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       Florida Senate - 2010                            (NP)    SB 2756
       
       
       
       By Senator Alexander
       
       
       
       
       17-02247-10                                           20102756__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to Spring Lake Improvement District,
    3         Highlands County; amending chapter 2005-342, Laws of
    4         Florida; deleting obsolete language and language
    5         inconsistent with or repetitive of general law;
    6         providing for minimum charter requirements; amending
    7         board, election, and term of office provisions;
    8         amending the compensation for board members to comply
    9         with general law; deleting obsolete district powers
   10         and providing additional district powers including
   11         mosquito control, fire and emergency services,
   12         construction and maintenance of school facilities, and
   13         enforcement of deed restrictions; providing for
   14         applicability of general laws; providing an effective
   15         date.
   16  
   17  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   18  
   19         Section 1. Subsections (1), (3), (12), (13), and (14) of
   20  section 1, section 4, subsections (1) and (9) of section 5, and
   21  present sections 6, 9, 10, 19, 20, 22, and 48 of section 3 of
   22  chapter 2005-342, Laws of Florida, are amended, and new sections
   23  10, 11, and 12 are added to that section, to read:
   24         Section 1. Minimum charter requirements.—In accordance with
   25  section 189.404(3), Florida Statutes, the following are the
   26  minimum requirements for the charter of the Spring Lake
   27  Improvement District:
   28         (1) The district is organized and exists for all purposes
   29  set forth in this act and chapter 298, Florida Statutes, as they
   30  may be amended from time to time, and applicable general law
   31  except as herein otherwise provided.
   32         (3) The district was created by the process contained in
   33  chapter 298, Florida Statutes, and its powers supplemented by
   34  special act.
   35         (12) In accordance with this act and chapter 298, Florida
   36  Statutes, the district may continue to levy upon all of the real
   37  taxable property in the district a special tax each year as
   38  maintenance tax.
   39         (13) The method for collecting non-ad valorem assessments,
   40  fees, or service charges shall be as set forth in this act and
   41  chapters 197 and 298, Florida Statutes, as they may be amended
   42  from time to time.
   43         (12)(14) The district’s planning requirements shall be as
   44  set forth in chapters 189 and 298, Florida Statutes, as they may
   45  be amended from time to time.
   46         Section 4. Applicability of certain provisions of chapter
   47  298, Florida Statutes, to the Spring Lake Improvement District;
   48  inconsistent laws inapplicable.—The provisions of chapter 298,
   49  Florida Statutes, and all amendments thereto, now existing or
   50  hereafter enacted, are declared to be applicable to the Spring
   51  Lake Improvement District insofar as not inconsistent with the
   52  provisions of this act or any subsequent special acts relating
   53  to the Spring Lake Improvement District. Notwithstanding the
   54  foregoing, the provisions of sections 298.11, 298.12, 298.14,
   55  298.15, 298.17, 298.18, 298.19, 298.20, 298.23, 298.24, 298.25,
   56  298.365, 298.366, 298.401, 298.41, 298.465, 298.48, 298.52,
   57  298.54, 298.56, 298.57, 298.61, 298.70, 298.71, 298.72, 298.73,
   58  and 298.74, Florida Statutes, and amendments thereto, shall not
   59  be applicable to the Spring Lake Improvement District.
   60         Section 5. Definitions.—Unless the context indicates
   61  otherwise, the following words as used in this act shall have
   62  the following meanings:
   63         (1) “Assessable improvements” includes, without limitation,
   64  any and all drainage and land reclamation works, and facilities,
   65  sewer systems, storm sewers and drains, water systems, streets,
   66  roads, or other projects of the district, or that portion or
   67  portions thereof, local in nature and of special benefit to the
   68  premises or lands served thereby, and any and all modifications,
   69  improvements, and enlargements thereof.
   70         (9) “Water management and flood control facilities” means
   71  any canals, ditches, or other drainage facilities, reservoirs,
   72  dams, levees, sluiceways, dredging holding basins, floodways,
   73  pumping stations, or any other works, structures, or facilities
   74  for the conservation, control, development, utilization, and
   75  disposal of water, and any purposes appurtenant, necessary, or
   76  incidental thereto, and includes all real and personal property
   77  and any interest therein, rights, easements, and franchises of
   78  any nature relating to any such water and flood control
   79  facilities or necessary or convenient for the acquisition,
   80  construction, reconstruction, operation, or maintenance thereof.
