March 15, 1972
Mr. Dale Twachtmann, Executive Director
Southwest Florida Water Management District
Post Office Box 457
Brooksville, Florida 33512
I think you should have the names of those legislators who have
been especially helpful to us during the last several weeks.
In the Senate, Ray Knopke never let up trying to help us. He
got some good help from the Subcommittee Chairman Bill Gunter
and Subcommittee members Ken Plante and Henry Sayler. Then there
was Lou de la Parte who was finally able to push in additional
amounts for Southwest Florida Water Management.
In the House we had a rough time in the Subcommittee and in the
full Committee even though Subcommittee Chairman Mixeon would
seem to be somewhat sympathetic towards the last. The Appropriation
Committee members who hblped were Terrell Sessums, Dick Hodes
and Jimmy Redman. We finally had 1.9 million dollars included
in the appropriations bill when it went to the floor for debate.
Representative Roger Wilson, Republican, from Pinellas County
responded to the wire signed by John Anderson and agreed to offer
an amendment specifically appropriating additional money to
purchase water storage and recharge lands in the Green Swamp
Reservoir and Anclote River areas.
John Culbreath then offered the amendment which put in the full
amount included in the Senate bill but allocated funds between
Southwest Florida and central and Southern. I did this deliberately
to keep the amounts appearing low.
Mr. D. Twachtmann 3-15-72 2
Carl Ogden, Majority Floor Leader, then took the floor and
blasted Southwest Florida as well as Central and Southern.
Terrell Sessums responded eloquently.
Jim Reeves, Representative from Pensacola then bladed Southwest
Florida Water Management for our failure to adequately account
to the Legislature. He pointed out that our $279,000. estimate
from last year actually cost $1,000,000 and used this to show
poor planning and inadequate accounting on our part.
Dr. Hodes responded and launched into a lengthy debate for the
necessity for trying to preserve the very delicate acquifers and
the necessity for Southwest Florida Water Management to do this.
He suggested (erroneously) that Reeves was mixed up and the
items he was pointing out were actually shortcomings of Central
Marshall Harris, Chairman of the Appropriations Committee, then
took a swing at us and pointed out that we were getting 50%
more than Central and Southern and that we were getting almost
50% more than last year. He also used as an illustration of
our incompetence the fact that we were seeking almost a quarter
of a million dollars to buy something we already had (the Cummer
tract) and that the longer we waited to buy this property the higher
it would be, yet Southwest Florida had made this one of our first
priorities. He was most insistent about this even though Terrell
Sessums told him this was no longer on the priority list and he
finally backed down much later when we sent him another copy of
our revised pzbrity but even then he pointed this out as bad business
judgment on our part.
Wayne Mixson then took a swing at us put pulled his punches by
saying that he realized we needed to acquire all this land but
just didn't have enough money to do it this year.
Terrell Sessums answered all the criticism and John Culbreath
gave a real good closing argument for his amendment. During debate
Elvin Martinez asked several friendly questions which helped put
across the point and Jimmy Redman and Guy Spicola were working
the floor lining up votes. The final vote was 48 to 41 and then
the motion to reconsider was laid on the table by a vote of 53 &.
49 (a sizable vote but hardly a comfortable majority).
Mr. D. Twachtmann 3e15-72 3
You will note that Wayne Mixson is not recorded as voting.
This is to his credit. As Chairman of the Subcommittee he
had to vote with the leadership of the House and chose rather to
take a walk.
Throughout the remainder of the day an effort was made to obtain
sufficient votes to waive the rules and bring the matter up again
for reconsideration. This was done on the instruction of the Speaker
and the Appropriation Committee Chairman but they were never able
to get a high enough count to risk trying it.
Throughout the entire legislative session I have found no help
whatsoever from the Department of Natural Resources and as soon
as the appropriation bill has gone to the Governor I then plan
to talk to Randolph about this personally.
I am attaching copy of some material I prepared and distributed in
connection with this. We decided not to try to do anything about
the highway bridges during the appropriation debate.
Incidentally, the article that Derrill called me about did not
appear in the edition of the Tribune distributed in Tallahassee
but I called my secretary who sent copies. These were received
just in time to send to John Culbreath and Roger Wilson. John read
almost the entire newspaper article as an illustration of one
more reason why we need to have more money this year (close timing,
huh?). You might also tell Bill Conner and Jake that the red and yellow
map looked good when John Culbreath and Ed Blackburn pointed out
and illustrated why this money was necessary and where it would be
spent. This is the only visual aid used by anyone during the
entire 24 hours of debate. Maybe Bill has a new first.
I am making some notes to review with you within the next month
or so that maybe will help us avoid being in such a dilemma
LMB cs L. M. Blain
IN RE: SOUTHWEST FLORIDA WATER ?MANAGi1EME,1NT DISTRICT APPROPRIATION
A. Item 710 of the current House Appropriations Bill (HB 4298)
Lump sum from General Revenue Funds to
Water Resources Development Account ........... $3,442,100
Of this, only $1,944,000 is allocated to SWFWM4D.
The subcommittee has deleted 4 items from the
detailed construction project list (3 relate to
Tampa ByPass Canal.) This is 17% matching money.
The subcommittee has also reduced the amount of
money to be used to purchase additional water
storage lands in Lower Hillsborough Reservoir
and has not included any money to be used to
purchase water storage lands in other areas
despite a request to include money for additio-
nal lands in Green Swamp, Cypress Creek (Florida
Downs) and Anclote River (Starkey lands).
The Senate Appropriations Bill provides $7,304,200
of which $3,859,200 is allocated to SWFWMD.
B. Item 710d of the current House Appropriations Bill (HB 4298)
From Primary Road Trust Funds to Water
Resources Development Account for Highway
Bridges ....................................... $ 640,000
This entire amount is for bridges in Central
and Southern Florida Flood Control District
and does not include anything for SWFWMD even
though there is pressing need to start the Inter-
state 4 bridge complex at the Tampa ByPass Canal
as well as the bridges at Highway 301 and at
Harney Road. The engineering for the I-4 complex
was paid for several years ago and plans have
been completed for quite sometime. These simply
need to be "dusted off" and updated. DOT has
indicated to SWFWMD that it could be ready to
go in 30 days. The total cost is expected to
exceed $2.5 million spread over 2 or 3 fiscal
SWFWMD has requested the following for the
Phase I of I-4 bridge complex $1,450,000
U.S. 301 bridge Tampa By Pass Canal 350,000
Harney Road Bridge Tampa By Pass Canal 150,000
The Senate Appropriations Bill contains no
specific amount for this purpose but a
footnote states that it is the legislative
intent that the D.O.T. plan and construct
necessary bridges from primary road funds.