Town Manager Dave Bullock has drawn a line in the sand when it comes to sand being taken out of New Pass.
Bullock informed the Longboat Key Town Commission in a July 23 email that he hopes a sand-sharing agreement in place for years between the town and the city of Sarasota will continue as the city prepares for a Lido Key beach nourishment project.
Bullock attended a July 23 U.S. Army Corps of Engineers public input meeting for a Lido shore project. At the meeting, there was discussion about the use of some New Pass sand to nourish the shores of south Lido Key.
Bullock entered comments into the record through an email expressing his concern the town isn’t left out of the mix of any sand being taken out of New Pass.
“For decades, the town has relied on New Pass as a sand source to combat ongoing erosion on the southern part of Longboat Key,” Bullock wrote. “The town and city of Sarasota have had a sand-sharing agreement for many years and are working on updating that sand-sharing agreement.”
The town is submitting a state permit in the next two weeks to request to dredge the New Pass navigational channel and place the sand on eroded spots on the south end of Longboat Key.
“The town’s interest in this project is centered on the use of New Pass as an expanded sand source for the initial South Lido project,” Bullock wrote. “Any additional dredging in New Pass to benefit the South Lido project that jeopardizes or delays the town’s ability to access New Pass sand will be carefully scrutinized by the town. The town will pursue all avenues available to it to assure timely access to the sand in the channel in New Pass.”
Parts of the south end of the Key are severely eroded and the town is also investigating performing a truck-haul sand project later this year to bring sand to the area.
Bullock said he hopes the town and the city can continue to work together to jointly take sand out of New Pass.
“The town and city of Sarasota have a long history of working cooperatively relative to New Pass, and we look forward to that continuing,” Bullock wrote.
Public Works Director Juan Florensa said Bullock’s declaration is to remind everyone involved with New Pass dredging procedures in the past.
“Sarasota has a right to get sand like we do,” Florensa said. “But we want to be on record saying that we’re due next to take sand out of the pass. We’re the next in line to get sand for our beaches. It’s just a little friendly competition among neighbors for beach-quality sand.”
Fiscal year 2015 is a pricey beach year for Key taxpayers.
Plans call for building two groins and placing more sand on the north end for $2.5 million, dredging Longboat Pass to get sand through a sharing agreement with Manatee County at a cost of $3.5 million and performing the $1.5 million emergency sand-haul project for the south end. The town will also pay $1.5 million for an Army Corps study to prepare the island for the possibility of becoming a federally designated beach.
Longboat Key taxpayers approved a $16 million beach project in March 2012 that will pay for costs associated with the various beach projects (see sidebar).
Beach Project Taxpayer Impact — Single-family homeowner
The $16 million beach project taxpayers approved will cost a Gulf-front single-family homeowner with a $1.3 million home an additional $1,103.58 a year for the next six years. For a $470,000 home east of Gulf of Mexico Drive, it will cost an additional $99.75 a year.
Beach Project Taxpayer Impact — Condominium owner
The $16 million beach project taxpayers approved will cost a Gulf-front $390,000 condo an additional $331.07 a year. For a $225,000 condominium east of Gulf of Mexico Drive, it will cost an additional $47.75 a year.
Contact Kurt Schultheis at firstname.lastname@example.org