   81         Section 6. Board; election; organization, terms of office,
   82  quorum; report and minutes.—
   83         (1) The board of the district shall be elected and shall
   84  exercise the powers granted to the district under this act and
   85  under chapter 298, Florida Statutes. The board shall consist of
   86  the number of members, and each member shall hold office for the
   87  term of years until his or her successor shall be chosen and
   88  shall qualify, as set forth in section 189.4051, Florida
   89  Statutes. All members of the board shall be landowners within
   90  the district.
   91         (2) The district is governed by a five-member board of
   92  supervisors. The composition of the board, as well as the terms
   93  of office and qualification of supervisors, shall be determined
   94  pursuant to section 189.4051, Florida Statutes. All supervisors
   95  shall be landowners within the district.
   96         (3) Those supervisors elected on a one-acre one-vote basis
   97  shall be elected at a meeting of the landowners to be held in
   98  the month of November of each year. All landowners’ meetings
   99  shall be held pursuant to sections 298.11 and 298.12, Florida
  100  Statutes. The remaining supervisors shall be elected pursuant to
  101  section 189.4051, Florida Statutes, and shall be district
  102  residents and registered voters.
  103         (4) The terms of office for those supervisors elected on a
  104  one-acre one-vote basis shall begin with the next regularly
  105  scheduled board meeting following the election. The terms of
  106  office for all other supervisors shall begin with the next
  107  regularly scheduled board meeting after certification of the
  108  election by the Highlands County Supervisor of Elections. Before
  109  entering upon his or her official duties, all supervisors
  110         (2) In the month of November of each year commencing
  111  November of 1992, there shall be held a meeting of the
  112  landowners of the district at a location within the district in
  113  Highlands County for the purpose of electing one supervisor for
  114  a term of 3 years. The president of the board at the time of the
  115  November 1992 election shall have his or her term extended until
  116  the November 1994 election. The secretary of the board at the
  117  time of the November 1992 election shall have his or her term
  118  extended until the November 1993 election. The remaining
  119  position of supervisor shall stand for election at the November
  120  1992 meeting of landowners. Notice of said landowners meeting
  121  shall be published once a week for 2 consecutive weeks in a
  122  newspaper in Highlands County which is in general circulation
  123  within the district, the last said publication to be not less
  124  than 14 days nor more than 28 days before the date of the
  125  election. The landowners when assembled at such meeting shall
  126  organize by electing a chair who shall conduct the meeting. At
  127  such meeting each landowner shall be entitled to cast one vote
  128  per acre of land owned by him or her and located within the
  129  district, for each person to be elected. A landowner may vote in
  130  person or by proxy in writing. Fractions of an acre shall be
  131  treated as 1 acre, entitling the landowner to one vote with
  132  respect thereto. The person receiving the highest number of
  133  votes for the office of supervisor shall be declared elected as
  134  such supervisor. The owners and proxy holders of district
  135  acreage who are present at a duly noticed landowners meeting
  136  shall constitute a quorum for the purpose of holding such
  137  election or any election thereafter. The provisions of this
  138  section do not exempt the district from the election provisions
  139  of section 189.4051, Florida Statutes.
  140         (3) Each supervisor before entering upon his or her
  141  official duties shall take and subscribe to an oath of office as
  142  prescribed in section 298.13, Florida Statutes.
  143         (5)(4) All supervisors shall hold office for the terms for
  144  which they are elected or appointed and until their successors
  145  shall be chosen and qualify. In case of a vacancy in the office
  146  of any supervisor the remaining supervisor or supervisors (even
  147  though less than a quorum) may fill such vacancy by appointment
  148  of a new supervisor or supervisors for the unexpired term of the
  149  supervisor who vacated his or her office.
  150         (6)(5) As soon as practicable after each election, the
  151  board shall organize by choosing one of their number as
  152  president of the board and by electing a secretary, who need not
  153  be a member of the board.
  154         (7)(6) A majority of the members of the board shall
  155  constitute a quorum.
  156         (7) The board shall keep a permanent record book entitled
  157  “Record of Proceedings of Spring Lake Improvement District,” in
  158  which the minutes of all meetings, resolutions, proceedings,
  159  certificates, bonds given by all employees, and any and all
  160  corporate acts, shall be recorded. Such record book shall at
  161  reasonable times be open to the inspection of any landowner,
  162  taxpayer, resident, or bondholder of the district, and such
  163  other persons as the board may determine to have a proper
  164  interest in the proceedings of the board. Such record book shall
  165  be kept at any office or other regular place of business
  166  maintained by the board in Highlands County.
