(1) In order to effectuate the purposes of this part and as authorized herein, the authority may enter into a lease-purchase agreement with the department relating to and covering the system.
(2) The lease-purchase agreement shall provide for the leasing of the system by the authority, as lessor, to the department, as lessee, and shall prescribe the terms of such lease and the rentals to be paid thereunder.
(3) The lease-purchase agreement may include such other provisions, agreements, and covenants as the authority and the department deem advisable or required, including, but not limited to, provisions as to the bonds to be issued under and for the purposes of this part; the completion, extension, improvement, operation, and maintenance of the system and the expenses and cost of operation of the authority; the charging and collection of tolls, rates, fees, rentals, or other charges for the use of the services and facilities thereof; the application of federal or state grants or aid which may be made or given to assist the authority in the completion, extension, improvement, operation, and maintenance of the system, which the authority is authorized to accept and apply to such purposes; the enforcement of payment and collection of tolls, rates, fees, and rentals; and any other terms, provisions, or covenants necessary, incidental, or appurtenant to the making of, and full performance under, such lease-purchase agreement.
(4) The department, as lessee under such lease-purchase agreement, is authorized to pay, as rentals thereunder, any tolls, rates, fees, charges, funds, moneys, receipts, or income accruing to the department from the operation of the system and from the St. Lucie County gasoline tax funds and may also pay, as rentals, any appropriations received by the department pursuant to any act of the Legislature of the state heretofore or hereafter enacted wherein the appropriations are expressly authorized to be used as rentals for the system.
(5) No pledge of St. Lucie County gasoline tax funds as rentals under such lease-purchase agreement may be made without the consent of St. Lucie County, evidenced by a resolution duly adopted by the board of county commissioners of the county at a public hearing held pursuant to due notice thereof published in a newspaper of general circulation in the county at least once a week for 3 consecutive weeks before the hearing. The resolution, among other things, must provide that any excess of the pledged gasoline tax funds which is not required for debt service, or reserves for such debt service, for any bonds issued by the authority be returned annually to the department for distribution to St. Lucie County as provided by law.
(6) The department has the power to covenant in any lease-purchase agreement that it will pay all or any part of the cost of the operation or maintenance of the system.
(7) The system shall be a part of the State Highway System as defined in s. 334.03; and the department is authorized, upon the request of the authority, to expend, out of any funds available for the purpose, such moneys, and to use such of its engineering and other forces as may be necessary and desirable in the judgment of the department, for the operation of the authority and for traffic surveys, borings, surveys, preparation of plans and specifications, estimates of cost, and other preliminary engineering and other studies.