King tide levels barely came over the sea walls in some portions of Briny Breezes on Oct. 10 — not as bad as in recent years, when at times more than 10 inches of water stood on some streets west of State Road A1A. Tim Stepien/The Coastal Star
By Joe Capozzi
An ambitious plan to protect Briny Breezes from flooding and sea-level rise will be discussed Nov. 15 at a joint “kickoff meeting” of the Town Council and Briny Breezes corporation.
The meeting, set for 3:15 p.m. at the Briny Breezes Community Center, is a requirement of a $330,000 grant the state’s Resilient Florida program awarded to the town this year.
Officials with Engenuity Group and Brizaga Inc., which drafted a 144-page flood adaptation plan in April 2021, will answer questions from residents and outline the next steps in spending the grant money.
The $330,000 will help pay for the plans and studies needed to prepare construction-ready documents for enhanced sea walls, an improved stormwater drainage system and other 50-year adaptation measures.
“This meeting is for all stakeholders,’’ Town Manager William Thrasher said in an email Oct. 18 to council members and corporation officials. “A ‘sea water rise’ work plan and strategies will be the important topics.’’
The town’s planning and zoning board will meet at 1:30 p.m. on Nov. 15 for a related discussion that “will help set the stage for the resilience conversation that happens at 3:15,’’ board Chairman Jerry Lower told the Town Council on Oct. 27.
The planning board “will be focusing especially on discussions of short-term alternatives as we ponder the never-ending sea-level rising issues we have on the west side of A1A,’’ Lower said.
The joint meeting could have been held earlier this year. But town and corporation officials, knowing the importance of the resilience issues facing the town, waited to schedule it in November when most residents and snowbirds would be back in Briny Breezes.
Aside from Lower’s remarks, the Nov. 15 “kickoff meeting” was not discussed at the council’s Oct. 27 meeting, other than to announce the date and location.
Mayor Gene Adams did offer a brief related remark when he reminded residents about “the chances for flooding” during the first week in November when king tides are forecast.
In other business:
• Adams said he and Thrasher planned to meet with corporation officials earlier in the day on Nov. 15 to discuss the tax rate, which for years has been at 10 mills, the maximum allowed under state law.
• The council unanimously passed on second reading a new code citation system that will allow police to issue tickets to people who violate any of six prohibitions in the town code, including riding a bicycle without a bell or horn and allowing dogs to run free on the beach.
• The qualifying period for the town’s March 14 election opens at noon Nov. 8 and closes at noon Nov. 22. Three aldermen seats, all for two-year terms, are up for election: Seat 1 held by Elizabeth Loper, Seat 3 held by Sue Thaler and Seat 5 held by Bill Birch. Prospective candidates should contact Town Clerk Sandi DuBose at 561-272-5495 for filing information.
• Briny Breezes residents are encouraged to attend a crime prevention workshop at 5 p.m. Nov. 9 at Ocean Ridge Town Hall, Ocean Ridge Police Chief Richard Jones told the council.
Ocean Ridge, which provides police services for Briny Breezes, will unveil several new programs and offer crime-prevention measures.
Editor’s Note: Jerry Lower is publisher of The Coastal Star.