  167         (8) Whenever any election shall be authorized or required
  168  by this act to be held by the landowners at any particular or
  169  stated time or day, and if for any reason such election is not
  170  held at such time or on such day, then in such event the power
  171  or duty to hold such election shall not cease or lapse, but such
  172  election shall be held thereafter when practicable, and in
  173  accordance with the procedures provided by this act.
  174         Section 7.9. Compensation of board.—Each supervisor shall
  175  be entitled to receive for his or her services an amount not to
  176  exceed $250 per month, provided such salary is approved by a
  177  super majority of the board $100 per month. In addition, each
  178  supervisor shall receive reasonable traveling expenses for
  179  attending the place of meeting from his or her residence. Unless
  180  the board by resolution otherwise provides, such traveling
  181  expenses shall not be in excess of the amounts provided by law
  182  for state and county officials.
  183         Section 8.10. Powers of the district.—The district shall
  184  have, and the board may exercise, any or all of the following
  185  powers:
  186         (1) The district shall have the following powers:
  187         (a) To contract and be contracted with; to sue and be sued
  188  by its in the name in any court of law or in equity, to make
  189  contracts, and of the district; to adopt and use a corporate
  190  seal and to alter the same at pleasure.;
  191         (b) To acquire by purchase, gift, or condemnation devise,
  192  eminent domain, (except as limited herein), or otherwise,
  193  property, real and or personal property, either, or both any
  194  estate therein, within or without the district, and to convey
  195  and dispose be used for any of such real and personal property,
  196  either or both, as may be necessary or convenient to carry out
  197  the purposes, or any of the purposes, of this act and chapters
  198  189 and 298, Florida Statutes.
  199         (c) To finance, fund, construct, operate, and maintain
  200  canals, ditches, drains, levees, lakes, ponds, and other works
  201  for water management and control purposes.
  202         (2) To adopt a water control plan; and to establish,
  203  construct, operate, and maintain a system of main and lateral
  204  canals, drains, ditches, levees, dikes, dams, sluices, locks,
  205  revetments, reservoirs, holding basins, floodways, pumping
  206  stations, syphons, culverts, and storm sewers to drain and
  207  reclaim the lands within the district and to connect some or any
  208  of them with roads and bridges as in the judgment of the board
  209  is deemed advisable to provide access to such facilities.
  210         (3) To acquire and maintain appropriate sites for storage
  211  and maintenance of the equipment of the district and to acquire,
  212  maintain, and construct a suitable building to house the office
  213  and records of the district.
  214         (4) To clean out, straighten, widen, open up, or change the
  215  courses and flow, alter, or deepen any canal, ditch, drain,
  216  river, water course, or natural stream as within the judgment of
  217  the board is deemed advisable to drain and reclaim lands within
  218  the district; to
  219         (d) To finance, fund, acquire, purchase, operate, and
  220  maintain pumps, plants, and pumping systems for water management
  221  and control drainage purposes.; and
  222         (e) To finance, fund, construct, operate, and maintain
  223  irrigation works, and machinery, and plants in connection with
  224  the purposes herein set forth.
  225         (5) To regulate and set forth by appropriate resolution the
  226  drainage requirements and conditions to be met for plats to be
  227  entitled to record on any land within the district, including
  228  authority to require as a condition precedent for any platting
  229  that good and sufficient bond be posted to ensure proper
  230  drainage for the area to be platted.
  231         (6) To borrow money and issue bonds, certificates,
  232  warrants, notes, or other evidences of indebtedness of the
  233  district as hereinafter provided.
  234         (7) To build and construct any other works and improvements
  235  deemed necessary to preserve and maintain the works in or out of
  236  the district; to acquire, construct, operate, maintain, use,
  237  sell convey, transfer, or otherwise provide for machines and
  238  equipment for any purpose authorized by this act or chapter 298,
  239  Florida Statutes; and to contract for the purchase,
  240  construction, operation, maintenance, use, sale, conveyance, and
  241  transfer of said machinery and equipment.
  242         (8) To construct or enlarge, or cause to be constructed or
  243  enlarged, any and all bridges or culverts that may be needed in
  244  or out of the district, across any drain, ditch, canal,
  245  floodway, holding basin, excavation, public highway, tract,
  246  grade, fill, or cut; to construct roadways over levees and
  247  embankments; to construct any and all of said works and
  248  improvements across, through, or over any public right-of-way,
  249  highway, grade, fill, or cut in or out of the district.
