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Longboat Key Wednesday, Mar. 18, 2020 1 year ago

Longboat voters dig plan to finance beach projects

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Gulfside and Bayside voters in both counties approve borrowing plan to launch renourishment, groins and more.
by: Eric Garwood Managing Editor

Longboat Key voters on Tuesday approved a plan to borrow no more that $34.5 million  to help finance the town’s comprehensive beach management plan.

Bayside District and Gulfside District voters in Sarasota and Manatee counties cast ballots on the measure as part of Tuesday’s presidential primary voting.

Overall, the votes for the measure totaled 1,986. The votes against totaled 631 in returns reported by both counties supervisors of elections offices.  

Gulfside property owners will pay 80% of the debt through property taxes; with Bayside property owners paying 20%.

Town officials have said the exact total of the borrowing and its impact on tax bills won’t be known until the levels of state and federal reimbursements are calculated. The $34.5 million figure was arrived at with an assumption of minimal outside assistance, which would be unprecedented.

Manatee County officials have already committed to more than $2.5 million to help pay for the initial project of the plan – the $10 million construction of five sand-saving groins to be built on the northern end of the island. The area around Greer Island is one of the island’s most erosional, and the groins are designed to alleviate that problem.

Additional components of the beach plan include:

  • $25 million for sand fill in fiscal year 2022
  • $1.5 million local contribution for an Army Corps of Engineers shore protection program in fiscal years 2021-23
  • $1.45 million for New Pass groin tightening in fiscal year 2024
  • $4.5 million for sand search, design, consulting, and monitoring of protected species.

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