Freshman Rep. Linda Chaney has filed more than half a dozen appropriation requests for infrastructure projects around Pinellas County.
In the largest request of the series, Chaney is seeking $1.75 million from the state’s Department of Environmental Protection for Madeira Beach Groin Rehabilitation.
Last year, the Legislature approved $275,000 for the project.
According to the request, Madeira Beach is one of the few beaches in Pinellas County that is not part of the federally funded beach nourishment project. One of the primary reasons Madeira Beach has not needed beach nourishment is because of the groin field constructed that limits coastal erosion.
Although the groins have been effective for many decades, they are showing signs of needing repairs, according to the request.
The funds would be used to rehabilitate about 21 exposed groins.
If this year’s request is approved, the project funding may be split between state and local government to amount to $3.5 million; however, the local government has not yet guaranteed funding, according to the request.
In another request, Chaney is seeking $1 million to help fund the expansion of the St. Pete Beach Wastewater Transmission System.
The requested funds would specifically be used for sewer inspection after the construction of a new sanitary sewer force main, located under or adjacent to Gulf Boulevard from the south end of St. Pete Beach to the north. This area includes the city’s most densely populated and heavily traffic beach-front properties.
Last year, the state appropriated $1 million for the project. In the request, Chaney estimates the local government may contribute $2,873,270 to the project, and $12,950,047 worth of funding has been guaranteed from other donors.
According to the request, this project will increase the capacity of the wastewater collection system, and minimize future sanitary sewer overflows, “creating capacity to immediately facilitate commercial development and redevelopment projects.”
In a filing directly related to the wastewater project, Chaney is asking the Department of Transportation for $1.5 million to help fund St. Pete Beach roadway improvements. The funds would be used to rebuild state and local roads impacted by the completion of the city’s sanitary sewer project.
Since this would be taken on in response to the new wastewater system, there were no prior appropriation requests in the previous years.
The roadway funding will allow the city to improve pedestrian and mobility on Gulf Boulevard, rather than simply resurfacing the roadway, according to the request. It will also prevent the city from redirecting roadway improvement funding away from residential areas of the community, which are in need of rehabilitation.
The request estimates the local government will contribute $1.4 million to the project, meaning the state would account for little more than half of the funding.
In Gulfport, Chaney is hoping to secure $735,000 from the state to fund the city’s Linear Breakwater Park Project.
This project is part of a multi-year city-wide effort to redevelop its Waterfront Marina District, promote eco-tourism, beautify, educate and provide access to its living shoreline, according to the request.
The state approved $250,000 in funding last year for the project. The local government is planning to provide $65,000 for it as well.
The funding from the state would specifically be used for the construction of raised boardwalks, landscaping, beach and habitat restoration in order to protect the marina from the elements.
Chaney filed two requests for Treasure Island infrastructure projects. This includes a request for $375,000 for sewer lift station rehabilitation and one seeking $234,500 for downtown roadway improvements.
The Pinellas County representative also filed a request for $549,400 for Madeira Beach roadway improvements.