As all of you know, sand replenishment is a big issue for the Sandbridge Beach community. Over the years, replenishment projects have preserved the beaches that protect homeowners and provide the setting that vacationers and locals have grown to love. Now it seems this year’s replenishment project has hit a snag, after the federal government declined to accept the city’s $15million offer recently presented. The Virginia-Pilot explored this issue in in the article “Feds reject Virginia Beach’s $15M offer to pay for sand” by Deidre Fernandes.
As of now, the city is offering $15 million to the federal government to replenish the Sandbridge beaches, but the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has said its agreement with the city doesn’t allow it to accept the city’s money. A federal law prohibits the Corps from accepting the full cost of a coastal storm-damage project from the local partner; instead, sixty-five percent of the cost is supposed to be paid with federal funding, however there is no money allocated for this specific project.
It’s not going to cost the federal government any money,” said Councilwoman Barbara Henley to the Virginia-Pilot, whose district includes Sandbridge. “That’s what doesn’t make sense.”
Many local officials say they would support changing federal law to allow the city to fully pay for the federally administered project. Corps and city officials are exploring other possibilities, including whether they can change the original contract for the replenishment so the city can provide the full amount but possibly get reimbursed if federal money becomes available. I am optimistic that this issue will be resolved by our elected officials(and their staff), and anticipate a spring 2012 start date in conjunction with the resort area project.
Read the article: