CHAPTER 2000-434
House Bill No. 1593
An act relating to the Baker Fire District, Okaloosa County; providing
intent; re-creating and providing a charter for the district; providing
district boundaries; providing purposes; providing definitions; providing
for the election of a district board of commissioners; providing
for terms of office; providing for officers and meetings of the board;
providing for commissioners' compensation and expenses; requiring
a bond; providing for records; providing general and special powers
of the district; exempting district assets and property from taxation;
providing requirements and procedures for the levy of ad valorem
taxes, non-ad valorem assessments, user charges, and impact fees;
providing for referenda; providing for enforcement; providing for
requirements and procedures for issuance of bonds; providing for
expansion and merger of the district boundaries; providing for severability;
providing for conflicts; providing an effective date.
Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
Section 1. This act constitutes the codification of all ordinances relating
to the Baker Fire District. It is the intent of the Legislature in enacting this
act to provide a single, comprehensive special act charter for the district,
including all current legislative enactments and any additional authority
granted by this act.
Section 2. The Baker Fire District is re-created and reenacted to read:
Section 1. Creation; intent.-The Baker Fire District is recreated as an
independent fire control district which shall operate pursuant to this special
act and the provisions of chapter 191, Florida Statutes, the Independent
Special Fire Control District Act, as it may be amended from time to time,
and all other general laws, whether referenced herein or not, which are
applicable to independent special districts.
Section 2. Creation; boundaries.-
(1) All of the following lands in Okaloosa County shall be incorporated
as an independent special fire control district, which shall be a public municipal
corporation for the public benefit, with perpetual existence, to be known
as the Baker Fire District, in which name it may sue and be sued, and lease,
own, possess, and convey real and personal property, by purchase or gift or
otherwise, to carry out the purposes of this act. The lands so incorporated
shall include the following:
Begin at OkaloosaiSanta Rosa County line and six % miles south of the
Alabama State Line, thence Easterly and Southeasterly on State Forest
Road (Peaden Bridge Road then John Riley Barnhill Road) to intersect
with Narrows Creek, thence Easterly along Narrows Creek to intersect
with State Highway 189, thence run North % mile along State Highway
189 to intersect with State Forest Road (Shockley Springs Road) thence
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run Easterly along State Forest Road (Shockley Springs Road) to intersect
Bear Branch, continue East along Bear Branch to intersect Yellow
River, thence Southerly along Yellow River to intersection with Gum
Creek, thence Northwesterly along Gum Creek to intersect with Old
River Road, thence South along Old River Road for % mile to intersect
with Griffith Cemetery Road, thence Southwesterly along Griffith Cemetery
Road for 1 mile to intersection of North branch of Three Mile
Branch, thence Southerly along Three Mile Branch to Mill Creek, thence
Southerly along South branch ofMill Creek to Garrett Mill Road, thence
West along Garrett Mill Road % mile to intersect State Highway 4,
thence Northwesterly along State Highway 4 to intersect Keyser Mill
Road, continue Southwesterly along Keyser Mill Road to intersect Galliver
Cut off (County Road 189), thence North along Galliver Cut off to
Lighthouse Church Road, continue West along Lighthouse Church Road
to Penny Creek, thence Westerly along Penny Creek to Blackwater
River, thence Northwesterly along Blackwater River to OkaloosaiSanta
Rosa County Line, thence North along OkaloosaiSanta Rosa County line
for 10 miles to point of beginning. Okaloosa County, Florida.
(2) Any lands within a municipality included in the boundaries of the
district as described herein shall be excluded from the district and its jurisdiction.
If any area, tract, or parcel of land within the boundaries of the
district shall hereafter become annexed to a municipality, such area, tract,
or parcel of land shall be excluded from the district effective the next January
1 following such annexation by a municipality. Nothing contained in this
act shall preclude any municipality from annexing lands to the territorial
limits of the municipality even if such land is included within the district.
