year beginning October 1st and tax rates for November 2020 tax bills. (Note: This information will be updated based upon the information in the TRIM notice received 8/19/2020).
To date, still no additional public beach access points and associated required parking and appears doubtful at this time. Consequently, funding plans will move forward assuming no additions.
Concerns remain about funding mechanisms, the extent of county-wide funding and indications to date that any federal funding not acquired (presently as much as $6.3MM), but lost because of beach accesses not forthcoming from the local community being part of any levy on the local community (Note: as outlined and updated 8/17/2020 on the County website: South County Renourishment Project Funding Plan)
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