  250         (9) To hold, control, and acquire by donation, purchase, or
  251  condemnation, any easement, reservation, or dedication in the
  252  district, for any of the purposes herein provided. To condemn as
  253  provided by chapters 73 and 74, Florida Statutes, or acquire, by
  254  purchase or grant for use in the district, any land or property
  255  within the district necessary for the purposes of this act.
  256         (10) To access and impose an ad valorem tax, an annual
  257  drainage tax, and a maintenance tax as hereinafter provided.
  258         (11) To impose and foreclose special assessment liens as
  259  hereinafter provided.
  260         (12) To prohibit, regulate, and restrict by appropriate
  261  resolution all structures, materials, and things, whether solid,
  262  liquid, or gas, whether permanent or temporary in nature, which
  263  come upon, come into, connect to, or be a part of any facility
  264  owned or operated by the district.
  265         (13) To administer and provide for the enforcement of all
  266  of the provisions herein, including the making, adopting,
  267  promulgating, amending, and repealing of all rules and
  268  regulations necessary or convenient for the carrying out of the
  269  duties, obligations, and powers conferred on the district
  270  created hereby.
  271         (14) To cooperate with or contract with other drainage
  272  districts or other governmental agencies as may be necessary,
  273  convenient, incidental, or proper in connection with any of the
  274  powers, duties, or purposes of the district as stated in this
  275  act.
  276         (15) To employ engineers, attorneys, agents, employees, and
  277  representatives as the board of supervisors may from time to
  278  time determine necessary and to fix their compensation and
  279  duties.
  280         (16) To exercise all of the powers necessary, convenient,
  281  incidental, or proper in connection with any of the powers,
  282  duties, or purposes of said district as stated in this act.
  283         (f)(17) To finance, fund, construct, improve, pave, and
  284  maintain roadways and roads necessary and convenient for the
  285  exercise of the powers or duties or any of the powers or duties
  286  of the district or the supervisors thereof; and to include as a
  287  component of roads, parkways, bridges, landscaping, irrigation,
  288  bicycle and jogging paths, street lighting, traffic signals,
  289  road striping, and all other customary elements of a modern road
  290  system to provide access to and efficient development of areas
  291  made suitable and available for cultivation, settlement, urban
  292  subdivision, homesites, and other beneficial developments as a
  293  result of the drainage operations of the district.
  294         (18) To make use of any public easements, dedications to
  295  public use, platted reservations for public purposes, or any
  296  reservations for drainage purposes within the boundaries of the
  297  district.
  298         (19) To lease as lessor or lessee to or from any person,
  299  firm, corporation, association, or body, public or private, any
  300  projects of the type that the district is authorized to
  301  undertake and facilities or property of any nature for the use
  302  of the district to carry out any of the purposes of this act.
  303         (20) To regulate the supply and level of water within the
  304  district; to divert waters from one area, lake, pond, river,
  305  stream, basin, or drainage or water flood control facility to
  306  any other area, lake, pond, river, stream, basin, or drainage
  307  and water flood control facility; to regulate control and
  308  restrict the development and use of natural or artificial
  309  streams or bodies of water, lakes, or ponds; and to take all
  310  measures determined by the board to be necessary or desirable to
  311  prevent or alleviate land erosion. The powers granted to the
  312  district by this subsection shall be concurrent within the
  313  boundaries of the district with other public bodies, agencies,
  314  or authorities as may be authorized by law. The district is
  315  eligible to receive moneys, disbursements, and assistance from
  316  the state available to flood control or water management
  317  districts and the navigation districts or agencies.
  318         (g)(21) To finance, fund, plan, establish own, acquire,
  319  construct or, reconstruct, enlarge or extend, equip, operate,
  320  and maintain, extend, and improve water systems and facilities
  321  for providing transportation throughout the district, including
  322  private or contract carriers, buses, vehicles, railroads, and
  323  other transportation facilities, to meet the transportation
  324  requirements of the district activities conducted within the
  325  district sewer systems or combined water and sewer systems; to
  326  regulate the use of sewers and the supply of water within the
  327  district and to prohibit or regulate the use and maintenance of
  328  outhouses, privies, septic tanks, or other sanitary structures
  329  or appliances within the district; to prescribe methods of
  330  pretreatment of wastes not amenable to treatment with domestic
  331  sewage before accepting such wastes for treatment and to refuse
  332  to accept such wastes when not sufficiently pretreated as may be
  333  prescribed, and to prescribe penalties for the refusal of any
  334  person or corporation to so pretreat such wastes; to sell or
  335  otherwise dispose of the effluent, sludge, or other byproducts
  336  as a result of sewage treatment; and to construct and operate
  337  connecting, intercepting, or outlet sewers and sewer mains and
  338  pipes and water mains, conduits, or pipelines in, along, or
  339  under any street, alleys, highways, or other public places or
  340  ways within or without the district, when deemed necessary or
  341  desirable by the board. The plans for any water or sewer system
  342  shall be subject to the approval of the State Board of Health.