(3) Should any part of the territory covered in this act be held not to be
included herein, then this act shall continue in effect as to the balance of the
Section 3. Intent.-The purposes of this act are to:
(1) Comply with chapter 97-256, Laws of Florida, which calls for the
codification of charters of all independent special fire control districts as
defined in section 191.003, Florida Statutes, which were created by special
law or general law of local application.
(2) Provide standards, direction, and procedures concerning the operation
and governance of the special fire control district known as the Baker
Fire District.
(3) Provide greater uniformity between the Baker Fire District and other
independent special fire control districts.
(4) Provide greater uniformity in the financing authority of the Baker
Fire District without hampering the efficiency and effectiveness of current
authorized and implemented methods and procedures of raising revenues.
(5) Improve communication and coordination between the Baker Fire
District and other local governments with respect to short-range and longrange
planning to meet the demands for service delivery while maintaining
fiscal responsibility.
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(6) Provide uniform procedures for electing members of the governing
board of the Baker Fire District to ensure greater accountability to the
Section 4. Definitions.-As used in this act:
(1) "Board" means the governing board of the Baker Fire District.
(2) "District" means the Baker Fire District, an independent special fire
control district as defined in section 191.003, Florida Statutes.
(3) "Elector" means a person who is a resident of the Baker Fire District
and is qualified to vote in a general election within Okaloosa County.
(4) "Emergency medical service" means basic and advanced life support
service as defined in section 401.23, Florida Statutes.
(5) "Rescue response service" means an initial response to an emergency
or accident situation, including, but not limited to, a plane crash, a trench
or building collapse, a swimming or boating accident, or a motor vehicle
Section 5. District board of commissioners; membership, terms of office,
officers, meetings.-
(1)(a) The business affairs ofthe district shall be conducted and administered
by a five-member board. The board shall be elected in nonpartisan
elections by the electors of the district. Except as provided in this act, such
elections shall be held at a time and in a manner prescribed by law for
holding general elections in accordance with section 189.405, Florida Statutes,
and each member shall be elected for a term of4 years and serve until
the member's successor assumes office. Candidates for the board of the
district shall qualify with the Okaloosa County Supervisor of Elections. All
candidates may qualify by paying a filing fee of at least $25 or by obtaining
the signatures of at least 25 registered electors of the district on petition
forms provided by the Supervisor of Elections, which petitions shall be
submitted and checked in the same manner as petitions filed by nonpartisan
judicial candidates pursuant to section 105.035, Florida Statutes.
(b) The members of the board shall be elected by the electors of the
district in the manner provided in this section. The office of each member
of the board is designated as being a seat on the board, distinguished from
each of the other seats by a numeral: 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5. The numerical seat
designation does not designate a geographical subdistrict. Each candidate
for a seat on the board shall designate, at the time the candidate qualifies,
the seat on the board for which the candidate is qualifying. The name ofeach
candidate who qualifies for election to a seat on the board shall be included
on the ballot in a way that clearly indicates the seat for which the candidate
is a candidate. The candidate for each seat who receives the most votes cast
for a candidate for the seat shall be elected to the board.
(2) Each member of the board must be a qualified elector at the time he
or she qualifies and continually throughout his or her term.
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(3) Each elected member of the board shall assume office 10 days following
the member's election. Annually, within 60 days after the newly elected
members have taken office, the board shall organize by electing from its
members a chair, a vice chair, a secretary, and a treasurer. The positions of
secretary and treasure may be held by one member. Funds of the district
may be disbursed only upon the order or pursuant to resolution ofthe board.
However, a petty cash account may be authorized by the board. The board
may give the treasurer additional powers and duties that it deems appropriate.
(4) Members of the board may each be paid a salary or honorarium to be
determined by at least a majority plus one vote of the board, which salary
or honorarium may not exceed $500 per month for each member. Special
notice of any meeting at which the board will consider a salary change for
a board member shall be published at least once, at least 14 days prior to
the meeting, in a newspaper of general circulation in Okaloosa County.
