MARCO ISLAND — The Hideaway Beach Special Taxing District Board wants to know if its feast or fallow.
From the emergency dredging of Collier Creek, Hideaway Beach residents hoped to reap 11,000-12,000 cubic yards of sand to place on their eroding north shore. What actually reached their beach was less than 9,000 cubic yards. That shortfall was a painful revelation Tuesday for residents attending a meeting of the special taxing board.
Michael Poff, vice president of engineering and coastal division manager for Coastal Engineering Consultants, Inc., said emergency dredging just ran out of sand. Part of the problem, he explained, was an unexpected proliferation of boulders under the sand at the breakwater.
The west end of Hideaway’s northern rim that faces Marco River received the majority of sand, but fill did not reach a pivotal jetty. Sand in the area has been washing away at a rate of seven to 14 feet per year.
Most of the dredged sand was placed below the high tide waterline offering little relief for adjacent condominium buildings 5000 and 6000. The Hideaway Beach Association now will have to consider alternate solutions to make up for the deposit shortfall.
Poff offered the board three alternatives. The association could do nothing further and see if dredging slowed water velocity enough to keep sand from eroding. It could rake and grade the beach during low tide to move the sand higher and into the gap by the jetty hoping that would help. Or it could secure a modification to the permit by requesting 3,000 cubic yards of sand from another source.
Poff felt modification could be a viable alternative since the association only received 9,000 of the 12,000 cubic yards requested. Sand would have to come from a compatible source, he said.
The cost of grading sand already deposited on the beach was estimated at $1,000 per day with work taking about one week to complete. Costs would be paid by the association’s Municipal Service Taxing Unit (MSTU) that allows Hideaway Beach residents the option of renourishing their beach provided they pay for it.
The board also discussed ongoing reviews of T-groins that could mitigate erosion problems. The beach area already has three T-groins. A recent engineering plan suggested a fourth T-groin should be added, but its location would be on state-owned land that abuts Hideaway Beach.
Poff suggested lengthening the third T-groin as an alternative, but the board learned the state is strongly recommending the fourth T-groin. The state may allow the fourth T-groin on its property provided Hideaway Beach tax money pays for it.
The association’s current MSTU sunsets in 2014. The board will ask the Hideaway Beach Association to consider extending the tax after that date by filing a request for referendum.
Concerns about meeting Collier County’s May 1 deadline for constructing a public restroom prompted the board to request a state of emergency be declared by Marco Island’s city manager. The action would expedite the contractor selection process.
The restroom facility .6 miles from the county’s Tigertail Beach was a concession by the association for other considerations.
“On May 1, we’ll be the only private beach with a public bathroom,” said board member Dick Freeman.