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The Florida Statutes

The 2017 Florida Statutes

Title XXVIII
NATURAL RESOURCES; CONSERVATION, RECLAMATION, AND USE
Chapter 373
WATER RESOURCES
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F.S. 373.461
373.461 Lake Apopka improvement and management.
(1) FINDINGS AND INTENT.
(a) The Legislature has expressed its intent that economically and technically feasible methods be developed to restore the Lake Apopka Basin through the Lake Apopka Restoration Act and the Surface Water Improvement and Management Act. It is the Legislature’s intent to enhance and accelerate the restoration process begun by those previous acts of the Legislature.
(b) Technical studies have determined that substantial reductions in or elimination of phosphorus in farm discharges to Lake Apopka will be necessary in order to improve water quality and restore the lake to Class III standards.
(c) Acquisition of the lands in agricultural production which discharge phosphorus to Lake Apopka, and their related facilities, would serve the public interest by eliminating the impacts of introduction of phosphorus from these sources into the lake. It is the Legislature’s intent that a fair and equitable program of acquisition of the lands necessary to achieve the purposes of this section be implemented.
(d) The Legislature finds that time is of the essence and that a complete purchase of properties described in this section should be accomplished in an accelerated and economical manner.
(e) It is the Legislature’s intent to provide a process for development of phosphorus discharge limitations that will bring such discharges into compliance with state water quality standards and to provide for interim phosphorus abatement measures designed to further reduce phosphorus discharges from the Zellwood Drainage and Water Control District, which is the largest agricultural entity within the Lake Apopka Basin, unless both of the timeframes specified in paragraph (4)(a) regarding purchase agreements and completion of purchases are met. The Legislature finds that it is in the public interest to jointly share in the cost of implementing such interim phosphorus reduction measures with Zellwood.
(f) A. Duda and Sons, Inc., has implemented phosphorus treatment and has worked cooperatively with the district to meet applicable water quality standards. An existing settlement agreement outlines treatment measures that should satisfy all discharge limitations and criteria.
(2) DEFINITIONS.As used in this section:
(a) “District” means the St. Johns River Water Management District.
(b) “Phosphorus criterion” means a numeric interpretation for phosphorus of the Class III narrative nutrient criterion.
(c) “Stormwater management system” has the meaning set forth in s. 373.403(10).
(d) “Zellwood” means the Zellwood Drainage and Water Control District as it is described in chapter 20715, Laws of Florida.
(3) PHOSPHORUS CRITERION AND DISCHARGE LIMITATIONS FOR LAKE APOPKA.
(a) In the event the district does not adopt a rule establishing a phosphorus criterion for Lake Apopka by January 1997, the phosphorus criterion for the lake shall be 55 parts per billion (ppb).
(b) The district shall adopt by rule discharge limitations for all permits issued by the district for discharges into Lake Apopka, the Lake Level Canal, and the McDonald Canal.
(4) CONSTRUCTION OF STORMWATER MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS.
(a) It is the intent of the Legislature that construction of stormwater management facilities to store, treat, and recycle Zellwood’s agricultural stormwater runoff will be necessary during the interim period while discharge limitations are being established for Lake Apopka, unless both of the following conditions are met:
1. Agreements to purchase all the lands within Zellwood are executed by September 30, 1997, or a later execution deadline established by the United States for such agreements before reallocation of Commodity Credit Corporation funds made available to acquire wetland reserve program conservation easements within the Lake Apopka Partnership Project area; and
2. All such purchases are completed pursuant to the terms of such agreements.

The Legislature finds that it is in the public interest for state, regional, and local revenue sources to be used along with Zellwood’s revenue sources to finance the costs of acquiring land and constructing such facilities. One-third of the cost of the facilities shall be contributed by Zellwood, one-third by the state, and one-third by the district.