Separate compensation for the board member serving as treasurer may be
authorized by like vote so long as total compensation for the board member
does not exceed $500 per month. Members may be reimbursed for travel and
per diem expenses as provided in section 112.061, Florida Statutes.
(5) If a vacancy occurs on the board due to the resignation, death, or
removal of a board member or the failure of anyone to qualify for a board
seat, the remaining members may appoint a qualified person to fill the seat
until the next general election, at which time an election shall be held to fill
the vacancy for the remaining term, if any. The board shall remove any
member who has three consecutive unexcused absences from regularly
scheduled meetings. The board shall adopt a resolution defining excused and
unexcused absences.
(6) Each member shall, upon assuming office, take and subscribe to the
oath of office prescribed by s. 5(b), Art. II of the State Constitution and
section 876.05, Florida Statutes. Each member, within 30 days of assuming
office,must give the Governor a good and sufficient surety bond in the sum
of $5,000, the cost thereof being borne by the district, conditioned on the
member's faithful performance of his or her duties of office.
(7) The board shall keep a permanent record book entitled "Record of
Proceedings ofthe Baker Fire District," in which the minutes of all meetings,
resolutions, proceedings, certificates, bonds given by commissioners, and
corporate acts shall be recorded. The record book shall be open to inspection
in the same manner as state, county, and municipal records are open under
chapter 119, Florida Statutes, and s. 24, Art. I of the State Constitution. The
record book shall be kept at the office or other regular place of business
maintained by the board for the Baker Fire District.
(8) All meetings of the board shall be open to the public, consistent with
chapter 286, Florida Statutes, section 189.417, Florida Statutes, and other
applicable general laws.
(9) The officers of the board of commissioners shall have the duties usually
pertaining to like officers. A record shall be kept of all meetings of the
board in a manner consistent with subsection (7), and in such meetings
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concurrence of a majority of the commissioners shall be necessary to any
affirmative action by the board.
(10) The books and records of the district shall be audited at least an~ually,
at the expense of the district, as outlined in section 11.45, FlorIda
Section 6. General powers.-The district shall have and the board may
exercise by majority vote the following powers:
(1) To sue and be sued in the name of the district, to adopt and use a seal
and authorize the use of a facsimile thereof, and to make and execute contracts
and other instruments necessary or convenient to the exercise of its
(2) To provide for a pension or retirement plan for its employees. In
accordance with section 215.425, Florida Statutes, the board may provide for
an extra compensation program, including a lump-sum bonus payment program,
to reward outstanding employees whose performance exceeds standards,
if the program provides that a bonus payment may not be included in
an employee's regular base rate of pay and may not be carried forward in
subsequent years.
(3) To contract for the services of consultants to perform planning, engineering,
legal, or other professional services.
(4) Toborrow money and accept gifts, to apply for and use grants or loans
of money or other property from the United States, the state, a unit of local
government, or any person for any district purposes and enter into agreements
required in connection therewith, and to hold, use, sell, and dispose
of such moneys or property for any district purpose in accordance with the
terms of the gift, grant, loan, or agreement relating thereto.
(5) To adopt resolutions and procedures prescribing the powers, duties,
and functions ofthe officers of the district, the conduct of the business ofthe
district, the maintenance of records, and the form of other documents and
records of the district. The board may also adopt ordinances and resolutions
that are necessary to conduct district business, if such ordinances do not
conflict with any ordinances of a local general purpose government within
whose jurisdiction the district is located. Any resolution or ordinance
adopted by the board and approved by referendum vote of district electors
may only be repealed by referendum vote of district electors.
(6) Tomaintain an officeat places it designates within a county or municipality
in which the district is located and appoint an agent of record.
