(1) Upon adoption of the resolution as provided in s. 290.0055(1)(a), the county or municipality shall create a public body corporate and politic to be known as an “enterprise zone development agency.” For an area nominated by a county and one or more municipalities jointly, the county shall create the agency. Each such agency shall be constituted as a public instrumentality, and the exercise by an enterprise zone development agency of the powers conferred by this act shall be deemed and held to be the performance of an essential public function. The enterprise zone development agency of a county has the power to function within the corporate limits of a municipality only if the governing body of the municipality has by resolution concurred in the enterprise zone development plan prepared pursuant to s. 290.0057.
(2) When the governing body creates an enterprise zone development agency, that body shall appoint a board of commissioners of the agency, which shall consist of not fewer than 8 or more than 13 commissioners. The governing body may appoint at least one representative from each of the following: the local chamber of commerce; local financial or insurance entities; local businesses and, where possible, businesses operating within the nominated area; the residents residing within the nominated area; nonprofit community-based organizations operating within the nominated area; the regional workforce board; the local code enforcement agency; and the local law enforcement agency. The terms of office of the commissioners shall be for 4 years, except that, in making the initial appointments, the governing body shall appoint two members for terms of 3 years, two members for terms of 2 years, and one member for a term of 1 year; the remaining initial members shall serve for terms of 4 years. A vacancy occurring during a term shall be filled for the unexpired term. The importance of including individuals from the nominated area shall be considered in making appointments. Further, the importance of minority representation on the agency shall be considered in making appointments so that the agency generally reflects the gender and ethnic composition of the community as a whole.
(3) A commissioner shall receive no compensation for his or her services, but is entitled to the necessary expenses, including travel expenses, incurred in the discharge of his or her duties. Each commissioner shall hold office until a successor has been appointed and has qualified. A certificate of the appointment or reappointment of any commissioner is conclusive evidence of the due and proper appointment of the commissioner.
(4) The powers of an enterprise zone development agency shall be exercised by the commissioners. A majority of the commissioners constitutes a quorum for the purpose of conducting business and exercising the powers of the agency and for all other purposes. Action may be taken by the agency upon a vote of a majority of the commissioners present, unless in any case the bylaws require a larger number.
(5) The governing body shall designate a chair and vice chair from among the commissioners. An agency may employ an executive director, technical experts, and such other agents and employees, permanent and temporary, as it requires, and determine their qualifications, duties, and compensation. For such legal service as it requires, an agency may employ or retain its own counsel and legal staff. An agency authorized to transact business and exercise powers under this act shall file with the governing body, on or before March 31 of each year, a report of its activities for the preceding fiscal year, which report shall include a complete financial statement setting forth its assets, liabilities, income, and operating expenses as of the end of such fiscal year. The agency shall make the report available for inspection during business hours in the office of the agency.
(6) At any time after the creation of an enterprise zone development agency, the governing body of the county or municipality may appropriate to the agency such amounts as the governing body deems necessary for the administrative expenses and overhead of the agency.
(7) The governing body may remove a commissioner for inefficiency, neglect of duty, or misconduct in office only after a hearing and only if the commissioner has been given a copy of the charges at least 10 days prior to the hearing and has had an opportunity to be heard in person or by counsel.
(8) The enterprise zone development agency shall have the following powers and responsibilities:
(a) To assist in the development, implementation, and annual review and update of the strategic plan or measurable goals.
(b) To oversee and monitor the implementation of the strategic plan or measurable goals. The agency shall make quarterly reports to the governing body of the municipality or county, or the governing bodies of the county and one or more municipalities, evaluating the progress in implementing the strategic plan or measurable goals.
(c) To identify and recommend to the governing body of the municipality or county, or the governing bodies of the county and one or more municipalities, ways to remove regulatory barriers.
(d) To identify to the local government or governments the financial needs of, and local resources or assistance available to, eligible businesses in the zone.
(e) To assist in promoting the enterprise zone incentives to residents and businesses within the enterprise zone.
(f) To recommend boundary changes, as appropriate, in the enterprise zone to the governing body.
(g) To work with organizations affiliated with Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, the University of Florida, and the University of South Florida, a group of universities unofficially named the “University Partnership for Community Development,” or similar organizations that have combined their resources to provide development consulting on a nonprofit basis.
(h) To work with Enterprise Florida, Inc., and the office to ensure that the enterprise zone coordinator receives training on an annual basis.
(9) The following powers and responsibilities shall be performed by the governing body creating the enterprise zone development agency acting as the managing agent of the enterprise zone development agency, or, contingent upon approval by such governing body, such powers and responsibilities shall be performed by the enterprise zone development agency: (a) To review, process, and certify applications for state enterprise zone tax incentives pursuant to ss. 212.08(5)(g), (h), and (15); 212.096; 220.181; and 220.182.
(b) To provide assistance to businesses and residents within the enterprise zone.
(c) To promote the development of the enterprise zone, including preparing, purchasing, and distributing by mail or other means of advertising, literature and other material concerning the enterprise zone and enterprise zone incentives.
(d) To borrow money and apply for and accept advances, loans, grants, contributions, and any other form of financial assistance from the Federal Government or the state, county, or other public body or from any sources, public or private, for the purposes of this act, and to give such security as may be required and to enter into and carry out contracts or agreements in connection therewith; and to include in any contract for financial assistance with the Federal Government for or with respect to the development of the enterprise zone and related activities such conditions imposed pursuant to federal laws as the governing body deems reasonable and appropriate which are not inconsistent with the purposes of this section.
(e) To appropriate such funds and make such expenditures as are necessary to carry out the purposes of this act.
(f) To make and execute contracts and other instruments necessary or convenient to the exercise of its powers under this section.
(g) To procure insurance or require bond against any loss in connection with its property in such amounts and from such insurers as may be necessary or desirable.
(h) To invest any funds held in reserves or sinking funds, or any funds not required for immediate disbursement, in such investments as may be authorized by this act.
(i) To purchase, sell, or hold stock, evidences of indebtedness, and other capital participation instruments.
(10) Contingent upon approval by the governing body, the agency may invest in community investment corporations which conduct, or agree to conduct, loan guarantee programs assisting minority business enterprises located in the enterprise zone. In making such investments, the agency shall first attempt to invest in existing community investment corporations providing services in the enterprise zone. Such investments shall be made under conditions required by law and as the agency may require, including, but not limited to:
(a) The funds invested by the agency shall be used to provide loan guarantees to individuals for minority business enterprises located in the enterprise zone.
(b) The community investment corporation may not approve any application for a loan guarantee unless the person applying for the loan guarantee shows that he or she has applied for the loan or loan guarantee through normal banking channels and that the loan or loan guarantee has been refused by at least one bank or other financial institution.
(11) Prior to December 1 of each year, the agency shall submit to the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development a complete and detailed written report setting forth:
(a) Its operations and accomplishments during the fiscal year.
(b) The accomplishments and progress concerning the implementation of the strategic plan or measurable goals, and any updates to the strategic plan or measurable goals.
(c) The number and type of businesses assisted by the agency during the fiscal year.
(d) The number of jobs created within the enterprise zone during the fiscal year.
(e) The usage and revenue impact of state and local incentives granted during the calendar year.
(f) Any other information required by the office.
(12) In the event that the nominated area selected by the governing body is not designated a state enterprise zone, the governing body may dissolve the agency after receiving notification from the office that the area was not designated as an enterprise zone.