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Park board seeks $2M from FEMA to cover beach project overrun

Posted on March 6, 2023

Park Board of Trustees approved a $2 million budget amendment Tuesday after inflation pushed up the costs of the Dellanera Beach repair project that was completed this month.

Trustees are waiting for $2.1 million in Federal Emergency Management Agency funds to meet swelling construction costs of the project, which rose from $7.6 million to $9.7 million. The park board fully expects FEMA to cover the rise in cost, Trustee Dave Jacoby said.

“The project was estimated by FEMA in 2017, and costs have risen due to inflation,” Caitlin Carnes, park board public relations manager, said. “The General Land Office has indicated that they are seeing larger project costs on all their beachfront construction coast wide.”

The project was deemed substantially complete on Feb. 21, Carnes said.

The project spanned more than 2,100 feet and placed almost 119,000 cubic yards of sand near one of the island’s most popular tourist attractions, 10901 FM 3005 on the island’s West End, said Sheryl Rozier, project manager with the park board.

The FEMA project worksheet was valued at $4.9 million in 2021 when awarded, according to park board documents. A construction contract was awarded in October 2022 and was valued at about $6.4 million. With this change in project costs, the park board received an amended contract with Coastal Erosion Planning and Response Act for the increase for its 10 percent share in the project.

After park board staff received final bids for actual construction costs, they engaged with FEMA through the Texas Division of Emergency Management to make them aware of the funding shortfall in the obligated project worksheet.

“The reasoning conveyed was that the estimated cost to complete this project’s scope of work greatly exceeds the obligated amount due to increased material, labor, surveying and other associated costs relating to the coastal work,” according to park board documents.

“This request has been supported by the Texas Division of Emergency Management and all necessary documentation has been presented to FEMA Region 6 for review. The FEMA Consolidated Resources Center is currently reviewing the cost change request for completeness. Upon their acceptance, they will write an amendment to the project worksheet to increase the cost of the project.”

The wider beach system will now be able to absorb wave energy, which can protect upland areas from flooding, and mitigate erosion and create a buffer between storm waves and prevent destructive waves from reaching upland developments, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.


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