Substantial Amelia Island beach Infrastructure Upgrade Pegged as Decades-Long Project

Florida Politics
By Wes Wolfe
July 13, 2022
The harmonization project is more like a master plan.

Amelia Island’s beach harmonization project is no small feat — just explaining the basics took about an hour for a consultant to do for the island’s Tourist Development Council.

The planners at EDSA, in conjunction with the TDC and Nassau County, are pushing four aspects for each of the beaches — environmental protection, parking, “looking at the program of each park and making sure they complement  each other, as well as making sure the community comments are addressed for what program at what park,” according to EDSA urban planner Katie Poppel.

They’re also looking at aesthetics, cohesion and harmonization of the parks in general. Those parks go from the north to the south end of the island — North Beach, Main Beach, Seaside Beach, Peter’s Point, Scott Road, Burney Beach and South Beach Access.

The project kicked off with an online survey, which Poppel said was taken by more than 1,000 people so far.

To get to all the infrastructure upgrades and everything else involved, though, takes money, which will come out of the room tax. But there’s not enough money on hand for the project as a whole.

“What I’m getting to is, where is the money coming from for this?” asked TDC member and Fernandina Beach City Commissioner Len Kreger. “When we started all of this, and the county determined, and the TDC, that Seaside/Sadler would be the priority park, we probably need a million dollars plus, just for that.”

The harmonization project, however, is more like a master plan, per Assistant County Manager Marshall Eyerman.

“From the broad perspective, basically, as we’re looking at this plan that’s laid out — transition and harmonization of the beach parks that will occur 10, 20, 30 years as funding in all those items come into place,” Eyerman said. “But as we look at each item, once we get a view of what we want, there’s going to be a process of selecting which parks, which pieces come forward, how we do them incrementally over time.”

Some of the projects can be funded by impact fees and other funding sources.

“As many of these parks may be toward the end of their lifespan on some of the improvements where we need to replace walkovers, we were going to replace walkovers through different items, so now we can take those funds and build them in the vision of the whole beach harmonization,” Eyerman said.

“Funding will basically vary depending on the time and projects and how we want to implement this over that period.”

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Terri Bass
Terri Bass (@guest_65678)
1 year ago

Why send to the TOURIST COUNCIL….. Do they live here, work here, play here, PAY TAXES HERE???? How about running it by US FIRST

Lynn Allaire
Lynn Allaire (@guest_65679)
1 year ago

I believe you all should be focused on our lift stations before any other development

DAVID LOTT(@dave-l)
1 year ago
Reply to  Lynn Allaire

Lynn, what do lift stations have to do with the beach project? Totally different funding sources.

Lynn Allaire
Lynn Allaire (@guest_66429)
10 months ago
Reply to  DAVID LOTT

I believe all our lift stations and wastewater line are in desperate need of #1 focus they are overtaxed as well as compromised due to growth…1-new water lines being run
2- natural gas lines also
3-excessive Occupancy

Sylvia Hendrix
Sylvia Hendrix (@guest_65681)
1 year ago

Please leave our beaches alone,isn’t there more important things going on in our community right now , homeless people, not enough schools, no teachers, not enough roads ,I hate to go anywhere because we have to much traffic. Quit cutting down all the tres, and don’t destroy the wetlands, all these things are so much more important than another park at the beach. I love our beaches just as they are.There used to be so many fun things to do at main beach for the kids and teenagers now it is just a paved over parking lot and restaurants, oh and let’s not forget the biggest hotel ever. The tourists development association has taken our pardise and destroyed it, don’t let them destroy the entire island.

Karen Thompson
Karen Thompson (@guest_65888)
1 year ago

If the TDC cut it’s ad budget in half, we could do more beach improvement on a faster timeline. Thanks Len Kreger to ask about financing this massive project. Hope he keeps tabs on the county which will consider Fernandina Beach as their continual ATM.