Proportionately, I think, is your point, that the ad valorem tax
that they pay is not in proportion to the benefits that they receive. That's
a very valid point; it's not well understood or common knowledge or in the
Glades area for instance.....
HARMON W. SHIELDS:
You take it away from them and you see how hard.....
In the Glades area where these agricultural operators have been in existence
for so many years--there is over a hundred million dollars which has been
invested by them to complement our primary system with a secondary system which
would get the water from our facilities to their facilities and onto the
crops and vice-versa back into the system to go back into storage, but
the point you raise is a very valid point and probably has been argued over
the years as to whether it was of fair proportion but that appears to be,
if you are talking about legislative proposals, that certainly appears to be
intent before we are even going to sound out these things and see how we can
get them accomplished. Now with the legislative intent that the districts
were to work together with the Department of Natural Resources to affect this
change and I think a lot more would be accomplished by the districts getting
together and working to affect the change than some districts picking out issues
such as transfer of personnel. There are all changes in transfer of personnel
-and somehow, somehow magically, the changes take plade without changing men from
oranges to apples. So, I think if we were to take another approach to this
thing and perhaps work together, and either perhaps, find a way through declara-
tory judgments through the processes of suits were to get some clarification
of legislative intent that we should try to go through with what the legislature
intended rather than pull it apart at the seams before we ever have given it a
chance to go through.
Your name for the record, sir. You are on the board of St. Johns ?
Mark Zilberberg. No, I'll be representing them as their attorney.
You are concurring with my opening remarks. We do everything possible to
make this transfer orderly, and you're just grumbling that somebody is putting
some stumbling block in the way.
Let me apologize if it appears that we put stumbling blocks in the way but
we think that it is a little late to go through this transfer for next July and
come August or September or October of next year when we are ready to levy the
ad valorem taxes to support what remains and find we have lost the 11 million or
10 million dollars.
That's the reason, Buddy, that we are meeting today and that is the reason
we're talking about it. I'm a day late and a dollar short and I've just come
----------------------L ^ _____ .- --- -. ___________ ^ H ^ ^
Do we know of any specific new noxious weeds or new grasses so to speak
that have come in since the big trouble plants We assume now that we
know all of them, elodea hyacinth, etc. Are there any new ones on the way?
Yes sir, quite a few other species of the family which is similar to our
pickerel weeds in the same family as the water hyacinth give us quite a, few
problems in South America and other areas of tropical climate. There is also
another one which is the rooted water hyacinth which has the capability of
giving us more problems than the floating hyacinth because it does root and
put out long running stolen from one hyacinth to the other.
But you don't know that these are in Florida yet?
We have found them in Florida before and destroyed them, and probably had
we been challenged on these we would have lost the case. Now this is the point
I'm getting into in that we need the power to search and seize and also a
"truth in labeling" law because they can label it anything they want. Or they
may label one plant and everything else is underneath it and this is why we
need the power.
I don't know, Charlie, if you know it or not, but I sent a letter to you,
the Attorney General's opinion. I sent it through the legal staff, it may not
have gotten to you. I asked for an opinion to whether or not these men would
carry complete state police powers and in the unofficial opinion the Attorney
General's office says yes, that they can be, can have full police powers. So
that will help, but you still can't just walk in without a search warrant and
go into a man's private locker. And I don't know that we really want that.
But, we'll see if there is some way around it.
Mr. Bachman, is it because they are nit-pickin or is it because it Isn't
presented to them in a way that they can have it, in an understanding wa so that
all the facts are there for them to begin with?
He made it clear through Bobby, that water management, which is all we see
up here, may be a little bit easier and we can get our job done. We are ready for
77 right now.
What about the harbor people? Is this where your problem is coming?
That is part of it.
Because this thing comes out of a package you know and when you go beat the
halls they tell, you know, but your state's not unified behind you; you know, you're
late and you get these little comments and you know the people that I'm talking about
and it makes it tuff. And I don't care whether it's the guy that's trying to improve
his harbor or it's the guy that's trying to improve his waterway, somebody has got
to get out of the way.
Let me tell you something. Part of it is our own fault, everybody here. All
you people. It is concerned with the Public Works Program. We did a poor job in the
past two years of educating people on what the Public Works Program is all about.
And we're wearing a black hat we ought not to be wearing; we ought to be wearing a
white hat.. You wouldn't have as much trouble over at the clearinghouse if we had
run an educational program along in the past years. I inherited this situation; and
training of their staff personnel in furtherance of their specific job. Mr.
Grafton, I think, will be giving us something more on that in the future. We have
written to the Corps of Engineers asking that they meet with us and discuss with us
the problems of transferring Corps projects from one sponsoring agency, form one
district to another, the problems of a single corps project falling into two
districts in some cases, which are very substantial problems. They called Mr.
Sanders yesterday and indicated that they would meet with us on or about the 20th
of January. We will be letting you know the specific dates and time on that later.
Jim, I think you need to pursue those items you are speaking of and report
back to us when we meet nextquarter. In fact, we will be meeting in February, won't
we? That will be our final meeting before the session, possibly. Let us try to
reach a conclusion of those between now and then.
We will have a positive recommendation by then.
On the power plant siting, we discussed this-some more since our meeting,
and I think that it might be appropriate just to express our viewpoint on this.
We feel that there should either be an amendment to 373 by having the water manage-
ment districts pre-empt the field as far as the management of water, or else to
have 403.511 amended by adding a provision that would treat consumptive use of
water, ,and others similar-to zoning ordinances. We talked about this at our
earlier meeting, without any forewarning or research, and we thought that it
might be that we could do it by rules. We have now concluded that we think that
a bill should be prepared either amending 373 or 403, making it very clear that
even though power plant siting is handled and permitted through one area, that
this does not give them carte blanche for use of the water and for works of the
district and the consumptive use of water without complying with whatever local
rules and regulations that you have in trying to make allocation of water.
my predecessor is one of the finest men I've ever known in my life.. I don't think
he's not completely to blame. But-the Public Works Program is not a program
in Florida today and it hasn't been for several years since the emotionalism came
along in the environment. And maybe rightly so in some of the projects we had, maybe
they are right. But now we've got a new ballgame. So let's get on the stick and get
the thing out, a reasonable program that we can live with. It's good for the people
and get it done.
Let me suggest, now you're going through the clearinghouse, right? And next
year, whether it comes next March, next June, next September, you're going to be
going on exactly the same projects. Give or take one or two. Why not go with the
clearinghouse right now and put this in two booklets.
We are doing that, Buddy. We are getting letters of explanation over there
crossing my desk almost daily for these'projects. Explain, explain, explain, right
Charlie? (Right) And I wrote them a letter yesterday, saying now you are behind,
how about giving us something back?
No, what I'm talking about is when you get the comments back, put it in 2
booklets; one is for the booklet for this next fiscal year and one for.the booklet
for the year beyond. You juggle the money up and down. They are not concerned for
the money, they are concerned with the project.
Traditionally, we've held a water resources hearing yearly.
Hold another one in January. Hold it in December.
OK, now that's a possibility. It's good to talk about this. Let's weigh it out
and we'll make a decision, whether or not to have it in January or February. I say
Thank you, sir.
Okay, anything else before we get on with the last agenda item?
Is this going, to be the last item or do you mean the last one you've got
This is the last one I've got written, we can discuss anything you want to
discuss after we get to that one. To help me and the staff, I'd like to handle
this last item a little different. Jack's gone. This is back-to the transfer
of property, transfer of these districts. I'd like for each one of you districts
to nominate one of yourself to give about a 5 minute presentation of the problems
that we will encounter if we do what the legislature says in your district. Then
this will give our staff, after the secretarial minutes, will give our staff
something to review again, especially, to review. So, if you will get your
heads together right quick and one of you represent each district, you are better
versed than anybody else, give us a 5 minute rundown on the problems that we will
encounter if we carry through the act. Buddy, if you're prepared why don't you
take off first on the Southwest Florida Water Management District.
Most of the items we've been discussing. One, of course, we have already
discussed and that is what happens to the ad valorem taxes?
And what counties?
We have all or parts of 15 counties in Southwest Florida Water Management
District, and Central and Southern has 18, I believe. Our authority to levy.
aboard here some few months ago and here is the pPoblem, and I want to do
something about it as quickly as possible. If we can settle this legally in
court, fine, if we gotta go further than that, that's what we are here for and
we'll meet just as often and as regularly as we can to try to have an orderly
transfer. But that is what the legislature wants us to do. Yes, Mr. Nelson.
Mr. Chairman, it would help us if you would include within the seeking of
the declaratory judgment the issue that I raised, whether or not that is
permitted, without a referendum, the transfer of the ad valorem taxation ability.
Can you do that, Buddy?
