Alligator Point-Saint Teresa Association
Special Community Meeting on Road Repair & Protection
A special Community meeting was held at Mission by the Sea at 10:00 am on Saturday, June 9, 2018. The purpose of the meeting was to inform the community of the current status of planned repair work on Alligator Drive, and to discuss a proposal to protect the road and gauge public sentiment regarding how that protection should be funded.
Gail Riegelmayer, a professional facilitator, was on hand to help participants stay on topic and to maintain an orderly process. She went over the meeting format and announced that a straw poll would be taken at the conclusion of the meeting.
Franklin County Adminitrator, Alan Pierce began the presentation by giving a brief history of the road situation beginning in 1977 when the state transferred Alligator Drive to Franklin County. The first revetment was constructed following the 1985 hurricane season and greatly improved in 1994. In 2005, the KOA section of road was rerouted north along Tom Roberts Road through the proposed South Shoal development. Hurricane Hermine severely damaged approximately 1,000 feet of Alligator Drive east of the Tom Roberts Road re-route in 2016. It is that section of road which is slated for repair.
Before repair work could begin, an environmental assessment had to take place. Then because of the size of the project, a Large Project Notification (Project # PW228) review period was required. The repair work was scheduled to be funded by FEMA (75%), State of Florida (12.5%), and Franklin County (12.5%). The county received a partial waiver of their share with the State covering all but $200,000 of the total. That $200k will be taken from the Bald Point Trust Fund. Pierce hopes to see repair work begin in Spring, 2019.
APSTA Board member, Jim McCloy noted that issue #1 (road repair) is a done deal. Issue #2 (road protection) is the primary focus of this meeting. Options which have been studied include…
-beach renourishment (RESTORE funding available);
-building a bridge to span damaged section (cost prohibitive; no funding available)
-move road inland (would require use of imminent domain)
Renourishment currently appears to be the most reasonable option due to the availability of funding for the initial project. It does, however, require periodic maintenance (on average, every 8 years) for which approximately $250,000 would need to be collected annually. Franklin County would likely expect the local community to shoulder the burden of maintenance costs.
Options for funding maintenance costs include…
-make Alligator Drive a toll road (construction/maintenance costs of a toll gantry are very
high and may not be a viable option). Another option would be to have a simpler toll
collection system which required lower overhead costs
-institute Municipal Service Benefit Unit (MSBU) assessment on local property owners
-a combination toll system/MSBU
-do nothing, and look to Franklin County to find maintenance funding
Alan Pierce noted that MSBU assessments can only be made on property owners deemed to benefit directly from the service.
Questions Regarding Road Repair:
-What is the life expectancy of sheet piling? Approximately 20 depending on storm activity.
-Is there a solution to the current dust situation along damaged road section? The county
Initially allocated $20,000 to put down milled asphalt, however that has been put on hold.
-How far out from current road would sheet piling be placed? Likely between 30-50’.
-The 15mph speed limit sign on damaged section needs to be cleaned/replaced.
-What is the cost of extending sheet piling beyond proposed area? Approximately $1,000/linear
Questions Regarding Road Protection:
-There is a private revetment 200’ east of proposed road repair. Is it possible to tie the two
together? Unable to say at this time. Would need to research.
-Where would a toll gate be located? Unknown at this time.
-Wouldn’t sheet piling increase erosion at either end? It would. Beach renourishment would
help alleviate erosion.
-Would MSBU funds be dedicated exclusively to maintenance costs? Yes.
-Are there other funding options, ie, paid parking lot? Yes, that would be recommended.
RESTORE funding would require 100 parking spaces and a restroom facility.
-Why haven’t T-groins or breakwaters been considered? Both were addressed in the Mike
Dombrowski study 10 years ago. They are expensive and would not be funded by DEP.
-A tiered MSBU assessment is unfair. Can it be more evenly spread? Unknown at this tiem.
-Something must be done now. The beach is everything to this community.
-Is this a problem only to owners west of the damaged road, or the entire community?
Everyone’s property value is impacted by a threatened road.
-There was concern that there is not enough information to make an informed decision.
-Can “bed tax” money be used towards maintenance costs? Pierce says it might be possible.
-Where will parking and restroom be located? Likely the old South Shoal area.
-RESTORE funding is available…we should make use of it.
-Would the addition of a 100-space parking area result in the closing of current beach access?
Audience members were asked to turn in their ballots before leaving. The meeting concluded at 11:55am.
John Murphy, APSTA Secretary