Longboat Key Vice Mayor Robert Siekmann responded to Manatee County Commissioner Joe McClash’s stance on the town’s breakwater project in a letter submitted to The Longboat Observer last week.
Siekmann expressed surprise and disappointment with McClash’s concerns with the town’s breakwater project, which will place four breakwaters 220 feet from shore, which will act as rock islands to counteract wave energy that’s quickly eroding the beach in the area near Longboat Pass.
McClash, who requested a public hearing be held on the project, says he is concerned with the manmade geotextile fabric that will be laid underneath the breakwaters and is worried the structures will “dramatically change the natural shoreline around Longboat Pass.”
In an editorial sent to The Longboat Observer Friday, Oct. 16, Siekmann says the town is following procedures required at both state and federal levels to permit the project.
“An offshore breakwater at North Shore Road was discussed at a joint meeting between the Manatee County Board of County Commissioners and the Town of Longboat Key Commission on Jan. 29,” Siekmann wrote. “It is unfortunate that, in this instance, Commissioner McClash has chosen to write a letter to a regulatory agency requesting a public hearing and recommending denial of a permit instead of picking up the phone or checking the county's own records regarding these past discussions.
Siekmann said the town is willing to discuss the offshore breakwater or any other project which is of concern to anyone.
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