Duck Key Property Owners Association
 


 DUCK KEY CANAL MAINTENANCE PROJECT

 Duck Key Community Benefit (DKCB)

 

Canal Maintenance Update

Updaed April 2017 

Duck Key is one of the premier communities in the Florida Keys. Maintaining the beauty and infrastructure of our neighborhood will ensure that our quality of life and property values are protected.

Towards this end the Duck Key Property Owners Association (DKPOA) has created DKCB as a transparent and accountable non-profit entity that will execute the major maintenance and upgrade projects our community requires, with the added benefit of making financial contribution from residents federally tax deductible.

In the 2014, 2015 and 2016 surveys, residents reported that maintenance of our flow-through canals is one of their top priorities.

Consequently, DKPOA commissioned a canal survey in 2014 that identified 8 areas where the canals have silted up above the allowed minimum of 5’ depth (mean low tide). 

In order to have an organized and financially manageable approach to the dredging in these 8 areas, the DKCB has proposed a 3 phase dredging program.  Phase I will cover all the canals except for the Hawk’s Cay Marina basin. Phase II will cover the Bay shore areas west of Harbour Island and north along Bimini Drive and Phase III, the Hawks Cay Marina basin.

Phases II and III will depend on the willingness of Hawk’s Cay to participate, and also on our ability to pass the extremely challenging dredging regulations on the west side of Harbour Island and north shore of the Central Island. We will be soliciting funds for phase II once we have attained a reasonable assurance of success in the permit process. Phase III will be the responsibility of the Hawk’s Cay Resort.

We have also commissioned a biological survey to assess the extent of sea grasses and coral in the silted up areas. This is an essential step towards obtaining a maintenance dredging permit. We will be required to pay a substantial damage fee for any impact to protected environment.

Our next step was to engage an engineering firm to plan the project and to obtain the necessary permits from local (Monroe County and Florida State) and federal (The Department of the Army Corps of Engineers) agencies.

As of August 30, 2016, we have received the necessary permits or waivers from Florida DEP and from the Army. Monroe County currently has a complete prohibition against dredging in areas that contain any sea grass or live coral communities. To obtain their permit, we must first request a change the County Comprehensive Land Use Plan. This process has started, but it may take the rest of this year to complete. The total costs expended and committed to date on engineering and permitting activities is $61,000.

The funds required for the completion of the project will have to be raised from the residents and friends of Duck Key, and the Halliburton and Hawks Cay resorts. We have applied for a grant under the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Boating Improvement program, but have not received any feedback. There are no other public funds available for such projects.

We estimate that remaining Phase I costs will be $500,000 (including dredging, environmental mitigation and trucking) and will be the cheapest and easiest of all the phases. For this reason we have chosen it as a starting point. There more than 200 homes and lots that are adjacent to the canals that will directly benefit from the Phase I clean up.

We are counting on the goodwill of the Duck Key homeowners to contribute the necessary funds.

So far, 27 homeowners have contributed $178,150, and 8 others have pledged $90,000. Even assuming that all the pledges will be collected, we will still need about $300,000 more.

As you know, Monroe County offered Duck Key the option of creating a new Improvement District that would have been empowered to collect fees from ALL property owners on the Island. A portion of these fees would have been available to pay for the dredging. Unfortunately, Duck Key voters voted against this proposal in the Nov 8th referendum.

Consequently, we have no other choice but to again ask you to commit to contribute. We are counting on enlisting additional 40-50 contributors, including Hawk’s Cay and Halliburton. If we fail to obtain the required County permits, all contribution except for the money already spent on permitting and engineering will be returned to you.

Remember that DKCB’s non-profit status makes your contribution income-tax deductible.

Local realtors are unanimous that clean, clear flow-through canals are an essential factor in maintaining our property values, regardless of your location on Duck Key.

The remaining lead-time to complete the permitting process is about 12 months, followed by two to three months in actual dredging operations. These will be performed by a bonded, insured and qualified dredging firm, which will take responsibility for the entire operation.

The cost of the project could be reduced by as much as $45,000 if we can find local lot owners willing to keep the fill on their land. It is very clean sand and silt. We would commit to grade and plant grass over the new material.

Please help us keep Duck Key the beautiful place it is! Clean, clear and unobstructed water flow through our canals is the cornerstone of our neighborhood and makes us unique in the Florida Keys!

Many thanks to you all for your interest and help!

