The Board of County Commissioners held an Emergency Meeting this morning, 07/12/17, to address issuance of a State of Emergency Order for the storm, Cindy. It passed unanimously.
- Cape Shoals Unit 1 had asked for an received an Emergency Order for their structural damage to be repaired earlier and it was issued by BOCC.
- This morning the State of Emergency Order allowed ANY front beach owner on the Peninsula who had damage from the storm to move to emergency status.
- This order from BOCC allows the property owners to move through the DEP process in about 2 weeks, as opposed to the full blown 6-9 month process, so that they can address their needed repairs and replacement of sand under their structures in a timely manner to prevent further structural problems.
- DEP permitting is REQUIRED prior to moving sand or doing structural repairs on the front beach properties. Significant fines can occur without obtaining the permit.
- The BOCC waived any permitting fees from the County for the affected homes for 60 days. This does NOT waive fees for DEP, but the action saves considerable time and money for the property owners.
- The property owners are entirely responsible for the cost of any and all repairs and sand replacement for their own property. The County is NOT responsible for and will not participate in any costs.
To follow up on some of the items brought up at the Annual CCA meeting. All good news.
1. The BOCC had a presentation by the representative of the Lobbying Group in DC working on removal of the CBRA. It was positive and process is being made through the legislative review process. A meeting has been set up with Secretary Dinke (His Department has the responsibility for CBRA nationally.) and Michael has a degree of confidence that the Secretary will concur with Gulf County’s argument. By mid Fall we should know if this route is going to be successful, actually after the meeting with Dinke. If not, then all due legislative processes have been exhausted so that we have the best chance before the Courts through the judicial option. The Commissioners continued to support the effort to go forward with the effort to remove CBRA with a 4 to 1 vote, Freddie Whitfield voting no.
2. The Beach Restoration project is moving with the Biological Opinion from USFWL going through the USCOE with expected permits available with the next few weeks. At that point it will be put out for bids for the project. Projected start date for sand to be pumping is December, 2017. All funds are in place for the project which will extend from the Stump Hole to the State Park with a uniform beach down that entire section according to the report giving to the BOCC.
3. Some of the Cape Shoal Townhouses that had been condemned after Cindy have been restored by the owners and the condemnation removed. The others are working on securing their units and hopefully it will be done soon.
4. Report from Florida Parks Manager on the Seagrass Restoration in the Bay through a FERDA grant. 49 buoys have been placed with maps available of the bay free. These have been distributed and are available. They are encouraging all rental boat agencies to supply them with the rentals since the major problem is with novice boaters. There is some significant scarring in the shallow areas of the Bay but the grasses are in good shape with no evidence of red tide this year. The 2nd phase of the grant will now begin with replanting the scared areas at the South End of the Bay.