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SANTA ROSA COUNTY GOVERNMENT

Approved Jul 24, 2014 - Local Mitigation Meeting Minutes

 

LMS Meeting July 24, 2014

Present:

Hunter Walker (SRC Administrator)

Sheila Harris (SRC Grants)

Sheila Taylor (SRC BOCC)

Rhonda C. Royals (SRC Development Services)

Stephen Furman (SRC Public Works)

Brian Watkins (City of Milton)

William Merrill (Rebuild NWF)

R.M. “Pete” Peterzen (Holley by the Sea)

Ginny Ward (SRC)

Rich Harr (Holley by the Sea)

David McGourin (SRC resident)

Shawn Ward (SRC P&Z)

Courtney Winstead (SRC resident)

Fred E. Shirley, Jr. (SRC resident)

Shirley M. Shirley (SRC resident)

Kathy Kirk (SRC resident)

Roger Blaylock (SRC Engineer)

Lane Lynchard (SRC County Commissioner)

Avis Whitfield (SRC Public Works)

Karen Thornhill (SRC FPM)

Linda Carden (Town of Jay)

Brad Baker (SRC DEM)

Kyle Holley (United Way)

Meeting was called to order at 1:30 p.m. c.d.t.

Hunter Walker introduced himself and called the meeting to order. He asked the attendees to sign in

and to introduce themselves. Mr. Walker gave a short background on the Local Mitigation Strategy

Task Force and introduced Sheila Harris.

Ms. Harris shared a LMS overview and power point presentation on the details of LMS. She included

information that our current 5 year plan expires in June of 2016 and a draft plan has to be submitted by

December of 2015 that has to be approved by FEMA and State of Florida in order to be eligible to

receive hazard mitigation funding. We will be starting an 18 month update at the end of this year.

During that time the task force will be meet more frequently.

Mr. Walker asked if there were any questions regarding the LMS task force. Mr. Walker explained that

this force has been in place for almost 16 years. He stated that the projects on the completed and

current list started with the LMS list, that it is an arduous process, through the state and federal

governments. He explained that some projects have to be handled immediately and cannot wait to go

through this process.

Richard Harr noted the project list did not include Holly by the Sea. Mr. Walker explained that there was

a project in the mix in 2007 but that the BOCC had no assurance that the funds would be sufficient

because there was not sufficient local match so it was removed from the list. The BOCC has a

stormwater master plan underway for the HBTS area. Mr. Harr mentioned several homes had flooding

and that needed elevation. Mr. Walker advised different departments will be sharing information about

ongoing work in HBTS. Ms. Harris advised she is available after the meeting to speak to the individual

homeowners.

Shirley Shirley asked a question about FEMA telling residents they qualify and then Santa Rosa County

says you do not. Ms. Harris said she could talk to her after the meeting and advised that SRC works with

the State. Mr. Shirley contributed some comments at this time suggesting they were being denied

because of where they live. Mr. Walker addressed the comments. Ms. Shirley continued comments.

Mr. Walker addressed the comments again pointing out that it’s the State’s money and we gain nothing

by them not receiving help and we like it because it means it’s fixed.

William Merrill gave an update on Rebuild Northwest Florida. Ms. Merrill stated they are back going

again with wind retrofit after having been shut down with no money, but that funding in the amount of

9 million has been promised that is performance based. There’s another 3 million out there that is

available that is performance based as well. That translates to 1,300 homes for the 9 million and

another 400 if we get the 3 million. They are at the beginning stage with 660 homes in the process and

quite a bit of additional capacity. He asked that we send people their way because of their limited

outreach and they want to get as many built as they can so they can more funding. Ms. Harris asked if

these were Santa Rosa County statistics and Mr. Merrill verified they were. Commissioner Lynchard

asked if these were specifically Santa Rosa County funds and Mr. Merrill verified they are. He was asked

if anyone can apply and he explained the stipulation that the structure had to be prior to 2002 building

code and it has be the applicant’s homestead. He was asked about the term retro fit and explained that

this is wind, shutters, hurricane clips, garage doors, etc. Ms. Kirk asked if any funding would be available

for her home (that was flooded and has been gutted). He explained that they have never reimbursed a

homeowner for costs after the fact. There was a discussion regarding her home and the fact that work

has not done yet, etc. There were questions regarding people who had already done this work to their

home and didn’t know about funding. He explained there had been no money for a while. He provided

contact number and name for Rebuild 497

-7024 and Sandi Woodberry. He reiterated thatth one isth one, we refocused the consultant because of major washout of-10 years. The in house projects are much quicker when funds are available.th. Mr. Hunter asked for any further comments or business.

reimbursement is unlikely. Ms. Harris asked if there still programs for low incomes to help offset their

match. Mr. Merrill indicated that there but he is not sure where they stand on that as far as funding but

they do still have the program. Ms. Harris asked about the demographics of the projects and Mr. Merrill

indicated that they are pretty equally spread throughout Santa Rosa County.