(b) Consistent with the funding formula outlined in paragraph (a), the state will provide up to $2 million, with the same amount being committed by both Zellwood and the district, for a total of $6 million. These funds shall be used for the purpose of acquiring the necessary land for and constructing a stormwater management facility, not to exceed 600 acres in total size, for Zellwood’s farm runoff, together with the necessary pumps and other infrastructure associated with such facilities, provided that Zellwood’s contribution shall be used for project purposes other than acquiring land.
(c) The district shall be responsible for design of the facilities and for acquiring any necessary interest in land for the facilities. Zellwood will be responsible for construction of the facilities in accordance with the district’s design. The district will administer the funds provided for under this section. No later than September 30, 1997, the district and Zellwood will develop an agreement regarding dispersal of funds for construction of the facilities which shall take into account the financing mechanisms available to the parties. Zellwood shall not be required to assess more than $25 per acre per year in financing its share of the stormwater management facility. However, it must provide its one-third share of the funding within the timeframes outlined for construction of the stormwater construction facility outlined in this section.
(d) Construction of the stormwater retention and treatment facilities provided for in this section shall begin within 90 days after acquisition of interests in land necessary for the facilities and the district’s delivery of the design of the facilities to Zellwood, and shall be completed within 1 year thereafter. After completion of the facilities, Zellwood shall be responsible for operation and maintenance so long as the facilities are used by Zellwood.
(e) The district may, as appropriate, alter or modify the design of the facility to reduce the cost of the acquisition and construction of the facility if lands presently in production within Zellwood are acquired pursuant to subsection (5) before construction of the facility. The district shall have the flexibility to adjust these dates due to any unforeseen circumstances such as, and not limited to, acts of God, delays due to litigation by outside parties, or unnecessary or unforeseen permitting or construction delays.
(f) The district and Zellwood shall give preferential consideration to the hiring of agricultural workers displaced as a result of the Lake Apopka Restoration Act, consistent with their qualifications and abilities, for the construction and operation of the stormwater facility.
(5) PURCHASE OF AGRICULTURAL LANDS.
(a) The Legislature finds that it is in the public interest of the state to acquire lands in agricultural production, along with their related facilities, which contribute, directly or indirectly, to phosphorus discharges to Lake Apopka, for the purpose of improving water quality in Lake Apopka. These lands consist of those farming entities on Lake Apopka having consent and settlement agreements with the district and those sand land farms discharging indirectly to Lake Apopka through Lake Level Canal, Apopka-Beauclair Canal, or McDonald Canal. The district is granted the power of eminent domain on those properties.
(b) In determining the fair market value of lands to be purchased from willing sellers, all appraisals of such lands may consider income from the use of the property for farming and, for this purpose, such income shall be deemed attributable to the real estate.
(c) The district shall explore the availability of funding from all sources, including any federal, state, regional, and local land acquisition funding programs, to purchase the agricultural lands described in paragraph (a). It is the Legislature’s intent that, if such funding sources can be identified, acquisition of the lands described in paragraph (a) may be undertaken by the district to purchase these properties from willing sellers. However, the purchase price paid for acquisition of such lands that were in active cultivation during 1996 may not exceed the highest appraisal obtained by the district for these lands from a state-certified general appraiser following the standards of professional practice established by rule of the Florida Real Estate Appraisal Board, including standards for the development or communication of a real estate appraisal. This maximum purchase price limitation may not include, nor be applicable to, that portion of the purchase price attributable to consideration of income described in paragraph (b), or that portion attributable to related facilities, or closing costs.
(d) In connection with successful acquisition of any of the lands described in this section which are not needed for stormwater management facilities, the district shall give the seller the option to lease the land for a period not to exceed 5 years, at a fair market lease value for similar agricultural lands. Proceeds derived from such leases shall be used to offset the cost of acquiring the land.
(e) If all the lands within Zellwood are purchased in accordance with this section prior to expiration of the consent agreement between Zellwood and the district, Zellwood shall be reimbursed for any costs described in subsection (4).
(f)1. Tangible personal property acquired by the district as part of related facilities pursuant to this section, and classified as surplus by the district, shall be sold by the Department of Management Services. The Department of Management Services shall deposit the proceeds of such sale in the Economic Development Trust Fund in the Department of Economic Opportunity. The proceeds shall be used for the purpose of providing economic and infrastructure development in portions of northwestern Orange County and east central Lake County which will be adversely affected economically due to the acquisition of lands pursuant to this subsection.
2. The Department of Economic Opportunity shall, upon presentation of the appropriate documentation justifying expenditure of the funds deposited pursuant to this paragraph, pay any obligation for which it has sufficient funds from the proceeds of the sale of tangible personal property and which meets the limitations specified in paragraph (g). The authority of the Department of Economic Opportunity to expend such funds shall expire 5 years from the effective date of this paragraph. Such expenditures may occur without future appropriation from the Legislature.
3. Funds deposited under this paragraph may not be used for any purpose other than those enumerated in paragraph (g).
(g)1. The proceeds of sale of tangible personal property authorized by paragraph (f) shall be distributed as follows: 60 percent to Orange County; 25 percent to the City of Apopka; and 15 percent to Lake County.
2. Such proceeds shall be used to implement the redevelopment plans adopted by the Orange County Board of County Commissioners, Apopka City Commission, and Lake County Board of County Commissioners.
3. Of the total proceeds, the Orange County Board of County Commissioners, Apopka City Commission, and Lake County Board of County Commissioners, may not expend more than:
a. Twenty percent for labor force training related to the redevelopment plan;
b. Thirty-three percent for financial or economic incentives for business location or expansion in the redevelopment area; and
c. Four percent for administration, planning, and marketing the redevelopment plan.
4. The Orange County Board of County Commissioners, Apopka City Commission, and Lake County Board of County Commissioners must spend those revenues not expended under subparagraph 3. for infrastructure needs necessary for the redevelopment plan.
(6) EXISTING CONSENT OR SETTLEMENT AGREEMENTS PRESERVED.Except to the extent specifically modified in this section, the district’s existing consent or settlement agreements with A. Duda and Sons, Inc., and Zellwood, including requirements regarding compliance with any discharge limitations established for Lake Apopka, shall remain in effect.
(7) APPLICABILITY OF LAWS AND WATER QUALITY STANDARDS; AUTHORITY OF DISTRICT AND DEPARTMENT.Except as otherwise provided in this section, nothing in this section shall be construed:
(a) As altering any applicable state water quality standards, laws, or district or department rules; or
(b) To restrict the authority otherwise granted the department and the district pursuant to this chapter or chapter 403. The provisions of this section shall be deemed supplemental to the authority granted pursuant to this chapter and chapter 403.
History.s. 1, ch. 96-207; s. 3, ch. 97-81; s. 5, ch. 2000-153; s. 52, ch. 2000-158; s. 1, ch. 2012-61; s. 57, ch. 2012-96.