Councilman Bill Gulliford Covers Multiple Issues at Beaches Watch

Pier, beach renourishment top local topics.

Jacksonville district 13 councilman Bill Gulliford was the keynote speaker at the March Beaches Watch meeting Wednesday, covering a range of topics for the community group.

Gulliford was asked about issues ranging from affordable housing to public pensions and dredging on the St. Johns River. Gulliford, a former mayor of Atlantic Beach, said that while a great job has been done on the dunes following two hurricanes in two years, the beach is once again in need of renourishment. “We’ve spent all that money on those dunes, and we’re planting them (with sea oats), and at high tide, that water is coming right up to the dunes. What happens this summer when everybody comes to the beach, and the tide comes up? So it’s going to be an issue and a problem for a good part of the beach this summer, I’m afraid.”

Gulliford also gave a small hint at what may be planned for the rest of the Jacksonville Pier, which partially reopened late last month, but is still missing about half its length. “The focus, and the time being spent on it is a sincere desire not to see it do what it did this last time,” Gulliford said. “I frankly think you’re going to see a pier that’s somewhat elevated, the last half of it, to get it up above the storm surge some, protect it a little better. I’ve seen that trend in other areas.”

Gulliford said that the pier is underutilized, and that when it is fully reopened, that it should be a center for community activities. He also thanked the city of Jacksonville Beach for the planned upgrade to the pier entrance.

Gulliford has about 18 months remaining in his term on the City Council. So far, the only person who is running to fill that seat is current Neptune Beach City Councilman Rory Diamond.

Beaches watch records a video of each of its meetings throughout the year, and you can see Councilman Gulliford’s full presentation by visiting the Beaches Watch website.

www.beacheswatch.org

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