S No, because the statute prohibits that. The statute passed by the legisla-
ture, the legislative intent prohibits that, and so we can't go in and say does
the constitution prohibit it, if the statute already does so then the courts
would .. I mean we have no question raised.
I haven't made a legal study of this, but just in talking around it seems
like that that was still an issue. Now if it's open and closed like that, then
that is one thing.
I think that if the legislature were to change that then it would be a
question that would still-need to be answered. Can it be done within the frame-
work of the constitution; but it's very clear in the statutes that you can't do it.
Could I get a copy of the statutes?
Bill, that is the reason that we formed the Sub-Committee to study this
problem with a group of lawyers, to try to help us come up with a solution. I'd
like to recognize Representative Frank Williams from Keystone Heights. Frank, you
The Secretary of the Cabinet didn't charge me with the responsibility with
solving the problem just to bring it to your attention. Let's hear from Mr. Winters,
did he leave?
We have no problems in Northwest Florida, Mr. Chairman .got plenty of
water. You just gave us Deerpoint Lake, that might give us some problems, and
Dead Lakes Dam.
It's a shame that we can't do something with Deerpoint Lake. I really feel bad
about that. But, ah.
Maybe that was the reason Mr. _Winters left he felt .
He didn't leave 'cause I got on him about How about you, Suwannee?
Suwannee is designated to receive a-portion of the Southwest District -
Waccasassa Basin. There are no major works in that basin; we don't envision any
particular real problems involved should the transfer take place, the budget that
they have proposed in the area, activities ongoing, could be handled by the Suwannee.
I've talked with them several times, other than a slight philosophical disagreement
on where it should be, we have no real problems there. This is the discussion on
exactly where the line should be, right? You all got together pretty well on the
hydrological end of this thing. Again, all of our problems in this transfer seem to
hinge around the taxation and money situation. The money, invested in ongoing work
in the/Basin is not of such a nature that we couldn't handle it to be transferred to us
-- --- -~--
Well, I thoroughly agree with you, Buddy.
403, we think possibly should be changed. But whether you need to do it
by rules or by bill I am not .
We don't see how it can really be done by rule unless the Department of
Pollution Control were to promulgate a rule that they are not going to grant a
permit until after you go back.
Does anyone have any comments to this suggestion? Did he serve-on your sub-
committee? (You are on his sub-committee?) Does anyone have any further sugges-
tions along those lines, power plant sitings?
We do need some clarification; we have that problem in our district.
It is going to become more prevalent before long.
I understand through the grapevine that there are seven plants possibly studying
sites; inland water sites, we are worried the way 403 is worded. Central and
Southern has a problem and we have a problem.
Five-in our district.
I really think it was a legislative intent in the first place, just over-
looked. Ok let's -. .
We also. talked about consumptive use for pressurized oil wells but we think
this can be done by rule and after all it within the same department so there is no
that we ought to have it as early as possible. But, we've got other things to do
What do you want us to stop doing now, Buddy, because we've got enough of us
to be doing all these things simultaneously.
I don't think we will be doing anything but publishing 2 different covers.
Well, it's a little bit different.
Well, you are about right, but you are not right.
You should see what goes to the clearinghouse as opposed to what appears in
that book. They are 2 different things.
But nothing additional would have to go to the clearinghouse to get them to
approve the project. Then you put the dollars beside it on how much is going to
be spent in each of the fiscal years.
Well, I think your argument is with the clearinghouse and their point of
view as to what their job is, not with us.
And they change their personnel and every new one has got to review it.
If that's the problem, then how do we attack the problem?
We're living with the problem, we are living with it the best we can.
I'll say it again, we need to change the administrative procedures of bringing
the ad valorem taxes is broken into two parts. We have 11 basins and each of
the basins is authorized to levy up to one mill and then we can levy up to 3/lOths
of a mill district-wide. This would yield the latest evaluation of assessment
in excess of almost 20 million dollars if it was taxed to the full capacity
throughout the Southwest Florida Water Management District. Now this is just
the one district. We naturally are very much concerned about this. Now, in
having different basins, the district cannot levy the ad valorem taxes within
these basins unless the basin boards concur. So, we have an input of some 45
or so board members. There are hearings, about 30 some odd hearings are held,
in the budget making process. So, there is a lot of local input.
Buddy, these 15 counties, if you tax them, the authority comes from a
constitutional amendment voted by the people and you'd have to revert back to
a constitutional amendment to change it, is that right?
No, the authority was granted back in 1961 in the enabling legislation.
That was an advertised act that was not voted on by the people. Now the taxes
started being levied in 1962. In 1968, when the constitution was amended, they
put in strict limitations as to what local governments could levy in the form
of ad valorem taxes.
Well, then you would have to have a constitutional change if any part of
your district went to another district if they had taxing power?
That's correct. The constitution that was voted on by the people in '68
says, that the special districts will not be able to levy ad valorem taxes unless
they have a referendum. Then it says any districts existing at that date can
continue to levy taxes.
got any comments about this thing?
I can just say that y'all are just as messed up as the legislature. I'm just
enjoying the discussion and am learning quite a bit. I'm really interested
in this rule-making power that I keep hearing pop up. All of it.
What phase of it? Managing water and well drilling, oil drilling,, land
strip mining and all of this carries a regulation. You have imposed, you have
given us authority to regulate these by rules, [.1st of them are on the books
today; we're just now implementing the water well regulations that you're familiar
with and most of them are already on the books. Fro:; time to time there is some
slight changes, but anyway, let's go or to the Central and Southern and
have your representative tell us what .
We're not trying to throw the road blocks, but we ha;-,n_ to have some of
the problems and be embarked on, on a rather sophisticated and very delicately
developed -program. And we see these things cmcing up and we don't want to see
that jeopardized unless the legislature understanrIds tk t it's going by the
board, if it in fact is. We've got no objections per sc to the transfer, this
is fine, we just want to be sure that it's dore reasonably and responsibly.
We do have reason to be very concerned about the ad valorem tax laws because
we have been advised through a number of sources il-t there are lawyers already
preparing to take us to take our ad valore; taxing ipoer if they can get
their foot in the door. There are those Vhio oppoe th.: districts from within
for various reasons as they do all parts of our operations and they are
standing by just waiting to see whlt is g(oiiQ to hp,:',n ,': iwen this transfer,
before they most to strip the district of it's ad valorst taxing power and this
we have been told to our faces.
We have a legal member of each one of your staffs on the subcommittee, do
We don't have an attorney in the Suwannee.
You have somebody to represent you. It sees that most of our problems are
legal questions and once we get that behind us I'iO gonna-to suggest to Jack Pierce
who is at another meeting that we get on with the program and meet as often as he
thinks necessary or as the staff thinks necessary, or as you think necessary and try
to resolve these problems. And wait on this test court, test suit, and if we need to
enter another one, which you say is of no use, about the constitutionality of the
transferring the responsibility. We will go tahad without a declaratory.
Harmon, I'd like to We've never hrd from Bob Grafton about the situation
on the "suit" in Palm Beach County.
There is not suit in Palm Beach County. We're still trying to get one of the
smaller counties to get involved through responsible officials. Nothing concrete,
at this moment.
But you do plan to investigate the probii ,,?
I didn't mean to get you all shook up o:er your sugar cane farmers down there.
Boy, You sure did.
Well, that's just the way I feel i u:;, yo, just as well might lay it out on the
reason that that can't be handled.
Well, if you and Jim will go on and work with that then come back with a
proposal that a package that we can give the members of the Legislature, I be-
lieve we can get the cooperation we need there. Because I feel like that is
vitally necessary. Ok, why don't we hear now from Roger Bachman to talk about
373.06. Give us a report on your sub-committee, Roger.
It's rather brief, but for all those who may want to know what is in there, I've
got a copy with the sentences numbered so that you can identify them if you want
to point out anything. Basically, the law as'now written, is a revision of the
original law which provides for gathering the forces in Florida and lobbying a
program to the federal government. As it is now written it provides for the mech-
anism of developing the program and presenting that program to the federal govern-
ment agencies or congressional committees. We have examined that, the 2 sub-
committee members and myself, we've examined it, we've discussed it within the de-
partment, and we find it's to the best interest, we feel, to leave the law alone
as it's now written because it provides for what we want to do, the mechanism for
developing a program and for representation of the federal government. However,
administratively there are some changes within the framework of the lanw that is now
written that probably should be made. But, we don't have to disturb the law.
For example, we're operating under a resolution of the cabinet of April 18, 1972,
which provides rather specifically for interagency staffing at the state level.
But, it does not prescribe the mechanism of how we're going to bring this information
up form the local elements, that is the water management districts, the navi-
gation districts, the port authorities or from the municipalities or counties. And
that is the kind of thing that is going to have to be straightened out in an
administrative way. We feel that it should be left as it is.
this up from the field level and viewing it at the state level to meet the schedule
that Mr. Vaughn suggested, and I agree with you 100% that to be effective, it's
got to meet each of those schedule dates in the Congress and in the OMB.
