Intent on avoiding unnecessary delays, County Commissioner Nora Patterson has pushed to speed up requests for state funds to help pay for renourishing Turtle Beach sand.
Patterson brought up plans to renourish Turtle Beach at a Jan. 21 Siesta Key Condominium Association meeting.
“The planning and design work is just about complete for renourishment.” Patterson said, speaking about Turtle Beach, adding: “We’re just about ready to submit permits, and local dollars are in the bank.”
Patterson said it was important to time the permitting and design processes so the project’s construction can be scheduled around sea turtle nesting season, which runs from May through November. Renourishment is prohibited by environmental protection rules during that period.
In a Jan. 21 email to Sarasota County Coastal Resources Manager Laird Wreford, Patterson also pushed to expedite the request to secure state funding to cover a portion of the project, suggesting that the request be made before the permits are secured in order to not miss the current legislative session.
“You would likely not know until end of March or later 2015, if you cannot nail down that money this year,” Patterson wrote.
Portions of the cost of restoring Turtle Beach, which is located at the southern end of Siesta Key at the end of Midnight Pass Road, will also be covered by private land owners likely to benefit from the project.
“There will be some charge to abutting land owners,” Patterson said, speaking Jan. 21 to the audience of about 70 Siesta condominium owners.
Turtle Beach suffered severe erosion following Tropical Storm Debby in June 2012, losing much of the transplanted sand from a 2006-2007 renourishment project.
When Turtle Beach was renourished in 2007, county staff involved with the project estimated that the beach would need to be renourished every seven years. The county used tourist tax revenue to fund 45% of the 2006-2007 project. The state paid for 37% of the work, and property owners along Turtle Beach were assessed for the remaining 8% of costs.
Contact Nolan Peterson at firstname.lastname@example.org
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