Stephen Furman presented for the Public Works Department. He explained the function of the

department in that it is basically a road, drainage and bridge maintenance department without taking on

any major structure projects until presented by the engineering department. Their primary role in

flooding is trying to restore that which has been damaged by the flooding, then retrofitting and

improving those areas to try to prevent further flooding. He explained that they have been extremely

busy with the rains beginning last summer, the ice storm and the major recent flooding. He shared that

East Bay Blvd, County Road 399 completely blew into, Government Drive in Gulf Breeze completely blew

into, numerous other areas where roads just fell apart, Grand Pointe and other subdivisions in the south

end, completely destroyed paved roads. He addressed the man power and time involved to fix the

roads, make them passable, drainage issues, etc. He shared that they had paid special attention to

those areas that had resulted in water in homes. He said there were some situations, areas that are

beyond our maintenance capabilities and they certainly support the LMS group to get these places on

the list or if they are on the list, bump them up, places such as Ranchettes, the Del Mar area, etc. There

are other areas and if there is something that can we do we have already done it or are planning on

doing it. We are having to run pumps in areas until the work can be done. This is on a limited scope.

You have to have large pumps to place to pump the water. He mentioned that they are working with all

the state and federal agencies trying to address these issues. They are looking forward to working on

the larger projects with the plans and funding are in place. He says they are doing all they can with what

they have available.

Mrs. Shirley asked about the holding ponds running on her property. She asked about the engineering

department being involved in the holding pond planning. She talked for several minutes about all the

surrounding ponds and their condition. Mr. Furman addressed her questions informing her that those

are commercial ponds not maintained by Public Works. He told her that the engineering department

has been tasked to determine compliance, plus our code compliance department, and they look at them

and see if they are functioning within the parameters under which they were built. There was a lengthy

discussion regarding the holding ponds and Mr. Furman explained the process in detail.

Ms. Winstead asked a question regarding the surrounding property owners of the developments around

them, whether they can contact them directly. Mr. Bedford responded to Ms. Winstead’s question

advising they would need to approach the surrounding property owners. He explained the County’s role

is to ensure that the submitted plans meet the standards at the time of the permit. He explained that

he would have expected every pond along the section being discussed to have failed because of the

amount of rain in April, that some functioned better than others but that was strictly a function of

topography. Our standards are that developers coming in can do no harm. There was further discussion

regarding recourse for the property owners, including litigation. Ms. Shirley asked further questions

about what’s required of builders. Mr. Blaylock reiterated that the developers had to follow standards

in place and mitigate the impact. There was more discussion about the responsibilities of the

developers.

Mr. Whitfield spoke briefly about the magnitude of the April rain event, mentioning the numbers that

we were 400% to 600% above normal rainfall prior to April event. Mr. Whitfield stated that the

drainage systems did not fail, they worked as they were designed to perform. They were overwhelmed,

did not fail.

Mr. Blaylock presented next. He discussed the Holley by the Sea master drainage plan that was

discussed at the last meeting. The contractor is collecting data, working through all the county

departments documenting the flooding in that area. This plan will develop a list of projects and the

ability for the BOCC to prioritize those and anticipates 1 or 2 of those projects being applied for through

the hazard mitigation process. It will be a lengthy process and believes it will be December before there

is enough information to share. He discussed the circumstances in 1996 that led to the adoption of the

100 year plan (14.4 inches in a 24 hour period) by our county.) These standards have greatly helped the

developments since that time. He stated that Hunter and Sheila noted the 6 hazard mitigation projects

that were on the ground at the time of the flood, several did well but some compromised. The 7

Ramblewood, under construction now. It should wind up in next few months. The one HMGP that is

under design, Settler’s Colony, the 8

the drainage system at Venetian Way. We took that portion of the HMGP and converted it to a FEMA

project. We will be addressing 2 washouts Grand Canal and in Venetian Way. We are managing the

contracts and it should be underway within the next 2 weeks. He discussed the magnitude of the April

rain event. He talked about other flood prone areas and the support they are giving the road and bridge

department in designing the needed projects, including bypass pumping like Pine Level that was under

design before the flood and managing those contracts. They (along with Road and Bridge) have

developed a candidate list. They have developed plans and specs for projects that are beyond what

Public Works can do in house. They have developed plans and specs for approximately 2 million dollars

for repairs split up in the 3 areas, SE, SW and N regions, ongoing through the process, with plans that

will be FEMA eligible with 75% participation.

