Inlet Dredging to Go On Beach in the Future
It was reported that even though the Town of Palm Beach has worked out arrangements with the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers and the dredging contractor to take dredged sand from the Lake Worth Inlet and place it either directly on the beach or in the near-shore littoral current, the current sand deposits in the inlet are less than 5,000 cu. yards so the USACOE will not return to dredge for now.
County Tax Funds for Beach Restoration
Commission member Barbara Lindsay-Buck brought up the Bed Tax in the Town. Money from the tax is supposed to go toward beach restoration projects. Ms. Buck reported the tax is 11.5% in the Town of palm Beach. She said 6.5% goes to the State of Florida and 5% goes to Palm Beach County. It was pointed out that 25% of the Palm Beach County coastline is in the Town of Palm Beach. None of the 5% that goes to the county is used for the inlet Sand Transfer Plant upgrades, inlet dredging, and beach restoration. It’s almost all paid for by the Town taxpayers. On the other hand, Palm Beach County paid 100% of the cost to renovate the Boynton Inlet Sand Transfer Plant and the county pays a significant portion for beach restoration in other parts of the county. The Commission members agreed to approach the County Commissioners about the issue.
Lake Worth Inlet Sand Transfer Plant Running Efficiently
The amount and quality of sand being pumped from the north side of the inlet to the south side is working very well according Town engineers. When it’s fully configured and operational, they believe it will be able to stop a significant amount of sand from going in the inlet.
Beach Groin Report Preliminary Conclusion: There has been a Net Benefit to the Town
The consultant to the town that is reviewing and documenting the existing beach groins reports that they found 74 groins that have been installed over the decades. They also reported that it is “much easier to get a rehabilitation permit rather than a permit to install new groins.” The next step is to complete the report.
Feasibility Study on Truck Haul Beach Renourishment for Reach 8
The cost would be $15 million and the amount of sand would be 261,000 cu. yards. vs. 724,000 cu. yards in the original plan. More details:
- Sand would come from Ortona Mines, 94 miles away vs. offshore from the Town
- It would require 217 trucks / day for 4 months between 9:00 a.m & 5:00 p.m.
- Grain size from the mine would be 0.60 mm vs. 0.23-0.35 mm in offshore borrow areas. Most beaches on the east coast of Florida are 0.35-0.45 mm sand grain size. The smaller grain sand that is offshore is what has washed out from the beach to sandbars and borrow areas.
- The “life” of the renourished beach would be 5-8 years if there were no catastrophic storms.
- The cost/cu. yard would be $46 in the truck haul plan vs. $12 in the offshore plan.
- The truck haul plan according to the consultant, Coastal Systems International, would be easier to permit. The last Reach 8 plan was not permitted and the Town lost the litigation about the plan.
The Commission voted 5-2 to recommend that the Town Council authorize $95,000 to go forward with design and environmental permit work. That includes $20,000 for a peer review of the consultant's preliminary design.