Norriego Point is in need of some serious TLC, and now the only thing standing between city officials and a full-scale stabilization is funding.
"We secured the permit in June for the DEP and mid November for the Corps of Engineers," City Engineer David Campbell said of the long-awaited Joint Coastal Permits. "It's been a four-year process."
The JCP, which was approved by both the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the Army Corps of Engineers, is a heavily reviewed and scrutinized process. Essentially the permit allows the city to place sand on submerged lands, which means the point can be rebuilt.
While the process has been years in the making, Campbell said it's not uncommon for permitting to move at a snail's pace.
"Any time you are dealing with ecologically sensitive lands, they are going to look at a myriad of things; impacts that a project would have," he told The Log. "There is really no set time, it just depends on the sensitivity of an area."
As the city has been waiting for the permits to come in, they have already planned and received approval for two separate stabilization plans. One plan is an all-rock design and the other is an option that blends the use of sheet pile walls and rock.
From a longevity standpoint, Campbell said the all-rock design would be more desirable, but economics and funding always play a role in the final decision.
The city must also put the project and both stabilization options out for bid, which could easily take months due to the magnitude of the project.
"We have to secure funding before we can put this out to bid," Campbell said.
As for bankrolling the roughly $8-10 million project, the city has applications filed through the DEP, the Natural Resource Damage Assessment process and through the Restore Act.
The key to receiving funds is to have what Campbell called a "shovel ready" project, which means that it's already permitted and ready to go.
"We have construction documents and permits," he said. "It doesn't get much more shovel ready than that."
While city engineers would like to complete the project in one piece, phasing options will also be considered if the entire price tag cannot be secured at one time.
The city could learn the status of its NRDA funding by the end of the year, Campbell told The Log.
"If the funding options don't come, we'll look at other options," he said. "This is really important to our community."