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.
St Lucie County Federal Beach Project Meeting – July 29th, 2020 at 2:00pm.
The recently mailed package from SLC regarding the Construction Easements for the Federal Beach project is on the PC website (Beach & Dune Committee page). Also included is information about the County hosted meeting on July 29th to further explain and clarify any questions.
Following is the link to the County’s new web pages which include extensive information on the project: https://www.stlucieco.gov/departments-services/a-z/mosquito-control-coastal-management-services/2020-south-hutchinson-island-renourishment-project
Presentation is available on the PC website prior to the meeting. Click here
Go To Meeting Access information Click here
Beach Update Information Attached: The attached package (click here) was mailed last week from the County to Associations (not individual condo owners) and other Property Owners along the beachfront, within the 3.3 mile Federal Beach Project. Included in the package is the new SLC website link www.stlucieco.org/southhutchinsonproject, which provides background, timelines and requirements for the project. One of the requirements for the initial construction is the Construction Easements from each property owner. You are encouraged to review the package and attend the SLC meeting on July 29th to obtain more information and clarification.
Members of the PC Board continue to work cooperatively with the County to get clarity around the funding options for the Federal Beach Project, particularly important prior to the SLC Budget workshops beginning later this month. Also, have been meeting with the new SLC Deputy County Administrator, Alphonso Jefferson, who will be responsible for the project going forward.
As discussed in the past, adding public beach accesses will increase the Federal cost share and thus reduce the local cost to the County and/or property owners. At this time, there has not yet been any commitment in any of the strategically located properties. Therefore, the local cost share calculations are expected to be made using the higher end of the estimated remaining unfunded balance. If this changes later, the total local share will be reduced allowing a reduction of any planned levy.
Another critical milestone is signing of the USACE’s PPA (Project Partnership Agreement) which is on target to be completed in August. Following the signing of the PPA, the information package on the Construction Easements, a required part of implementing the project, will be sent by the County to the Associations/property owners. The package will explain the efforts needed to secure the project Construction Easements. Also planned is a new website page with answers to commonly asked questions, other pertinent information, including a beach nourishment assessment cost estimator.
If you have any questions relating to the beach project, the contact at the County is Joshua Revord (772-462-1269).
Beach Project Update
As Harvey Alligood, Chair Beach & Dune Committee, indicated at the June membership meeting, the County has changed its position regarding compensation to property owners in the identified “gap” areas, who provide easements for public beach access points. These additional access points will increase the federal cost share for the project. More information will be forthcoming, however, Harvey encouraged Associations in the gap areas to contact Joshua Revord SLC (772/462-1269) to better understand both the impact and compensation.
Following the June 9th Informal SLC BOCC meeting regarding funding for the Federal Beach Project, there have been separate individual meetings with Commissioners and the County Assistant Administrator as the PC Board works to clarify the funding plans. The current “plan” continues to be finetuned and updated by the County. The current draft version will be placed on the website for information and will be updated as subsequent versions are received.
It is recognized the impact of additional beach access points on the project funding is significant. The PC Board has taken additional steps to help coordinate communication between the County and the property owners to help ensure clarity, so that decisions can be finalized before the deadline.
Since the May 5th meeting with USACE and SLC regarding the beach project, PC has been engaged with the County as the project timeline was updated (currently posted on the website) and to better understand the funding of the local unfunded share that will be borne by SLC and/or island homeowners within the project area.
The PC Board requested the Commissioners for their support and action to reach consensus on the funding plan and direction on acquisition of the additional beach access points. Clarity is needed to ensure project milestones are achieved. (the letter sent to the Commissioners 6/3/2020 is available on the PC website)
PC Board representatives attended the BOCC Informal meeting on 6/9/2020 to hear further discussion regarding project funding and actions needed to prepare for the next steps. Further information from the meeting including the presentation package will be posted to the website, when available.
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