The Longboat Key Town Commission approved a $225,000 project to bring some interim sand to the severely eroded beach on the north end of the island.
At its Thursday, April 15 regular workshop, commissioners unanimously approved a project that will place 7,500 cubic yards of sand from Longbeach’s Periwinkle condominium building south to the Broadway beach access.
Public Works Director Juan Florensa said he hopes to receive a permit for the project from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection as early as this week.
The project, which will bring more than 450 dump-truck loads of beach-quality sand to the island from a sand pit in Schroeder-Manatee Ranch, must be complete by May 1 before sea-turtle nesting season begins.
The sand is being placed there until the town can start its beach project in November 2011.
Town Manager Bruce St. Denis says the town hopes some of the sand will naturally migrate north, helping to restore a portion of the eroded beach closer to North Shore Road.
St. Denis says he will waive the sound-ordinance requirements for the project, allowing the contractor to work from 7 a.m. to sunset to complete the project.
“We will do whatever it takes to get the project completed,” St. Denis said.
Because state regulations prohibit placing sand on wet beach, the area from the Longbeach Coquina building north to 360 North condominium will have to wait until the November 2011 beach project to receive additional sand.
The town, however, is also seeking approval to restore the entire eroded shoreline with approximately 200,000 cubic yards of sand and will find out from the state in the next few weeks whether state officials are receptive to the idea.
The town is also seeking a permit to extend a town seawall past North Shore Road to protect the road and utilities in the area.
Commissioner Gene Jaleski, who is also a Longbeach condominium owner, has been critical of the town’s handling of the north-end erosion problems in the past.
But at the workshop, he spoke in favor of the town’s solutions.
“Amazing work, Bruce,” Jaleski said to St. Denis. “You have made several Longbeach unit owners very happy. Thank you.”
Jewfish Key Hearing Rescheduled
Town Manager Bruce St. Denis told the Town Commission last week at its April 15 regular workshop that a public hearing would be held at 7 p.m. Monday, May 3, regarding the restoration of seagrass that was destroyed in 2004 during an illegal Jewfish Key dredging incident.
The dredging, which was done by using a boat propeller, altered the seagrass habitat by decreasing sea life and damaging plants for an estimated total loss of $250,000.
The restoration work is mandated as part of an agreement to remove an illegal section of the Jewfish Key boat dock.
The dock currently extends 125 feet further into Sarasota Bay than currently allowed.
The Jewfish Preservation Association Inc., which acts as the homeowners association for the five homes and 16 total deeded home lots on the island, received approval earlier this year from the town for a variance to renovate and expand the dock for current and future homeowners.
The hearing will be held before approval is granted to allow the public the right to speak on whether they believe the seagrass-restoration project is sufficient.
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