(7) To acquire, by purchase, lease, gift, dedication, devise, or otherwise,
real and personal property or any estate therein for any purpose authorized
by this act and to trade, sell, or otherwise dispose of surplus real or personal
property. The board may purchase equipment by an installment sales contract
if funds are available to pay the current year's installments on the
equipment and to pay the amounts due that year on all other installments
and indebtedness.
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(8) To hold, control, and acquire by donation or purchase. any public
easement, dedication to public use, platted reservation for publIc purposes,
or reservation for those purposes authorized by this act and to use such
easement, dedication, or reservation for any purpose authorized by this act
consistent with applicable adopted local government comprehensive plans
and land development regulations.
(9) To lease as lessor or lessee to or from any person, firm, corporation,
association, or body, public or private, any facility or property of any nature
for the use of the district when necessary to carry out the district's duties
and authority under this act.
(10) To borrow money and issue bonds, revenue anticipation notes, or
certificates payable from and secured by a pledge of funds, revenues, taxes
and assessments, warrants, notes, or other evidence of indebtedness, and to
mortgage real and personal property when necessary to carry out the district's
duties and authority under this act.
(11) To charge user and impact fees authorized by resolution of the
board, in amounts necessary to conduct district activities and services, and
to enforce their receipt and collectionin the manner prescribed by resolution
and authorized by law. However, the imposition of impact fees may only be
authorized as provided by section 9(4).
(12) To exercise the right and power of eminent domain, pursuant to
chapter 73 or chapter 74, Florida Statutes, over any property within the
district, except municipal, county, state, special district, or federal property
used for a public purpose, for the uses and purposes of the district relating
solely to the establishment and maintenance offire stations and fire substations,
specifically including the power to take easements that serve such
facilities consistent with applicable adopted local government comprehensive
plans and land development regulations.
(13) To cooperate or contract with other persons or entities, including
other governmental agencies, as necessary, convenient, incidental, or proper
in connection with providing effectivemutual aid and furthering any power,
duty, or purpose authorized by this act.
(14) To assess and impose upon real property in the district ad valorem
taxes and non-ad valorem assessments as authorized by this act.
(15) To impose and foreclose non-ad valorem assessment liens as provided
by this act or to impose, collect, and enforce non-ad valorem assessments
pursuant to chapter 197, Florida Statutes.
(16) To select as a depository for its funds any qualified public depository
as defined in section 280.02, Florida Statutes, which meets all the requirements
of chapter 280, Florida Statutes, and has been designated by the
State Treasurer as a qualified public depository, upon such terms and conditions
as to the payment of interest upon the funds deposited as the board
deems just and reasonable.
(17) To provide adequate insurance on all real and personal property,
equipment, employees, volunteer firefighters, and other personnel.
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(18) To organize, participate in, and contribute monetarily to organizations
or associations relating to the delivery of or improvement of fire control,
fire prevention, and emergency rescue services, or district administration.
(19) Topromulgate and enforce reasonable fire regulations by resolution.
Section 7. Exemption from taxation.-Since the exercise of the powers
conferred by this act constitutes action by a political subdivision performing
essential public functions and since the property of the district constitutes
public property used for public purposes, all assets and properties of the
district, including property acquired through the foreclosure of any tax or
assessment lien, are exempt from all taxes imposed by the state or any
political subdivision, agency, or instrumentality of the state.
Section 8. Special powers.-The Baker Fire District shall provide for fire
suppression and prevention by establishing and maintaining fire stations
and fire substations and acquiring and maintaining such firefighting and
fire protection equipment deemed necessary to prevent or fight fires. All
construction shall be in compliance with applicable state, regional, and local
regulations, including adopted comprehensive plans and land development
regulations. The board shall have and may exercise any or all of the following
special powers relating to facilities and duties authorized by this act:
(1) To establish and maintain emergency medical and rescue response
services and acquire and maintain rescue, medical, and other emergency
equipment, pursuant to the provisions of chapter 401, Florida Statutes, and
any certificate of public convenience and necessity or its equivalent issued
(2) To employ, train, and equip such personnel, and train, coordinate,
and equip such volunteer firefighters, as are necessary to accomplish the
duties of the district. The board may employ and fix the compensation of a
fire chief or chief administrator. The board shall prescribe the duties of such
person, which shall include supervision and management of the operations
of the district and its employees and maintenance and operation of its
facilities and equipment. The fire chief or chief administrator may employ
or terminate the employment of such other persons, including, without limitation,
professional, supervisory, administrative, maintenance, and clerical
employees, as are necessary and authorized by the board. The compensation
and other conditions of employment of the officers and employees of the
district shall be provided by the board.
