notebook - Southwest Florida Water Management District

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notebook - Southwest Florida Water Management District

Item 24

exchange of their interest in the Circle B property for the Bellotto parcel. The proposed

exchange will be considered by the District’s Governing Board who also hold an interest in the

Circle B property. If approved and the Bellotto transaction is successfully closed, acquisition of

title to all parcels necessary for the project will have been completed. To ensure that the

acquisition of this parcel will not be delayed, in case a transaction does not occur, the District

will also continue with its eminent domain proceedings until trial or dismissal. The District has

maintained the OFP Development of Regional Impact (DRI) and made changes to the

Development Order, as necessary, through the City of Bartow, Central Florida Regional

Planning Council, and the Department of Community Affairs. The changes to the DRI allow the

proposed development to accommodate the District’s Lake Hancock minimum flows and levels

(MFLs) and other proposed land use projects. Those portions of the DRI and other parcels

determined to be not needed for District projects will be considered for surplus. Before

proceeding with the disposition of property, the District will prepare a DEP application for their

approval. The surplus activities to date have involved only the OFP property with the

conveyance of approximately 12 acres necessary for right-of-way to construct the Bartow

Northern Connector Road. Project Managers: Scott Letasi/Michael Peck/Steve Blaschka

Lake Hancock Outfall Treatment Project

The intent of the Lake Hancock Outfall Treatment project is to improve water quality discharging

from Lake Hancock to the Peace River and Charlotte Harbor. At their February 2006 meeting,

the Governing Board approved the staff recommendation to adopt a 27 percent nitrogen load

reduction goal and to utilize wetlands as the primary treatment component. The selection of

wetlands as the treatment option was based on a comprehensive consultant investigation into

alternative treatment technologies. In 2011, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

rescinded all special appropriations allocated in EPA’s fiscal year (FY) 2008 and earlier. A grant

agreement for FY2009 funds totaling $485,000 was executed in March 2012. While the grant

agreement was being finalized, the EPA discovered that a total of $288,700 in addition to the

$485,000 was available in grant funding due to an error in the rescission total. District staff

revised the grant application to apply for a total of $773,700. Project construction commenced

on September 26, 2011. New Activities Since Last Meeting: EPA processed the District’s

application for additional funding and forwarded an amendment to the existing agreement for

signature to add the funds. The amendment was reviewed and routed for signature.

Construction activities continue; however, excessive rains slowed earthwork activities. Work

continues on the pump station structure, discharge structure, aeration structure and discharge

channel. Inlet channel dredging was completed. Slurry wall construction is on track to be

completed in October 2012. Project Manager: Janie Hagberg

Watershed Management Program/Federal Emergency Management Agency Map Modernization

The District initiated a partnership with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to

modernize flood insurance rate maps (FIRMs) as part of its Watershed Management Program

(WMP). Flood protection and floodplain information has been a priority at the District since the

inception of the organization, and that priority was renewed following the El Niño weather event

in 1997-1998. In addition to studies conducted by the District and others, information on

floodplains (elevations) is available through the FEMA FIRMs. However, many of the existing

maps do not accurately represent the flood-prone areas, either because the initial studies were

technically limited or the maps are outdated due to significant land use changes. Accurate

floodplain information is vital to local government planning and zoning, and to the District’s

regulatory program and the land owners. To improve the floodplain information, develop

regional scale flood routing models for alternative analysis, and improve local governments’

understanding of their flood protection level of service, the District reached out to local

governments and initiated the WMP in the late 1990s. Additionally, the District and FEMA

executed a Cooperating Technical Partners (CTP) Memorandum of Agreement on September

14, 2001, to formalize the relationship and to improve the existing FIRMs to better identify risks

of flooding within the District. As a CTP, the District is eligible for federal funds to act as FEMA's

partner in modernization of the FIRMs. Federal funds have allowed the District and local

governments to accomplish significantly more than would have otherwise been possible. To

date, the District has received $12.1 million in federal funds from FEMA for countywide map

14

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