County Commission OKs renourishment of St. Johns beaches
Local funds will match state, federal grants for S. Ponte Vedra, Vilano Beach
State and federal grants will fund $25 million of the project and oceanfront homeowners are responsible for the remaining $14 million. More than 100 residents who spent an hour in the middle of the workday at the commission meeting backed the project.
"It is time to move ahead with beach re-nourishment for the north beaches," one resident said.
"We can’t afford not to do this if we care about the future," said another.
"I am one of the homeowners who voted yes -- 94 percent of us voted yes," a third homeowner told the commission.
The proposed Army Corps of Engineers Project includes a 50-year beach restoration and a one-time dune restoration. Many of the dunes were washed away during Hurricane Matthew, leaving many houses perched precariously on the edge of a cliff of sand.
"Although I don’t live on the oceanfront currently, I could if we don’t address this problem here pretty soon," another man told the commission.
The only concern expressed was how the local money will be funded. They want to make sure the $14 million in local funding is not diverted from other county programs, like recreation, arts or tourism development.
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