We’re moving closer to getting sand back on the beach, and we can stay on schedule with your help!
We’re excited to let you know that we have a very promising plan to obtain necessary funding for our coastal engineer to begin working on Phase I of our project ASAP – and we are hopeful that we can get the buy-in of a majority of our county commissioners. But we need your help once again in the form of emails and attendance at the July 17th commissioners’ meeting! (See details below.)
Here’s the plan:
- We have formally submitted a written request to St Johns County for it to provide $200,000 to get our coastal engineer working immediately on the development of our dredging site. Olsen Associates also sent a letter to the County on this plan – please email us if you would like a copy of it.
Chair Henry Dean put our request on the July 17th meeting agenda, and the commissioners will vote on approving our request at that time.
- Save Ponte Vedra Beach Inc. will present the request for $200,000 to the commissioners. Olsen Associates and our attorney, Jacobs Scholz, will also attend and assist us in this request.
- This will get our project started and will help get the sand back on the beach within Olsen’s original projection of two to three years – as just reaffirmed to us by Olsen under this plan.
- $200,000 is the minimum amount necessary to get our coastal engineer hired and to demonstrate establishment of our program to the State of Florida and the Federal government. This is necessary for us to receive State and Federal funding for our project in coming months.
- The importance of committing local dollars to beach renourishment became clear to us as recent Federal supplemental funding for beach projects only went to established Federal programs. Ponte Vedra was denied Federal emergency funding this time around as a result, despite lobbying from Congressman Rutherford and Senators Rubio and Nelson (please email us if you’d like copies of the letters they sent to the Army Corps specifically advocating for North Ponte Vedra). However, as our program gets established, we will request Federal funding again under the Army Corps annual Federal Work Plans.
- We will continue to request money from all possible funding sources until our program is fully funded! The next big ask will be in the State Legislature’s 2019 session.
- The county is also working on establishing a municipal entity to provide additional funding, parallel to this initiative. We were successful in June when we asked the commissioners to begin that process, and we believe we can be successful again – but we need your participation.
Here’s what we need from you:
We need the commissioners to receive another 150-200 emails this week and at least 40 of us must attend the commissioners’ meeting on July 17th. This is the email count they received in our June campaign and the number of us that attended the June 5th commissioners’ meeting. We had success in June, so let’s do it again.
Here are the two steps that we must follow to urge the commissioners to vote in favor of our request:
1. EMAIL THE COMMISSIONERS: We must let the Commissioners know how critical it is that we receive the $200,000 to get our program going and established, with our coastal engineer working on our dredging site right away. This will be the critical stepping stone to our getting money from the State and Federal government.
- We EACH must send ALL FIVE commissioners emails. We need a majority vote from the five commissioners for this to be approved.
- Please sign your email with your home address listed. A personal email in your own words is always best, but the one below is fine to send as well. You’ll find all of their email addresses below.
2. SHOW UP ON JULY 17th: We must have a strong show of support! We were successful at the June 5th meeting and we can be successful again on July 17th. The county commissioners must know that this our top priority.
Please email us back, if you can attend the July 17th meeting. This will help us keep track of our attendance count. Let’s all wear RED so they can clearly see our sizable group in the audience! The meeting will be held at the County’s auditorium at 500 San Sebastian View, St Augustine.The meeting will start at 2pm with a discussion of South Ponte Vedra/Vilano’s municipal district, followed by our request for the $200,000. Let us know if you need a ride, and we’ll arrange one.
SAMPLE LETTER and please copy us on your letter at firstname.lastname@example.org
so that we can keep track of our email count.
The commissioners’ email addresses and phone numbers (please call them too) are:
Jimmy Johns, email@example.com
C: 904 615-7437
Jeb Smith, firstname.lastname@example.org
C: 904 325-4182
Paul Waldron, email@example.com
C: 904 436-3973
Jay Morris, firstname.lastname@example.org
C: 904 814-9403
Henry Dean, email@example.com
C: 904 325-3924
Sample letter to use as a guide:
Ponte Vedra’s beach is in dire need of investment or we will lose it. It is widely recognized that St Johns County’s beaches (and Flagler’s beaches) were the most devastated beaches in the entire state of Florida per FDEP (Florida Department of Environmental Protection) after being directly and severely hit by both Irma and Matthew. We must implement our beach restoration program with a sense of urgency and get our coastal engineer hired as the longer we wait, the more homes will be lost. Moreover, establishing our program is a critical step to our receiving State and Federal funding.
The loss of our beach is comprising our property values and our way of life, and if we do not take action, we will eventually lose our beach altogether. It is disappearing at an alarmingly rapid rate.
We strongly urge you to approve our $200,000 funding request to get our coastal engineer working on our dredging site immediately, as this will establish our program which is critical to our receiving State and Federal funding for our project going forward.
Thank you for your time,
Sign your name and include your address