Posted on March 6, 2023
The Town of Fort Myers Beach Council is supportive of a $25.5 million beach renourishment project and $7 million emergency berm project that its consultant says will only cost the town less than $1 million of the overall cost due to state and county reimbursements but so far the town hasn’t been receiving the easements it needs for the project to go forward.
At a council meeting in February, the council was told only about one-sixth of the more than 350 easements required for the project to go forward have been granted by property owners.
The town recently updated the easement to make it clear that “there are no third party beneficiaries and nothing prohibits the upland owner from using their property in any way as long as such use is consistent with the easement and complies with federal, state, county, and Town of Fort Myers Beach law,” town spokesperson Jennifer Dexter stated. “It also clearly states that all risks associated with the use of the easement is on the Town, not on the property owner.”
The easement document and instructions as well as additional information about the Town’s beach recovery projects can be found at www.fmbgov.com/beach.
Questions can be sent by email to Chadd Chustz, the Town’s Environmental Projects Manager, at email@example.com.
The plan is to start the project in the fall if the easements can be acquired.
“We’ve had property owners that are eager to get their properties back in shape to bring in beach compatible sound,” Chustz said. Chustz said he has worked with property owners and vendors. Chustz said if some property owners want to replenish sand themselves, they can also get some of the costs reimbursed.
Mike Poss of Coastal Engineering Consultants said the Federal Emergemcy Management Agency will cover 75% of the emergency berm part of the project and the state will cover 25% but it has to be done within six months to get the full reimbursement.
The beach renourishment project would cost the town $931,000, Poss said.