Natural Resources to issue bidding process for repairs
By Chris Fish
BREVARD -- Brevard County's appeal for government funding for the aid of beach erosion caused by Hurricane Sandy was denied, officials said.
Ernest Brown, director of the Brevard County Natural Resources Management Office, said FEMA denied the state of Florida's request for an emergency declaration, denying an appeal made by Brevard County for aid with $25 million of damages created by Hurricane Sandy in the fall.
In December, Mr. Brown said it would cost $12.4 million to repair 18 miles of an engineered dune and beach project along the Mid Reach and South Beaches Shoreline, an engineered dune that the county has maintained since 2005.
Along with $12.4 million needed for repairs of the engineered dune, Mr. Brown said the county will need about $13 million for the repair of erosion to 14 miles of shorelines in Cape Canaveral, Cocoa Beach, Indialantic and Melbourne Beach.
The County's initial request for assistance from FEMA was denied in November, prompting the appeal.
Since the appeal made by the county was denied, Mr. Brown said there will be other options considered to move forward with repairs, including a bidding process for the repairs.
"The board authorized staff to enter into contract with lowest responsive bidder for the beach project and direct staff to pursue cost share from the State," Mr. Brown said in an email. "If the cost share is successful, it is anticipated that the board will move toward beach repair work after sea turtle nesting season in December."
Mr. Brown said the department is working to ensure state funds to help with the project, as well.
"We are currently working diligently with our legislative delegation and the Florida Shore and Beach Preservation Association to secure state funds in the hopes of repairing the beach and dune systems next winter."
Once funding becomes available, repairs are expected to take three months, Mr. Brown said.
Some private homes may have also been damaged by Hurricane Sandy in October, the department said.
Brevard County residents should be aware that, if they have a deck or dune crossover that has been undermined, it is likely a safety hazard and is not stable.
The Natural Resource Management Office said it can help with the permitting process for property owners wanting to take immediate action by restoring the dune with beach-quality sand.
For more information, contact Brevard County Natural Resources at (321) 633-2016.