“We are excited about the enhanced program,” said Danny Leeper, Chairman of the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC). “Keeping the beaches of Amelia Island pristine is critical to our success, not only as a major tourism destination, but as good stewards of the environment. The money invested on these tasks is well spent.”
The costs for the remainder of the fiscal year tops $231,000. Annual expenditures for both contracts top $388,500. In prior years, expenditures for beach cleaning averaged $174,000. Mr. Leeper noted that the effort is being fully funded by Tourist Development Taxes (TDT) paid by overnight visitors staying in condos, hotels, and resorts. “Nassau residents enjoy clean and safe beaches and facilities year-round, courtesy of our tourists. No local taxes are being used on these contracts.” The TDT expenditures were unanimously recommended to the BOCC by the Tourist Development Council, which Mr. Leeper chairs.
The contract with Beach Rakers calls for beaches to be cleaned at least once a day - 365 days a year. They will be cleaned more frequently on major holiday weekends. Despite the name, the County contract specifies the eight miles of beach will be cleaned by hand. The scope of work also includes enforcement of the “Leave No Trace” ordinance, passed in 2016. All items left on the beach overnight will be removed and destroyed. There is no option for recovery of abandoned items.
Sea Bandit, Inc. is a local firm awarded restroom cleaning at a cost of $64,500 annually. During tourist season, defined as March 1st through September 30th, beach parks with facilities will be cleaned at least 4 times daily between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. During the off-season, bathrooms will be cleaned daily between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m.
“This is the first step in improving and protecting our beaches,” said Mr. Leeper. “Over the past year, the BOCC has received suggestions from hundreds and hundreds of constituents. Clean beaches were a priority we’ve addressed. We will continue to address concerns and make changes to improve the beach experience for all.”
For further information, please contact Mike Mullin, County Manager, 904-530-6100.