We're not fighting with you at all, we agree 100%. May I make this suggestion
for your consideration: The Department has charged you districts with the adminis-
tration of the water resources act in the districts, that you are well aware. Now,
this suggestion is, if you, as a board, whatever time period you want to set, could
get all the input from the Public Works Program, whether they be harbors or whatever
they may be, public hearings or whatever you want to call them, in your district,
get this before the public. Let's get it before the people in the Department up here
that are giving us delaying tactics, get this done and then I think we can get this
machinery greased and moved. We are willing to do anything and everything possible
to get this under way, and I don't make any apologies for what has happened in the past
but we will do everything possible to move it.
If you didn't put in any new project in 77, if you don't do anything but the
ones your hearings have already been held on, that your impact studies were complete
on, and you went ahead and published your 77 and made your preliminary presentation
with the idea that you might at a later date, bdfore it became final, revise it, you
would be so far ahead with the Congress and the Executive Branch, you'd be millions
of dollars ahead that's where you'd be.
If this is your wishes, we can do it.
I don't see why we can't do it in February.
Tell us what you want from us and we'll do'it.
How much revenue would you lose?
Wait a minute now, that is the maximum that you could collect and you're
not collecting, how much are you collecting?
We are collecting $11 million this year.
You're collecting $11 million this year, if you lost the counties that you're
supposed to lose, how much would you lost of the $11 million?
We could possibly lose it all if it were declared no longer applicable or
no longer constitutional.
Well, they could do that tomorrow. They don't have to have a change.
No, by changing the makeup of the districts we no longer continue as a
district existing in 1968, then we possibly could be subject to challenge and
lose every bit of it, on the basis of the change.
The effected electors which would be the entire district, because once you
change the political make up of our district you're effecting every elector in
Winter, I can't listen to you and them both. I am trying to learn something.
Central and Souther .
Mr. Shields, I'm going to have Jack Maloy, our Executive Director, make
most of the presentation but I would like to say and for the record
before Jack starts that it is the official position of our board that they do
everything reasonably in our power to work with the St. Johns River Water
Management District and this has taken the form of two joint meetings with
their board to bring about the orderly and responsible transfer as provided
for by the legislature. We, at the administrative level, are engaging at the
moment an extensive exchange of information to make that transfer orderly,
smooth. I don't want there to be any misunderstanding if Jack outlines
some of the problems which you asked him to do with what the position of
our board is, and that is to say that the same as yours as I understand it
that you stated in the opening of the meeting, the earliest possible orderly
transfer to the St. Johns Water Management District.
I think that it might be well just to indicate for those in attendance
the types of problems you run into in the exchange of the necessary, for
instance, real property. Our district, which has been in existence since 1949,
naturally, has acquired extensive real property holdings and in the area that is
to be transferred, it amounts to about 177 thousand acres. We have already initiated
Laughter covering conversation,
The more I think of it, the more you ought to look into that.
That might solve a lot of problems
Make you some money .
You all can sympathize with me.- I've got to go to Washington you all know how
that is Concrete jungle.
The problem is we mentioned at the last meeting we feel very
strongly that we need a bill that will have to do with the eminent domain court fees.
(Change in.tape--part of Mr. Blain's presentation missed)
It was received by the clerk, disbursed a day or so later, one entry in,
one entry out, and they got a $6,000 fee for it, paid by the district.
HAR!iON. SHI ELDS:
Yes, I agree.
We feel like this needs to change, based on a reasonable compensation
I talked to two members of the legislature this morning who don't like the
idea of your having condemnation powers, one of them is going to be the
new chairman. So do you want to bring up that bucket of worms? You might lose
the whole ball of wax. I agree with you, Buddy, that is not right.
This is not just the water management districts; -this. is the counties,
cities, D.-0. T. But D.O.T. would not object to- this because those fees are
Well, you and Jim keep telling us we've got a pretty good act.
Well, I've heard enough politicians say leave it alone or they'll make it
I think it's a good act, I really do.
I'd like to ask Mr. Bachman a couple of questions. We who have been working
with our congressional delegation noticed that there was a severe effect on funding
due to the fact that we didn't make our state presentation, this book, until after
the present budget was out in February. Namely, we were usually there in the
spring presenting this. As-you know now, there will be congressional budget com-
mittee which will be a sister-in-kind to the president's Office of Management and
Budget. We feel a definite need that the timing of the conference and the reports
be such that it be made not only to the Congress in the spring but that it be
made prior to that in the late summer to the new congressional budget committee
and to the OMB. For instance, FY '76 budget is now geing put to bed; by Christmas
time it will be virtually published. But yet, we as a state combined, will not
have an input to the congress or to OMB except on individual efforts until late
Not this year. We're almost ready now.
Well, we're late, (only 3 or 4 months) but, we're late, Harmon, this is my
point.- I realize this is an improvement, what we're doing. I think it'is some-
thing we need to bring out.
Like he says, if you'll help us out-in your district.
Do you mean to hald the hearing for all the public works projects?
All that affect the water resources.
Go ahead and get that behind you and present it to us and we'll call a
meeting of the water resources council, or whatever it is, annual resources
conference, we'll call it in February. Don, fix that up. OK, you got anything
I think I've said enough.
Would you get Charlie to write the districts a letter to this effect? That
he'd like for us to follow thru.
I'll write the letter. Well it is in these minutes, here. I think that is
enough. We are all here.
In that letter, if you would put a suggested time, too. That would be good,
January or February, whatever.
We're going to be rushed to do it in February.
Alright we can have it in January, if you are going to have yours in February,
fine, and our should precede yours.
The situation with us, Calvin, is that the lead time necessary, you've got to
Now we're not sure what effect, whether this would or would not .
I think that a taxpayer could have a pretty strong case to make to come in if
he wanted to prevent the taxes from being levied, then he could stop it, after
the districts change. Second problem, we gained an area that is now known as
the Manasota Basin Board, in Manatee and Sarasota Counties. They have been
acting in water management affairs on a local basis. This is supported by the
county; they have well drilling regulations and have several projects similar
to these that might have been done by water management districts. They are less
than enthusiastic about becoming a part of our district. We have a great deal
of concern because if they get transferred into the district, the statute and
the constitution prohibit levying ad valorem taxes for the area transferred in
without a referendum. If that referendum should fail, then we have an area
within the district that cannot be served because it has no revenue. If we
serve them from revenue that we've collected elsewhere, in the district, and
not from Manatee and Sarasota, then it would be an inequitable situation and
would be subject to challenge. If we went to the state and got a supplemental
appropriation to take care of those two counties, then it would be an inequitable
situation as far as the remainder of the counties. So, this creates a problem
as far as what to do-with them until they have voted the referendum on themselves
to match the taxing authority of the remaining portion of the district. At
least as far as 3/O1ths of a mill is concerned which is the overriding district-
wide levy. As far as the basin is concerned, each of these basins is somewhat
autonomous at their local projects and their taxes range up and down all the
way from almost nothing up to 98/1OOths of a mill. Another problem that we are
encountering is that when we took over the actual work in the Oklawaha Chain of
Lakes, there are several structures, one of our major structures is in there, and
we assume contractural obligations, for the maintenance and operation of these,
these are supported by a district-wide levy, which was authorized back in 1961.
a full duplication of all our real property records and are forwarding them at
this point in time to the St. Johns River Water Management District so that they
can familiarize themselves first with any covenants in the land acquisition,
secondly, where the properties are, thirdly, can familiarize themselves well in
advance of the July 1st, 1975 date. What this real property acquisition foretells
for them as they assume the authority, recognizing that they get the real property
and they get any problems and headaches that may go with it. Secondly, let's talk
a minute about fixed capital outlay. We have an operating field station in the
area that is to be transferred. We have been conducting in conjunction with their
district inventories of real property, which will be transferred to them. The
personnel problems have been discussed with them; questions have arisen about
differences in salary schedules. As a result of the joint meetings between our
boards, thie respective staffs of our 2 districts have first of all appointed a
key member on the staff of each of the districts to work together to affect the
transfer. Secondly, actually initiated a change of information for sending copies
of existing permits granted under our authority to the new district, who will have
to assume and, naturally honor, commitments made .under existing authority and in
good faith at the time thelpermits were written. So there is not, I don't want the
impression to be left in the room that there is nothing being done. That is far
from the case. As John DeGrove said, two joint meetings of the governing boards
and an initiation of exchange of information, designation of a key .person on each
staff to work together as a focal point within each district for all of the
necessary information. We have five operational departments, we have 1000 employees.
