Below is a list of questions that Diane Kobernick sent to the county to ask about the dredging plans for various canals in Pasco County, including Gulf Harbors, and the county’s responses:
“My name is Diane Kobernick. I am a representative of Gulf Harbors United. I would like to address a matter that has been brought up in a previous BOCC meeting. The County contracted Dewberry to do a County Wide Dredging Plan and on July 14, 2017; Dewberry gave the County their Final Report. It has been proven difficult for Gulf Harbors Residents to ask questions of the County, therefore, I will address the questions we have and maybe get some answers or at least be directed where we get can some answers.
a) Who at the County Level was given the responsibility to give Dewberry the critical information for them to make an accurate report.
RESPONSE: The primary Project Manager was Mr. Curtis Franklin, Program Manager for Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources Department. Dewberry, Mr. Franklin and local experts from each neighborhood collaborated in creating the report. In the case of Gulf Harbors, Mr. Allen Rose acted as the representative and community expert. He can be reached at email@example.com should you need clarification on this report.
b) What was the Directive?
RESPONSE: To create a preliminary Countywide dredge analysis plan; to evaluate potential costs and funding mechanisms for that plan; and report the results to the Board of County Commissioners.
c) On Page 6 of this final report, It states: The Gulf Harbors Golf Course is now owned by Pasco County – This is an inaccurate statement – who from the County represented to Dewberry this inaccurate statement?
RESPONSE: At the time of creation the direction being taken by the County was to acquire the old Golf Course. Since the document was created the conditions concerning that acquisition have changed. You are correct in that this is an inaccurate statement in the report.
d.) On page 11 of the Report, under Project Description, it states: Both are recommended for dredging to 5 ft below MLW in order to provide sufficient depth for COMMERCIAL and recreational boat access: What COMMERCIAL BOATS WILL BE USING OUR CHANNELS? Why was this directive given?
RESPONSE: Limited commercial access is available at the end of Gulf Harbors north. Currently there are businesses that use the channel for commercial use such as boat rentals (Windsong Charters). There is also restaurant space, a hotel and private charter business. Commercial use in the future is likely limited to that market, but it would be impacted by the dredging and therefore the description was used.
e) On page 24 and 25 of the report deals with the funding of this project. An MSBU was analyzed. Per this Final Report, 100% of maintenance dredge costs will be covered by the MSBU for all projects except for Hudson and EXCLUDE any potential grant match. In Gulf Harbors Case, it states 1,334 parcels will be charged the MSBU.
f) Which taxpayers will be affected?
RESPONSE: The report was a preliminary analysis to attempt to identify potential funding sources and what that might look like should it be implemented in the future. As the cost of dredging for canals are significant, this was one possibility for funding. As such, Dewberry was tasked to assess the number of homes with waterfront access and create an estimate of what that assessment might be. Dewberry used aerial maps to count the number of plats along the waterways and in each of the neighborhoods to create a rough outlook of the impact in order to provide an idea of the impact that a County wide dredge may create and what the impact would be if this was the funding source. The numbers in the report are rough estimates only. Any MSBU created would have to follow procedures covering their implementation prior to being put in effect. Grants assisting dredging are generally not available unless there are large scale commercial impacts. It was not intended for the document to imply that this would be the sole source of funding, it was intended to determine the impact if it were to be the sole source of funding.
g) Who from the County was responsible to create the list given Dewberry for this analysis?
RESPONSE: Please see above. Dewberry planners generated the number of impacted homes based on plats along the waterfront. There is no specific copy of a list of homes, homeowners currently that would be affected.
h) Where can we get a copy of the list ?
RESPONSE: Please see above.
i) Per Dewberry’s Report, it states (See Sheet EX 4, Appedix 11). Appendix 11 is Where can we get a copy of this?
RESPONSE: The Appendices are done in Roman Numerals. Appendix II is located at the link below. That specific appendix is listed as DAR Part 2. The item went to the BCC on 10/24/18 as item R8.
j) On Dewberry’ s Report, I see no mention of the pipelines that cross the North. These pipelines are at 3 ft and crosses the north channel, were any considerations given to this fact?
RESPONSE: The County is aware of the potential issues with pipelines running across the channels, but a specific analysis for engineering drawings was not included in the scope of this preliminary plan due to the extensive cost it would have created. Prior to actual dredging of the channel, a detailed engineering analysis would need to be funded to identify these types of concerns associated with dredging. 5 ft MLW is a standard dredge depth to dredge to and was used to calculate a rough amount of material that would be necessary to remove. Not all areas in the canals would require this as most of the canals in Gulf Harbors already exceed this depth.
k) I would like to refer back to page 11: Estimate Cost: it states: This estimate does not include transport or disposal of materials farther than 6,000 from the project area. What will be the disposal plan?
RESPONSE: That would need to be determined when the dredge is planned to a greater extent. The numbers generated are rough numbers only. Currently there is not a disposal plan associated with the dredge.
l) Can we get a copy of the disposal plan?
RESPONSE: Please see above.
m) Where will the muck be transported to?
RESPONSE: Please see above.
n) The Report indicates that a total of 307,155 cubic yards will be dredged. If it is removed from the channels and transported somewhere this would result in 22,000 trucks in Gulf Harbors (1 dump truck usually carries 14 cubic yards). Will the County be using Gulf Harbors boat ramps to remove the material?
RESPONSE: Disposal plans have not been created to date. It is also important to note that the number provided is a worst case estimate and likely the amount of material required to be removed would be substantially less.
o) Who will be responsible to fix any damages to our boat ramps?
RESPONSE: Disposal and removal plans have not been determined and there are no current plans to use the community boat ramps for this project.
p) 22,000 trucks on our streets will surely damage our streets, are we then going to be assessed Paving Assessments to fix our streets?
RESPONSE: Disposal Plans have not been created to date.
q) On Page 13 of the report, it states: A consent of Use will be required from FDEP and ERP for permits as well as getting permits from Several Agencies. Has the County filed the proper applications yet?
RESPONSE: No permits or applications have been filed to date, nor has a funding source to pay for the applications been identified. “