Staff recommends adoption of the resolution opposing changes to Chapter 180.191, Florida Statutes.
Chapter 180 of the Florida Statutes defines the powers of municipalities. Among other things, it grants municipalities the power to set utility rates and specifically to impose a surcharge on utility rates for services outside the municipal boundaries, in Chapter 180.191, F.S. This is intended to offset the considerable capital costs of extending municipal utility services into unincorporated areas, and to offset the additional operational costs of providing such services. The City of Leesburg has long imposed this surcharge on water services for this specific reason.
During the last legislative session, there was an attempt to modify Chapter 180.191, F.S. provisions to prohibit such surcharges. The City Commission adopted a resolution opposing such changes at that time. The attempt during the last legislative session failed. However, there have been new bills introduced that once again attempt to modify Chapter 180.191 F.S., to prohibit surcharges in counties with a population of 1.5 million or more. On the face of it, this does not affect Lake County. However, it is staff’s concern that should the legislature make this modification, it would be relatively easy to make a future modification to prohibit surcharges completely. Therefore, we continue to oppose any attempt to restrict the City’s rights to establish and maintain surcharges as it sees fit under the provisions of Chapter 180.191, F.S. In many, probably most cases, the municipal utilities make it possible for development to occur within the unincorporated areas because counties are either unable or unwilling to provide utility services – the cities must retain the ability to recover their excess costs under these circumstances.
1. Staff recommends adoption of the resolution opposing attempts to modify Chapter 180.191, F.S.; or,
2. Such alternative action as the Commission may deem appropriate.
Adoption of this resolution has no fiscal impact, either positive or negative. However, we believe that it is crucial to the City’s continued economic health that we retain the rights of establishing and maintaining surcharges to avoid a future revenue loss.
Department: _Environmental Services___
Prepared by: _Raymond S. Sharp____
Attachments: Yes__x__ No ______
Advertised: ____Not Required ______
Attorney Review : Yes___ No _x___
Reviewed by: Dept. Head ________
Finance Dept. ________JB________
Deputy C.M. ___________________
City Manager ___________________
Account No. __n/a____________
Project No. ___________________
WF No. ______________________
A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COMMISSION OF THE CITY OF LEESBURG, FLORIDA, OPPOSING SENATE BILL 372 AND HOUSE BILL 1607, AMENDING SECTION 180.191, FLORIDA STATUTES, WHICH EXEMPTS CITIES IN CERTAIN COUNTIES FROM CHARGING A WATER OR SEWER RATE SURCHARGE TO CONSUMERS LOCATED OUTSIDE A MUNICIPAL UTILITY'S OWN BOUNDARIES; AND PROVIDING AN EFFECTIVE DATE.
BE IT RESOLVED BY THE CITY COMMISSION OF THE CITY OF LEESBURG, FLORIDA:
WHEREAS, Section 180.191, Florida Statutes, currently grants every municipality in Florida that operates water & sewer systems outside their own boundaries, the right to establish water & sewer rates for outside city customers that include a surcharge up to 25% without a special public hearing and 50% with a special public hearing; and
WHEREAS, the surcharge permitted by the state recognizes and justifiably offsets the capital costs and burden carried by a municipality’s tax-paying citizens to enable the acquisition, maintenance and operation of its water & sewer utility and, therefore, provide quality water & sewer services for non-residents and non-municipal taxpayers; and
WHEREAS, on November 15, 2009, Senator Wilson introduced Senate Bill 372 amending Section 180.191, Florida Statutes, exempting municipalities in certain counties from the applicability of provisions limiting the rates that a municipality may charge consumers located outside their boundaries for water or sewer utility services; and
WHEREAS, on March 2, 2010, Representative Braynon introduced House Bill 1607 amending Section 180.191, Florida Statutes, exempting municipalities in certain counties from the applicability of provisions limiting the rates that a municipality may charge consumers located outside their boundaries for water or sewer utility services; and
WHEREAS, Senate Bill 372 does not take into consideration the costs of providing service outside municipal boundaries or the quality of goods and services delivered, but only the size of a particular county; and
WHEREAS, House Bill 1607 does not take into consideration the costs of providing service outside municipal boundaries or the quality of goods and services delivered, but only the size of a particular county; and
WHEREAS, a municipality that provides water and/or sewer services outside its municipal boundaries enables economic development in its service area and enhances the quality of life of its customers; and
WHEREAS, the City Commission of the City of Leesburg recognize that the current section 180.191, Florida Statutes, is a reasonable offset to the City of its capital costs and responsibility to provide all consumers, both in and out of the city’s boundaries, with quality water and service.
BE IT RESOLVED by the City Commission of the City of Leesburg:
Section 1. The foregoing recitals are true and correct.
Section 2. The City Commission of the City of Leesburg, Florida, oppose any change in the City’s water & sewer utility rate making authority as proposed by Senate Bill 372, which amends section 180.191, Florida Statutes
Section 3. The City Commission of the City of Leesburg, Florida, oppose any change in the City’s water & sewer utility rate making authority as proposed by House Bill 1607, which amends section 180.191, Florida Statutes.
Section 4. The City of Leesburg opposes any discriminatory action that would treat any municipality’s water and sewer utility rate making authority different from the authority granted every other municipality in the state that operates a water and sewer utility outside its municipal boundaries.
Section 5. The City Clerk is hereby directed to send a copy of this Resolution to the President of the Florida Senate, the Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives, Florida Governor Charlie Crist, and the legislative leadership at The Florida League of Cities, Inc.
THAT this resolution shall become effective immediately.
PASSED AND ADOPTED by the City Commission of the City of Leesburg, Florida, at a regular meeting held the __26th___ day of __April_______ 2010.