The information must be gathered in each operational department pertaining to their
particular responsibility in the area to be transferred, funneled through our designee
to the St. Johns district. After that information is received and broken down at
that end of the line, additional meetings will probably be necessary so that they
can more fully familiarize themselves with exactly what it is they're getting and
being collected and paid over into the secondary road funds of the counties,
so it comes back to the roads. But all of the other people might be a little
Well, we'll discuss that a little later, too. Anything else?
We may have a bill--your saying eminent domain reminds me of something--
we may have a bill to allow us to do some eminent domain or acquire property in
Kissimmee Valley, behind some of those structures, some additional property;
it is being written (drafted) now. It will be essentially the same bill that was
put in two-years ago, to give us authority to acquire more land behind the
structures so that we can regulate water elevation behind those structures in
the Kissimmee River to a greater degree.
HARMON W. SHIELDS:
Anything else before we adjourn this meeting?
Regarding our Department of Natural Resources, specifically Water Resources
Development capital request, I want to be sure that I'm reading correctly the
letter I received yesterday from DNR, that indicates because of financial
shortages this year, so to speak, like taxes, that state agencies have been re-
quested to cut the request for this year and also for next year. I read the letter
to say further, that DNR has said you will take the money from the water management
districts and then they just ask or said, cut your budgets, no particular guide-
lines or what.
All right, we got the same instructions from the Governor's Office, that we
. -... __ : ____ ; __ r---- --1- ----------- --
About 5 months improvement.
Yes, sir. And we need about 4 more, and we'll be in business. We hate to
whip a horse but, Harmon, it's just like shutting the barn door after the team is
We're hoping to go in January.
You were there with us last year and God love you for going, I think you
helped us and I'm sure we wouldn't have gotten what we did without it. But, the
problem is that you're up there -- once that budget comes out you're swimming up
stream. You're trying to get something changed that one branch of the government
has said, this is it. And if, in fact, the State of Florida takes a unified
approach in the summer when the budget is being put together and put the full
weight of the Governor and Cabinet in the same recommendation procedure that we do
in this bound booklet, and this was done in the summer, so as to be a part of the
budget formulating procedure that now not only OMB is going through in the summer
but now the Congress is going to go through, we will be a far better posture.
I don't want to be in the position of making excuses but. Charlie?
Where is Charlie? Everything is in review of the Clearinghouse, isn't it?
We've submitted to the Clearinghouse all of the proposed projects. We are
waiting gor a response from them. They are being slow, we haven't gotten any. ..
We are bogged down waiting for all agencies to comment.
recognize that we're involved here in our existing districts with Corps of Engineer
Projects which have gone thru survey review studies, general design memorandum
studies, detailed design memorandum studies, preparation of environmental impact
statements, preparation of training and specifications, before the Corps can take
the money from the Congress and avoid contract. So that we know as we sit around
this table our 2 districts right now what we need in 77 what we need in 78, what we
need in 79. and known for years. I don't really feel that our problems as bad
as it appears from the discussion because the cabinet resolution specified certain
times, I believe it was August, and the reason for that was to be prepared for ..
No, that was an agenda item from my staff that set it up this year and I picked
the time, as soon as we could possibly do it. And I'm picking the time now for
I think it's just a question of making administrative decisions to move
the mechanism back so that the input for the Corps projects certainly is available;
also for the port projects because the lead time is extensive in these projects and
the planning is proceeding it's gone by level one and two before you make request
Jack, we new districts are in the same boat. We're after the fact, too.
You know, we're trying to catch up. But I think that the Director of Natural
Resources and the Director of Water Resources have done a terrific job the last 6
months and I think given time, Mr. Chairman, you will get it squared away.
You really think I can. There is a technicality that has crossed my mind that
we have to ask for permission to hold this meeting on agenda item prior to February.
We may have some complications there, but I'll hold it as near in February as I can
possibly do it.
When this gets transferred to Dennis Auth, he loses that ad valorem taxing capacity
and that revenue and he receives works that will have to be maintained and operated
with no revenue with which to maintain and operate. We see that as a 'problem.
Another portion is in the wisdom of dividing this up. We have an area that is
called the Green Swamp Basin, and the Green Swamp Basin is supported by an entire
district-wide tax. A portion of the Green Swamp Basin gets transferred to
another district, including a portion of the Green Swamp Flood Detention Area
and also including a portion of the proposed levy, so that we would lose a portion
of a short term flood detention facility. This creates a problem because then
who would be constructing this? Would it be constructed by the other basins,
would it be constructed by us up to that point and then all the water could leak
out around the edge; it creates a problem. Of course, you've got another problem
on personnel when you're transferring personnel. In the past and up to date,
the water management districts are not considered as agencies of the state; and
if they are agencies of the state, then they would possibly lose their ad valorem
taxing capacity because of the prohibition in the constitution of the state ad
valorem tax. The two existing or two older water management districts have never
been considered as agencies of the state for that purpose. However, the new
ones have been and recently in part of your rulings, are considered as agencies
of the state. When you transfer employees from one district to another you're
transferring fish to fowl or fowl to fish as the case might be, and you may
have a problem as far as what you do with those employees.
Plus retirement and any other problems; hospitalization, etc.
And then one other very physical problem is that in drawing the boundary
lines in one area, on further studies we find that the largest source of water
for the basin would then be cut across an artificial line and would be in
another district. This is a problem that is not in keeping with the intent or
in particular, maybe some of the thought rationale that went into possibly the
land acquisition program. Now, when you begin to discuss problems, and our
situation is akin to SWFWiMD, the numbers are bigger and the names are d fferent.
We have authority to levy up to one.mil.l. Our assessed valuation is grown to 41
billion dollars. That represents 41 million dollars annually if we were levying at
that level. Remembering that the special taxing district was created expressly to
operate and maintain the joint federal state project that we know as Central and
Southern Florida or the FCD. In addition to that, we have responsibility to main-
tain project works in the remainder of our counties, after the transfer takes
place. We would be foolish not to be concerned about our ability to continue to
meet those obligations. It's not, in no sense of the word, are we attempting to
throw up a straw man in position to the transfer. We are moving ahead as if the
transfer was going to take place as planned. We have some concerns and I thought
this meeting was to express those concerns and let everybody in the room get an
appreciation for the extent of those concerns and what they meant, not only to
the new districts, but to the districts that have been in the business. We have
been in business for 25 years, some good experience, some not so good experience.
But the problem is that we will remain there through the life of this federal
investment and we have an additional responsibility to the federal government
because of the federal funds, over some 300 million dollars which have been invested
in our 18 counties. Now, that responsibility of ours is to separate and apart
from the new responsibilities as a result of the Water Resources Act of 1972. They,
for the first time, mandate a regulatory program for the consumptive use of water.
We have not been involved in that program prior to 1972. In addition to that,
they mandate the preparation of a water supply plan for the counties under our
jurisdiction. These particular portions of our activities were, as the Legislative
intent stated, to be funded by general revenue funds, so there is a very broad
spectrum of problems here hinging around the transfer. The beginning of, for
are short 115-117 million dollars of expected revenue. Go back and take a
look at your budget and cut it and they didn't tell us how to do it. We're
asking for clarification for that now, thought. And we'll get back with you
about it when we find, or when we do have something.
The letter is requesting this information be in tomorrow, though.
That is what we got, too. We've got a deadline too.
We won't meet it, there's no way.
The thing that concerns us is that the letter says it is our intent to
reduce the proposed current year expenditures by reducing Water Resources
Five percent, is that right? But we did not have the information. That
is what they did last year, they asked us to reduce it 5% and we did.
Everything reduced 5%?
No, they didn't give us a figure. That's the reason you don't have it and
we've been trying to get them to put a cap on it and tell us what to do.
May we just say that until we hear from you further we'll hold this in
Don't say that, Mr. Blain has made it informally up here before. Is there
someway that possibly in this coming summer that we might not only present FY '77,
which is what we'll be talking about, but that we might be looking at FY '78?
Well, I think it will become a lot easier because I believe the leadership
in both Houses has spoken in favor of doing something about the permitting in
review of the environmental impacts in the State. I trust that they are going
to do it and when they do I think that I it will expedite the whole situation.
Go ahead and hold a hearing this spring for '77. Have it ready by September.
The program was for the State of Florida and this was made in the fall prior
to the formulation of.the President's budget by OMB. Not last year but the year
before and previous years to that. Then based on what the President's budget
looked like and modifications that individuals wanted, one was prepared that went
through the Appropriations Committee and the Ways and Means Committee, and the
Public Works Committee. Now, that has not been done lately and don't ask me to
publicly explain why.
We know why, and we're publicly saying that we think that this needs revision.
I would be the first to agree with you because if you don't get in at the
foundation you're not going to have a very good house.
