Vilano Beach Main Street is mobilizing its members on the North Beaches to show support for four agenda items related to beach restoration that are scheduled to be considered by the St Johns County Board of Commissioners during their next regular business meeting on Tuesday, March 19th.
Because of heightened interest in this subject, and to make it easier for working residents to attend the daytime meeting, this will be a “time certain” item and is scheduled to begin specifically at 1:00 p.m.
Historic City News readers are being encouraged to attend to hear from all parties. The meeting is held at the County Auditorium at 500 San Sebastian View, St. Augustine, FL 32084.
The items at issue include:
- Increase the bed tax another 1% to 5%, part of which to be used for necessary beach preservation;
- Consider reallocation of current bed tax receipts to better benefit our beaches;
- Vote on Municipal Service Taxing Units to help match and secure federal and state funds for two proposed projects;
- Approve the Army Corps of Engineers proposal for a long-term beach re-nourishment of a portion of critically eroded Coastal Highway.
The Municipal Service Taxing Units survey results very strongly support the proposals. Public outreach to contact property owners aided in the number of respondents.
- Coastal Highway, 95.2% of respondents Agreed; 72% of property owners responded
- South Ponte Vedra, 77.7% of respondents Agreed; 66.5% of property owners responded
In their deliberation whether to proceed with the projects and Municipal Service Taxing Units, and whether to provide the additional funding by approving either the proposed fifth-cent to the tourist development tax, or reallocation of the existing tourist development tax, the Board will consider the survey results.
Vilano Beach Main Street, a strong supporter of the proposals, is asking residents and commissioners to consider the following points of view:
- Erosion of the beaches will continue
- Beach nourishment raises the beach profile compensating for sea level rise
- Seawalls do not ensure retention of a sandy beach; only protect homes if not breached
- If Municipal Service Taxing Units and sand projects are approved, the continuous sand berm provides protection for many, not just single property owners
- Tourists, who benefit the local economy, will continue to be attracted to beach rentals only if beaches remain intact
- Over time, county property values will increase
In a recent communication distributed to homeowners and residents within the North Beach corridor, the Main Street group is asking that you contact your county commissioners regarding what they say are opportunities for generous state and federal matching funds of nearly $50-million dollars for these projects.
Contact information for St Johns County Commissioners:
- James K. Johns: Commissioner, District 1
- Cell phone: (904) 615-7437
- Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Jeb Smith: Vice-Chair, Commissioner, District 2
- Cell phone: (904) 325-4182
- Email address: email@example.com
- Paul M. Waldron: Chair, Commissioner, District 3
- Cell phone: (904) 436-3973
- Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Jeremiah Ray Blocker: Commissioner, District 4
- Cell phone: (904) 679-2620
- Email address: email@example.com
- Henry Dean: Commissioner, District 5
- Cell phone: (904) 325-3924
- Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org