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Updated: CEPD discusses upcoming beach project

By Staff | Jul 26, 2012

(Editor’s note: The following story has been updated to correct errors contained in the first report. The Islander and Island Reporter regrets any confusion to our readers.)

The Captiva Erosion Prevention District has been forging through the steps of its next beach nourishment project scheduled for next year.

During the July meeting, Kathy Rooker, CEPD administrator, along with Steve Keehn, senior engineer with Coastal Planning and Engineering, reported some success lobbying for Captiva at the Department of Environmental Protection’s June meeting in Tallahassee where they discussed several topics concerning the project.

Topics included determining public beach accesses and updated labeling of parcels on the island that would make them eligible for state cost sharing.

When beachfront parcels are considered government owned or public property they are eligible for state cost sharing estimated at $500 to $600 per linear foot.

Pointing to one area on a map south of Blind Pass, Keehn said, “according to DEP (this) can be considered clearly government-owned property which categorizes it as secondary beach access, and secondary beach access is eligible for cost sharing.”

“This was a big decision on their part in favor of the CEPD,” said Keehn. “They also decided Sanibel and Captiva can be considered one project.”

CEPD potentially could recieve up to $4.5 million from the state for this next nourishment project. However, the board doesn’t know how much federal funding it will receive or how it will affect state funding.

“We were pleased when we left (the meeting),” said Rooker, who thinks there might be a good outcome for Captiva property owners.

Additionally, the board discussed hiring a lobbyist to help Captiva’s interests be heard in Tallahassee.

Chairman Jim Boyle asked board members if they were interested in pursuing a professional advocacy firm to represent Captiva.

Commissioner Mike Mullins followed with a motion to seek proposals from three advocates, including Lisa Armbruster and Charlie Dudley, with Floridian Partners, to lobby the state for better cost sharing.

It failed to get a second after some on the board expressed concerns about contracting with the same company, Floridian Partners, as South Seas Island Resort.

Based on that concern, Boyle then made a motion to contact Armbruster and Linda Shelly for proposals. It received a second from Commissioner Harry Kaiser.

However, Mullins proposed an amendment to not limit proposals from only those named in Boyle’s motion. It was seconded by Commissioner Dave Jensen.

“It is gonna cost us but if we get results the benefits are great,” said Mullins.