Leaders urge Obama to use stimulus for beach sand


Some cities want bridges and schools from the federal stimulus plan.

Virginia Beach wants all of that and sand, too.

Beach officials are concerned the Obama administration will disqualify sand replenishment projects from receiving stimulus cash and have launched a pre-emptive lobbying effort.

Mayor Will Sessoms sent a letter to members of the city's congressional delegation asking that Virginia Beach get $10 million to replace sand at the Oceanfront.

The city needs the sand as protection against hurricanes and to lure tourists, said Phillip Roehrs, the city's water resources engineer.

Operation Big Beach, the city's and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' last major beach replenishment effort, ended in 2002. Since then, parts of the Oceanfront have eroded by 70 feet to about 200 feet wide, Roehrs said.

"It's now slightly less than it should be," Roehrs said.

Virginia Beach is one of several coastal communities that are upset about reports the White House Office of Management and Budget pulled the Army Corps' list of beach renourishment projects. Virginia Sen. Jim Webb and Rep. Glenn Nye of Norfolk were among 30 members of Congress who signed a letter to President Barack Obama asking him to reconsider the decision.

The OMB is looking at whether to fund sand replenishment and may have a decision by the end of the month, said Tom Gavin, spokesman for the office.

The dust-up over this stimulus money is part of a long-standing debate about whether the federal government should pay for any beach replenishment efforts. Both the Clinton and Bush administrations didn't think so and argued it was a local expense.

"The question is who should pay for it," said James V. Koch, an economist and former Old Dominion University president.

A big beach helps Virginia Beach bring in more tourists and prevents flooding, Koch said, but should Midwest taxpayers pay for the sand?

With the stimulus money, there may be "bridges and dams and all the other kinds of things" that could generate jobs and that the Army Corps should be building instead, Koch said.

Virginia Beach's sand replenishment project will directly employ about 60 people, including crews of dredge workers and surveyors, Roehrs said. The city also plans to contribute $5 million to the cost, he said.

Deirdre Fernandes, (757) 222-5121, deirdre.fernandes@pilotonline.com

Posted to: News Politics Virginia Beach

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Great Story for Drudge

One person's shovel-ready (dredge-ready???) stimulus is another person's silly example of waste isn't it?

Too bad we cannot power the dredges with off-shore natural gas!

Ashamed of my city

The whole point of the stimulus was to create jobs.
Remember Joe Biden's three-letter word, J-O-B-S, on the campaign trail?
So now we have our illustrious leaders in Virginia Beach asking for $10 million to purchase and spread sand. Sand.
The project will employ about 60 people. That's $166,000 per job created.
And, these would be temporary jobs. Just how long does it take to spread sand anyway?
We're in the very best of hands.
Kindest regards,
Tea Party rally Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Virginia Beach town center, across from Sen. Jim Webb's office.

I agree

The stimulus money must be used for jobs; jobs that will last for at least four years. Those officials salivating over the thought of all that money should remember; if every official has selfish thinking like you then there will be no long term jobs anywhere. The result of which means it won't matter if we have a beach or not, no one will have the money to come here. Long Term, good paying Jobs.

Money washed out to sea

Municipalities should not allow anyone to build right on the beach x-amount of feet away from the most powerful force on this earth, it's just downright stupid, it's like driving through town 90 miles an hour and not expect to get a ticket. The ocean constantly changes and it is only a matter of time before it will come and take your home or condo.
If the hotel/motel, real estate industry want to pump sand onto the beach then fine let them pay for it. But unfortunately these same industries have powerful allies in the VA/NC legislatures, Representatives in the federal government and unfortunately for the tax payer we will continue to pump vast amounts of money into the sea.

The Army Corps stopped

The Army Corps stopped trucking sand here when they finished building the new seawall. The old "boardwalk" was taken out and replace by a seawall and a new "boardwalk". All of the money Virginia Beach has spent on stupid stuff that no one uses or needs could have paid for all the sand they need or want. I think it is sad when we have to beg for money that "THE LARGEST RESORT CITY IN THE WORLD" should already have. That is simple business. If your attraction is the beach you should make sure you have one for people to lay on. Instead they have been building Town Center, The Sports Plex, Light Rail, Convention Center, Hotels, buying houses and tearing them down across the street from brand new neighborhoods, basicly digging giant holes to dump OUR money in. Spend that money on Drilling off our coast! Then we will have many jobs for years to come.