(3) To conduct public education to promote awareness of methods to
prevent fires and reduce the loss of life and property from fires or other
public safety concerns.
(4) To adopt and enforce fire safety standards and codes and enforce the
rules of the State Fire Marshal consistent with the exercise of the duties
authorized by chapter 553, Florida Statutes, or chapter 633, Florida Statutes,
with respect to fire suppression and prevention and fire safety code
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(5) To conduct arson investigations and cause-and-origin investigations.
(6) To adopt hazardous material safety plans and emergency response
plans in coordination with the county emergency management agency as
provided in chapter 252, Florida Statutes.
(7) To contract with general purpose local government for emergency
management planning and services.
Section 9. Taxes, non-ad valorem assessments; impact fees and user
(1) AD VALOREM TAXES.-The elected board of commissioners may
levy and assess ad valorem taxes on all taxable property in the district to
construct, operate, and maintain district facilities and services, to pay the
principal of, and interest on, general obligation bonds of the district, and to
provide for any sinking or other funds established in connection with such
bonds. An ad valorem tax levied by the board for operating purposes, exclusive
of debt service on bonds, may not exceed 3.75 mills. The levy of ad
valorem taxes pursuant to this section must be approved by referendum
called by the board. Nothing in this act shall require a referendum on the
levy of ad valorem taxes in the amount as previously authorized by special
act, general law of local application, or county ordinance approved by referendum.
Such tax shall be assessed, levied, and collected in the same manner
as county taxes. The levy of ad valorem taxes approved by referendum shall
be reported within 60 days after the vote to the Department of Community
(2) NON-AD VALOREMASSESSMENTS.-The elected board of commissioners
may levy non-ad valorem assessments to provide funds for the
purposes of the district. The rate of such assessments must be fixed by
resolution of the board pursuant to the procedures contained in section 10.
Non-ad valorem assessment rates set by the board may exceed the maximum
rates established by this or any prior special act, any county ordinance,
the previous year's resolution, or a referendum in an amount not to exceed
the average annual growth rate in Florida personal income over the previous
5 years. Non-ad valorem assessment rate increases within the personal
income threshold are deemed to be within the maximum rate authorized by
law at the time of initial imposition. Proposed non-ad valorem assessment
increases which exceed the rate set the previous fiscal year or the rate
previously set by special act or county ordinance, whichever is more recent,
by more than the average annual growth rate in Florida personal income
over the last 5 years, must be approved by referendum of the electors of the
district. Non-ad valorem assessments shall be imposed, collected, and enforced
pursuant to section 10.
(a) The board may provide a reasonable schedule of charges for special
emergency services, including fighting fires occurring in or to structures
outside the district, motor vehicles, marine vessels, aircraft, or rail cars, or
as a result ofthe operation ofsuch motor vehicles or marine vessels, to which
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the district is called to render such emergency service, and may charge a fee
for the services rendered in accordance with the schedule.
(b) The board may provide a reasonable schedule of charges for fighting
fires occurring in or at refuse dumps or as a result of an illegal burn, which
fire, dump, or burn is not authorized by general or special law, rule, regulation,
order, or ordinance and which the district is called upon to fight or
(c) The board may provide a reasonable schedule of charges for responding
to, assisting with, or mitigating emergencies that either threaten or
could threaten the health and safety of persons, property, or the environment,
to which the district has been called, including a charge for responding
to false alarms.
