News in Brief...

Most District Basin Boards Propose Lower FY2011 Budgets

At their June meetings, the District’s Basin Boards proposed FY2011 millage rates that are equal to or lower than the FY2010 rates, resulting in ad valorem revenue of $58.5 million, $9.7 million lower than FY2010.

The Pinellas-Anclote River and Hillsborough River basin boards reduced their proposed millage rates for FY2011, while the remaining Basin Boards left millage rates unchanged. With the decrease in ad valorem revenues, the District’s Basin Boards’ proposed FY2011 budgets are lower than FY2010, with one exception. The Hillsborough River Basin Board proposed FY2011 budget is increased from FY2010 primarily due to additional balances available as a result of the city of Tampa canceling three major cooperative funding projects ($24.9 million).

Alafia River: $5,843,959, a decrease of $1,321,020 from FY2010.
Coastal Rivers: $5,946,314, a decrease of $2,139,850 from FY2010.
Hillsborough River: $46,570,159, an increase of $21,306,409 from FY2010.
Manasota: $14,245,092, a decrease of $1,490,457 from FY2010.
Peace River: $10,139,261, a decrease of $1,168,092 from FY2010.
Pinellas-Anclote River: $28,116,535, a decrease of $10,132,519 from FY2010.
Withlacoochee River: $6,734,446, a decrease of $1,622,170 from FY2010.

The Basin Boards will meet again in August to adopt their final millage rates and budgets.

Teachers Can Apply for Splash! School Grants

Teachers interested in securing a Splash! school grant through the District can begin applying online at Grant applications are due Sept. 10, 2010.

The Splash! school grants provide teachers with funding for classroom projects on water quality, water conservation, alternative sources, water supply, flood protection or watersheds. Splash! school grants are available for public, private, charter and homeschool groups and provide up to $5,000 per school on a reimbursement basis only.

Last year the District awarded Splash! school grants to 209 educators, reaching more than 113,000 students.

Contact Mary Margaret Hull, District lead youth education coordinator, at 1-800-423-1476, ext. 4774, with questions about the Splash! school grant application process or the District’s education materials.

District Works to Restore Potts Preserve

The Operations Department will soon complete work at the District’s Potts Preserve in Citrus County to restore the historic natural flow patterns of water between the preserve’s marsh and the Hernando pool of Lake Tsala Apopka.

Workers are removing the fill material associated with the “western dike” and the “middle road,” which has impeded the natural flow of water between the open-water areas of the Hernando pool and the preserve’s marsh since the early 1950s.

The filled-in areas, which were built by the previous landowners, have inhibited the natural movement of water from the Hernando pool into the preserve’s marsh, which has impacted the hydrology of the marsh.

The $74,000 restoration project is being funded by the District’s Withlacoochee River Basin Board.