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September 23, 2014
District adopts final FY 2014–2015 budget
The St. Johns River Water Management District’s Governing Board gave final approval on Sept. 23 to a fiscal year 2014–2015 budget that reduces the millage rate for taxpayers and funds projects to protect the region’s springs and improve water quality in the Indian River Lagoon and St. Johns River.
The Board approved a 0.3164 millage rate that will generate $81.8 million in tax revenue toward a total $145.5 million budget for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1, 2014. The new millage rate is approximately 3.6 percent less than the current year’s tax rate. The budget is also funded through state, federal and other sources, including timber sales, cattle leases, interest earnings and permit fees.
Under a 0.3164 millage rate — 31.64 cents for every $1,000 of assessed property value — the owner of a $200,000 house with a $50,000 homestead exemption will pay $47.46 in the coming year in property taxes to the District.
“This balanced budget includes more than $41 million for strategic priorities that reflect our continued commitment to water resource and water supply development, natural systems protection and restoration, surface water restoration and regional flood protection,” said Governing Board Chairman John A. Miklos of Orlando.
Major projects in the budget focus on District initiatives supporting minimum flows and levels prevention and recovery strategies, springs protection, and water quality protection in the Indian River Lagoon, Northern Coastal Basins and the middle and lower St. Johns River basins. The final budget includes $33.6 million in cooperative cost-share funding for construction of projects that will help to reduce nutrient loading in springsheds and other water bodies, develop traditional and alternative water supplies, and conserve water.
Funds also will pay for reclaimed water and stormwater projects, water conservation, muck removal and restoration activities. Other projects included in the final budget:
- Completion of the Fellsmere Water Management Area and the final phase of the Canal 1 Rediversion Project in Brevard and Indian River counties, which are among the final components of the Upper St. Johns River Basin Project
- Construction of the 1,300-acre C-10 Reservoir in Brevard County, which will provide additional water storage and treatment and nutrient reduction benefits
- Construction of Lower Floridan aquifer wells, which will help to expand data collection to support priority District initiatives