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Bond referendum to finance beach renourishment passes

By Staff | Mar 6, 2019

Carolyn Weaver

Voters recently approved a bond referendum to fund the upcoming beach renourishment project.

During the March 5 special election, Captiva residents voted overwhelming in support of the referendum, which will allow the Captiva Erosion Prevention District to issue bonds not exceeding $18 million that will be payable from special assessments on benefiting island lands to finance the 2020-2021 project.

“The CEPD wants to thank all of you for voting yes on the bond referendum,” CEPD Administrator Carolyn Weaver said on March 5. “We are grateful for your support and look forward to the 2020-2021 beach renourishment project.”

A total of 123 voters cast a ballot, according to Lee County Elections. One hundred and six voters 86.18 percent voted yes for the referendum, while 17 voters 13.82 percent cast a no vote.

Board Chairman Mike Mullins also expressed gratitude for support on the referendum.

“Yesterday, Captiva voters delivered great news for Captiva when they overwhelmingly supported the planned beach nourishment project,” he said on March 6. “A record 86 percent voted in favor of the bond issue authorizing CEPD to borrow a maximum of $18 million dollars towards Captiva’s cost share of the planned 2020/2021 $30 million project.”

“The Board of Commissioners and staff of the district want to take the opportunity to thank the Captiva voters for their overwhelming support of their CEPD and the authorization to proceed with the project,” he said.

The nourished beach area extends along 4.9 miles of shoreline between Redfish Pass and Blind Pass. As of Feb. 21, fill placement along northern Sanibel and Bowman’s Beach was not included as interlocal agreements had not been established, the CEPD reported. Inclusion of the segments may be considered if agreements are negotiated.

The objectives are to restore and maintain a uniform 90-foot beach width, to achieve a 10-year nourishment interval between major projects, and to implement smaller-scale interim sand placement events as needed to address storm impacts and erosional hot-spots. The fill volume is estimated at 900,000 cubic yards of sand over 25,600 linear feet of shoreline. It is based on surveys performed by engineers after Irma. Volume and distribution may be revised depending on the beach conditions.

The project’s total estimated cost is $30.4 million, and it assumes no federal participation. The 2013-2014 agreement with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reduced the federal cost-sharing due to a lack of public easements and public access to a level so low the CEPD did not pursue it. However, Federal Emergency Management Agency reimbursements for the damage from Irma are taken into account.

State cost-sharing is subject to the available state legislative funding and project ranking within the Local Government Funding Requests, the CEPD reported. Captiva’s projects have ranked high in the past. For planning purposes, the cost range is from $12.5 million with state and county cost-sharing, to $18.9 million without state cost-sharing, assuming that the CEPD contributes $2 million in reserves.

The eligible state cost-sharing is estimated at 21.77 percent for the project. Based on the interlocal agreement for the 2013-2014 renourishment, Lee County’s cost-sharing is estimated at 37.19 percent.

Construction is anticipated for winter 2020-2021, the CEPD reported. Bidding should occur in early summer. Beach fill placement will take about four months, with another two for mobilization and demobilization. Public access to the area will be open, except in the immediate construction vicinity.

For more about the CEPD or proposed project, call 239-472-2472 or visit mycepd.com.

Election results are unofficial until certified.