(d) The board may provide a reasonable schedule of charges for inspecting
structures, plans, and equipment to determine compliance with firesafety
codes and standards.
(e) The district shall have a lien upon any real property, motor vehicle,
marine vessel, aircraft, or rail car for any charge assessed under this subsection.
(4) IMPACT FEES.-If the general purpose local government has not
adopted an impact fee for fire services which is distributed to the district for
construction within its jurisdictional boundaries, the board may establish a
schedule of impact fees for new construction to pay for the cost of new
facilities and equipment, the need for which is in whole or in part the result
of new construction. The impact fees collected by the district under this
subsection shall be kept separate from other revenues of the district and
must be used exclusively to acquire, purchase, or construct new facilities or
portions thereof needed to provide fire protection and emergency services to
new construction. As used in this subsection, "new facilities" means land,
buildings, and capital equipment, including, but not limited to, fire and
emergency vehicles, radiotelemetry equipment, and other firefighting or
rescue equipment. The board shall maintain adequate records to ensure that
impact fees are expended only for permissible new facilities or equipment.
The board may enter into agreements with general purpose local governments
to share in the revenues from fire protection impact fees imposed by
such governments.
Section 10. Procedures for the levy and collection of non-ad valorem
(1) The district may provide for the levy of non-ad valorem assessments
under this act on the lands and real estate benefited by the exercise of the
powers authorized by this act, or any part thereof, for all or any part of the
cost thereof. In addition to the provisions set forth under this act, the district
shall also be entitled to exercise all other rights and powers regarding the
levy and collection of additional non-ad valorem assessments as provided for
under chapter 191, Florida Statutes.
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(2) The rate of assessment shall be fixed by resolution of the board of
commissioners on or before June 1 of each year as follows:
(a) Seventy-seven dollars annually shall be assessed against com~~rcial
buildings and commercial businesses. For the pu~pose of dete:mI? a
commercial business, it is the specific intent of thIS act to tax IndIVIdual
businesses which are within a common building which are separated by
walls, partitions, or custom. The purchase of a county occupational license
shall be evidence of the existence of a business. Apartment buildings, motels,
condominiums, mobile home parks, and other multiple family residences
shall not be considered commercial buildings.
(b) Each residential dwelling unit, including mobile homes situated on
any parcel of land within the district, shall pay $47 annually.
(c) The non-ad valorem assessment amounts established under paragraphs
(a) and (b) shall be subject to annual increases, as may be approved
by the board of commissioners as provided for under section 9(2).
(3) The board of commissioners may adopt by resolution the current tax
assessment and collection roll compiled and prepared by the tax assessor of
Okaloosa County, and may adopt a resolution fixing the levy on each lot or
parcel of land subject to taxation in the district, or may, at its discretion,
prepare or cause to be prepared an assessment and collection roll setting
forth a description of each lot or parcel of land subject to taxation in the
district together with the amount of assessment fixed by resolution, and
shall, before June 1 of each year, deliver the roll to the tax assessor for
collection. All assessments shall be made against the land subject to such
assessments and the roll shall set forth the names of the respective owners
of such lands.
(4) Any property owner in the district shall have the right to file a protest
in writing between June 10 and 20 ofeach year against the proposed assessments
and the amount or rate thereof, and to appear before the board in
support of such protest at an opening meeting or meetings which shall be
held to hear and consider such protests and make adjustments to the roll.
(5) Immediately after the adjustment period the board of commissioners
shall adopt a resolution fixing the rate of special assessment and shall note
the amount of the levy against each parcel of property described in the tax
roll and shall transmit the tax roll and a certified copy of the resolution to
the county tax assessor on or before July 1 each year. It shall be the duty
of the tax collector of Okaloosa County to include in the county tax roll the
assessments made by the board of commissioners of the district and to
collect such assessments according to the assessment roll and deliver the
proceeds of such collection, less the statutory fee, monthly to the board of
commissioners, taking their receipts for such funds. The tax collector shall,
upon delivery of such funds to the board of commissioners, furnish them
with a description of the lands for which such payments are made.