  343         (h)(22) To own, finance, fund, plan, establish, acquire,
  344  construct or reconstruct, enlarge or extend, equip, operate, and
  345  maintain parking facilities within the district boundaries.
  346         (i) To finance, fund, plan, establish, acquire, construct
  347  or reconstruct, enlarge or extend, equip, operate, and maintain
  348  additional systems and facilities for parks and facilities for
  349  indoor and outdoor recreational recreation, cultural, and
  350  educational uses including buildings and equipment for such
  351  uses, playgrounds, picnic grounds, camping facilities, and water
  352  recreation facilities within or without the district.
  353         (j) To acquire, construct, finance, fund, operate, and
  354  maintain water plants and systems to produce, purify, and
  355  distribute water for consumption.
  356         (k) To acquire, construct, finance, fund, operate, and
  357  maintain sewer systems for the collection, disposal, and reuse
  358  of waste and to prevent water pollution in the district.
  359         (l) To levy non-ad valorem assessments; to prescribe, fix,
  360  establish, and collect rates, fees, rentals, fares, or other
  361  charges, and to revise the same from time to time, for the
  362  facilities and services furnished or to be furnished by the
  363  district; and to recover the cost of making connection to any
  364  district facility or system.
  365         (m) To provide for the discontinuance of service and
  366  reasonable penalties, including attorney’s fees, against any
  367  user or property for any such rates, fees, rentals, fares, or
  368  other charges that become delinquent and require collection.
  369  However, no charges or fees shall be established until after a
  370  public hearing of the board at the district at which all
  371  affected persons shall be given an opportunity to be heard.
  372         (n) To enter into agreements with any person, firm, or
  373  corporation for the furnishing by such person, firm, or
  374  corporation of any facilities and services of the type provided
  375  for in this act.
  376         (o) To construct and maintain facilities for and take
  377  measures to control mosquitoes and other arthropods of public
  378  health importance.
  379         (p) To finance, fund, plan, establish, acquire, construct
  380  or reconstruct, enlarge or extend, equip, operate, and maintain
  381  additional systems and facilities for conservation areas,
  382  mitigation areas, and wildlife habitat, including the
  383  maintenance of any plant or animal species, and any related
  384  interest in real or personal property.
  385         (q) To borrow money and issue negotiable or other bonds of
  386  the district as hereinafter provided; to borrow money, from time
  387  to time, and issue negotiable or other notes of the district
  388  therefore, bearing interest at an amount not to exceed the
  389  maximum interest allowable by law, in anticipation of the
  390  collection of taxes and assessments or revenues of the district;
  391  and to pledge or hypothecate such taxes, assessments, and
  392  revenues to secure such bonds, notes, or obligations, and to
  393  sell, discount, negotiate, and dispose of the same.
  394         (r) To provide public safety, including, but not limited
  395  to, security, guardhouses, fences and gates, electronic
  396  intrusion detection systems, and patrol cars, when authorized by
  397  proper governmental agencies; except that the district may not
  398  exercise any police power, but may contract with the appropriate
  399  local general-purpose government agencies for an increased level
  400  of such service within the district boundaries.
  401         (s) To provide systems and facilities for fire prevention
  402  and control and emergency medical services, including the
  403  construction or purchase of fire stations, water mains and
  404  plugs, fire trucks, and other vehicles and equipment consistent
  405  with any adopted Highlands County ordinances, rules, or
  406  regulations.
  407         (t) To finance, fund, plan, establish, acquire, construct
  408  or reconstruct, enlarge or extend, equip, and maintain
  409  additional systems and facilities for school buildings and
  410  related structures pursuant to this act and chapter 1013,
  411  Florida Statutes, which may be leased, sold, or donated to the
  412  school district for use in the educational system when
  413  authorized by the district school board.