John Schwarz (408 667 4205) – johnsct@gmail.com

Jim Nealis (613 793 7437) – jnealis@optonline.net

 

 

Updated January 30, 2017 

 We can all agree that Duck Key is one of the premier communities in the Florida Keys. Maintaining the beauty and infrastructure of our neighborhood will ensure that our quality of life and property values are protected.

Towards this end the Duck Key Property Owners Association (DKPOA) has created DKCB as a transparent and accountable non-profit entity that will execute the major maintenance and upgrade projects our community requires, with the added benefit of making financial contribution from residents federally tax deductible.

In 2014 and 2015 surveys, residents agreed that maintenance of our flow-through canals is one of the top priorities. 

In keeping with this sentiment, the DKPOA commissioned a canal survey in 2014 that identified 8 areas where the canals have silted up above the allowed minimum of 5’ depth (mean low tide).  See attached map.

In order to have an organized and financially manageable approach to the dredging in these 8 areas, the DKCB has proposed a 3 phase dredging program to be executed sequentially.  Phase I will cover all the canals except for the Hawk’s Cay Marina basin. Phase II, if permitted, will cover the Bay shore areas west of Harbour Island and north along Bimini Drive and Phase III the Hawks Cay Marina basin. 

We have also commissioned a biological survey to assess the environmental impact to sea grasses and coral in the canals. This was an essential step towards obtaining a maintenance dredging permit. We will be required to pay a damage fee for impact to protected environment.

Our next step was to engage an engineering firm to plan the project and to obtain the necessary permits from local (Monroe County and Florida State) and federal (The Army Corps of Engineers) agencies. As of August 30, 2016, we have received the necessary permits from Florida DEP and from the Army Corps of Engineers. Monroe County currently has a prohibition against dredging in areas that contain any sea grass or live coral communities. In order to obtain their permit, we have to first obtain agreement to change the County Comprehensive Land Use Plan. This process has started, but it may take another 6 months to complete. The total cost expended and committed to date on engineering and permitting activities is $72,000.

We estimate that remaining Phase I costs will be approx. $350,000 (including dredging ~$150-160,000, environmental mitigation ~$160,000 and trucking ~$30,000) and will be the cheapest and easiest of all the phases. For this reason we have chosen it as a starting point. There are 215 homes and lots that are adjacent to the canals that will directly benefit from the Phase I clean up.

Phases II and III will depend on the willingness of Hawk’s Cay to participate, and also on our ability to pass the challenging dredging regulations on the west side of
Harbour Island and north shore of Center Island. We will be soliciting funds for phase II once we have attained a reasonable assurance of success in the permit process.
 
Phase III will entirely be the responsibility of the Hawk’s Cay Resort.

Once the permits are in hand, we will engage a bonded and qualified dredging firm to perform the work. 

The cost of the project could be reduced by as much as $30,000 if we can find local lot owners willing to keep the fill on their land. It is very clean sand and silt. We would commit to grade and seed grass over the new material. 

As you know, Monroe County offered Duck Key the option of creating a new Improvement District that would be empowered to collect fees from all property owners on the Island. Some of these fees would have been earmarked for the dredging. 

Unfortunately, the majority of Duck Key voters voted against this idea in the Nov 8th referendum.

Consequently, we will have to raise the necessary funds from residents through voluntary contributions. We will approach the canal homeowners once we receive the County permit to proceed.

Keep in mind that the local realtors are unanimous in stating that clean, clear flow-through canals are an essential factor in maintaining our property values. 

Also Remember that DKCB’s non-profit status will allow your contribution to be federally tax deductible.

Please do not hesitate to contact any of the undersigned to obtain more information. We will be asking for a meeting with you to discuss your contribution in the near future.

Please help us keep Duck Key the beautiful place it is! Clean, clear and unobstructed water flow through our canals is the cornerstone of our neighborhood and makes us unique in the Florida Keys!

Many thanks to you all for your interest and help!
 
Demetrio Brid (305 281 2091) – dbrid@terrakem.com

Jim Nealis (305 289 1045) – jnealis@optonline.net

John Schwarz (408 667 4205) – johnsct@gmail.com
 
 

 

Up Dated March, 30 2105

This new page is to keep D.K.P.O.A. members up to date on the Canal Maintenance Planning and Progress as this project takes shape and is implemented over the next couple of years. We will up date this page as important steps and goals are accomplished.

The first section of this page will include a slide presentation that explains the projects scope. It was first presented to the attending D.K.P.O.A. Members attending the 2015 Annual General Member Meeting on Sunday March 15, 2015 at Club Duck Key.