(6) Such special assessments shall be a lien upon the land so assessed
along with county taxes until paid and, if the same become delinquent, shall
be considered a part ofthe county tax, subject to the same penalties, charges,
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fees, and remedies for enforcement and collection and shall be enforced and
collected as provided by law.
(7) Such special assessments shall be ofequal benefit to all property with
fire protection being provided by the Baker Fire District pursuant to the
provisions of this act.
(8) The fiscal year for the district shall be from October 1 to September
30 of each year.
Section 11. District issuance of bonds, notes, bond anticipation notes, or
other evidences of indebtedness.-
(1) The district may issue general obligation bonds, assessment bonds,
revenue bonds, notes, bond anticipation notes, or other evidences of indebtedness
to finance all or a part of any proposed improvements authorized to
be undertaken under this act or under general or special law, provided the
total annual payments for the principal and interest on such indebtedness
shall not exceed 50 percent of the total annual budgeted revenues of the
district. The bonds shall be issued in such denominations, mature on such
dates and in such amounts, and may be subject to optional and mandatory
redemption as determined by resolutions adopted by the board. Bonds ofthe
district may bear interest at a fixed, floating, or adjustable rate and may be
issued as interest-bearing bonds, interest-accruing bonds, or zero coupon
bonds at such rate or rates, not exceeding the maximum rate permitted by
general law, as determined by resolution ofthe board. Principal and interest
shall be payable in the manner determined by the board. The bonds shall
be signed by manual or facsimile signature of the chair or vice chair of the
board, attested with the seal of the district and by the manual or facsimile
signature of the secretary or assistant secretary of the board.
(2) The bonds shall be payable from the non-ad valorem assessments or
other non-ad valorem revenues, including, without limitation, user fees or
charges or rental income authorized to be levied, collected, or received pursuant
to this act or general law. General obligation bonds payable from ad
valorem taxes may also be issued by the district, but only after compliance
with s. 12, Art. VII of the State Constitution. Subject to referendum approval,
a district may pledge its full faith and credit for the payment of
principal and interest on such general obligation bonds and for any reserve
funds provided therefor and may unconditionally and irrevocably pledge
itself to levy ad valorem taxes on all property in the district to the extent
necessary for the payment thereof. The district is authorized, after notice
and opportunity to be heard has been afforded to those affected, to impose,
charge, and collect non-ad valorem revenues in connection with any of the
improvements authorized under this act and to pledge the same for the
payment of bonds.
(3) In connection with the sale and issuance of bonds, the district may
enter into any contracts which the board determines to be necessary or
appropriate to achieve a desirable effective interest rate in connection with
the bonds by means of, but not limited to, contracts commonly known as
investment contracts, funding agreements, interest rate swap agreements,
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currency swap agreements, forward payment conversion agreements, f~-
tures, or contracts providing for payments based on levels .ofor changes m
interest rates, or contracts to exchange cash flows or a senes of payments,
or contracts, including, without limitation, options, puts, or calls, to hedge
payment, rate, spread, or similar exposure. Such c?ntra~ts or a;rr~ngements
may also be entered into by the district in connectIOnwIth, or .mcId~nt~1~o,
entering into any agreement which secures bonds or provIdes hqUldIty
therefor. Such contracts and arrangements shall be made upon the terms
and conditions established by the board, after giving due consideration to
the credit worthiness ofthe counter parties, where applicable, including any
rating by a nationally recognized rating service or any other criteria as may
be appropriate.
(4) In connection with the sale and issuance of the bonds, or the entering
into any of the contracts or arrangements referred to in subsection (3), the
district may enter into such credit enhancement or liquidity agreements,
with such payment, interest rate, security, default, remedy, and any other
terms and conditions as the board shall determine.