Porkulus can't create long-term jobs

Sand, whatever. Did you know a bunch of porkulus money is going to fix up the airport in Franklin? To paint and spruce up public housing projects? To a fund for job retraining for jobs that do not exist? To childcare for "workers," except there aren't jobs for people to get anyway? Please. The big money last fall did its job, apparently, of controlling the unraveling of the big financial industry. But to "stimulate" the real economy, the severe contraction in discretionary consumer spending has to be unlocked. That is not only about unemployment! Right now, it is mostly an issue of confidence and you can't stimulate confidence.

Since the government is determined to spend this money, it should be used to "fund" massive, across-the-board tax relief for tax payers. No more Democrat excuses that the nation "can't afford" tax cuts---the government is throwing trillions down ratholes! "A Surfer's Take" - http://tinyurl.com/dbhr5s- and "Former Consumer Syndrome" - http://tinyurl.com/dlsdnf

Tea Party on April 15 - no taxation without deliberation!


...what's your next STUPID request???

The sand project is questionable at best.

Is it really in the best interest of the citizens to spend billions of dollars fighting nature? Or is it in the best interest of the private investors that have built on the waterfront? Either way, it is not of national interest to referbish the sand on VAB. Maybe if VAB would stop funding (subsidizing) what should be private development projects, the city would have the funds to do sand projects themselves. These subsidized development projects are nothing more than stealing tax dollars that should go to CORE functions of local government and diverting it to the local politicians friends and families. Self interest does not belong in public seats. It's time for all levels of government to get out of the social programs and private interest programs and get back to CORE functions. The savings in tax dollars would allow growth and expansion of private investors creating jobs and income for people. "Government has never created a job".

I Can't Eat Sand!!!

Hey Will Sessoms... I voted for you!!! I want a job!! I can't even afford to pay for parking at the beach and you want to fund more sand (pork) projects. Get real. Wise up or you will be a one-term mayor!!!

Waste of Federal Dollars

What a waste of federal money. The businesses along the beach should fund their own protection system. The stimulus program was designed to put people to work and not to be washed out to sea.

And for those threating the mayor with one term: get real he'll spend every dime possible in the first term and even if he loses in 2012 it will not matter to him.

you have to be kidding

who is this suppose to benifit , "hotels and tourists ", for a 3 month tourist season , let these hotels and businesses on the beach dig down in own pockets deep and provide sand for the tourists to walk and bathe on , lets use the money for traffic problems and road improvement , we have road projects at witchduck , independence blvd and lynhaven parkway sitting in limbo for 2 years now , there would be plenty of beach if the city didnt let big business build right up to the water, how about providing some free parking for residents , residents should not have to pay to park at the beach , tax the crap out of these hotels and tourist traps let them pay for sand , virginia beach is run by idiots , they dont care about the residents , only big business matters to them ,

$5,000,000 ???????????????????????????????????????

where is our city getting this 5 million dollars from to contribute , with a "budget in the hole" , If the city has 5 million to throw away on some sand , lets use it for the witchduck road project , sitting now for 2 years , this will provide lots more than 60 jobs and will benifit all taxpayers , and it will not wash out to sea next month ,


There are folks who think this stimulus "porkulus" bill is going to create long term job growth.

Only thing it will do is increase debt and long term tax increases on your families to pay for it.

Maybe you should do some reading about FDR and the new deal to understand what's going on "again".

Stupid, not stimulus

Why is Virginia Beach, a locality in the State of Virginia, asking the bloated Federal government to fund sand? This is the problem when localities and states become beholden to the federal government. They become dependent on federal tax dollars for things that the federal government has no business getting involved in. Our founding fathers are rolling over in their graves.

Real stimulus happens when the federal government spends less, taxes less and allows its citizens to keep more. Citizens then spend, invest and start businesses. It really is very simple, but most people want the government to take care of all their needs, wants and desires.

had to check my calendar...

to make sure this article wasn't an April Fool's joke. This whole stimulus thing is a joke and now someone's asking for SAND???? Have VB leaders lost their minds?? Everyone needs to understand all the money obumbler is spending will have to be paid back by TAXPAYERS and I haven't seen a single thing - so far - that will generate JOBS...and if any are created it'll be temporary until the spending spree ends.

