District Approves Budget
The Southwest Florida Water Management District Governing Board recently adopted its fiscal year 2012–13 (FY2012–13) millage rate and budget.
The Governing Board adopted a FY2012–13 millage rate of 0.3928 mill, which is the same as the current fiscal year. FY2012–13 will run from Oct. 1, 2012, through Sept. 30, 2013. With taxable property values declining by 2.9 percent, this rate will result in a $3 million reduction in ad valorem property tax revenue.
The total FY2012–13 budget for the District is $159.5 million, 2.5 percent higher than the adopted budget for FY2011–12, which was $155.5 million. The $3.9 million increase in the budget is primarily due to additional funding requests from local governments for water resources projects. The increase is funded from additional balances available from prior years due to the cancellation of projects and projects completed under budget.
District to Hold Series of Hog Hunts
District land managers will hold a series of hog hunts on District land this fall and winter to help reduce the wild hog population.
Wild hogs, which are not native to Florida, feed on roots, tubors and grubs by rooting with their broad snouts and can leave an area looking like a plowed field. They also prey on native wildlife, compete with native species for food and transmit diseases to other wildlife, livestock and humans. Additionally, hogs may facilitate the spread of exotic plant species by transporting seeds and/or providing germination sites through rooting.
The District allows hogs to be controlled through hunts when damage they cause is at unacceptable levels. Damage from hogs is occurring more frequently and with increasing severity.
Visit HogHunts.WaterMatters.org for a complete schedule of hunts and more information.
District Redesigns Websites
The District recently launched some redesigned websites to make it easier for the public to find information. The newly designed Data and Maps site is at WaterMatters.org/Data. The information was reorganized into five categories — Demographics; Geohydrologic Data; Hydrologic Data; Water Quality Data and GIS, Maps & Survey — to allow for easier accessibility.
The District also recently redesigned its Education website at WaterMatters.org/Education/. Educational materials for community groups, businesses and educators can be found here. The site offers a range of topics like water conservation projects, watershed maps and Florida-Friendly LandscapingTM tips.
These webpage redesigns are part of the District’s ongoing initiative to enhance the quality and availability of information to the public and staff.