AGENDA MEMORANDUM

 

 

Meeting Date:           January 22, 2007

 

From:                          Bruce Ericson, Director of Parks and Recreation

 

Subject:                      Resolution Authorizing support for Florida Forever Successor Program.

 

 

Staff Recommendation:

Staff recommends approval of the resolution authorizing support of Florida Forever Successor Program to provide contributions for environmental and recreation programs.

 

Analysis:

Florida Forever has provided many benefits throughout Florida.  This program has acquired over one million acres for conservation purposes and has helped save many of Florida’s beaches, rivers, bays, forests, coral reefs and estuaries that provide the foundation for our $3 billion tourism industry which attracts more than 70 million visitors each year. 

 

Through  the partnerships with Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Water Management Districts, and others, Florida Forever  creates  benefits that include clean air and water, healthy fisheries and wildlife habitat, improved water supply protection, and protected open spaces including greenway corridors, park lands, forests and water bodies.

 

The City of Leesburg has also benefited from this program with grant funding for Fountain Lake, Martin Luther King Walkway, Sleepy Hollow Complex, and Carver Heights.  

 

Options:

1.  Approve resolution authorizing approval of support for Florida Forever Successor Program or;

2.  Such alternative action as the Commission may deem appropriate

 

Fiscal Impact

There is no fiscal impact.

 

Submission Date and Time:    1/18/2007 10:06 AM____

Department: _Parks & Recreation  _____

Prepared by:  _Bruce Ericson              __                     

Attachments:         Yes____   No __X__

Advertised:   ____Not Required ______                     

Dates:   __________________________                     

Attorney Review :       Yes___  No ____

                                                

_________________________________            

Revised 6/10/04

 

Reviewed by: Dept. Head ________

 

Finance  Dept. __________________                                     

                              

Deputy C.M. ___________________                                                                         

Submitted by:

City Manager _________RS__________

 

Account No. _________________

 

Project No. ___________________

 

WF No. ______________________

 

Budget  ______________________

 

Available _____________________


 

RESOLUTION NO._______________

 

 

A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COMMISSION OF THE CITY OF LEESBURG, FLORIDA AUTHORIZING FUTURE SUPPORT OF THE FLORIDA FOREVER SUCCESSOR PROGRAM THAT WILL PROVIDE CONTRIBUTIONS TO ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH, QUALITY OF LIFE, RECREATION, AND SUSTAINABILITY IN FLORIDA; AND PROVIDING AN EFFECTIVE DATE.

 

 

BE IT RESOLVED BY THE CITY COMMISSION OF THE CITY OF LEESBURG, FLORIDA:

 

            WHEREAS, the Florida Forever program and its predecessor Preservation 2000 program have immeasurably contributed to environmental health, quality of life, recreation and sustainability in Florida for this future generations, and

 

            WHEREAS,   Florida Forever has acquired over one million acres throughout Florida since 2000 and allocates $300 million annually to purchase environmentally sensitive and other lands, and has done so through numerous successful partnerships with cities, counties, state agencies, water management districts, nonprofit organizations, private landowners, and others in achieving its conservation purposes, and

 

            WHEREAS, Florida Forever, through its partnerships with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Water Management Districts, and others, produces benefits that include clean air and water, healthy fisheries and wildlife habitat, improved water supply protection, and protected open spaces including greenway corridors, park lands, forests and water bodies, and

 

            WHEREAS, Florida Forever, through the Florida Communities Trust, has assisted Florida’s cities and counties in protecting their cultural and historical resources, meeting the challenges of growth management, directing development away from coastal high hazard areas and floodplains, fostering a healthier lifestyle for Floridians, and providing recreational outdoor experiences in both urban and rural settings, and

 

            WHEREAS,  Florida Forever has helped save many of Florida’s beaches, rivers, bays, forests, coral reefs and estuaries that provide the foundation for our $3 billion tourism industry which attracts more than 70 million visitors each year, and

 

            WHEREAS, 50 Florida local governments have enacted land acquisition financing programs in the past decades, and these conservation financing programs serve to leverage Florida Forever funding and increase the impact of State land conservation funding, and

 

            WHEREAS, Florida is experiencing rapid population growth, with approximately 1,100 new residents every day, and Floridians demand a high quality of life that include green space, access to water, pastoral settings and recreational opportunities, and

 

            WHEREAS, Florida Forever and other land conservation programs must compete in Florida’s market of surging land and housing prices, and

 

            WHEREAS, the effectiveness of Florida Forever has diminished because of escalating land prices and the impacts of inflation, and

 

            WHEREAS, the funding for the Florida Forever program will sunset in 2010, and

 

            WHEREAS, research by the Florida Forever Coalition has found that well in excess of $10 billion in State funding is currently needed to purchase wildlife and wilderness areas, parks and open space for our state’s ecological sustainability and increasing human population, and

 

            WHEREAS, research by the Florida Forever Coalition has also found that additional billions of dollars in local funding is necessary in order that cities and counties can protect additional wilderness areas, parks, and open space, in ways fully complementary with those of the State, and

 

            WHEREAS, a 2005 public opinion survey conducted by members of the Florida Forever Coalition found that 78% of Florida’s voters approve of the Florida Forever program, and

 

            WHEREAS, the Florida Forever Coalition endorsed a Florida Forever successor program of $1 billion annually, and

 

            WHEREAS, the benefits of Florida Forever have included Fountain Lake, Martin Luther King Walkway, Carver Heights and Sleepy Hollow projects for this jurisdiction.

 

            NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by this resolution, the City of Leesburg declares its support for the creation and funding of a successor program to the Florida Forever program  sufficient to meet the needs of lands conservation today and in the generations to come.

 

            And declares its intention to inform our representatives in the State Senate and State House of passage of this resolution.

 

             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 __22___ day of _January___ 2007.

 

 

 

                                                                            __________________________

                                                                             Mayor

 

ATTEST:

 

 

__________________________

City Clerk