Pasco County ordered a report from Dewberry to address the dredging needs of the coastal areas. This report can be seen posted in the tab “Other MSBUs”. Dealing only with the Gulf Harbors portion of the report, it describes one possible funding source to be an MSBU on Gulf Harbors property owners of $177.03 per year for 15 years.
What this post would like to address is a possible use of the golf course in the dredging operations. On page 6 of the report it states that “The Gulf Harbors Golf Course, now owned by Pasco County, is also located in this area between Headsail and Topsail Trail and provides important habitat for many bird species.” Never mind that it is incorrect that Pasco County owns the golf course, but why would this be important to mention in a report on dredging?
On page 11 of the report, it states that 307,155 cubic yards of material are to be dredged. The estimated costs are between $3,685,860 and $6,143,100. However, it also says that “This estimate does not include transport or disposal of materials farther than 6,000 ft from the project area.” The golf course happens to be located within that 6,000 foot range. The appraisal done by Todd Marr in March 2016 for the county identified 5 acres of usable uplands on the golf course. Now 5 acres is 217,800 square feet, and the 307,155 cubic yards of dredged material in cubic feet is 8,293,185, so if all the dredged material was piled on only the 5 acres, it would create a hill some 38 feet high. If they could use say 20 acres of the golf course, that hill would still be 9.5 feet high.
To put that in perspective, the following pictures were taken in April of this year and are from the Timber Oaks golf course that the county purchased. If you attended any of the county commissioner public meetings, you may have heard several residents of Timber Oaks speaking up about the mounds of dirt that were piled behind their homes, which they claim was in direct contrast to what they were promised from the county.
Now, the report does go on the include the possibility that the dredged material may be moved from a temporary holding area for some beneficial use elsewhere, and that there may be grants available for that purpose. What it does not address is that 307,155 cubic yards of material would need some 22,000 truckloads to move, and what kind of damage might that cause to our roads in Gulf Harbors. And as we all now know, any road work gets paid by local paving assessments, (a form of MSBU), so more costs on us.