Section 348.953, Florida Statutes 2009
348.953 Purposes and powers.--
(1)(a) The authority created and established by the provisions of this part is hereby granted and shall have the right to acquire, hold, construct, improve, maintain, operate, own, and lease in the capacity of lessor the Seminole County Expressway System, hereinafter referred to as "system."
(b) It is the express intention of this part that said authority, in the construction of the Seminole County Expressway System, shall be authorized to construct any extensions, additions, or improvements to the system or appurtenant facilities, including all necessary approaches, roads, bridges, and avenues of access, with such changes, modifications, or revisions of the project as shall be deemed desirable and proper.
(2) The authority is hereby granted, and shall have and may exercise, all powers necessary, appurtenant, convenient, or incidental to the carrying out of the aforesaid purposes, including, but without being limited to, the following rights and powers:
(a) To sue and be sued, implead and be impleaded, and complain and defend in all courts;
(b) To adopt, use, and alter at will a corporate seal;
(c) To acquire, purchase, hold, lease as lessee, and use any franchise or property, real, personal, or mixed, tangible or intangible, or any interest therein necessary or desirable for carrying out the purposes of the authority and to sell, lease as lessor, transfer, and dispose of any property or interest therein at any time acquired by it;
(d) To enter into and make leases for terms not exceeding 40 years, as either lessee or lessor, in order to carry out the right to lease as set forth in this part;
(e) To enter into and make lease-purchase agreements with the department for terms not exceeding 40 years or until any bonds secured by a pledge of rentals thereunder, and any refundings thereof, are fully paid as to both principal and interest, whichever is longer;
(f) To fix, alter, charge, establish, and collect rates, fees, rentals, and other charges for the services and facilities of the Seminole County Expressway System, which rates, fees, rentals, and other charges shall always be sufficient to comply with any covenants made with the holders of any bonds issued pursuant to this part; however, such right and power may be assigned or delegated by the authority to the department;
(g)1. To borrow money as provided by the State Bond Act.
2. The authority shall reimburse Seminole County for any sums expended from the Seminole County gasoline tax funds and any other revenues provided to the authority by Seminole County and used for the payment of such obligations. Any such Seminole County revenues or gasoline tax funds so disbursed shall be repaid when the authority deems it practicable, together with interest at the highest rate applicable to any obligations of the authority for which funds or revenues were used to pay debt service.
3. The authority may hire and retain independent certified public accountants and auditors to audit the books and records of the authority and the department with respect to the Seminole County Expressway System or any part thereof, so long as any bonds of the authority are outstanding;
(h) To make contracts of every name and nature and to execute all instruments necessary or convenient for the carrying on of its business;
(i) Without limitation of the foregoing, to borrow money and accept grants from, and to enter into contracts, leases, or other transactions with, any federal agency, the state, any agency of the state, the County of Seminole, or any other public body of the state;
(j) To have the power of eminent domain, including the procedural powers granted under chapters 73 and 74;
(k) To pledge, hypothecate, or otherwise encumber all or any part of the revenues, rates, fees, rentals, or other charges or receipts of the authority, including all or any portion of the Seminole County gasoline tax funds or other revenues received by the authority pursuant to the terms of any lease-purchase agreement between the authority and the department or any other agreement between the authority and Seminole County, as security for all or any of the obligations of the authority;
(l) To do all acts and things necessary or convenient for the conduct of its business and the general welfare of the authority in order to carry out the powers granted to it by this part or any other law; and
(m) The authority may employ fiscal agents as provided by this part or the State Board of Administration may upon request of the authority act as fiscal agent for the authority in the issuance of any bonds which may be issued pursuant to this part, and the State Board of Administration may upon request of the authority take over the management, control, administration, custody, and payment of any or all debt services or funds or assets now or hereafter available for any bonds issued pursuant to this part. The authority may enter into deeds of trust, indentures, resolutions, and other agreements with its fiscal agent, financial institution, insurance company, and with any bank or trust company within or without the state, as security for such bonds, and may, under such agreements, sign and pledge all or any of the revenues, rates, fees, rentals, or other charges or receipts of the authority, including all or any portion of the Seminole County gasoline tax funds or other revenues received by the authority pursuant to the terms of any lease-purchase agreement between the authority and the department or any other agreement between the authority and Seminole County, thereunder. Such deed of trust, indenture, resolution, or other agreement may contain such provisions as are customary in such instruments, or, as the authority may authorize, include, without limitation, provisions as to:
1. The completion, improvement, operation, extension, maintenance, repair, and lease of, or lease-purchase agreement relating to the Seminole County Expressway System, and the duties of the authority and others including the department with reference thereto.
2. The availability and application of funds and the safeguarding of funds on hand or on deposit.
3. The rights and remedies of the trustee and the holders of the bonds and any institution providing liquidity or credit support for the bonds.
4. The terms and provisions of the bonds or the resolutions authorizing the issuance of same.
5. The terms and conditions pursuant to which the authority or any trustee for the bonds shall be entitled to receive any revenues from Seminole County to pay the principal of or interest on the bonds.
(3) The authority shall have no power at any time or in any manner to pledge the credit or taxing power of the state or any political subdivision or agency thereof, including the County of Seminole; nor shall any of the authority's obligations be deemed to be obligations of the state or of any political subdivision or agency thereof; nor shall the state or any political subdivision or agency thereof, except the authority, be liable for the payment of the principal of or interest on such obligations; however, Seminole County gas tax funds or other revenues may be pledged for the payment of the principal of or interest on such obligations pursuant to the terms of any lease-purchase agreement between the authority and the department or any other agreement between the authority and Seminole County.
(4) Anything in this part or any other provision of the law to the contrary notwithstanding, the consent of any municipality shall not be necessary for any project of the authority, whether or not the project lies within the boundaries of any municipality, either in whole or in part. However, the officials and residents of any municipality in which any project of the authority is to be located, in whole or in part, shall be given ample opportunity to discuss the project and advise the authority as to their position thereon at a duly advertised public hearing. Advertisement of the public hearing shall be by way of a newspaper published in Seminole County and circulated in the affected municipalities. The legal advertisement shall be published once at least 2 weeks prior to the public hearing and shall contain the time and place of the public hearing and a short description of the subject to be discussed. The public hearing may be adjourned from time to time and set for a time and place certain without necessity of further advertisement. In routing and locating any expressway or its interchanges in or through a municipality, the authority shall give due regard to the effect of such location on the municipality as a whole and shall not unreasonably split, divide, or otherwise separate areas of the municipality one from the other.
History.--s. 1, ch. 74-375; s. 4, ch. 90-227.