  414         (u) To adopt rules necessary for the district to enforce
  415  certain deed restrictions pertaining to the use and operation of
  416  real property within the district. For the purpose of this
  417  subsection, the term “deed restrictions” means those covenants,
  418  conditions, restrictions, compliance mechanisms, and enforcement
  419  remedies contained in any applicable declarations of covenants
  420  and restrictions that govern the use and operation of real
  421  property within the district and, for which covenants,
  422  conditions, and restrictions, there is no homeowners’
  423  association or property owner’s association having respective
  424  enforcement powers or an association with such enforcement
  425  powers has not held a publicly noticed regular or special
  426  meeting within the previous 12 months unless, with respect to a
  427  homeowners’ association whose board is under member control and
  428  which has held a publicly noticed regular or special meeting
  429  within the previous 12 months, the association and the district
  430  agree in writing to enforcement by the district. The district
  431  may adopt by rule all or certain portions of the deed
  432  restrictions that:
  433         1. Relate to limitations, or prohibitions, compliance
  434  mechanisms, or enforcement remedies that apply only to external
  435  appearances or uses and are deemed by the district to be
  436  generally beneficial for the district’s landowners and for which
  437  enforcement by the district is appropriate, as determined by the
  438  district’s governing board;
  439         2. Are consistent with the requirements of a development
  440  order or regulatory agency permit; or
  441         3. Are consistent with the district’s water control plan.
  442         (23) To issue general obligation bonds, revenue bonds,
  443  assessment bonds, or any other bonds or obligations authorized
  444  by the provisions of this act or any other law, or any
  445  combination of the foregoing, to pay all or part of the cost of
  446  the acquisition, construction, reconstruction, extension,
  447  repair, improvement, maintenance, or operation of any project or
  448  combination of projects, to provide for any facility, service,
  449  or other activity of the district and to provide for the
  450  retirement or refunding of any bonds or obligations of the
  451  district, or for any combination of the foregoing purposes.
  452         (24) To build, install, maintain, and operate streetlights.
  453         (v)(25) To require that all new and existing public and
  454  private utilities and services used for local distribution
  455  purposes, excluding primary feeders, be constructed underground;
  456  to construct, alter, and maintain said underground utilities;
  457  and, to the extent allowed by law, to regulate and restrict by
  458  appropriate resolution the location, type, construction, and
  459  maintenance by others of said underground utilities.
  460         (w) To establish and create such departments, committees,
  461  boards, or other agencies, including a public relations
  462  committee, as from time to time the board of supervisors may
  463  deem necessary or desirable in the performance of this act or
  464  other things necessary to the exercise of the powers provided in
  465  this act, and to delegate to such departments, boards, or other
  466  agencies such administrative duties and other powers as the
  467  board of supervisors may deem necessary or desirable.
  468         (x)(26) To require every landowner within the district to
  469  maintain his or her respective property in a neat and attractive
  470  condition, free of high grass, weeds, underbrush, and refuse; to
  471  regulate and restrict by appropriate resolution the maintenance
  472  thereof; to mow and maintain said property on the landowner’s
  473  failure to do so; and to impose, assess, collect, and place a
  474  lien upon such property for the cost and expense of mowing and
  475  maintenance by the district.
  476         (y) To exercise all other powers necessary, convenient, or
  477  proper in connection with any of the powers or duties of the
  478  district stated in this act. The powers and duties of the
  479  district shall be exercised by and through the board of
  480  supervisors thereof, which board shall have the authority to
  481  employ engineers, attorneys, agents, employees, and
  482  representatives as the board of supervisors may, from time to
  483  time, determine, and to fix their compensation and duties.
  484  However, in addition thereto, the district shall have all of the
  485  powers provided for in chapter 298, Florida Statutes. All powers
  486  and authority of the district shall extend and apply to the
  487  district as a whole and to each unit of development as, from
  488  time to time, may be designated by the board of supervisors.
  489         (27) To exercise any and all other powers conferred upon
  490  drainage districts by chapter 298, Florida Statutes.
  491         Section 10. Taxes; non-ad valorem assessments.—
  492         (1) NON-AD VALOREM ASSESSMENTS.—Non-ad valorem assessments
  493  for the construction, operation, or maintenance of district
  494  facilities, services, and operations shall be assessed, levied,
  495  and collected pursuant to chapter 298, chapter 170, or chapter
  496  197, Florida Statutes.
