ATHE TAMPA TRIBUNE :
"Tuesday, August 28, 19u.
Local board rejects water district's budgeting plan
By PATRICE FLINCHBAUGH board represents parts of Hillsbor- The Hillsborough Basin Board defied its parent
Tribune Staff Writer ough, Polk, Pasco and Hernando
counties, and helps determine how governing board by adopting a final $8.06
A local water board voted Mon- flood control, parks and well fielder, wh h is h r
day to reject a 1985 budgeting plan projects will be constructed locally mlln budget, h higher than the get
put forth on its behalf by the South- Gary Kuhl, executive director of the governing board approved in July
,,west Florida Water Management the district, said in an interview that
,District, becoming the first to do so the basin board's final budget would
"in the 16-county water district, be carried back to the nine-pember
The Hillsborough Basin Board governing board as a recomhmenda- Florida law allows basin boards and basin boards to do.
further defied its parent governing tion only. A public hearing on the and the governing board together to This year, slicing the revenue pie
board by adopting a final $8.06 mil- districtwide budget is scheduled levy as much as one mill in property has spurred intense public debate
lion budget -about $858,000 higher Sept. 5. Kuhl said the governing taxes. The collection is done by and litigation. Three counties, a cit-
than the governing board approved board would set the precise millage county officials. But, dividing that rus growers' trade group and the
July 11. T.e five-member basin and ultimate budget. millage is for the governing board Northwest Hillsborough Basin Board
filed su. t to block the governing missions, the city of Punta Gorda,
board's r iove to slash basin budgets. cattle ranchers, citrus and vegetable
A Herna ido circuit judge ordered a growers blasted the plan when it was
temporary injunction, but that order discussed at a July 11 public hear-
was stayed while an appeal by the ing.
water management district takes
place, according to a Florida Citrus Originally, the district staff had
Mutual attorney. proposed transferring all taxing
By adopting a tentative $20 mil- power from basin boards to the gov-
lion budget in July, the-governing erning board. That would have
board drastically clipped the basin transformed the local boards nto
budgets, diverting those funds to the advisoTy panels.
districtwide account. Several basin Die tothe dispute, theowner o
board members, civic leaders, eight a $50,000 house within Hillsborough
Florida legislators, six county comr- See BOARD, Page 31
Basin Board boundaries- after
Monday's vote would be paying
$41 instead of $31.50 to the water
management district. The governing
board already has decided it would
levy .21 mills in ad valorem taxes; it
had planned to levy .42 on behalf of
the Hillsborough Basin Board, not
the .61 mills adopted Monday.
"You are putting big bucks on
the table in terms of what the tax-
payers must come through with,"
"I think the responsibility for the
extra millage falls with the govern-
ing board," retorted Patricia Pieper,
who chaired the Hillsborough Basin
Board meeting. I
Pieper said she objects to the
governing board, by controlling1
more revenue, leaving local prop-
erty owners with less representation. '
Four seats on the governing board
are automatically reserved for Hills- ;
borough and Pinellas counties.
"That means the other five 1ttem-
bers must represent 14 counties."
Pieper said in an interview. Counties
are more closely served through the
37 members of basin boards cover-
ing the district, she said.