Hurricane Hermine made landfall to the north of Hernando County in 2016, however, she did bring a lot of wind and rain, and displaced a lot of sand from Alfred McKethan/Pine Island and Rogers Park. As a result, a sand restoration project was approved by the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC), which will replace 2,214 cubic yards of white concrete sand at the two parks, and cost approximately $70,478, which will be reimbursed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
At the Board of County Commissioners meeting on October 10th, Puchasing Director James Wunderle recommended the award of the bid ( ITB No.17-B00112/DK) to Florida Dirt Source, a local Brooksville company.
Deputy County Administrator, Jeffrey Rogers recommends that sand replacement at Roger’s Park be delayed, because there is an issue with sand spilling into the Weeki Wachee river during high tide and heavy rain. Mr. Rogers suggested staff maintain the current sand levels at the park while staff works out the siltation issue. The Southwest Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) is currently planning a project to study sedimentation and bank stabilization, which will affect to how much sand will be needed.
during Weeki Wachee Gardens resident Jerry Lawson recalls the passage of a petition resulting in a Municipal Service Benefit Unit (MSBU) to dredge State Road Canal, which is adjacent to Roger’s Park four to five years ago. Since the dredging, State Road Canal is once again filled in. Mr. Lawson said, “If you need sand for Roger’s park, there’s a large sandbar adjacent to it.” The MSBU is still active, and residents are still paying for that project.
Commissioner Wayne Dukes mentioned that a re-dredging of that canal in the near future is entirely possible. “But if we don’t stop the flow of sand, it may block someplace else.” Further discussion of the roles of the county, SFWMD and Florida Dirt Source since all actions affect the Weeki Wachee River. Commissioner Steve Champion motioned to pass the bid award, with a modification that no sand will be added to Roger’s park, and that maintenance will be performed to prevent the flow of any more sand into the river.
The motion was seconded by Commissioner John Allocco passed unanimously.