  497         (2)Section 19.TAXES, ASSESSMENTS, AND COSTS; A LIEN ON
  498  LAND AGAINST WHICH ASSESSED, ETC.—Tax liens.—All taxes and
  499  assessments of the district provided for in this act or chapter
  500  298, Florida Statutes, together with all penalties for default
  501  in the payment of the same, and all costs in collecting the same
  502  including reasonable attorney’s fees fixed by the court and
  503  taxed as cost in the action brought to enforce payment, shall,
  504  from the date of January 1 for each year the property is liable
  505  to assessment thereof and until paid, constitute a lien of equal
  506  dignity with the liens for state and county taxes, and other
  507  taxes of equal dignity with state and county taxes, upon all the
  508  lands against which such taxes shall be levied as is provided in
  509  this act. A sale of any of the real property within the district
  510  for state and county or other taxes shall not operate to relieve
  511  or release the property so sold from the lien for subsequent
  512  district taxes or installments of district taxes which lien may
  513  be enforced against such property as though no such sale thereof
  514  had been made. The provisions of section 194.171, Florida
  515  Statutes, and amendments thereto shall be applicable to district
  516  taxes with the same force and effect as if said provisions were
  517  expressly set forth in this act.
  518         (3) COMPENSATION OF PROPERTY APPRAISER, TAX COLLECTOR, AND
  519  CLERK OF THE CIRCUIT COURT.—The Property Appraiser, Tax
  520  Collector, and Clerk of the Circuit Court of Highlands County
  521  shall be entitled to compensation for services performed in
  522  connection with taxes and assessments of the district as
  523  provided by general law.
  524         (4) LEVIES OF NON-AD VALOREM ASSESSMENTS ON LAND LESS THAN
  525  1 ACRE.—In levying and assessing all assessments, each tract or
  526  parcel of land less than 1 acre in area shall be assessed as a
  527  full acre, and each tract or parcel of land more than 1 acre in
  528  area which contains a fraction of an acre shall be assessed at
  529  the nearest whole number of acres, a fraction of one-half or
  530  more to be assessed as a full acre.
  531         Section 11. When unpaid taxes and assessments delinquent;
  532  penalty.—All taxes and assessments provided for in this act
  533  shall be and become delinquent and bear penalties on the amount
  534  of the taxes in the same manner as county taxes.
  535         Section 12. Enforcement of taxes and assessments.—The
  536  collection and enforcement of all taxes and assessments levied
  537  by the district shall be at the same time and in like manner as
  538  county taxes, and the provisions of the Florida Statutes
  539  relating to the sale of lands for unpaid and delinquent county
  540  taxes, the issuance, sale, and delivery of tax certificates for
  541  such unpaid and delinquent county taxes, the redemption thereof,
  542  the issuance to individuals of tax deeds based thereon, and all
  543  other procedures in connection therewith shall be applicable to
  544  the district and the delinquent and unpaid taxes of the district
  545  to the same extent as if the statutory provisions were expressly
  546  set forth in this act. All taxes and assessments shall be
  547  subject to the same discounts as county taxes.
  548         Section 13.20. Issuance of revenue bonds, assessment bonds,
  549  and bond anticipation notes.—
  550         (1) In addition to the other powers provided the district,
  551  for in this act and not in limitation thereof, the district
  552  shall have the power, pursuant to this act, chapter 298, Florida
  553  Statutes, and applicable general law, at any time, and from time
  554  to time after the issuance of any bonds of the district shall
  555  have been authorized, to borrow money for the purposes for which
  556  such bonds are to be issued in anticipation of the receipt of
  557  the proceeds of the sale of such bonds and to issue bond
  558  anticipation notes in a principal sum not in excess of the
  559  authorized maximum amount of such bond issue. Such notes shall
  560  be in such denomination or denominations, bear interest at such
  561  rate as the board may determine not to exceed 10 percent per
  562  annum, mature at such time or times not later than 5 years from
  563  the date of issuance, and be in such form and executed in such
  564  manner as the board shall prescribe. Such notes may be sold at
  565  either public or private sale or, if such notes shall be renewal
  566  notes, may be exchanged for notes then outstanding on such terms
  567  as the board shall determine. Such notes shall be paid from the
  568  proceeds of such bonds when issued. The board may in its
  569  discretion, in lieu of retiring the notes by means of bonds,
  570  retire them by means of current revenues or from any taxes or
  571  assessments levied for the payment of such bonds, but in such
  572  event a like amount of the bonds authorized shall not be issued.
