Land and Water Money Considered in Storm Recovery

Dan Economy, Florida, Industry News Release


Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried indicated Monday she could back a legislative proposal to use money voters designated for land and water projects to help recovery efforts from Hurricane Michael.

After reviewing agricultural damages Monday, Fried said at Chipola College in Marianna that her office was looking into a proposal (SB 376) by Sen. Bill Montford, D-Tallahassee, that would designate at least $50 million a year from the Land Acquisition Trust Fund to counties that sustained damage in the October hurricane. She added, “I do believe that Amendment 1 funding is something that can be utilized to help in this recovery” effort.

The trust fund receives money under a 2014 constitutional amendment that required setting aside a portion of documentary-stamp taxes for land and water conservation. The state already uses portions of the trust fund for such things as Everglades restoration, Lake Apopka restoration, the construction of a reservoir in the Everglades Agricultural Area and springs restoration.

Montford, who represents some of the hardest-hit counties in the Oct. 10 hurricane, filed the bill for consideration during the legislative session that starts March 5.

Source: News Service of Florida