(5) Notwithstanding any provision of law relating to the investment or
reinvestment of surplus funds of any governmental unit, proceeds of the
bonds and any money set aside or pledged to secure payment of the principal,
or premium, if any, and interest on the bonds, or any of the contracts
entered into pursuant to subsection (3), may be invested in securities or
obligations described in the resolution providing for the issuance of bonds.
(6) The bonds shall be sold in any manner not inconsistent with general
law, shall show the purpose for which they are issued, and shall be payable
out of the money pledged therefor. The funds derived from the sale of said
bonds or any contract or arrangement shall be used for the purpose ofpaying
the cost of the services or improvements and such costs, expenses, fees, and
salaries as may be authorized by law.
(7) Non-ad valorem assessments or any portion thereof levied to pay the
principal on bonds issued pursuant to this act with respect to improvements
financed therewith shall not exceed the benefits assessed regarding such
works or improvements. If the bonds are sold at a discount, the amount of
the discount shall be treated as interest, not as principal. Premiums payable
upon the redemption of bonds shall also be treated as interest. Interest to
accrue on account of issuing bonds shall not be construed as a part of the
costs of the works or improvements in determining whether or not the costs
of making such improvements are equal to or in excess of the benefits
assessed. If the property appraiser and tax collector deduct their fees and
charges from the amount of non-ad valorem assessments levied and collected,
and if the landowners receive the statutorily permitted discount for
early payment ofsuch non-ad valorem assessments, the amount ofsuch fees,
charges, and discount shall not be included in the amount ofnon-ad valorem
assessments levied by the district in determining whether such assessments
are equal to or in excess of the benefits assessed.
(8) The district may, whenever in the judgment of the board it is advisable
and in the best interests of the landowners in the district, issue bonds
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Ch. 2000-434 LAWS OF FLORIDA Ch. 2000-434
to refund any or all of the then outstanding bonded indebtedness of the
(92 The principal amount of refunding bonds may be in any amount not
in excess ofthe benefits assessed against the lands with respect to which the
refunded bonds were issued less the principal amount ofthe refunded bonds
previously paid from non-ad valorem assessments. The proceeds of such
refunding bonds shall be used only to pay the principal, premium, if any, and
interest on the bonds to be refunded and any discount or expense of the sale
of the refunding bonds and to provide a debt service reserve fund for the
refunding bonds. The district may also use other available revenues to pay
costs associated with the issuance or administration of the refunding bonds.
(10) Assessments shall be levied for the payment of the refunding bonds
in the same manner as the assessments levied for the refunded bonds and
the refunding bonds shall be secured by the same lien as the refunded bonds,
and any additional interest which accrues on account ofthe refunding bonds
shall be included and added to the original assessment and shall be secured
by the same lien, provided any interest accrued shall not be considered as
a part of the cost of construction in determining whether the assessment
exceeds the benefits assessed.
(11) No proceedings shall be required for the issuance ofbonds or refunding
bonds other than those provided by this section and by general law.
Section 12. District expansion and merger.-
(1) The boundaries of the district may be modified, extended, or enlarged
upon approval or ratification by the Legislature.
(2) The merger of the district with all or portions of other independent
or dependent fire control districts is effective only upon ratification by the
Legislature. The district may not, solely by reason of a merger with another
governmental entity, increase ad valorem taxes on property within the originallimits
ofthe district beyond the maximum established by this act, unless
approved by the electors of the district by referendum.
Section 3. If any clause, section, or provision of this act shall be declared
unconstitutional or invalid for any reason, it shall be eliminated from this
act, and the remaining portion of the act shall be in full force and effect and
be as valid as if such invalid portion thereof had not been incorporated
Section 4. In the event of a conflict of the provisions of this act with the
provisions of any other act the provisions of this act shall control to the
extent of such conflict.
Section 5. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.
Approved by the Governor June 5, 2000.
Filed in Office Secretary of State June 5, 2000.
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