County “not hopeful” about funding for beach renourishment project

By Lisa ZahnerINDIAN RIVER COUNTY — As part of a meeting to discuss the proposed 2009-2010 County budget cuts, Budget Director Jason Brown revealed he is “not hopeful” about the $8.1 million in federal stimulus funds applied for to complete a long-promised beach renourishment project.If received, the money would filter through the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Association and would help pay for the $19.7 million dollar effort to shore up dunes and beach from Treasure Coast Park south to John’s Island, a 6-mile area called Sector 3 by the County. Bid packets have been distributed and are due back to the County by July 30. Word on the status of the federal grant money is also expected that same week. If the $8.1 million from NOAA is not received, that would leave the County with a $6.5 million shortfall for this project and, Brown said, the scope would have to be re-evaluated.Municipalities in all 50 states have been eligible to apply for federal stimulus funds for shovel-ready projects and the competition is fierce, as states such as Michigan and Massachusetts reportedly devised strategic plans to prioritize, design and promote their projects.

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