Let me ask a question right here, is there any reason since you're gearing
now more and more towards this, that we can't look for it six months earlier time
in the future that we'll have it put together, is there a reason, we don't know,
Each of the districts agrees to be-present at the pre-cabinet meeting.
Why don't you just go ahead and put it on the staff meeting in the morning,
Don, I'm going to be in Washington in the morning, go ahead and put it on, next on
the agenda for the 17th, for approval of the meeting in February. Discuss staff
and figure out when we can get everybody together in February. OK, moving on .
we got a couple of committee chairman that are over in a unitization hearing in Jay,
Florida. So I want to call on Steve Windham to give a report on Chapter 377, sub-
committee chairman for Bud Hendry, and also for Bill Youn on Chapter 211, part 2,
Well, I can do 377 .
What is 377?
Oil and Gas. We have no recommended or suggested changes for 377. The
second item which the subcommittee chaired by Mr. Bill Yon,-pertains to Florida
Statute 211, part II; this deals with a severance tax for reclamation. We have
been interested for some time in modification of Chapter 211, Part II, and the
change of one word in that particular statute, having to do with land reclamation,
changing instituted to completed land reclamation. It's exceedingly difficult
on us in working in terms of reclamation to work in that terminology. (Voice
covered by people at table talking.) When you are judging each proposal only on
initiation, it seems to detract from the total package of ever completing a
project. You can initiate activity every year on various projects but how many
are ever completed; we would prefer a change in the statute to change to the
word completed. This raises some problems, and the sub-committee tried to address
itself to these problems.
purposes of the law when we are trying to draw the lines along hydrologic
boundaires. These basically are the problems that we see. I don't know'there
may be others at the moment. I'd like to point out one other thing. We have
been engaged in regulatory activities since 1968. Prior to the enactment of the
'72 act, we created the regulatory district pursuant to the old Chapter 373, we
started regulating, we now are regulating under that old authority, the well
fields and intensive withdrawals going on within our district and will continue
to do so at least until our new regulations have had the seasoning time the
two year period for existing uses to come in and be regulated. So, we are very
much concerned about the possibility of in any way upsetting this very delicate
balance that we have achieved in regulating these very large withdrawal facilities
over a period of trial and error and a lot of study. We think that that is
in jeopardy also. I might also mention that we've always got problems on the
budget and we are not sure; we are looking to you for some guidance on our
budget request and maybe now is not the time to mention it, but before this day
is out, we would like to discuss your newest suggestions from the Governor and
ask for some guidelines as to what we do on our budget request for this next year.
If I was a member of the other basins, other new districts, I would also
be concerned about where am I going to get the equipment, where am I going to
get the manpower to all of a sudden in July to start maintaining these canals,
maintaining these structures; are they going to be geared up to do it or are we
going to hand them something that they can't handle.
Hey, Bill. Representative Bill Nelson.
If I may, I am here in the capacity of Chairman of the Appropriations
Sub-Committee that will handle all the appropriations concerning these matters.
And if I may intrude upon the delicate separation of powers between the legisla-
tive and executive If I may ask a question. Buddy, do you know are you
instance, the regulatory question about the permitting authority- we adopted
our rules in December of 1973, they became effective in March of 1974 -the time
clock on the two years is already starting in this area to be transferred. We
have now issued permits under the new act of the Consumptive use of water in this
area. The question remains, "How will these permits be effected by the transfer --
will the clock start again?" These are not questions that can't be resolved. And
to leave the impression that no work is going forward is erroneous. Ah, the problems
generally lie, I think, around the physical responsibility and I think that this is
the key question. There are existing requirements on the old districts that have
been in operation a long time. It's common sense for them to be concerned about
their ability to perform under those responsibilities. And all of those respon-
sibilities hinge around taxing authority. We certainly are not naive enough to
think that the Legislature out of the clear blue sky will give us 16 million
dollars next year to carry on our program, and that is not any new areas, that is
the operation and maintenance of existing projects. This is funded through ad
valorem taxes so that it is not any kind of a straw man to honestly and earnestly
concerned about our ability to levy that tax. The question of service to the new
areas in our case, the names are different we have "Collier County" which has
been outside any district up until the Water Resources Act and we have the Florida
Keys which has been outside both of them problem areas and the question of equity
in using ad valorem tax funds to do program work in those areas, which our taxpayers
are very conscious of and very concerned in increases in taxes over the years, -
are real problems that we have to be concerned with. So, that there is no ques-
tion about the fact that the results of the meeting of our boards is a meeting of
the minds of the fact that the transfer should go forward. If there are some
"remembering there are several of us who worked on the committee which drafted
the Legislation so we are not unfamiliar with what the Legislative intent was -
we participated actively in the process to support the Legislation to get it adopted
-- ______ ___ ^_________________________,-
We have got to answer by Thursday. Good, bad or indifferent, we've got
I'm just questioning why all the money appears to be coming out of the
water management districts, as I read the letter.
Oh, good night, it is not.
It says, it is our intent to reduce WRDA funds.
We are proposing that it would hurt less than cutting people. We
Charlie, it's not more helpful to not raise Lake Okeechobee than it is to
cut people. Maybe we have a little discussion to do on this matter. You see
our WRDA money is for matching funds on that contract at Port Myakka, the last
work necessary to raise the level of Lake Okeechobee by two feet. That is the
contract that has already been let--it is a commitment. It is a $13 million
contract which is earning at about $3 million a year.
Which one are we talking about down there, Charlie?
We have in our WRDA funds this year, $26 million. We had a carry over
from last year of in excess of $5 million.
Good night, there's the answer.
..' ^ _______ __________ r~r --------------------------- ---
I don't know of any.
If y'all recall the Governor and Cabinet charged me with the responsibility
of getting on the stick and getting it out earlier this year, that is how come
it is 6 months ahead of last year. Maybe we ought to get 5 months ahead of that.
We'll give you a B but not an A.
Mr. Chairman, what Roger referred to a while ago was administrative changes.
This is what we're driving for now so that we can get the machinery set up before
the 1st of July. All this will be worked out at the first of the new year.
I'm not questioning your route, the speed is in question, but your miles
per hour are one hell of a problem when you're beating the Halls of Congress up
Yes, I understand that. We're shooting for sometime this spring to hold a
hearing for '77.
And if we get it out of the Clearinghouse by August or September, we're
All right, you're going for '77. When are you going to come out with the
We should be, we are waiting on the Division of Planning.
Some of the problems concerned the recent Attorney General's opinion that
funds for refunds on severance tax for land reclamation had to be made within the
same year. This makes it difficult--it is difficult to complete a reclamation
project within a year. The basic change is the simple change of the one word
to completing, as we feel this would be a more viable reclamation vehicle if
we could accommodate that. The sub-committee had made some suggested changes in
the law to accommodate that, modifications that need to be made. We have copies
of this for distribution.
This will be a bill that the Department will propose, and actually all
of industry has pretty well agreed to this, haven't they, Steve? It is remarkable,
I think, a real step forward. Anything else?
No, that's all I have.
Any questions for Mr. Windham? John DuBose, you are sitting back there
saying nothing, you don't have any questions to ask? All right. Let's hear now
from the sub-committee, Chairman Bill Leffler, about Chapter 298, drainage.
This is another proverbial barrel of snakes; it is a little bit bigger than
a can of worms'. I am presently involved in a suit, Clay County, for the formation
of a dranage district, that is a complicated matter because it is re-litigating
all the points that were ever brought up in all these other drainage district
formation sutis before. But it is extraordinarily complicated by acts passed by
the last legislature, the formation of local governments act, Chapter 74-192, which
says that all local governments will be formed either by ordinances of county
commission or an act of the legislature, special districts, this is. The question
In other words, you said the Oklawaha is now under ad valorem taxes.
If it transfers into the St. Johns, therefore somebody has got to pick up the
maintenance expenses. Now the question is, can you transfer the ad valorem tax
into the St. Johns?
I believe the constitution is pretty clear on that, where it preserved it
for districts existing at the time of the passage of the constitution. And if
they transferred out, I think that would get them outside of anything that was
existing in 1968.
So that is not an issue that you will address in the declaratory judgment?
No. We'd be happy to if we thought it really would .
(Everyone talking at the same time.)
It doesn't seem to me that it would be the intent of the legislature to
deprive the source of revenue for the ongoing operation and maintenance of
congressionally authorized projects that were established prior to the constitu-
But the legislature spoke very clearly to it. What Bill is suggesting is
that if we have a statutory change that would eliminate the prohibition against
continuing the tax on transfer. 'And would try to preserve that in some way.
The question is whether the constitution would still prohibit that?
