MEMO TO: Senator Ray C. Knopke
FROM : L. M. Blain
RE : Water Resources Development Account
Assistance to Southwest Florida Water
DATE : January 23, 1970
The Southwest Florida Water Management District receives
assistance from the State by way of payments from the Water
Resources Development Account in acquisition of land for
water storage areas. This is authorized in Section 378.05,
These funds are received in several ways:
1. Negotiated Purchases
When purchase of land is negotiated the Water Management
Board requests payment direct to the property owner. These
funds are then received in the form of a state warrant payable
jointly to the Water Management District's attorney and to
the property owner. The matter is then handled similarly
to any other real estate closing. No distinction is made
from these proceeds as to whether they are all going to the
property owner or whether the property owner is then paying
part of his proceeds to his surveyor, lawyer, appraiser, etc.
2. Condemnation Suit With "Quick Taking"
If the Water Management District is not successful in negot-
iating purchase of the property it may be necessary to file a
condemnation suit. If the immediate necessity for the property
warrants a "quick taking', as authorized by Chapter 74 of the
Florida Statutes, it is then necessary for the Water Management
District to file an Estimate of Value based upon a good faith
bonafide appraisal and Declaration of Taking, declaring the
necessity for the immediate acquisition prior to completion of
The Judge will then require the deposit into the Registry of
the Court of the Estimate of Value plus such additional amount
as the Court deems proper in order to secure to all parties
Senator Ray C. Knopke Page 2 1/23/70
the rights to which they are entitled. This generally ranges
from 10% to 30% above the Estimate of Value.
The District then requests WRDA funds by resolution in the
amount ordered to be deposited by the Judge. These are paid
into the Registry of the Court and upon trial or settlement
of the law suit the Court then orders the funds disbursed.
This includes the compensation to the owner for the lands
taken, as determined by the jury, together with all other
reasonable costs incurred by the land owner. These are
determined by the Court and may include the land owner's
attorney, 1.is appraiser, his surveyor or engineer, and other
If there is not sufficient money in the Registry of the Court
the Water Management District is then ordered to deposit
sufficient funds to make up the balance.
3. Condemnation Suit Without "Quick Taking"
In most instances where suit is filed the Water Management
District cannot justify the necessity for a "quick taking"
since they are in the process of accumulating reservoir land
over an extended period of time. In these instances suit is
filed but no money is paid into the Registry of the Court until
after the trial is completed. At that time the Final Judgment
is similar to the Final Judgment for those cases where there
has been a "quick taking" except the entire amount of the
Judgment has to be deposited into the Registry of the Court
rather than just the additional sums needed. In most instances,
when the Water Management District requests WRDA funds they
have been advised that only the amount awarded by the jury
to the land owner will be paid from WRDA funds and the amounts
ordered to be paid as the land owner's costs will have to be
paid by District funds.
In some instances these additional costs have been allowed
but each time special exception has had to be obtained in
order to receive WRDA funds for this purpose.
This seems to be inconsistent. State law requires that these
costs be part of the award but the Statute provides that
they be separately set out in the Final Judgment rather than
in a lump sum. This is because the jury makes the determination
of just compensation to the property owner and the Judge makes
Senator Ray C. Knopke Page 3 1/23/70
the determination of what the condemning authority should pay
as reasonable costs incurred by the property owner in defending
his law suit.
The WRDA funds are administered by the Department of Natural
Resources. These are handled by Colonel Sollohub under the
direction of Randolph Hodges.