The Sarasota County Commission agreed the help supplement funding for the city ’s Lido beach renourishment project at the commission meeting today.
The Big Pass dredge, the large-scale renourishment in partnership with the Army Corps of Engineers is still years from completion, said Laird Wreford, the county coastal initiatives manager, at a Siesta Key Association meeting. In the lull between, the city is planning an interim project to repair damage by Tropical Storm Debby in 2012, with funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
The city of Sarasota asked the county for up to $1 million to add to the funding it would receive from FEMA.
Lido beach lost an estimated 120,000 cubic yards in Debby; a survey in July showed that an additional 44,000 cubic yards had been lost since then from erosion, said Alex Davis Shaw, city engineer and project manager. The county’s supplementation would allow the city to beef up the interim project with more sand, and therefore alleviate some of the inevitable erosion which will occur before the Big Pass Dredge renourishment.
“This will buy time and enable the city to fill in some of the most seriously eroded areas,” said Laird Wreford at the county meeting.
Jan Thornburg, spokeswoman for the city, said the city had already put the interim project out to bid and will receive the bids back this Friday. The target completion date would be the end of March, before turtle nesting season.
The county approved the funding unanimously.
“I appreciate the county’s willingness to participate,” said Commissioner Paul Caragiulo.