Y'all think we got time to get this answered before the legislature? And
is more than one case necessary? Is there one case now? Yes, sir.
and answered many of the questions of the Legislature in the process so we are
not involved in some sort of self-defeating process. We felt that we needed the
law, and feel that the transfer is in the best interest of the state and should
go forward but not at the expense or at willy-nilly without the recognition of
some of these problems. Naturally, the problems shouldn't be blown out of pro-
portion. I think that there is a need for everyone involved in the process to
honestly appraise the other fellow's problem and-be as objective as possible
in reaching or agreeing to approach this thing in harmony I think that you've
got the support of the Boards of the Districts, I think that they came here to
express some of their concerns which are valid, and how we go forward from this
point, I don't really have any ominous suggestions other than people ought to
think seriously about the other fellow's problem and how to get together and
work in our branch of government and possibly with the legislature if necessary
to move this process forward from this point in time.
I appreciate your comments very enlightening. All right, our overall
Agriculture Committee that the Governor and Cabinet had me appoint to start
meeting over the problem in your areas, and also to look at agriculture, not
versus, but in cooperation with, land-use planning. I had Mr. Sanders to write
the western states and find out what people pay (farmers out there) for irrigation
to take water off their lands when they -have too much and put water on it when
they didn't ave enough with perfect control of conditions. It is really a
utility, and I think that one of these recommendations is going to be to an
appropriate body for the legislature, whoever it may be, that they take a look
at the tax program of each district to determine if these farmers (sugar cane
farmers preferably) receive a service that they would be paying for, more than
the standard ad valorem tax assessment that the common property owners through
If you gentlemen can show me where we can utilize this amount of money
between now and the first of July, effectively, I'll back off of what we wrote
0. K., we'll show it to you. We'll sure show it to you.
Wait a minute, I didn't say I was going to back off, he said he was.
I've got to do what the Governor and Cabinet tell me to do. Charlie, aren't
you gad I'm here? We are going to treat you right, but we've got to cut the
money back. Now, let's get ready, we've got to cut the money back.
We've got to communicate with Charlie at the staff level in this.
Is this cutting or is this deferring the release of funds?
Well, the letter to me was to cut.
We've-got people in court.....
We've got a tremendous amount of money that you all are holding for
law suits that are filed, we've got orders of taking; we can't back off; there
is no way.
This we lrave no intention of doing...let me ask SWFWMD, have you
committed $28 million?
I'm not going to give you an answer, but just as soon as I can. We're
waiting on the Clearinghouse right now.
All right, now then, in '77 though, I think we should consider, where we
address it to the Congress, we should be addressing it to the President of the
U.S. and the Congress.
That's a technicality.
Technicality, but it's important, Harmon.
I understand the budget is not made by then.
We want in before the damn door slams, this time.
Let me add one more point here: I understand that some of the frustration
of getting things through the Clearinghouse. I seems to me that one approach to
dealing with that is to change the system, which you suggested that some leadership
in the Legislature indicated they wanted to do. Another approach to dealing with
that, that perhaps has already been tried and if not, it ought to be tried, is to
work with the key reviewing people in the Clearinghouse throughout'all stages of
the process so that when it comes to the point that it goes to them, it doesn't
sit there for an extraordinary long time, that there aren't any surprises there
and that we give them an effective presentation all along of what we're trying to
do. Now, it seems to me that there are just as much possibility there whether
or not the process is going to be changed is in the lap of fate; maybe it will be,
and maybe it won't. But, I think this gentlemen, as long as we are going to change
the thing let's shoot for what we really need. And what we really need is not
is whether a drainage district is a special district within the scope of this
act and whether it is a local government or just a public corporation. The question
is not resolved. I've got to do some research on it but I'm sure that I'm not
going to come up on anything but a line of argument. There's going to be no
precedent in it.
For a long time there has been a problem with one owner drainage districts,
particularly as land developers will seek this form of shelter for their develop-
ment. It used to give them some government immunity, it does give them the ability
to sell tax free bonds, and get all their money up front to finance their development
and have the people who eventually buy lots within their development pay for it
by way of taxes. Whether the legislature intends this to continue as a financing
scene for developments is a matter that we commend to their wisdom but it's
something that certainly should be brought to their attention and it is becoming
more popular all the time, as other sources are drying up. On the matter of
formation of the districts, and of the conflict with the formation of local govern-
ments act, if this act is to be given full scope applied against drainage districts,
it is the opinion of counsel in the case that I'm presently working on that it will
pre-empt the circuit court jurisdiction in the entire matter, leaving it to local
government and with the input from the department that presently goes to the Circuit
Court. If we take this matter out of the Circuit Court, there is the necessity to
adopt some administrative rules; we will need legislative authority to adopt rules,
provide standards for measuring the public interest, and a particular reclamation
plan, water management plan and standards for review of this water management plan. As
long as this is done in the Court it can be done on an ad hoc basis. If we are
going to bring it into the administrative arena, with with the new administrative pro-
cedures act we need statutory authority to adopt rules and have some standards to
work by. I have no suggestion as to what to ca-ll them but it is a matter that also
needs some consideration. The drainage act called them districts; they were all sub-
A4-;rC.--c rf 1- -hn ,ru\lnvdrpc Flrainaicm District, whlicth was abolished.
all satisfied as to your legal opinion that the tax cannot be transferred into
the water management districts without a-referendum?
Statutorily, they can't, and it's my opinion that constitutionally they
Can or cannot?
Is there enough of a question here that you all would anticipate trying to
get a declaratory judgment on it?
Yes. You may not have been here when we started. We mentioned the fact
that we are in the process of filing a suit now. And hopefully it will be filed
this week or next. Hernando County has agreed to defend in this suit and this
will be seeking declaratory judgment decree on several points relating to trans-
fer. Hernando County happens to be a county that will neither gain or lose an
area within the district but is effected whether Manatee and Sarasota Counties
come in and whether other areas go out.
I assume there that you're talking about seeking declaratory judgment with
regard to the issue of whether or not it is fair to the rest of the counties
within central and south Florida if one part of them is taken out and is being
funded by general revenue. That is one of the issues. Are you also going to
address the issue, can you transfer without a referendum? Are you going to
address that issue?
the 18 counties pay; in bur inquiry with the \western states, I believe that
the smallest, Charlie, was $2.45 per acre foot.
I trust that your research extended back into the similar structures
that existed in the .....
Mr. Chairman, I hope that you realize that you are opening a real can
of worms there; I hope that you realize that this was fought out in 1949.
It's your can of worms.
HARMON W. SHIELDS:
It will come.out of this other committee's report; I'm just putting you
aware of it.
I suggest that if you are going to do that, you look not only at open
ditch charges, but look at well pumping charges sur.ch as Orange County does in
HARMON W. SHIELDS:
And the City of Miami, what do they pay for their water? You furnish-it
Thats true. You see what you are saying, there in the first place, and
I'm sure that you are familiar with this, there is no structure in Florida Law
(we were under Riparian Law until the Watet R:scurces Act of 1972) now that
we are beginning to regulate the consumptive use of water, which we never did
"before, the question arises, should there be a charge?
HARMON W. SHIELDS:
We are furnishing a service, sir, to LI; i;opie. Now they're paying
Then we are assuming that what you're saying to us is don't go ahead
and get the Green Swamp.
Now, wait a minute, now don't go jumping to conclusions. We are going to
cut the money, we are going to try not to hurt you. I'm telling you that.
I've got Jim Smith handling this program for me on my staff level and he'll have
to coordinate with Charlie-to be sure that we come up department-wide with
enough money. You're a small part of it, when it comes to.....You don't want to
give up a thing...and I don't blame you, but you're going to do it.
Let's be reasonable. We are going to have to cut you some. But let's
try to do it just as painlessly as we can.
Take it out of the left side.
Why don't we discuss this further?
Fine; I'll be glad to discuss it, but we are going to end up with a cut
because we were told to do it. I've got bosses.
All we want ...we've got no guidelines on this. We're more than willing
I'm trying my best. Jim may have the answer right now. He may.....I gave
him a note this morning to check today to find out....
-_ 2. ------ -
September, it's too late, the President's budget, even it we go to an October FY
is still going to start-at about the same time, the preceding March, 18 20 months
before and what we need is to be able to shoot for June, not September, early summer;
because it is early summer when the Executive Branch is getting their pretty firm
guidelines about what is going to go into the budget. As long as we're going to do
it in a way that the timing maximizes our chances for success. The same amount of
energy and effort and worry and agitation and frustration and hopefully accomplish-
ment goes into it. Once you set it back to a calendar that begins to produce it at
the time you need it, and I think that the Clearinghouse people ought to be sensitive
to this. It seems to me that we ought to, Charlie, get with those Troops, who-
ever they are, and get them working with us to get this thing out in a timely way.
