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The Florida Statutes

The 2001 Florida Statutes

Title XXIX
Public Health
Chapter 403
Environmental Control
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Section 403.1837, Florida Statutes 2001

403.1837  Florida Water Pollution Control Financing Corporation.--

(1)  The Florida Water Pollution Control Financing Corporation is created as a nonprofit public-benefit corporation for the purpose of financing or refinancing the costs of water pollution control projects and activities described in s. 403.1835. The projects and activities described in that section are found to constitute a public governmental purpose; be necessary for the health, safety, and welfare of all residents; and include legislatively approved fixed capital outlay projects. The fulfillment of the purposes of the corporation promotes the health, safety, and welfare of the people of the state and serves essential governmental functions and a paramount public purpose. The activities of the corporation are specifically limited to assisting the department in implementing financing activities to provide funding for the programs authorized in s. 403.1835. All other activities relating to the purposes for which the corporation raises funds are the responsibility of the department, including, but not limited to, development of program criteria, review of applications for financial assistance, decisions relating to the number and amount of loans or other financial assistance to be provided, and enforcement of the terms of any financial assistance agreements provided through funds raised by the corporation. The corporation shall terminate upon fulfillment of the purposes of this section.

(2)  The corporation shall be governed by a board of directors consisting of the Governor's Budget Director or the budget director's designee, the Comptroller or the Comptroller's designee, the Treasurer or the Treasurer's designee, and the Secretary of Environmental Protection or the secretary's designee, until January 7, 2003, at which time the board shall include the Chief Financial Officer or the Chief Financial Officer's designee in place of the Treasurer and Comptroller. The executive director of the State Board of Administration shall be the chief executive officer of the corporation; shall direct and supervise the administrative affairs of the corporation; and shall control, direct, and supervise operation of the corporation. The corporation shall have such other officers as may be determined by the board of directors.

(3)  The corporation shall have all the powers of a corporate body under the laws of the state to the extent not inconsistent with or restricted by this section, including, but not limited to, the power to:

(a)  Adopt, amend, and repeal bylaws not inconsistent with this section.

(b)  Sue and be sued.

(c)  Adopt and use a common seal.

(d)  Acquire, purchase, hold, lease, and convey any real and personal property as may be proper or expedient to carry out the purposes of the corporation and this section, and to sell, lease, or otherwise dispose of that property.

(e)  Elect or appoint and employ such officers, agents, and employees as the corporation considers advisable to operate and manage the affairs of the corporation, which officers, agents, and employees may be officers or employees of the department and the state agencies represented on the board of directors of the corporation.

(f)  Borrow money and issue notes, bonds, certificates of indebtedness, or other obligations or evidences of indebtedness described in s. 403.1835.

(g)  Operate, as specifically directed by the department, any program to provide financial assistance authorized under s. 403.1835(3), which may be funded from any funds received under a service contract with the department, from the proceeds of bonds issued by the corporation, or from any other funding sources obtained by the corporation.

(h)  Sell all or any portion of the loans issued under s. 403.1835 to accomplish the purposes of this section and s. 403.1835.

(i)  Make and execute any contracts, trust agreements, and other instruments and agreements necessary or convenient to accomplish the purposes of the corporation and this section.

(j)  Select, retain, and employ professionals, contractors, or agents, which may include the Division of Bond Finance of the State Board of Administration, as are necessary or convenient to enable or assist the corporation in carrying out its purposes and this section.

(k)  Do any act or thing necessary or convenient to carry out the purposes of the corporation and this section.

(4)  The corporation shall evaluate all financial and market conditions necessary and prudent for the purpose of making sound, financially responsible, and cost-effective decisions in order to secure additional funds to fulfill the purposes of this section and s. 403.1835.