What the heck?!?!

And how many long term jobs will this create? NOT WITH MY TAX DOLLARS PLEASE!!!!!

send a picture

Maybe the mayor's office can pay (with taxpayers' dollars) an outside contractor to fabricate a fake picture of the mayor and Obama together and send it to Obama for more sand.


I lived in VB (Sandbridge)in the mid '70s. VB was pumping sand out of Rudee Inlet then and for years after that. I went back to sandbridge a few years ago. My old home is in the ocean. Homes along sandfiddler rd have sunk pilings and built bulkheads to stop the sea from washing them away. You can walk to the buldhead edge and look straight down 10 feet, at least, at the ocean. The sea is relentless. It is NOW coming around the North and South ends of the bulkhead project and working its way taking homes with it. The barrier island will soon be gone and the ocean will be in Back Bay. Waste of time, money and effort.

The same story is being repeated in Coastal Delaware. Sand is brought in. Sand is washed away. The ocean will soon have crossed over South Bethany and merged itself with the bays.

heck! Global warming and the oceans rising will make it happen sooner.

welcome, drudge readers!

You think you've got it bad? We're running out of sand.

Money for Light Rail

Why not use the stimulus funds for construction of Virginia Beach's light rail?! At least this would be money put to a good use instead of the ocean waves washing the sand away. This would be money lost!
A very wiseman once said, "Don't build your cities on sand, 'cause one day they will be washed away by the tides!"

better idea

instead of sand just throw 5 MILLION one dollar bills on the beach.
it will stay there just as long, it will draw tourist, it will generate free media attention, and it takes just as much brains with less effort.
Hate to say it but VB has another mayor that is in someones pocket.
maybe next election they will get it right.


This again, is STUPID!!!! Do the entire tally over say the last ten (10) years in millions of dollars already spent on "sand" to lure tourists or help out "private" Sandbridge owners. The better request would be "FILL UP ALL OF THE POT HOLES AND DO SOME BRIDGE REPAIR !!!!! WHY ? So, the tourists can drive their vehicles here !!

Better Yet

use the money to finish Lynnhaven Parkway....much much better idea !!

Sounds easy enough...

...and I'll request $1 Billion to refill my kid's sandbox. Apparently, they're just giving cash away with no questions asked. I'm sure y'all won't mind me spending your income. Thanks!!!

Jibberjap is dead right!!!!!!!!

"use the money to finish Lynnhaven Parkway....much much better idea !!"

That is one disaster that needs to be completed ASAP. Beach sand?? Get clue people. Beach sand is in no way a NEED of any kind. With the traffic issues Virginia Beach is having ALL priority should be in infrastructure.

Sand Grants

You have got to be kidding!! Sand replenishment has been a drum banged loudly for several years and every time it is replenished, mother nature takes it back again. Make no mistake about it, it is for making the beach look nice for tourist but I am quite sure the new mayor is more than aware of that since that is his chief constituent. It is not for hurricane protection! This will be more money literally thrown out to sea.


was the clarion call for stimulus money. The sand will sure be TEMPORARY as it will wash out to sea quickly.

So Mayor Sand For Brains O’Sessomee, Figures He Can Cash In

On The Big O’s Self-Stimulated Gravy-Train By...

1) Peddling Freezzee-Pops To The Eskimos ??

2) Peddling Coals To West Virginia ??

3) Peddling BS to the Taxpayers

4) All Of The Above


Wissin' in the wind, bettin' on a losing friend
Makin' the same mistakes, we swear we'll never make again
And we're Wissin' in the wind, and it's blowing on all our friends
We're gonna sit and grin and tell our grandchildren
That the answer my friend is just Wissin' in the wind
Oh the answer is Wissin' in the sink.

with my apologies to Jerry Jeff Walker

Another Mistake By a Politician!

