Beach Renourishment Update

MRD Associates, Inc. made a presentation to the Gulf County Board of County Commissioners (BCC) on January 23, 2018 regarding the upcoming beach re-nourishment project. Based on the recommendations made by MRD Associates, Inc., the BCC approved the re-bidding of the St. Joseph Peninsula Beach Re-nourishment Project.

The presentation made to the BCC including recommendations can be found below in PDF format.

01/23/2018 BCC Beach Presentation

Hurricane Irma Update

Here is the latest update from BOCC decision at their 8 AM Saturday meeting.  Very IMPORTANT

  1.  Irma is shifting more to the West which is not good news for us.  The further west the eye comes the more dramatic our impact so watch the news for how the path goes.  It will continue to be a huge storm so there is no way it is not going to get us.   If it continues on the path it is on now and shifts even a small amount we could  have a Cat 1 or Cat 2 with beginning impact Sunday night around 10-12 pm and continuing on into Monday.  If it shifts slightly to the East we will have less winds.  The further to the East the eye, the less impact.  There will be another meeting at 6 pm today to determine if there are any more mandatory closures.  The winds and storm surges and waves can continue for some duration.
  2. Mandatory Evacuation-IMMEDIATELY
  3.  ALL RV/trailers in the Coastal Corridor from ST. Joe Beach through the Franklin County line-including Presnells, Indian Pass and St Joe State Park Campgrounds.
  4. St Joseph Peninsula North of the Stump Hole-Residential and Commercial-guests and permanent residents.
  5. Voluntary Evacuation-Immediately
  6. All properties South of 98 to the Gulf, including Indian Pass, Cape San Blas, Simmons Bayou, Jones Homestead-C30A and SR 30 A.
  7. St Joseph Beach
  8. Basically the tourist corridor
  9. All RVs and Trailers in low lying areas throughout the County
  10. Storm Surge-projected unless it moves further West-then higher
  11. 1-3 foot surge with 9-10 waves on the Gulf side
  12. Indian Pass lagoon will have early impact with probably coverage of road.  The historic evacuation route through Painted Pony, Canoe Lane, and Barefoot has been graded by the County and will be open.
  13. It is anticipated the rocks will be breached and possible asphalt damage.  There will be probable no passage of traffic and it could pose a danger even if it does not wash out.  It will be closed to traffic completely.  CW Roberts is working Saturday morning to shore the rocks on either end as much as possible.
  14. Once the eye has passed, the Bay will already have high water but can expect a storm surge pushing water into the Bay making the head of the Bay to Simmons Bayou have problems from the rising water.
  15. There are sand bags delivered to the Indian Pass Raw Bar by the County for residents to get.
  16. Winds
  17. The least sustained winds anticipated  would be tropical storm 45-50 mph with gust (best case scenario) and the probable at a Cat 1 would be 75 mph plus sustained with gusts.
  18. The Gulf County Emergency Shelter at Honeyville which holds 200 people and is not set up for special needs and is NOT pet friendly is not opened yet.    Calhoun County has opened their shelter in Blountstown as of Saturday afternoon for Gulf County Residents but it is not pet friendly.
  19. BOCC will reconvene at 6 pm this afternoon to consider more mandatory measures.

State of Emergency Order

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.

  1.  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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.

Update from Latest CCA Meeting

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.