There was a question raised about timeline on Settler’s Colony which Sheila Harris answered sharing

that the funding was Tropical Storm Debby in 2012 and that it takes about a year for the grant funds to

be approved after application. She explained that FEMA allows you to break down the project in 2

phases if you do not have a complete plan to submit and we typically do not have design plans sitting

around to be submitted for construction. The design is expected to wrap up in October, plans and

permits will be submitted to the State and FEMA for review, with funding expected sometime next year

and will begin bid process. She explained that three year timeline is normal, that it can be a very long

process, even 7

Roger concluded and fielded questions regarding Holley by the Sea and he clarified they expect feedback

by the end of the year and may have some info by January for HBTS residents. He also fielded a

question about a rezoning issue/holding pond in HBTS where he stated the bigger the parcel the bigger

the pond. Mr. Harr asked if the 15 square mile project included HBTS and Mr. Blaylock said it does not

but believes it is included in a discharge basin.

Ms. Harris shared further on Settler’s Colony that there is going to be a public meeting on August 11 at

6:00 p.m. at Tiger Point. Design firm will present 30% of plan and will give the residents an idea of

design. Residents will be notified.

Sheila Harris shared about moving forward after a declared disaster, one in which State of Florida meets

damage threshold and counties declared as well. We are one of 5 counties declared after the April rain.

Procedure: 90 days out from a disaster the State takes total federal damage amounts (individual

assistance, SBA loans and also public assistance). Public assistance is monies that local governments

receive to repair roads, infrastructure, debris pickup, park damages, etc. Of the total federal amount,

approaching 100 million, 20% goes to the 5 counties for HMGP projects, resulting in 2.5 million for Santa

Rosa County, could reach 5 or 6 million. We will receive a notice of funding which will list the 90 day

estimate of funds. At 6 months we will receive a firm number. Based on prior disasters it is estimated

the grant applications will be due in December or January. We have to meet criteria and apply for the

funds. We have to be able to pay our percentage of the cost of the project (25%). The project has to be

completed in a certain time frame. There can be no duplication of benefits.

We can add projects not already on the list. This LMS will evaluate the projects within the LMS plan

using certain criteria. A high score does not guarantee the project will be added if there are other

issues. We will be making decisions between now and December to see what projects to add. The goal

is to put in more projects than there is money to allow for the projects that will come off the list for

different reasons. There is a chance we can get more funds over time that were not used by another

county. She reiterated that this is not a quick process, it may be 9 months to 18 months after

application (anticipated for December) before we get approval. She explained more about the cost

effectiveness factor of an application, sharing that homeowners in a neighborhood whose houses have

flooded several times will need to produce documentation (pictures, receipts, insurance claims, road

closures, emergency personnel activity, no utilities) of the flooding/damage. Once LMS selects projects,

we will solicit this documentation from those residents/county personnel.

The plan for moving forward with upcoming allocation is receipt of nomination forms. Each of the cities

has been asked to fill these out for new projects or updated projects and submit to Grants by August

14th. The nomination can come from anyone, including individuals. They will be scored according to the

guidelines and will be reviewed at the August 28, 2014 meeting to see where they should be placed on

the list, if at all. If we cannot complete review of the nominations at the August meeting we can

schedule one for September. The goals is to have all documentation needed 2 months prior to deadline

for application. Ms. Harris asked for questions. She was asked about the list and said we have a listing

here of projects. Some are being addressed already by engineering or the road and bridge department.

We will be adding projects. We will leave those we cannot address now so they will there for any future

sources of funding. We have:

Ranchettes/North Ridge

Whisper Bay drainage and sewer

Rio Vista at Grenada

Santander pipe replacement

Pine Blossom pipe replacement

Glen Street and Browder off of Ramblewood

Aurora Drive flooding

Southwind addition to Grenbriar

Sandy Beach

Avenida De Sol

Abercrombie

Maranatha Way

Chipper Lane

Patterson Lane/Pace Lane

Navarre Park environmental concerns

Janet Street

Santa Rosa Shores East

Good Shepherd Lutheran Church area

Villa Venice retention ponds in conjunction with Settler’s Colony

South end health department – how to mitigate future flooding

Hammersmith

Norris Road/Pace High School

Pace Patriot Blvd

Sound Retreat

Sound Hammock

John Hamm Road

DaLisa Road

Country Club Road drainage pond

Attendees were asked to get with engineering or road and bridge if there areas that were not on the list.

