Budget priorities reflect our commitment to Florida’s water resources
Oct. 1, 2020
The St. Johns River Water Management District Governing Board recently adopted the budget for fiscal year 2020–2021, which goes into effect today. This year’s budget — which will support an unprecedented number of cooperative funding projects — clearly reflects the continued commitment of our Governing Board members and staff to protecting and conserving Florida’s water resources while being responsible stewards of the public funds entrusted to us.
The new budget provides for our continuing core missions work and reduces the millage rate for an eighth consecutive year. The adopted 0.2287 millage rate will result in nearly $90.8 million in revenue toward a total $242 million budget. The budget is also funded through local, state, federal, and other District sources, such as timber sales, cattle leases, interest earnings and permit fees.
With adoption of the roll-back rate, our board has made a commitment to keep taxes low while still providing significant funds for water resource protection and cost-share projects. The budget dedicates nearly $148 million to cooperative funding projects. The budget will fund the District’s major programs, including water supply planning, priority water body and springs restoration, and continued cost-share partnerships that support local communities’ water quality, water supply, flood protection projects, and resiliency. Together, we can achieve more, and this new budget clearly encourages continued partnerships among the District and local governments and the agricultural community.
We are also proud that the District’s 2020–2021 budget provides more than $147.85 million in cooperative funding to support water projects (including in economically disadvantaged rural communities and for innovative water resource technologies), for the protection and restoration of priority water bodies (including springs and the Indian River Lagoon), water conservation initiatives with public water suppliers, and projects to enhance the beneficial reuse of reclaimed water.
The budget includes funding to advance our core missions work, including:
- Water supply — $101,397,593 budgeted in this category that includes the Black Creek Water Resource Development Project, which should provide approximately 5–10 million gallons per day in aquifer recharge to the Keystone lakes region once complete.
- Water quality — $98,552,722 budgeted in this category that includes Lake Apopka enhancements that further reduce phosphorus loading and accelerate the lake’s recovering water quality.
- Natural systems — $10,420,056 budgeted in this category that includes vegetation harvesting at Gemini Springs Run/Debary Bayou and in the Orange Creek basin.
- Flood protection — $22,107,850 budgeted in this category that includes rehabilitation of structures in the Upper St. Johns River Basin Project area and upgrade of remote operations hardware and software at all major flood control structures to replace outdated systems.
We invite you to learn more about our budget and work by visiting our website at www.sjrwmd.com/budget. Thanks to Finance Director Mary-Lou Pickles and Budget Director Missy Licourt for their diligence throughout the budget process and to our Governing Board and staff for their dedication to fiscal responsibility while also providing the greatest benefits for Florida’s water resources.