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SANTA ROSA COUNTY GOVERNMENT

Approved Apr 23, 2015 - Local Mitigation Meeting Minutes

 

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LMS Task Force Steering Committee Meeting

April 23, 2015

Present:

Hunter Walker (SRC Administrator)

Stephen Furman (SRC Public Works)

Glenn Bailey (SRC Public Works)

Brian Watkins (City of Milton)

Beckie Cato (SRC P&Z)

Shawn Ward (SRC P&Z)

Roger Blaylock (SRC Engineer)

Ray Heidenheim (Villa Venyce HOA)

Daniel Hahn (SRC Emergency Management)

Scott Kemp (District 5)

Curt Carver (City of Gulf Breeze)

Jim Cox (City of Gulf Breeze)

Rob Williamson (SRC BOCC)

William Merrill (ReBuild NWF)

Karen Thornhill (SRC P&Z)

Sheila Fitzgerald (SRC Grants)

Erica Grancagnolo (SRC Grants)

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

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

themselves. Mr. Walker made a motion to approve March 26, 2014 meeting minutes, and they were

approved unanimously. Mr. Walker asked Ms. Fitzgerald to provide an update on EPA/DEM Utility

Resilience Project.

Ms. Fitzgerald explained that the conference was an effort by the EPA and FEMA to assist utilities with

the grant application and mitigation process and how to best coordinate with the LMS. It was very

informative. There were several utilities in attendance, including the City of Gulf Breeze, Pace, Navarre

Beach, Garcon Point, and others. There was a breakout session where we brainstormed on potential

mitigation projects. The EPA provided information on tools for utilities to use to determine what is

available to them. There will be site visits and a final workshop in June. Ms. Fitzgerald asked everyone

to pass the information along to utilities in their jurisdiction.

Mr. Walker asked Ms. Fitzgerald to provide an update the upcoming FMAP Cycle.

Ms. Fitzgerald described the grant opportunity that the County has applied for the last several years.

Through this grant, the county has elevated 6 homes, and has completed the acquisition and demolition

of 2 homes. We expect them to open the cycle by the end of this month. Applications are typically due

in June. We want everyone to know the difference between repetitive and severe repetitive loss

structure. We have found it is more helpful to focus on the severe repetitive loss structure. We will

probably mail property owners a letter, and let them know they are eligible. In the past we have held

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workshops for the public, but we will be taking different approach this year because a lot of people

show up to workshops that are not eligible. The good news is that sometimes we are able to bundle

“strong” severe repetitive loss properties with those “weaker” repetitive loss properties. We are

sometimes able to fund more properties that way. If any Cities need assistance with that, Ms. Thornhill

and Ms. Fitzgerald can assist.

Mr. Walker discussed the different ways to mitigate; acquisition and demolition versus elevation. Ms.

Thornhill and Ms. Fitzgerald clarify that there are other methods but they may not be cost effective.

Mr. Walker asks for clarification as to the number of property lists.

Ms. Thornhill states that there are two lists; repetitive and severe repetitive loss. Ms. Fitzgerald adds

that the process to remove a property from the list after mitigation can take years. A lot of claims from

the April 2014 flooding are not yet on the list. Ms. Thornhill states that FEMA expects to have those

properties on the list by November.

Mr. Walker asks if this is the normal timeframe for this grant cycle. Ms. Fitzgerald states that this was

the timeframe they followed last year, and that there may be more money this year. In the past they

have focused their awards on the severe repetitive loss, and some repetitive loss properties were not

approved. We will be able to resubmit those properties that were not approved, and bundle them with

stronger properties this year.

Mr. Walker asks how many homes are on the list. Ms. Thornhill states that there are approximately 690

on the repetitive loss list. She does not have the information from the State as to the number on the

severe repetitive loss list. This is based on 1974 to current. Some properties are actually compliant but

the maps are not accurate for us to assist them. They are waiting on new maps.

Mr. Walker states that it sometimes more cost effective to acquire the structure rather than spend

money to elevate. It is important to take note of the number we are actually able to assist on the list of

690. The funding typically only allows for assisting 2 or 3 each year. Mr. Walker notes that it is a

difficult process for the homeowner to go through.