The headline is laughable enough and hearing it from the Mayor of Virginia Beach is even better. Mayor Will Sessoms needs to get his head out of the sand and see the light. Why should the taxpayers of this country pump money into a useless project that is a revolving door. Mother Nature is going to win in the end. Put a sand tax on the tourists' room rental bills, businesses, and the hotel owners and wealthy homeowners with their multi-million dollar homes that chose to live along the beach to get their suntans and enjoy the sunsets. Stop the bloodletting of the taxpayers who have trouble rubbing two nickels together to make ends meet and exist in the real world we live in today. Put the burden on the ones who stand to benefit the most.

That's the catch

And, these would be temporary jobs.

That's the catch. 100% of jobs from government borrowing and spending are temporary. A job is only permanent if it generates revenue to pay for itself.

I'm confused as to why this

I'm confused as to why this generated such a long thread. It seems clear that we've stumbled across an issue that isn't in debate. The article says that both Clinton and Bush opposed projects like this and the current administration has signaled they will continue that trend. So why is everybody in attack mode as normal. This just proves that people on here aren't interested in dialogue so much as lashing out blindly.

False dichotomy

The article says that both Clinton and Bush opposed projects like this and the current administration has signaled they will continue that trend.

Maybe all the politicians are wrong? There isn't only two choices for an issue even though national politics promote two banner letters for almost identical parties.

"attack mode "get a clue ,

If you drive down lynhaven parkway day after day , or witchduck road , or independence blvd every day /three of the main roads connecting (va beach taxpayers with their homes ), and have to sit in hours of traffic wondering when the city will get off the fence and fix the road problems , day after day for years , and then read articles like this about spending ten million dollars on some sand and see if you are in attack mode ,, articles like this , are the exact reasons that va beach taxpayers are fed up with our government , lets see our city attack some real problems that mean something to city taxpayers , ten million dollars would put a serious dent in all three of those road projects

Hey BBWolf, Did you not notice?

"Virginia Sen. Jim Webb and Rep. Glenn Nye of Norfolk were among members of Congress who signed a letter to President Barack Obama asking him to reconsider the decision." THIRTY members of Congress are the reason for the long thread. Fact is this administration is being reckless with our tax dollars. They are being reckless by borrowing money to give away. They are reckless by getting our kids further and further in debt. They are reckless by trying to spend or buy our way out of a depression/recession. They are reckless by increasing our taxes to give to companies that have earned the right to fail. They are reckless to pick our pockets to give our hard earned dollars to companies that overpaid their executives with huge salaries and bonuses, to allegedly "keep the talent". We'll if that's the best talent, they're not to good, are they? This administration is the most reckless administration in history and they are just getting started. We have made a bad, bad mistake by electing this guy.

Fighting with each other over a Win

What is shocking to me is that so many posters want to fight with each other over a "win for the good guys." We won one! Enjoy it.

Seems you all would rather attack each other over who gets "political credit" than enjoy the rescue of an American by our Navy. Nice...

Go Navy!!

God I wish people would get

God I wish people would get off of this "The administration is doing this or that" kick. Washington has done this, both Republicans and Democrats. Cater was a joke, Regan borrowed from Bush, Bush borrowed from Clinton, Clinton actually managed to get us on the right track, Bush II borrowed from Obama and now Obama is borrowing from somebody else. It's the system that's broken not the administration, and I accept that that's how it works. Every aspect of American society works on credit and borrowing, from the everyday homeowner to the federal government. The simple fact is we are 3 months into the new Administration yet everybody has an opinion on it's success or failure. To use terms that my southern brethren can relate to, do you determine who wins the Daytona 500 after 3 laps? Things may very well change yet or they may stay the same, but at least wait a year or two before spewing all the anger.

Paying for sand?????

This is so Virginia Beachish. I like VA BCH. I spend money in VA BCH. Yes, I know I am not from VA but if North Carolina's OBX asked for stimulus money, and they very well may, I would say ABSOLUTELY NOT. Pump in sand one day for the mighty Atlantic to reclaim it the next. I care more about my child than to ever fall victim to the line of thinking that seems so prevalent today of spend, spend, spend.


Clinton actually managed to get us on the right track

Nope. That was what was know as the "Internet Bubble" which is what initiated the problems now. After the dot-bombs, the federal reserve started pushing down rates to stop the resulting unemployment (bad for getting elected after all). That started the mortgage rush which then exposed the problems with government policy about mortgages. The borrowing from the future does not necessarily come in the form of federal debt.

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