On Tuesday, the Southwest Florida Water Management District’s (District) Governing Board adopted a $183.5 million budget for fiscal year (FY) 2021, including more than $65.7 million for the Cooperative Funding Initiative and District grants for water resources projects.
The budget reflects the District’s commitment to protect Florida’s water resources and to improve Florida’s economic vitality. Some of the key initiatives in the District’s FY2021 budget include:
· $20.9 million for development of alternative water supplies to ensure an adequate supply of water resources for all existing and future reasonable and beneficial uses.
· $15.9 million for springs initiatives to restore springs and spring-fed rivers to improve water quality and clarity as well as restore natural habitats.
· $26.3 million for Watershed Management Program plans to support floodplain management decisions and initiatives, and address potential and existing flooding problems.
Through cooperative funding partnerships, District funds are typically matched up to 50% and will result in a total regional investment of more than $119 million for sustainable alternative water supply development, water quality improvements and other water resource management projects.
The adopted FY2021 millage rate is 0.2669 mill, 4.7% lower than the current fiscal year which will help lessen the tax burden for Florida residents by saving taxpayers approximately $6 million in property taxes. For the owner of a $150,000 home with a $50,000 homestead exemption, the District tax would be $26.69 a year, or about $2.22 per month. The fiscal year runs from Oct. 1, 2020, through Sept. 30, 2021.