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Updates to Captiva beach renourishment lowers total cost

August 17, 2018
By TIFFANY REPECKI ( , Island Reporter, Captiva Current, Sanibel-Captiva Islander

The Captive Erosion Prevention District was presented with a revised report on the 2020-2021 beach renourishment during its recent meeting that reduced the overall cost of the project by $6 million.

On Aug. 15, the commission heard from APTIM Coastal Planning & Engineering, which had been working with CEPD staff to fine tune the engineering draft for the project. In July, the firm presented its proposed plan with an estimated total cost of $36.2 million, including a percent for contingency.

The updated proposal lowers the total price tag to about $30 million.

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The Captive Erosion Prevention District commissioners review the draft of the proposed 2018-2019 general and capital projects budgets with Administrator Damon Grant at the Aug. 15 meeting.

"Which significantly reduces the cost of the project and, ultimately, the cost to Captiva," CEPD Administrator Damon Grant said.

He explained that when it was presented last month, the draft did not take into consideration eligible cost sharing on the part of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and Lee County.

"It also didn't include the money that the CEPD had received from FEMA for the Hurricane Irma damage," he said.

The revised report includes an estimated cost sharing of $6.44 million from the state and $8.60 million from the county, with a conservative reimbursement of $850,000 for about $1.1 million in damages.

In addition, Grant noted that contractors for big projects like a beach renourishment tend to drive up their costs when they enter into a contract with a rigid set time schedule in order to meet it. However, if there is some flexibility with the start date - while maintaining the completion date - they drop.

"If we can create some flexibility within our bid documents when we go out to bid, that's going to reduce the cost," he said, adding that the idea is to build some flexibility into the contract.

The updated draft also lowers the contingency percentage for the project.

"We had a fairly conservative 20 percent contingency during the draft, which we reduced down to a 10 percent contingency, which helped bring down the cost as well," Grant said.

With the changes, the cost share for Captiva dips from about $14.7 million to $12.52 million.

At the September meeting, Drs. William Stronge and Gary Jackson will bring forward the tentative apportionment for the project - the method for calculating the assessments for each property owner.

Also at the meeting, Stronge and Jackson addressed concerns previously voiced by commissioners about Captiva's estimated lodging expenditures outlined in the Recreational Use study from the winter. The original figure came in at $188 million, implying tourist tax receipts were more than Sanibel's.

The updated working estimate is $77.3 million, with corresponding revenues of $3.9 million.

"That revised number is significantly lower than the original number he gave us," Grant said.

The figures had been calculated with a formula used before, but there were errors.

"Jackson used Stornge's methodology for calculating, but there was a miscommunication on how those calculations were determined, which produced the overinflated original number," he said.

Stronge and Jackson also provided an update on the island's summer recreational survey during the meeting. According to Grant, a total of 231 beach visitors were questioned, with data collected.

"These surveys are conducted to help better understand who's using the beach," he said.

The commission did question the potential impact of red tide on the data.

Stronge and Jackson reported that they did notice respiratory irritation one day while they were conducting the survey and believed that the data on at least the one day was influenced by it.

Grant presented to the commission the proposed 2018-2019 general budget for the CEPD.

According to the documents, the millage rate sits at the approved maximum of 0.2984.

He pointed out two new expense items: $30,000 for board-approved special projects and $40,000 for the history of the CEPD project. Grant explained that special projects covered by the funds may include updating the website or having an independent auditor review how the CEPD is conducting business.

He noted that having the funds as line items on the budget enables quick access to them if needed.

"I think this puts us in a really good place," Grant said of the draft budget.

Chairman Dave Jensen took issue with the suggested total for the history project.

"I'm more comfortable with $20,000," he said.

Grant also went over the proposed 2018-2019 capital projects budget with the commissioners.

"Really not a lot of changes from last year's capital budget," he said.

Vice Chair Mike Mullins spoke up on the proposed split on the parking lot fees.

"I feel like we're putting way too much of the parking lot revenue into the capital fund," he said.

Also at the meeting, Junopi founder Alan Bildzukewicz Sr. spoke about his company's services related to cloud storage. Currently, EMC2 serves as the CEPD's webmaster and designer, as well as oversees its data backup and cloud storage. Recently, the CEPD lost nearly four years of data on EMC2's cloud.

Grant suggested maintaining EMC2 for web services, but using Junopi for file storage.

"I put this on there (the agenda) for discussion," he told the commission, adding that he was tasked with making sure the CEPD's data files and storage are safe and needed direction from the dais.

Bildzukewicz, who has worked with the CEPD for years servicing its computers and providing information technology support, noted that his company's servers are backed up in multiple separate locations - a local office, a downtown office and on the west coast - for complete protection.

"Junopi has three backup systems in place," Grant said.

Mullins questioned why the CEPD is not putting the service out to bid.

"We need to take this, I think, a little more seriously than we did in the past," he said of file and data storage. "I think we need to do a proper evaluation."

Jensen voiced disagreement.

"I think Damon did research on this and chose a good direction to go," he said.

The one folder lost on EMC2's cloud storage - which contained about three and half years worth of reports, documents and such - was identified, and hard and digital copies of the data were on hand at the office. Staff has been reimporting the data and they were about 40 percent done as of the meeting.


- The commission voted unanimously to move its regular meetings from the second Wednesday of each month to the Monday before the Captiva Community Panel meeting, which usually occurs on the second Tuesday of each month. The change will go into effect starting in January.

- The commission approved using APTIM for support services to help the CEPD prepare and submit its local government funding report at a cost of $12,800.

- The commission approved an additional $1,500 for firewalls for the computers.

- John Bralove, the CEPD's former assistant to the administrator, will stay on as a special projects consultant at the cost of $10,000 annually. The commission voted unanimously in favor of the move.



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