Reminder - Beach Funding Letter to SLC
As Harvey Alligood, B&D Committee Chair, explained at the meeting this week, a mailing went out on Wednesday asking Associations and individual members to send letters to the Commissioners in support of County-wide funding for the Federal Beach Project. Currently the State and Federal governments provide 2/3 of the project funding. The remaining amount, “local share”, will be funded by the County and local owners. To date the County has not indicated that there will be any “County-wide” funding provided and will rely only on the SHI MSTU, with the local property owners paying the total “local share” portion. We need to voice our view to the SLC Commissioners, that county-wide funding is warranted. If you have not already done so, please ensure that your letter is sent to the County by the end of March.
Joshua Revord joined the 2/17/2021 meeting to provide an update on the status of the Perpetual Construction Easements (CE), the last milestone to complete before a successful “initial start” for the Federal Beach Project.
· Only 1 Association and a couple of landowners have not yet returned the signed CE. PC will continue to support the County to acquire all of the CEs from the property owners. We hope to build on the 90% participation rate to date, to over 95% participation.
· Expect USACE to bid the project in June/July and award contracts September/October.
Placing sand on the Beach will occur after turtle season, November through March.
February 1st 11:00am at Island Dunes Country Club. St Lucie County hosted - informational outreach meeting regarding the Federal Beach Project Construction Easements. SLC encourages interested property owners who have yet to execute and submit required easement documents to attend. (SLC letter dated January 15th attached)
Notice Regarding Construction Easements
The County has asked that the following message is relayed to you ASAP. When returning the Construction Easements please be sure to include all of the following documents:
1. All components of the Construction Easement (the signed and sealed survey, sketch, legal, etc. are all required to be returned along with the signed document).
2. Please also provide contact information, particularly a telephone number for someone who may be contacted regarding any issues with the return of the Construction Easements.
If in doubt please return more not less, and of course, Joshua Revord, Sr. Coastal Engineer with St. Lucie County (772/462-1269) welcomes your call to clarify any questions.
The good news is that the community is responding positively with several already received.
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.
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.
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
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)
Critical milestones continue to be the focus: signing of the PPA (Project Partnership Agreement), the funding of the local cost share, and the construction easements. As we advised, the July budget workshops were completed, and members of the PC board continue to advocate on behalf of the HI property owners.
Attached is the most recent letter sent by the PC Board to the County Administrator and the Commissioners regarding actions needed during this budget cycle to improve/increase county-wide funding. You can help to keep the Beach Nourishment Project on track by:
Calling or writing the SLC Commissioners before early September, when the budget is concluded. Their contact information is St. Lucie County BOCC,
2300 Virginia Avenue, Fort Pierce, FL 34982: Tel. 772-462-1100 and at: https://www.stlucieco.gov/about/contact-us
Emailing them via https://www.stlucieco.gov/about/contact-us/contact-your-commissioners
For more information about the federal 50-year So. SLC Beach Project:
Visit our website at: https://www.pcofhi.com/updates/category/beach-dune, which also includes links to the new SLC website pages about the project.
Other questions? Contact us at email@example.com.
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