Longboat Key taxpayers approved a $16 million beach project in March 2012, but they have had the luxury of not having to pay for it in their tax bills for the past two years.
At a Longboat Key Town Commission budget workshop Monday at Town Hall, Town Manager Dave Bullock alerted commissioners taxpayers will begin paying for that project in fiscal year 2015 for the next six years.
To pay for a project that will include two north end groins and sand placed at various erosion hot spots around the Key, Bullock said it’s time to bill taxpayers for the project they approved.
“It’s not a perfect plan, but we hope it will hit the sweet spot for us and allow us not to put any more sand down for the next five years,” Bullock said.
That plan calls for several different projects over the next two fiscal years that will cost taxpayers approximately $23,846,192. That estimate, though, includes paying for beach consulting, beach monitoring costs, beach tilling and studies that will be paid from other sources such as the town’s beach capital fund. The beach fund currently has $4,699,677.
To reduce that hefty price tag, Bullock and his staff is considering a beach project alternative: Moving sand from sand-rich areas of the Key’s coastline to sand-depleted areas.
The move, though, would have to be approved by the state.
Commissioner Phill Younger was pleased to hear staff is working to find ways to reduce the cost.
“It’s encouraging to here we will consider harvesting sand from one part of the beach to another,” Younger said. “That could bring this number down.”
For more information on the beach projects, pick up a copy of Wednesday's Longboat Observer.
Contact Kurt Schultheis at [email protected].