Pinellas Beach Renourishment Top Priority, Crist Says
U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist met with representatives from the Army Corps of Engineers to urge them to simultaneously work on all three segments of the overall project.
WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist, D-St. Petersburg, met with officials from the U.S. Army Corps of engineers this month to discuss prioritizing construction of the Pinellas County Shore Protection Project.
As a follow up to meetings with both Headquarters and Jacksonville District officials, Crist formally requested all three segments of the renourishment project be awarded simultaneously, protecting taxpayer dollars and property along the coastline.
Crist also recently testified before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water urging continued Congressional support of this and other local infrastructure projects.
“Renourishment efforts do so much more than maintain our beautiful beaches. It’s about protecting the people and property along our coast, and keeping our tourism industry healthy,” Crist said. “I thank the Corps for their continued partnership in these important endeavors as we work together to move them forward in the most efficient way.”
A copy of the letter Crist sent to Edward Belk, chief of programs integration for the Army Corps:
“Dear Mr. Belk,
Thank you for taking the time this week to meet to discuss the construction of the Pinellas County Shore Protection Project. As you know, this is my highest Corps of Engineers priority and its full construction via the Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 Work Plan is critically important to my community.
“As we discussed, the Pinellas County project is composed of three segments: Sand Key, Long Key, and Treasure Island. Due to the outstanding work of the Jacksonville District and others in the Corps, the Sand Key segment is fully funded to repair impacts from Hurricane Hermine. Thank you for Headquarters’ role in that effort.
“However, the Long Key and Treasure Island segments require an estimated $7.1 million via the FY 2017 Work Plan to be constructed along with the Sand Key segment this summer. It makes economic sense to award all three projects at the same time, thereby saving taxpayers’ money and appropriately protecting Pinellas County’s infrastructure before the next storm season arrives.
“I also want to reiterate my thanks for the Jacksonville District’s efforts to initiate a Section 1037 study of Treasure Island to extend its period of federal participation for up to an additional 15 years. I look forward to working with you as the study progresses, as we may need additional congressional authorization in the future.
“We greatly appreciate all you do for our nation and for Pinellas County. I look forward to working with you and your team on this and hopefully many more projects in the future.”
Crist represents Florida’s 13th Congressional District, which includes south and mid-Pinellas County.
For information about Crist, go to crist.house.gov.
Charlie Crist | Beach Renourishment | Treasure Island | Sand Key | Long Key | Tampa Bay News | TB Reporter
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