y E 5197 No -.*-.B ^ 'r '^ ^ -
By FRANK PETiTENGILL .''i; : the South Florida Water Man-
j .Staff Writer ,..'.1'. ,,-'.Z',:. --agement Diptrict with new
: New water man *-boundaries. The southwest dis-
#--A skeptical and ,hostile 'm n HItrict also ve clianged boun- .
.audience of Collier County re- diaries on that date. .,
sidents at a courthouse meet- will incorporate o ..- The. three new nor then
ing Wednesday questioned the i r ." districts created by the act
value of the county's joining CO l OUI tY have not functioned previously
the state's water qnaement t 3r and are in the formation
district system 15.months from t ,,, *process. They are Northwest
r now,.. 1, : ':. -,.Florida, Suwanee River and St.
The meeting, arranged by ". '- : .-John's :River water man-
Rep. Mary Ellen Hawkins, was designed to control flood-. agement districts.. .
presented the history, concept ing in the central and south* --AN INTERIM district,
-and future.of the districts from eastern section of the state.: called Ridge and Lower Gulf
representatives of the South. -The Southwest Florida dis- Coast, was created to ease
west .Florida Water Man-, trict was created in 1961 when those portions of the central
agement District and the Cen- the scope of district operations and southwestern parts of the
tral and Southern Florida had enlarged to include water state left out of the original two
Flood Control district., management. districts to become part of the
Rep. Hawkins said she ar- -BOTH DISTRICTS now larger districts. Its board was
ranged the meeting to, give re- have added mapping, regula- organized at the end of August.
sidents a chance to understand tory powers and water use Collier County is in this inter-
the complicated issues at stake planning to their flood control im district and represented by
prior to a, meeting Tuesday activities. -, Stanley Hole and James Ringo.
,.that legislative leaders,,will -Both levy ad valorem taxes. --None of th' five new dis-
-hold in Building C at, the against residents of their dis- tricts have tax(i'powers as a
courthouse starting at 10 a.m. -tricts.- The southwest district result ofa 1975 coft decision.
: ,"IT'S A VERY complex is- has a 1 mill limit for the dis- Voters must ratify 'u state con-
sue," she said... trict and a .3 mill limit for stitutional amendment giving
t. The presentation, she said, sub-districts, called basins. the districts the power to levy
helped clear up some of the The central and southern dis-- up to | mill of ad valorem tax.
questions citizens in the Naples trict has a 1 mill limit and has, Representative Hawkins said
area have about a referendum no basin subdistricts.- she prefers the basin concept
scheduled to appear on the -The Water Resources Act used in the Southwest district
March Presidential Preference .^- iwaol mnnpv is soInt
ballot next year.
The history of the districts
-The central and southern
district was created in 1949 am
c r e a t e d li v e w a te r u ,a n .v .. ., -- .
aent districts in the for local projects. The central
t will come into exis- and southern district has -no
c.- 31, 1976, as active basins. However, Robert23.
The central and Grafton, a district representa-
district will become (Continued on Page 2B) /
^ ^ }^ ^^
:- ", "added that money raised in
From Page IB Dade and Broward Counties is
S... ,.,, qften spent in other areas, but
S.. result in benefits in the long
five, said that the district levy,, run.,
.s,394, far below the millage, THE DISTRICT will not
charged basin landowners in- necessarily take over Collier
Wtthg Southwest district. County water management
Buddy Blain, attorney for the- projects'; many will be con-
.,outhwest district, said Collier sidered secondary and must be -
SCQunty will become a part of completed by the county itself,
Sthg South Florida District op he said. -
Dec. 31, 1976, the way the law 'There my not be an advan-
-Ceads now. Only an amend- stage to Collier County to join
mint to the act can exclude the the district. There is no way I
cotnlmty from incorporation into can assure you there would be
Sthe district. That he said can any benefit," he said.
-be'accomplished by legislative Representative Hawkins said
iattion which Representative that if the March referendum
:Hawkins may intitiate. fails there are several options.
"THERE IS nothing you can The present districts can
do-for me," said Jack Price, of remain at their present
the county water management boundaries and continue to
"board, to- Grafton. He is function. The legislature could
strongly opposed to the county fund the new districts with
-ei6ng included in the enlarged state money or the entire
district, he said. Water Resources Act could be
T-.'County Commission Chair- scrapped, she said.'
.man Stephen Mitchell, Ringo, .......-
"Hole and James Topping,
.,Water Management Board
'chairman all questioned the
.yalue to the county to join the
In answering them Grafton
said that there is no assurance
dtfiat district money will be
..spent for major project in Col-
-lIer County. He said the county
".will receive regulatory and
. planning functions of the dis-
;-:-"There is no way I can
-goarantee that money raised in
-Collier County will be spent in
iCollier County," he said. He