(5)  The corporation may enter into one or more service contracts with the department under which the corporation shall provide services to the department in connection with financing the functions, projects, and activities provided for in s. 403.1835. The department may enter into one or more service contracts with the corporation and provide for payments under those contracts pursuant to s. 403.1835(9), subject to annual appropriation by the Legislature. The service contracts may provide for the transfer of all or a portion of the funds in the Wastewater Treatment and Stormwater Management Revolving Loan Trust Fund to the corporation for use by the corporation for costs incurred by the corporation in its operations, including, but not limited to, payment of debt service, reserves, or other costs in relation to bonds issued by the corporation, for use by the corporation at the request of the department to directly provide the types of local financial assistance provided for in s. 403.1835(3), or for payment of the administrative costs of the corporation. The department may not transfer funds under any service contract with the corporation without specific appropriation for such purpose in the General Appropriations Act, except for administrative expenses incurred by the State Board of Administration or other expenses necessary under documents authorizing or securing previously issued bonds of the corporation. The service contracts may also provide for the assignment or transfer to the corporation of any loans made by the department. The service contracts may establish the operating relationship between the department and the corporation and shall require the department to request the corporation to issue bonds before any issuance of bonds by the corporation, to take any actions necessary to enforce the agreements entered into between the corporation and other parties, and to take all other actions necessary to assist the corporation in its operations. In compliance with s. 287.0641 and other applicable provisions of law, the obligations of the department under the service contracts do not constitute a general obligation of the state or a pledge of the faith and credit or taxing power of the state, nor may the obligations be construed in any manner as an obligation of the State Board of Administration or entities for which it invests funds, or of the department except as provided in this section as payable solely from amounts available under any service contract between the corporation and the department, subject to appropriation. In compliance with this subsection and s. 287.0582, service contracts must expressly include the following statement: "The State of Florida's performance and obligation to pay under this contract is contingent upon an annual appropriation by the Legislature."

(6)  The corporation may issue and incur notes, bonds, certificates of indebtedness, or other obligations or evidences of indebtedness payable from and secured by amounts received from payment of loans and other moneys received by the corporation, including, but not limited to, amounts payable to the corporation by the department under a service contract entered into under subsection (5). The corporation may not issue bonds in excess of an amount authorized by general law or an appropriations act except to refund previously issued bonds. The corporation may issue bonds in amounts not exceeding $50 million in fiscal year 2000-2001, $75 million in fiscal year 2001-2002, and $100 million in fiscal year 2002-2003. The proceeds of the bonds may be used for the purpose of providing funds for projects and activities provided for in subsection (1) or for refunding bonds previously issued by the corporation. The corporation may select a financing team and issue obligations through competitive bidding or negotiated contracts, whichever is most cost-effective. Any such indebtedness of the corporation does not constitute a debt or obligation of the state or a pledge of the faith and credit or taxing power of the state.

(7)  The corporation is exempt from taxation and assessments of any nature whatsoever upon its income and any property, assets, or revenues acquired, received, or used in the furtherance of the purposes provided in ss. 403.1835 and 403.1838. The obligations of the corporation incurred under subsection (6) and the interest and income on the obligations and all security agreements, letters of credit, liquidity facilities, or other obligations or instruments arising out of, entered into in connection with, or given to secure payment of the obligations are exempt from all taxation; however, the exemption does not apply to any tax imposed by chapter 220 on the interest, income, or profits on debt obligations owned by corporations.

(8)  The corporation shall validate any bonds issued under this section, except refunding bonds, which may be validated at the option of the corporation, by proceedings under chapter 75. The validation complaint must be filed only in the Circuit Court for Leon County. The notice required under s. 75.06 must be published in Leon County, and the complaint and order of the circuit court shall be served only on the State Attorney for the Second Judicial Circuit. Sections 75.04(2) and 75.06(2) do not apply to a validation complaint filed as authorized in this subsection. The validation of the first bonds issued under this section may be appealed to the Supreme Court, and the appeal shall be handled on an expedited basis.

(9)  The corporation and the department shall not take any action that will materially and adversely affect the rights of holders of any obligations issued under this section as long as the obligations are outstanding.

(10)  The corporation is not a special district for purposes of chapter 189 or a unit of local government for purposes of part III of chapter 218. The provisions of chapters 120 and 215, except the limitation on interest rates provided by s. 215.84, which applies to obligations of the corporation issued under this section, and part I of chapter 287, except ss. 287.0582 and 287.0641, do not apply to this section, the corporation created in this section, the service contracts entered into under this section, or debt obligations issued by the corporation as provided in this section.

(11)  The benefits or earnings of the corporation may not inure to the benefit of any private person, except persons receiving grants and loans under s. 403.1835.

(12)  Upon dissolution of the corporation, title to all property owned by the corporation reverts to the department.

(13)  The corporation may contract with the State Board of Administration to serve as trustee with respect to debt obligations issued by the corporation as provided by this section; to hold, administer, and invest proceeds of those debt obligations and other funds of the corporation; and to perform other services required by the corporation. The State Board of Administration may perform these services and may contract with others to provide all or a part of those services and to recover the costs and expenses of providing those services.

History.--s. 2, ch. 2000-271; s. 141, ch. 2001-266.

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