Ms. Harris shared county staff will be working very hard in the next few weeks to pull data on all these

possible projects.

Mr. Walker continued with comments regarding the nomination process and the data gathering process.

He asked for questions and further commented on the length of the process. He addressed Ms. Kirk

regarding City of Gulf Breeze and Ms. Kirk made several comments about the good efforts of Gulf

Breeze. Ms. Harris commented that she has been in contact with Gulf Breeze and answered their

questions emphasizing FEMA will not reimburse for work completed prior to approval. Ms. Harris

anticipates that Gulf Breeze will become more active with LMS. Ms. Kirk made further affirming

comments about Gulf Breeze.

Mr. Harr asked questions about hurricane/100 year event and Mr. Blaylock addressed his questions.

Mr. Walker introduced Karen Thornhill to report about the high water mark initiative. She reported that

about a year ago Commission Bob Cole asked her to investigate SRC being involved in this initiative. She

went through the process with FEMA and on June 20, 2014, received an email that SRC was selected SRC

(out of region 4) to participate in the initiative. She explained the initiative would mean signs would be

placed to show the heights of water on public property at certain dates. There is no cost to SRC. There

would be a celebration to mark the initiative. There was discussion among the group about the

program. She explained it would be a matter for the BOCC to decide. Ms. Harris asked about any

benefit to the County’s CRS rating if we participate in the initiative and Ms. Thornhill responded that it

would give points toward our CRS and assist residents in unincorporated flood areas in getting discounts

on their flood insurance.

Mr. Hunter announced that the Annual Flood Mitigation Plan Task Force Meeting will take place on

August 21, 2014, at 1:30 p.m. and that the next LMS Special Meeting will take place on August 28, 2014,

at 1:30 in the Public Services Conference Room. He iterated the due date of nomination forms by

August 14

Brad Baker asked that we line up hazards and risk section of the LMS plan to be in line with the

Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan (CEMP). For instance one plan has tsunamis but the other

does not. It is necessary for the plans to be consistent associated with the Emergency Management

Accreditation Program (EMAP) review process.

Mr. Harr had comments/questions regarding Holley by the Sea and different projects throughout the

county and the City of Gulf Breeze and questioning coordination/communication. Ms. Kirk spoke up

about certain regulations that City of Gulf Breeze follows and Rhonda Royals responded that she was in

communication with City of Gulf Breeze and they are following guidelines already established in the

county through LDC. Mr. Walker commented that whatever good City of Gulf Breeze does will not hurt

SRC. Mr. Harr referred again to the HBTS rezoning issue before the BOCC. Mr. Furman, based on his

prior experience with engineering, responded to the comment that all new developments are looked at

as a whole and developers are held to the 100 year standard and address the discharge of the water.

The whole package is looked at with great detail by all county agencies. He stated It is a broad brush at

rezoning, fine pencil when down to approval by the BOCC.

Mr. Harr asked about the draining problem in HBTS and asked about what is being done. Mr. Walker

advised that it is being looked at, that there is a lot involved, stated that it is a complex issue. Mr. Harr

asked about the mode of contact with homeowners to let them know what is being done about the

problems. Ms. Harris advised that the County tries to do public education and that our PIO does a good

job of placing information on the county website. There was discussion among the group about

obtaining information from the county about project progress. Ms. Harris gave further suggestions and

instructions about obtaining information. Commission Lynchard advised about the availability of the

BOCC meeting agendas. Ms. Winstead talked about developments taking place and the destruction of

foliage in the construction. Ms. Shirley talked about this issue as well. Mr. Hunter talked about the

requirements that the County has regarding foliage, etc. and these issues. Mr. Lynchard responded to

Ms. Shirley’s further comments advising that we will be working on these problems, but it is a process

and will take time.

Mr. Harr talked again about contacting residents regarding progress in projects and made suggestions

about contacting them. Ms. Shirley continued with contents regarding her property. Mr. Hunter

addressed Mr. Harr’s suggestions.

Mr. Walker adjourned the meeting at 3:15 p.m.

_________________________

Chairman