SJRWMD slide 1 SJRWMD slide 2 SJRWMD slide 3 SJRWMD slide 4 SJRWMD slide 5 SJRWMD slide 6
SJRWMD logo for print -

Understanding the value of water


To subscribe to StreamLines and receive a paper copy in the mail, please send an email to contact@​ with your name and mailing address.

In this issue

Story 1 Thumbnail Image

A fishing story

Ongoing project is improving water quality one fish at a time.

Story 2 Thumbnail Image

Corking abandoned wells

District program helps cap abandoned wells, save billions of gallons of water.

Story 3 Thumbnail Image

Helping others

Surplus donation program helps communities in need throughout the district.

Story 4 Thumbnail Image

Today’s STEM leaders encourage others

District highlights women working in science, technology, engineering and math.

Staff from REDI communities pick up donated items at district offices in Palatka and Palm Bay.

District’s surplus donation program helps communities in need

By Ed Garland

Hawthorne City Manager Ellen Vause will tell you that her city isn’t a metropolis by any stretch of the imagination. A hamlet roughly 15 miles east of Gainesville, Hawthorne is home to 1,400 people. The city operates with a staff of eight — including Vause.

“We’re a small community,” Vause says. “We have a shoestring budget. When you have a small budget, every expenditure and every decision is important.”

In 2016, the city doubled its fleet of vehicles without dipping into its coffers by participating in the St. Johns River Water Management District’s fledgling program that offers the agency’s surplus items to economically disadvantaged Rural Economic Development Initiative (REDI) communities.

“We only had two city vehicles before we participated in the district’s REDI surplus donation program,” Vause says. “We received three gently used vehicles from the district. The flatbed truck went to the Sewer Department, the four-by-four went to the Parks Department and the SUV went to the Codes Department. This effectively doubled our fleet of vehicles!”

Historically, the district has routinely auctioned off items deemed obsolete, no longer serving a useful function, uneconomical or inefficient for continued use, or having exceeded their useful service life. Surplus items range from computers, office furniture, adding machines and used tires to large items such as all-terrain vehicles, cars and heavy duty trucks.

“I’ve sold thousands of items totaling more than $800,000 since 2011,” says Chris Lacambra, the district’s Office of Financial Services accounting program manager. “The money goes into the district’s general fund. Nothing goes to waste here.”

“We are delighted to donate these resources to the local communities to give new life to equipment and technology that no longer meet our needs but can continue to serve a useful purpose.”

— Dr. Ann Shortelle
District Executive Director

Lacambra says standard procedures changed when the district’s Governing Board and District Executive Director Dr. Ann Shortelle sought to spread goodwill to REDI communities by offering surplus goods through a drawing. Five REDI communities participated in the inaugural drawing. As word spread, that number grew to 30 participants during the most recent drawing.

Shortelle says she’s excited to see REDI communities embrace a program that’s transparent and a benefit to taxpayers.

“We are delighted to donate these resources to the local communities to give new life to equipment and technology that no longer meet our needs but can continue to serve a useful purpose,” Shortelle says. “Repurposing these computers, equipment and vehicles saves taxpayer dollars in economically disadvantaged communities.”

The city of Bunnell in Flagler County has received many items from the surplus program, but Perry Mitrano says the two most popular items with city staff are a 2008 Prius that replaced a geriatric Ford Crown Victoria and a four-wheel-drive utility vehicle equipped with a crane, welding generator, water tank and other gadgets that Mitrano describes as a “monster truck.”

“The monster truck was so well maintained by the district that we drove it from the district’s headquarters in Palatka to Bunnell and put it to work that very day,” says Mitrano, whose titles include director of Public Works, Utilities and Solid Waste. “Our mechanic was so thrilled with the monster truck; I can’t even begin to tell you. It was like Christmas Day for him.”

The program isn’t just limited to local governments. The Putnam County School District received a donation of 71 surplus computers, laptops and tablets in 2016. The district has also donated obsolete field equipment, such as water quality data loggers and GPS systems, to the University of Florida.


In this section
More about


Governing Board meetings
Please see agendas for specific meeting times, which may differ monthly.

Lobbyist registration requirements

Other district meetings and notices

Central Florida Water Initiative

Tell us how
we are doing.

Take our survey on
customer service.

By accessing this site, you agree to accept terms and conditions of the district’s liability disclaimer.

Employee Portal

St. Johns River Water Management District
4049 Reid Street, Palatka, FL 32177
(800) 725-5922