Now, if we can move it back to September, we can move it back to June. This new
congressional office of the budget is going to be the key, one of the key points
in the congress, along with the Appropriations Committee, who knows how that new
budget system in the congress is going to work. Ir might blow up. Might not
work at all, it didn't the last time they tried it. They are going to hire a whole
lot of key staff people there and we ought to be on top of those, too. We ought
to know who they are; we ought to have our input to them. What are the chances,
Harmon of -- we gained 6 months this year, that's good; let's shoot to gain an-
other 6 that will take us back to the middle of the summer.
Fundamentally, the problem is somebody recognizing at a number of levels
what the problem really is, and we're talking about money programming and not
whether or not this particular structure is going to be here or there or you're
going-to have a canal here or there or what is affected in the environmental and
engineering aspects of the program or the project that these people are-examining.
Now, that's what's holding the GD thing up. Excuse me, ladies. And it's the
people who are uninformed with the process who are nitpicking, who are delaying
Okay, are there any.questions for Mr. Leffler?
We would like to see him prepare a bill that would be very simple. It
would be similar to that little one sentence section that Ted Randall put in
that would change the name from water management district to local improvement
district or land improvement district, so that there is nocpestion that it is
not a water management district.
Well, the problem is going to be finding somebody to put this on the floor
because last time that it was brought up in 1972, they just about voted the
whole act out of existence.
If you'll support it, we'll draft it and get somebody to introduce it.
(Russell Theriot's presentation concerning the problems of the Bureau of
Aquatic Plant Research and Control was inadvertently taped over by another
portion of the meeting.)
search and seizure in the Marine Patrol and I have some reservations
about search and seizure and we do a lot of it and sometimes we are wrong and
I think you probably will have trouble with the bill getting the bill passed
to give you that power without a search warrant that is what you mean you
want to do it on the spot-without a search warrant but we'll test that water
and see how hot it is and It may be that is the only way to do it; if
it is, why then we'll consider it. I would want to study that problem a little
more too, before we-hang a gun on somebody and tell them that he can go anywhere
he wants to and look at anything he wants to.
Can I just say something on this as far as the St. Johns District feels.
If the legislature was so clear on all of this, I don't think you'd be standing
up there now, I don't think we'd have a problem. I think what we have to get
at some stage of the game, before all of this becomes too complex, is actually
what the legislature meant when it set up Chapter 373 and intended to set up
these new districts and intended them to be set up with these lands transferred.
Have you read the constitution as it pertains to the special districts?
I read the constitution and I've read the statute and I think what our
district wants to clarify and what we're working on now are the two major
issues that seem to be overriding this whole thing. One issue is, of course,
the ad valorem taxation and how the district plans or how the legislature
plans to have the districts effect this change smoothly, so they hope, without
entering into all the problems that we're getting into here. The second issue
is financing the projects that are ongoing in the previous districts. I .
and expect in some magical way that they were going to be able to
support them but there were no means set up for a referendum before, or if they
did not intend for either the Department of Natural Resources to help or some
way, a carry-over perhaps of the ad valorem taxation until a referendum could
be held. But these are legal questions and addressing myself to Representative
Nelson, I figure they are issues and going back to what you said, I don't think
there would be a problem today if these weren't issues. Now whether these
are to be resolved by test suits of declaratory acts, declaratory statements,
or whether they are to be decided by the legislature in the new legislative
session, this remains to be seen. But I don't think it's fair to bring up all
issues that may at sometime in the future become moot and destroy the legislative
for it through the U. S. tax dollar and the public works program. It i about
26 million dollars and your ad valorem tax program was running about--you've
got a total budget of about 40 million dollars, or something like that. And the
individuals who are paying for it own a little city lot, paying for it with his
ad valorem taxes.
HARMON W. SHIELDS:
The man who is irrigating his farm and we are not talking about small operators,
were talking about multi-million dollar operations in the sugar cane business.
Sugar, I know is high enough, but they have a free service and they gripe and
holler the loudest if you don't give them a permit to put the water and take
it off their land; and you do it, and it seems to me like a service that should
be paid for. Of course, that's another day and another program, isn't it?
Mr. Chairman, along that same line and your thought and your thinking is
backed up with what you are going to pursue, it was called to your attention
that the most recent act of the legislature in Southwest Florida's District was
a water authority, where this water authority will be a producing authority.
Southwest will be the regulatory authority, and if, in fact, that is the case,
then they will make those charges and that still doesn't help us collect our ad
valorem tax for the management of our District.
HARMON W. SHIELDS:
I just think that the agricultural cross section committee of the state
government is going to make some sort of recommendation, have someone look at it,
that somewhere down the line, people are receiving a service that they are not
~ __ _n______------------------ ----
it so long. You people know, but when they get into the act of examining all the
port authorities requests, and the navigations district requests, and the municipal-
ity requests in areas that are not as easy to examine and understand and accept,
perhaps, as the water management.
9 -6^B er 57;T s3lP^2maseangerrBLorrt istyicat |
SEE Tt P. O. BOX 457 BROOKSVILLE, FLORIDA 33512
, ,.4 DERRILL McATEER, Chairman, Brooksvillr THOMAS VAN der VEEP, Secretary, Yaakeetown S. C. BEXLEY, JR., Land O' Lakes
AG EM ROBERT E. VAUGHN, Vice Chairman, Brandon JOHN A. ANDERSON, St. Petersburg JOE E. HILL, Leesburg
J. R. GRAW, Treasurer, Ocala HERM.AN BEVILLE, Bushnell N. BROOKS JOHNS, Lakeland
Donald R. Feaster, Executive Director
December 6, 1974
Mr. Charles M. Sanders, Director
Division of Interior Resources
Department of Natural Resoures -
202 Blou ntStreet--Crowtr ^u-iing
TaLt assee, Florida 32304 -
Re: Quarterly Meeting of Water Management Districts
I noticed that you had a transcript made-o-f the Quarterly Meeting of
the Water Management Districts held on December 3, 1974 in the House
There were many items discussed at said meeting that were of major
interest to this District. Thus, I would appreciate it very much
if you would forward a typed copy of said transcript as soon as it
My thanks in advance.
Very truly yours,
JAY T. AHERN
cc: Mr. Donald R. Feaster
Mr. E. D. Vergara
-L. M. Blain, Esquire
QUARTERLY EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR'S MEETING
/ -ATER MANAGEMENT DISTRICTS -
December 3, 1974
First on the agenda, let's hear from Jack Pierce, our Department Attorney,
with a brief analysis of Judge Hartwell's order on the White Amur. Tell us about
Mr. Shields, Ladies and Gentlemen; I just received the order yesterday after-
noon and happen to have about 6 or one for each district and I think Clark Hudson
has some more. (Name of people filing one suit unintelligible.) An injunction
without notice was issued that morning. That afternoon Judge Hartwell allowed the
hearing to start at 3:30 PM. Joe Jacobs firm was hired, specifically Joe Jacobs, by
the committee of Natural Resources in the House and the Attorney General's office
up holding the constitution and the statutes. We went around and around until about
5:30 PM. Just before we quit the Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission represented by
B. L. Middlebrooks came in and announced they had filed suit to stay until the final
hearing and Judge Hartwell will allow for an injunction. We had a two-day final hearing,
the judge entered an order which turned the Florida Statutes 20.25(17) (1973) adminis-
trative statutes does not conflict with our Article 4, Section 9. That is the one
concerning the Department of Natural Resources transfer of the civic functions under
Chapter 403 to the Department. Then the last sentence of FS 372.26 (1973) exempting
the Department of Natural Resources from the necessity of obtaining a permit, the
Game and Fresh Water Fish-Commission in order to introduce fish in fresh waters in
the State of Florida is found to be irreconcilable conflict with Article 4, Section
9 of the Florida Constitution and is unconstitutional in that regard. That is just
the last sentence wh-ich says we do not have to get a permit to introducefish in the
water. That one last sentence was struck out as being unconstitutional. Then he went
on down to Florida Statutes 372.925 to fresh water as it applies to fresk water aquatic
life. Everyone at the hearing and everybody conceded that these .noxious, weeds are
fresh water aquatic life. They were all aware that the present cor stitution says
the Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission have all of the non-judicial powers of the
State in regards to wild animal life and fresh water aquatic life. i!oI, in November
an amendment was passed that is to take effect the first Tuesday after the first Mon-
day in January, which changes the powers of the Game and Fresh Wter Fish Commission.
When the amendment takes effect they will have the regulatory powers rnd the executive
powers as it pertains to animal life and fresh water aquatic life. 'My opinion is that
this has cut them back to what the Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission was originally
set up for in 1973, which was to control and regulate the taking of wild animals in
1974 was unconstitutional on it's face and the Department of i!.ltal Resources
authority are hereby restrained to join from introducing the ,whiLe amur in the waters
of Deer Point Lake in Bay County, Florida. Now, the issues involved, I think, that
whether these statutes are unconstitutional is conflicting with the Came and Fresh
Water Fish Commission powers under the constitution as it relates to Deer Point Lake.
