Title: State Well Drillers Reject Proposed Water Tax Amandment
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/WL00002072/00001
 Material Information
Title: State Well Drillers Reject Proposed Water Tax Amandment
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Publisher: Sarasota Herold-Tribune
Spatial Coverage: North America -- United States of America -- Florida
Abstract: State Well Drillers Reject Proposed Water Tax Amandment, Feb 14, 1976
General Note: Box 10, Folder 2 ( SF Taxation, ad valorem tax referendum-SWFWMD-1976 - 1976 ), Item 24
Funding: Digitized by the Legal Technology Institute in the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: WL00002072
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: Levin College of Law, University of Florida
Holding Location: Levin College of Law, University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.

Full Text


FEB 0o 1976''

Sarasota Herald-Tribune

Sat., Feb. 14, 1976-3-B

Stat Well rillers Reject

Proposed Water Tax Amendment

Herald-Tribune Reporter
The promise of financial
-security for regional
management controls i n
Manatee and Sarasota coun-
ties melted somewhat Thurs-
day night with rejection by
state well drillers of an up-
coming constitutional amend-
ment to lax property owners
-for water management
district programs.
The amendment, an item on
the March 9 referendum,
failed to provide assurances
the well drillers considered
vital, according to David
Boozer, executive secretary of
the Florida Water Well Asso-
ciation Inc.
During an unusual, multi-
party conference telephone
poll, association m e be r s
agreed t h e constitutional
amendment .should be
returned to the Legislature,
for further study, but stopped
short of recommending a
special session be called,
Boozer said. /
"We're for district water
management," he said, "but
there should be some control
over the districts."
He said association mem-
bers, chiefly well drilling
contractors, equipment
manufacturers and suppliers,
and hydrologists and technical
consultants, wanted to see
implemented "some sort of
citizens' advisory board at
each (water management)
district level to provide policy
guidance to (district)
governing boards."
J. R. "Rod" Guest of Guest
Well Drilling of Sarasota, a
state director of the asso-
ciation and a participant in
the conference call, said local
drillers have little confidence
in basin boards and water
management district boards
as currently constituted.
He said few of the ap-

pointees to such state boards
are qualified by background.
and experience to regulate
water management affairs.
In addition, Guest said
board members seldom if
ever consult well drillers
about locally prevailing
ground water conditions and
thereby ignore the ac-
cumulated records and ex-
perience of those in the best
practical position to "know
daily and weekly what's hap-
pening to ground water static
levels and quality."
In Manatee and Sarasota
counties, where hydrological
surveys by the U.S.
Geological Survey have re-
vealed. a steadily declining
ground water condition, no
one has sought his or any
other local well driller's ad-
vice, Guest said.
An inventory of wells in the
two counties requested by the
Manasota Basin Board and
being performed by local
health officials is proceeding
totally devoid of consultation
with the drillers, he said.
Although Guest has par-
ticular cause to be wary of
water m a na g e m e n t offi-
cialdom, he echoed Boozer's
comments supporting the
concept of regional water
management "100 per cent."
In September, 1974, a giant
sinkhole in Hernando County
yawned suddenly beneath one
of Guest's drilling rigs,
swallowing the rig, two trucks
and other equipment and
nearly engulfing three of
Guest's employes.
He had'been ordered to set
up on the treacherous spot by
a geologist of the Southwest
Florida Water Management
District (SWFWMD) despite

his protestations of the hazards
He told the Herald-Tribune
Friday he subsequently lost
$400,000.worth of 'well drilling
equipment only partially cov-
ered by insurance.
He said drillers in the
association resent the fact the
water management districts
don't employ former drilling
contractors or experienced,
retired well contractors to
supervise well drilling activi-
He said in Kentucky, In-
diana, Maine and other states,
such districts rely on the
guidance of advisory citizen
boards comprised of former
contractors, environmentalists
and other to set policy
guidelines acceptable to all
parties involved,.
"We're not asking for an
arm and a leg," he said, ad-
ding "I guess I felt the im-
pact of how little our opinion
counted with the SWFWMD
more than anyone else."
Whether the drillers are
successful in their plea for
representation and whether
the referendum issue passes.
successfully, two of the five
permanent and one interim
districts will continue to levy
ad valorem taxes to support
district works, Boozer noted.
The two districts are the
two SWFWMD and the Cen-
tral and South Florida Flood
Control District (FCD).
Three other permanent
districts and the interim
Ridge and Lower Gulf Coast
Water Management District
rely, however, upon general
revenue funds which tend to
place their programs at the
jeopardy of legislative whim.
Passage of the referendum

question supposedly would
enable realignment of the five
permanent districts as man-
dated under the F orida
Water Resources Act of 1972,
since after passage all
districts would be funded by
ad valorem taxes.
Manatee and Sarasota
counties, currently under the
interim authority of the Ridge
and Lower Gulf Distri ct,
would become members
through the Manasota Basin
Board of the SWFWMD and.
thereby would have gained
lacking and sorely needed
No rules, regulations or
authority exists for the
issuance of water con-
sumptive use permits in
either county despite the ad-
vent In Manatee County of
phosphate mining, where
display of a consumptive use
permit is required, by the
county's mining ordinance.
Boozer and Guest agreed the
need for effective water
management is critical,
"particularly in your area,"
Boozer said.
He said, "Ground water is
properly the state's most im-
portant resource."

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