S" .. :.REUDIN O'D. ASKEW
Sf RICHARD (DICK) STONE
S 0at OF I oriu.J / Secreay of State
/ OBERT L. SHEVIN
^^^ -fi VAttorney General
"' .- FREDO. 1ICKINSON, JR.
1THOMAS D. O'MALLEY
DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCVJ tteasr
Commirsio r ofAgriculture
FLOYD T. C11ISTIAN
RANDOLPH HOD)GES LAiRSON IlUILDiMG / TALLAHIASSEE 32304 / TELEPHONE 224-7141 Commissioner of Education
July 14, 1972
Mr. L.K. Ireland, Jr.
Secretary of Administration
Bureau of Planning
Department of Administration
725 South Bronough
Tallahassee, Florida 32304 oks1
Chapter 72-299 of the Laws of Florida of the 1972 Legislature
gave the Department of Natural Resources the responsibility
for developing water resource data and creating five districts,
including expansion of the Central and Southern Florida Flood
Control District and the Southwest Florida Water Management
Dis I. 1, .L u Lt.
The law as written contains a number of apparent contradictions:
Part I, Section 10, Chapter 72-299 of the Laws of Florida, in
establishing the Water Resources Development Account provides,
"...The department shall allocate funds from the account to
the districts to assist in financing any authorized project
for the protection, conservation, or development of the water
resources of the State."
Part V, Section 1 (1), Chapter 72-299 provides, ... further,
it is the finding of the Legislature that water resources pro-
grams of particular benefit to limited segments of the popula-
tion should be financed by those most directly benefited. To
those ends, this act provides for the establishment of permit
application fees and a method of ad valorem taxation to finance
the works of the district."
Florida Statutes 378.03 established the Water Resources Devel-
opment Account and reads basically the same as Part I, Section
10, except that the sentence cited in paragraph one above has
Florida Statutes 378.04 provides "...there shall be available
... out of said water resources development account... sumn or
money .. required to -cover the costs allocated to the district.
for construcL!ing t. e works of said district t, ....
Flor ida Stoa Lutes 370. 16 defi nes "work, of di.tric:., "
l)iVc .IHN / /ln, tlft .,'' l if". ,\'I1( Y 1/ L ;c' ;'Alt2, ';;! )o i r i? O : H
IDVI OtKIAK' ii ,tt '( I. ; I '.' i^ AH i ) rA:c" i ;'
Mr. L.K. Ireland, Jr. .
Chapter 61-691, Laws of Florida (1961), as amended, the enabling
act of the Southwest Florida Water Management District, gave the
District the authority to serve as the local sponsor for the
federally authorized project, Four River Basins, Florida. The /
Central and Southern Florida Flood Control District has a similar
directive. In addition, Chapter 61-691 gave the Southwest Florida.,
Water Management District the authority to sponsor local projects
and the enabling legislation provided that the. local projects
were to be financed by local ad valorem taxes.
In the past, the districts have received WRDA funds through F.S.
378.04 to assist in the construction of the Central and Southern
Florida and the Four River Basins, Florida projects. Specifically,
the funds were used to pay the local sponsor's share of construction
costs, i.e., in the case of the SWFWMVD, the district pays 17% of
construction cost of the Four River Basins, Florida project. It
has not received any WRDA funds for the construction of any local
Chapter 72-299, Part I, Section 10, provides WRDA funds for "any
authorized project", while Part V, Section 1 (1) provides that
ad valorem taxes are to be used for "works of the district".
From first discussions before the legislative committees, it was
understood that although the wording has been changed slightly,
the intent remained the same, i.e., the WRDA would continue to
provide funds to the districts to meet their share of the con-
struction costs of authorized projects and that local projects
would continue to be financed by local ad valorem taxes. However,
at a conference on July 7, 1972, in Tallahassee with the districts,
Mr. Elton Revell of your office implied that the districts would
fund all public works projects and the State would only fund ad-
ministrative and regulatory costs. His idea appeared to be that
the WRDA would no longer furnish funds to assist in the financing
of an authorized project, i.e., the Four River Basins, Floridcia.
and that this financing would come from local ad valorem taxes.
From the creation of the Southwest Florida \Water Management District
and the Central and Southern Florida Flood Control District, the
WRDA has been legally restricted to providing funds only for
authorized projects and the local ad valorem taxes have been re-
stricted to local projects. .-
Since the above statement hlas been questioned by the two existing
districts as to the int.eni by the Legislature would you pleasc;
Mr. L.K. Ireland, Jr.
July 14, 1972
provide us with a written opinion and legal basis for the
Department's budgeting processes.
Mr. Revell stated at the conference that he believed it was
the opinion of the Division of Budget that any request by the
Water Management Districts for WRDA funds would be cause for
the Districts or the Department of Natural Resources to fully
integrate (in a form required by the Division of Budget) the
total ad valorem tax budgets of the Districts into the budge
of the Dpartment o1- Natural Resources so thatI the Division of
Budget could have proper "background" to decide whether or not
the WRDA fund request was proper.
The Law 72-299 would appear to be in contradiction as to the
requirement for the Department of Natural Resources or the
Water Management Districts to submit the water management
districts budget information to the Division of Budget. Addi-
tionally, the districts strongly believe that more management
of these funds beyond the Basin Boards and Governing Boards
of the Districts and the Executive Board of the Department of
Natural Resources does not aCppear necessary.
The Districts are willing to submit budgets in the form pres-
ently required under Chapter 378 F.S. for review and they
do this now. The directors of the Districts feel that .to re-
.quire the conversion of these budgets to a D.vision of Budget
format will serve no useful purpose, since those budgets can
not be legally modified or changed by anyone, and in their
present form are easily managed by those with review authority.
Therefore, we will appreciate an opinion and a legal basis and
guideline for the budgeting requirements as required by 72-299.
If you would be kind enough to refer these contradictions to
the Divisions of Budget and Planning and ask that these Divisions
-prepare guidelines for budgeting, it would be extremely helpful
to us in formulating guidelines for budgeting for the Districts
to meet the law, as I read the intent of the Legislature.
R; ndo lphi Hlodcges