The only mention of Deer Point Lake is in the last paragrr--h of he. court's order. I
think that action is going to be taken; there is no question about that and a lot
of questions will be left unanswered at-the present time, i.'r. Shi is. We feel, I am
of the opinion that this will act as a buffer; which means the orYitc doesn't exist
until the Supreme Court rules on it. I think that everything els e we have, perhaps we
may have to go with our hand out to the Game Commission and say :iy we, but the
appropriation, the money and everything else like that we stilJ have. If there are
any questions as to the suit, the order, I will be very glad to attempt to answer.
Sounds like you did a pretty good job.
Well, that was a hard hurdle to overcome. We at.i.!.t :, w cit the Judge to
rationalize as to why the commission, when first for'.ed, whvy :h:y were given such
broad powers in 1968, there is-no record. But we trick, tn ,ic the. people want to
get them back to what they were originally formed for and he said, "No, how much
more clear do you want it? They have all non-judicial powers. Do you expect me to
say and Judge Hartwell, don't you mess with this'." Frankly, I thought or was of
the opinion that when he definitely found the evidence on our side, (he practically
made that statement) and I think that he just wanted to play it down.
Since Article 4 passed or the amendment to the constitution, do you think now
that the Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission, the only powers that the commission
has is to regulate the bag limit and seasons?
They have the non-regulatory, I mean, they have the regulatory powers plus the
executive powers. Now, I think the regulatory powers will have to be in the form of
a rule or regulation if pursuant to a statute and only a rule and regulation as defined
in Chapter 120. In other words, they can't go out and make new laws.
The legislature can though. The legislature can give them the permission.
Then they can pass rules and regulations interpreting or making specific the
law as passed by the legislature. But, you see before they had not only had the
executive power, the regulatory power, but they had the legislative power. The
legislative power has been taken away from them.
They can legislate in their field now?
No sir, they can not. They can pass rules and regulations.
I mean the legislature can legislate and tell them what to do with their money?
Personnel, everything except bag limits and seasons?
That's right, and they can even do that.
That's going to bring on a different ball game. I'd like to make my position
clear about the aquatic weed program. I think that the Deaprtment of Natural Re-
sources on the governor and the cabinet should handle the budgetary matter, but
I think the work ought to be done right in your water management districts. You
are the one with the problem, you're closer to it than anybody, you got the per-
sonnel, you got the know-how. I think we all ought to get out of the business,
except for our research.. You people ought to be in the business. That's where the
money ought to go to you. Through us to you. OK, so much for that. Are you
going to be around to discuss this last matter with us here?
Well, I'd like to, if I possibly could, you know I'm leaving tomorrow, and I
have a little amendment to that Brevard County Setback Line. I could shove it
under the carpet, it won't go away. I would like to make a report on that. On
"that last item transfer of Property.
It's going to be a lengthy discussion and I wanted it to be last on the
agenda but why don't you go ahead and give us a report on your committee. You
are sub-committee chairman on the transfer of the property; that's the property
in the districts.
Litigation might be necessary to clear up several questions on the transfer
of property and taking property. We had a meeting in Tampa, Buddy Blain, Myron
Gibbons, and Bob Grafton. That meeting with Myron Gibbons and Buddy Blain said
that they would attempt to get the county commissioners of Hernando County to file
suit, which I understand has been filed, and I'd like to ask Buddy at the present
time to tell you the results or stage of that. Mr. Grafton was unsussessful, I
believe, in getting St. Lucie to: he was attempting last time I talked to him,
about 2 weeks ago, and he had high hopes of getting Palm Beach County and once
again I'd like to call on Bob Grafton, either now or later on, to explain the
status of that.
Let's just see of Buddy have they filed down there?
No, actually Hernando County has agreed to defend and the water management
district is preparing the papers now and will be filing this week or next week in
Hernando County. We're using several questions, asking for declaratory judgement
as to what effect the transfer will have on ad valorem taxing power of the districts
those that are having areas transferred out, and those that are having areas trans-
ferred in. There is a constitutional provision that is protective and preserve the
ad valorem taxing authority but it says of districts existing on the effective date
of the constitution in 1968. So there is a question that once these districts are
restructured, either by addition or deletion, then are they still districts that
were existing at that time? And this is one point that we're hoping to have some
answer or so that we could, with assurance, go ahead and complete the transfer.
Obviously, if the transfer cannot be effective without losing the ad valorem taxing
power, then -it is a matter that should again be brought to the attention of the
legislature to be sure that t)ht was t intent to eliminate the taxing authority.
Because the Water Resources Act of 1972 purports to preserve'that acting power
even though it transfers territory out. If there is a constitutional prohibition,
then the legislature has got to make a decision one way or the other.
Let me make our staff's position again real clear, in the transfer of this
property. It's our desire to do what the Legislature wants us to do. They said
transfer it by the 30th of June 1975-. Now, we are going to do it if we can, anyway
possible, if we can't, and I hope this can be resolved today, if.it can't be done
then we need to ask the Legislature to provide us with guidance in the coiling
session to adjust for it. But, it's my job and my staff's job and your job to
try to orderly transfer this property, if at all possible, now, as soon as possible.
May I respond to that? We agree with you, but we would also point out that
the Department has another responsibility and that is to consider the Water Re-
sources Act and the law and to make recommendations. to the Legislature if it seems
appropriate that there should be-changes, statutory changes. Right at this moment
I don't think that anyone is prepared to say that there should be, but after we
see how this litigation goes and some of the other problems that are being resolved,
now that you have made some efforts, some contact with the Corps of Engineers to see
if there are any problems involved there, and there certainly will be some problems
of financing some of the districts where the areas will be transferred to others.
So, all of this will have to be looked at, if it becomes apparent that a change
is warranted, then we think it might be appropriate for DNR to get on with us in
showing the legislature that they should consider whether they want to make the
change or whether they want to lose the .
Yes, I agree with you; I think first we've got to do is to make a real effort
to do what they pointed out in the bill for us to do. I don't think anyone would
disagree with me there. I hope not, but we can't do it, if it causes too many
problems, then it's our obligation to tell the legislature here are our problems.
And let's try to be united in all the five water management districts in our request.
That's what I hope to do.
Mr. Chairman, on that same tack, I do think it is our responsibility where we
see other problems to point them out to both ourselves and to members of the Leg-
islature, beyond just this ad valorem taxing problem. We are slowly finding more
that wilT be created as we go along, in attempting to do just what you said, and
r __ _
that is to make an orderly transition, we are running into some stumbling blocks,
some of them very minor and can probably be done away with, others not quite so
minor. I think we would be wanting to intensify our efforts to communicate, both
among ourselves and to the Legislature.
I have talked to some the the leadership; they have informed me that they
intend for us to make the transition, so we have got to do the best we can to do
it. I am satisfied that is what they want. But we will get into that further
today. Jack, how about do you have anything else?
No, sir. That is all.
Have you discussed with them some of these other problems, some that we are
finding, some that we discussed at the last quarterly meeting?
I mean, but are they aware of some of these very real problems?
Yes, they are aware, but they still have hopes that we can settle it.
But it is not the intent to transfer blindly, even if the problems can't be
Well, I wouldn't think they are not that closed-minded.
I mean there is nothing sacred about any of these boundary lines.
They are not that close-minded.
There would be five or six or eight or ten districts.
Yes, but when they pass a bill they intend for us to try to do something
about it, and that is what we are going to do.
S.. Certain areas will be ready for transfer prior to other areas. I
can see from discussions that we have had that we may not want to transfer all
areas simultaneoulsy. You may want to consider that as you go forth in the coming
months; that you can't solve all problems, be all things to all people, regardless.
Bob, we find that out in every phase of our department. But, I think maybe
we will become better acquainted with some more of these problems and solutions, as
we go along today. And if you will permit me, I would like to call on Jim Stidham,
in our department, who is a sub-committee chairman, to give us a report on Chapter
Yes, sir. We have looked at 373, and have no firm recommendations for any
changes to that law at this time. We feel that substantially the law as we have
reviewed it is good, and does what we need. There are a couple of areas of concern;
one is. the power plant siting -- there is a conflict between 403 and 373. We feel
that that should be reviewed very carefully, but we are not sure at this moment
whether that should be done by an interagency agreement, or rules, or whether it is
going ot require legislation. We will have to do some more research before we can
answer that question. The second area is the flood control district board would
like to have the authority to provide funds for the training of their people. I
am not sure that I understand completely what this is bur Mr. Grafton is drafting
a change to the bill for our consideration in the future. This would just provide
the governing board with the authority to provide for the further education and