Brevard Co. wants some homeowners to help with beach renourishment project



BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. - Leaders in Brevard County decided on Tuesday to move forward with a plan to ask some homeowners to pick up part of the tab for costly sand dune repairs.

South Beaches stretches for 14.5 miles, from Spessard Holland Park south to Sebastian Inlet State Park.

The county is trying to come up with money to match a state grant for damage done by a hurricane last year. But not everyone is happy with the county's plan.

"We have the best turtle nesting area, but the beach keeps getting smaller and smaller because we're losing our berms. We're losing it," said south Brevard County resident Eva Nagymihaly.

 Nagymihaly and other residents would like to see sand dunes repaired along South Beaches' ravaged coastline.

Hurricane Sandy did millions of dollars of damage as it brushed by Brevard's coast in 2012. But only homeowners along South Beaches are being asked to voluntarily help with beach renourishment.

"The main issue here is that it's being given free to certain areas, where this area needs to pay. Either everyone pays a small amount, which is fair, it's all our beaches, or you don't single out an area because there are less homes," said Nagymihaly.

But a county representative told Channel 9's Melonie Holt that the county has struggled to cobble together funding for South Beaches.

"The South Beaches, unfortunately, have not qualified for a federal project, we fortunately bring state match to the table, but unfortunately we don't have a long-term solution for the South Beaches," said Ernie Brown with Brevard County's Natural Resources Management.

The county is trying to match about $1.75 million in state funding. Some South Beaches property owners with extensive dune damage could have the project fully funded by the state grant. Others could expect to pay $2,000 to $3,000 or more.

Nagymihaly said she worries that's an expense some simply can't afford to pay.

"It's best for everyone if the nourishment does happen," said Nagymihaly.

County officials said they will mail information on the plan to beachside residents.