  573         (2) Pursuant to chapter 298, Florida Statutes, this act,
  574  and applicable general law, the district shall have the power to
  575  issue assessment bonds and revenue bonds from time to time,
  576  without limitation as to amount, for the purpose of financing
  577  those systems and facilities provided for in section 3. Such
  578  revenue bonds may be secured by, or payable from, the gross or
  579  net pledge of the revenues to be derived from any project or
  580  combination of projects; from the rates, fees, or other charges
  581  to be collected from the users of any project or projects; from
  582  any revenue-producing undertaking or activity of the district;
  583  from non-ad valorem assessments; or from any other source or
  584  pledged security. Such bonds shall not constitute an
  585  indebtedness of the district, and the approval of the qualified
  586  electors shall not be required unless such bonds are
  587  additionally secured by the full faith and credit and taxing
  588  power of the district.
  589         (3)Section 22. Issuance of bonds.—In the discretion of the
  590  board, Any issue of bonds may be secured by a trust agreement by
  591  and between the district and a corporate trustee or trustees,
  592  which may be any trust company or bank having the powers of a
  593  trust company within or without the state. The resolution
  594  authorizing the issuance of the bonds or such trust agreement
  595  may pledge the revenues to be received from any projects of the
  596  district and may contain such provisions for protecting and
  597  enforcing the rights and remedies of the bondholders as the
  598  board may approve, including, without limitation, covenants,
  599  setting forth the duties of the district in relation to the
  600  acquisition, construction, reconstruction, stewardship,
  601  reconstructions, improvements, maintenance, repair, operation,
  602  and insurance of any projects;, the fixing and revising of the
  603  rates, fees, and charges;, and the custody, safeguarding, and
  604  application of all moneys, and for the employment of consulting
  605  counseling engineers in connection with such acquisition,
  606  construction, reconstruction, stewardship improvement,
  607  maintenance, repair, or operation. It shall be lawful for any
  608  bank or trust company incorporated under the laws of the state
  609  which may act as a depository of the proceeds of bonds or of
  610  revenues to furnish such indemnifying bonds or to pledge such
  611  securities as may be required by the district. Such resolution
  612  or trust agreement may set forth the rights and remedies of the
  613  bondholders and of the trustee, if any, and may restrict the
  614  individual right of action by bondholders. The board may provide
  615  for the payment of the proceeds of the sale of the bonds and the
  616  revenues of any project to such officer, board, or depository as
  617  it may designate for the custody thereof, and for the method of
  618  disbursement thereof with such safeguards and restrictions as it
  619  may determine. All expenses incurred in carrying out the
  620  provisions of such resolution or trust agreement may be treated
  621  as party of the cost of operation of the project to which such
  622  trust agreement pertains.
  623         (4) Bonds of each issue shall be dated; shall bear interest
  624  at such rate or rates, including variable rates, which interest
  625  may be tax exempt or taxable for federal income tax purposes;
  626  shall mature at such time or times from their date or dates; and
  627  may be made redeemable before maturity at such price or prices
  628  and under such terms and conditions as may be determined by the
  629  board.
  630         (5) The district shall have the power to issue bonds for
  631  the purpose of refunding any outstanding bonds of the district.
  632         Section 16.48. Bids required.—No contract shall be let by
  633  the board for the construction or maintenance of any project
  634  authorized by this act, nor shall any goods, supplies, or
  635  materials be purchased except in compliance with the competitive
  636  bid or negotiations provisions of sections 255.20 and 287.055,
  637  Florida Statutes, chapter 298, Florida Statutes, other
  638  applicable general law, and the policies of the district board
  639  of supervisors when the amount thereof to be paid by said
  640  district shall exceed the amount provided in section 287.017,
  641  Florida Statutes, for category two, unless notice of bids shall
  642  be advertised once a week for 2 consecutive weeks in a newspaper
  643  published in Highlands County and in general circulation within
  644  the district, and in each case the bid of the lowest responsible
  645  bidder shall be accepted, unless all bids are rejected because
  646  the bids are too high. The board may require the bidders to
  647  furnish bond with responsible surety to be approved by the
  648  board. Nothing in this section shall prevent the board from
  649  undertaking and performing the construction, operation, and
  650  maintenance of any project or facility authorized by this act by
  651  the employment of labor, material, and machinery.
  652         Section 2. Sections 7, 8, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 21,
  653  23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38,
  654  39, 40, 41, 43, 44, 45, 46, 50, and 51 of section 3 of chapter
  655  2005-342, Laws of Florida, are repealed.
  656         Section 3. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.

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