Mr. Walker asks for an update on mitigation projects. Ms. Fitzgerald reports that Settlers Colony Phase I

wrapped up end of last year. State has reviewed and forwarded to FEMA, who should approve by end

of the month. After that state will grant award agreement for construction funds. We could see

construction as early as late summer. This is separate from the emergency repair that is ongoing. We

also have the one severe repetitive loss that made it through the 2013 cycle, Harrison Street in Milton,

which should be going up in the next month or two. The three that were awarded as result of 2013

application will be on next BOCC agenda. That will bring total elevations up to 10.

Mr. Walker adds that it is interesting to look at the pictures of the process of elevations.

Ms. Fitzgerald stated that the most recent applications were submitted for four HMGP applications,

Pace and Patterson, Maranatha and Chipper, Villa Venyce, and Ranchettes. Three of the four have been

blessed by the state. The fourth will wrap up any day, and then the State will advance the applications

to FEMA. We are expecting an expedited process from FEMA. Once FEMA has approved the

applications, we will hire one or more firms for Phase I for design, engineering, and permitting.

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Mr. Walker asks Ms. Cato for an update on Hazard Mitigation Plans. Ms. Cato stated that we are

updating both the LMS and the flood Mitigations Plans. We are doing those plans concurrently and

jointly. We are having two public meeting next week, one at Tiger Point, one in Milton. The purpose of

these meetings is two

-fold. One is to provide information on the LMS process. The other is to get, in this room. Mr. Walker closed the

feedback from the public. This is a good opportunity to share with public what the county and the cities

have been doing. Ms. Cato asks everyone to share information on the upcoming meetings.

Ms. Cato asks Ms. Fitzgerald to discuss stakeholder invitations. Ms. Fitzgerald states that part of the

plan update is to share with the public. There is a letter that we will send out to everyone to let them

know we are undertaking this project, and encourage them to participate via meetings. Now is a good

time for folks to hop into this process. We are taking that additional step in addition to a press release

to get the public involved.

Ms. Cato states that the schedule of meetings are listed in minutes from the last meeting. Ms. Fitzgerald

reached out to everyone currently serving on the committee to confirm their participation and also to

verify the alternates. One concern is Holley by the Sea. Ms. Fitzgerald has notified the HOA contact, the

Board President, and the guy that is on the stormwater task force. She has notified everyone to request

the name of the individual who will be representing them. She has not received a response. Ms.

Fitzgerald will make one more attempt to obtain a contact name for Holley by the Sea. The American

Red Cross is interested, but they do not attend meetings. Bylaws state attendance requirements.

Perhaps there is another organization that can participate more actively.

Ms. Fitzgerald asks the committee members to review bylaws and identify any changes that need to be

brought up as a point of discussion. Otherwise Ms. Fitzgerald will email out a draft for approval at the

next meeting. Ms. Fitzgerald does not feel that there is a need for any substantive changes, but states

that it is always good to have a periodic review because it is part of the plan update. Mr. Walker asks if

the bylaws were updated last time LMS was updated. Ms. Fitzgerald replies that they were looked at in

2011 and maybe a couple times since. Mr. Walker states that we appreciate private citizens’

participation.

Mr. Walker reiterates that we need to know who the representative is from Holley by the Sea. Mr.

Walker asks if there are any questions. Mr. Walker asks if Ms. Fitzgerald has received updated info from

everyone, and she states that she has heard from most everyone. Mr. Walker states that normally the

committee would meet quarterly but since we are going through the LMS update process, we will meet

more often.

Ms. Cato states that the focus of the next meeting will be to update goals for the mitigation strategy.

We have a lot of practical experience over the years as far as the types of disasters that we have. We

know where our problems are. We are going to look at how we can update our goals to make them

more meaningful. We may want to tweak this section later in the process as we go through the data

section.

Mr. Walker reminds everyone that we have been doing this since the late nineties. Mr. Walker thanks

everyone for making this process community based rather than bureaucratic. Mr. Walker asks for any

questions or other business.

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Ms. Thornhill announces that there is a task force meeting May 7

meeting.