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Beach renourishment update due Nov. 14

By Rick Catlin, Islander Reporter

Manatee County Director of Natural Resources Charlie Hunsicker will update Anna Maria commissioners at their Nov. 14 meeting on the start of the 2014 beach renourishment project.

Renourishment will start at the 79th Street beach in Holmes Beach and move south to Coquina Beach. He said Anna Maria’s beaches are not included in this project.

The borrow pit for the sand is about 1.5 miles off the northwest tip of Anna Maria Island.

Funding for the estimated $16 million project comes from the county’s tourist development tax fund, state funds and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The setup for renourishment should begin in mid-December, with completion slated for May 2014, according to Hunsicker. Setup costs are anywhere from $1.5 million to $2 million, Hunsicker said.

Manatee County, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the U.S. Corps of Engineers are not in a financial position to move forward with renourishment of Anna Maria beaches at this time, he said.

Renourishment of those beaches will likely come in the next project, Hunsicker said, but no start date for that project has been announced.

The Anna Maria meeting will be at 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 14, at Anna Maria City Hall, 10005 Gulf Drive.

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