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 its present +/-35% to +/-65% of the Corps’ contract or by about $6.8MM by adding public beach accesses within the project area. Just 3 strategically located access points could gain +/-$6.2MM or about 89% of the total possible. It would provide a significant reduction in the local share (cost borne by the County and Island residents). And why the County’s has focused on obtaining “free” 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 forecast 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 prior 2013 project.
November and October 2019 communication with St Lucie County regarding South County Beach Project
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