INDIAN RIVER COUNTY — To better the chances of completing the North Barrier Island beach replenishment project on time, the Board of County Commissioners voted unanimously Friday to expand the hours and days of operation for the mine providing about 10 percent of the 317,000 cubic yards of sand.
Commissioners met in special session to allow the Henry Fischer and Sons sand mine off Oslo Road to operate equipment and haul material from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days per week in order to dredge and process sand to the specifications needed for the project. The hours had previously been restricted to prevent disruption from noise and truck traffic to and from the mine.
There are some residential properties located near the mine, but no members of the public spoke against the measure at the meeting.
When asked if the expansion in operations would help the project — which is lagging significantly behind schedule — to get back on track, Public Works Director Chris Mora responded, “It will allow them to stick with the schedule they are on.”
Commissioner Joe Flescher commented that he was pleased with the project and that he had received more positive comments than negative about the hauling of the sand.
The extended hours will be permitted through April 30, which is the last day that crews can work on the beach before the beginning of sea turtle nesting season.
The Ranch Road Lake mine providing 90 percent of the sand for the project is already working on a nearly continuous schedule to keep up with the volume of sand needed to replenish beaches from Golden Sands Park south to John’s Island.
No special permit or exception was required for extended operations there as the Ranch Road Lake mine was not subject to limited days or hours.