(1) The Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development is authorized to make, and based on a recommendation from Enterprise Florida, Inc., to approve, expenditures and enter into contracts for direct costs of transportation projects with the appropriate governmental body. The Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development shall provide the Department of Transportation, the Department of Environmental Protection, and the Department of Community Affairs with an opportunity to formally review and comment on recommended transportation projects, although the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development has final approval authority for any project under this section.
(2) Any contract with a governmental body for construction of any transportation project executed by the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development shall:
(a) Specify and identify the transportation project to be constructed for a new or expanding business and the number of full-time permanent jobs that will result from the project.
(b) Require that the appropriate governmental body award the construction of the particular transportation project to the lowest and best bidder in accordance with applicable state and federal statutes or regulations unless the project can be constructed with existing local government employees within the contract period specified by the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development.
(c) Require that the appropriate governmental body provide the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development with quarterly progress reports. Each quarterly progress report shall contain a narrative description of the work completed according to the project schedule, a description of any change orders executed by the appropriate governmental body, a budget summary detailing planned expenditures versus actual expenditures, and identification of minority business enterprises used as contractors and subcontractors. Records of all progress payments made for work in connection with such transportation projects, and any change orders executed by the appropriate governmental body and payments made pursuant to such orders, shall be maintained by that governmental body in accordance with accepted governmental accounting principles and practices and shall be subject to financial audit as required by law. In addition, the appropriate governmental body, upon completion and acceptance of the transportation project, shall make certification to the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development that the project has been completed in compliance with the terms and conditions of the contractual agreements between the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development and the appropriate governmental body and meets minimum construction standards established in accordance with s. 336.045.
(d) Specify that the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development shall transfer funds upon receipt of a request for funds from the local government, on no more than a quarterly basis, consistent with project needs. A contract totaling less than $200,000 is exempt from this transfer requirement. The Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development shall not transfer any funds unless construction has begun on the facility of the business on whose behalf the award was made. Local governments shall expend funds in a timely manner.
(e) Require that program funds be used only on those transportation projects that have been properly reviewed and approved in accordance with the criteria set forth in this section.
(f) Require that the governing board of the appropriate local governmental body agree by resolution to accept future maintenance and other attendant costs occurring after completion of the transportation project if the project is construction on a county or municipal system.
(3) With respect to any contract executed pursuant to this section, the term “transportation project” means a transportation facility as defined in s. 334.03(31) which is necessary in the judgment of the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development to facilitate the economic development and growth of the state. Except for applications received prior to July 1, 1996, such transportation projects shall be approved only as a consideration to attract new employment opportunities to the state or expand or retain employment in existing companies operating within the state, or to allow for the construction or expansion of a state or federal correctional facility in a county with a population of 75,000 or less that creates new employment opportunities or expands or retains employment in the county. The Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development shall institute procedures to ensure that small and minority businesses have equal access to funding provided under this section. Funding for approved transportation projects may include any expenses, other than administrative costs and equipment purchases specified in the contract, necessary for new, or improvement to existing, transportation facilities. Funds made available pursuant to this section may not be expended in connection with the relocation of a business from one community to another community in this state unless the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development determines that without such relocation the business will move outside this state or determines that the business has a compelling economic rationale for the relocation which creates additional jobs. Subject to appropriation for projects under this section, any appropriation greater than $10 million shall be allocated to each of the districts of the Department of Transportation to ensure equitable geographical distribution. Such allocated funds that remain uncommitted by the third quarter of the fiscal year shall be reallocated among the districts based on pending project requests.
(4) The Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development may adopt criteria by which transportation projects are to be reviewed and certified in accordance with s. 288.061. In approving transportation projects for funding, the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development shall consider factors including, but not limited to, the cost per job created or retained considering the amount of transportation funds requested; the average hourly rate of wages for jobs created; the reliance on the program as an inducement for the project’s location decision; the amount of capital investment to be made by the business; the demonstrated local commitment; the location of the project in an enterprise zone designated pursuant to s. 290.0055; the location of the project in a spaceport territory as defined in s. 331.304; the unemployment rate of the surrounding area; the poverty rate of the community; and the adoption of an economic element as part of its local comprehensive plan in accordance with s. 163.3177(7)(j). The Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development may contact any agency it deems appropriate for additional input regarding the approval of projects.
(5) No project that has not been specified and identified by the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development in accordance with subsection (4) prior to the initiation of construction shall be eligible for funding.
(6) The Department of Transportation shall review the proposed projects to ensure proper coordination with transportation projects included in the adopted work program and may be the contracting agency when the project is on the State Highway System. In addition, upon request by the appropriate governmental body, the department may advise and assist it or plan and construct other such transportation projects for it.
(7) For the purpose of this section, Space Florida may serve as the local government or as the contracting agency for transportation projects within spaceport territory as defined by s. 331.304.
(8) Each local government receiving funds under this section shall submit to the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development a financial audit of the local entity conducted by an independent certified public accountant. The Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development shall develop procedures to ensure that audits are received and reviewed in a timely manner and that deficiencies or questioned costs noted in the audit are resolved.
(9) The Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development shall monitor on site each grant recipient, including, but not limited to, the construction of the business facility, to ensure compliance with contractual requirements.
(10) In addition to the other provisions of this section, projects that the Legislature deems necessary to facilitate the economic development and growth of the state may be designated and funded in the General Appropriations Act. Such transportation projects create new employment opportunities, expand transportation infrastructure, improve mobility, or increase transportation innovation. The Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development shall enter into contracts with, and make expenditures to, the appropriate entities for the costs of transportation projects designated in the General Appropriations Act.
History.—s. 7, ch. 80-209; s. 1, ch. 81-171; s. 3, ch. 84-294; s. 266, ch. 84-309; s. 2, ch. 85-180; s. 44, ch. 88-201; s. 2, ch. 89-352; s. 5, ch. 90-136; ss. 5, 6, ch. 90-192; s. 2, ch. 91-218; s. 19, ch. 91-262; s. 5, ch. 91-429; s. 16, ch. 93-187; s. 46, ch. 93-206; ss. 3, 72, ch. 94-136; s. 19, ch. 94-322; s. 116, ch. 94-356; s. 876, ch. 95-148; s. 41, ch. 96-320; s. 67, ch. 96-323; s. 16, ch. 97-278; s. 12, ch. 98-258; s. 13, ch. 99-256; s. 36, ch. 2000-152; s. 4, ch. 2002-183; ss. 54, 79, ch. 2002-402; s. 75, ch. 2003-399; s. 5, ch. 2004-6; s. 7, ch. 2004-242; s. 25, ch. 2005-2; s. 54, ch. 2006-60; s. 10, ch. 2009-51.