With the last couple of years and the damage done with Hurricane Matthew and Hurricane Irma, Ponte Vedra Beach needs to address long-term beach renourishment. We are one of only a few oceanside communities in the state that does not have a program in place, with all of our surrounding communities in full swing with dredging or trucking sand programs.
After Matthew, Gov. Rick Scott established a Disaster Recovery Program in which the state offered matching funds for beach renourishment. Currently, South Ponte Vedra and Flagler County are earmarked to receive approximately $17 million of these state matching funds. When the legislative sessions start up in January, they will establish another Recovery Program for Irma in which we will need to be in position for and eligible to receive.
Apparently, after Matthew, North Ponte Vedra was not considered to be in dire enough condition to warrant state funds. Currently, Rep. Cyndi Stevenson is on board with our beach being “critically eroded,” and thus eligible for the governor’s Disaster Relief Recovery Program. Congressman DeSantis also feels that we are eligible, and that we need to garner the support of the majority of our community and go after the funds.
We are working with the county and Commissioner Dean to set up a taxing vehicle, such as a MSBU or MSTU, to raise funds for a coastal assessment and cost allocation study, and to identify which long-term sand program would be most beneficial for our community.
We need the support of the community in order for the county commissioners to sign off on allowing us to tax ourselves. This will not come to fruition, if the community does not want this, or does not make this happen. Visit www.savepontevedrabeach.com for additional information.