(1) This section may be cited as the “Small Community Sewer Construction Assistance Act.”
(2) The department shall use funds specifically appropriated to award grants under this section to assist financially disadvantaged small communities with their needs for adequate sewer facilities. For purposes of this section, the term “financially disadvantaged small community” means a county, municipality, or special district that has a population of 10,000 or fewer, according to the latest decennial census, and a per capita annual income less than the state per capita annual income as determined by the United States Department of Commerce. For purposes of this subsection, the term “special district” has the same meaning as provided in s. 189.012 and includes only those special districts whose public purpose includes water and sewer services, utility systems and services, or wastewater systems and services.
(3)(a) In accordance with rules adopted by the Environmental Regulation Commission under this section, the department may provide grants, from funds specifically appropriated for this purpose, to financially disadvantaged small communities for up to 100 percent of the costs of planning, designing, constructing, upgrading, or replacing wastewater collection, transmission, treatment, disposal, and reuse facilities, including necessary legal and administrative expenses.
Terms Used In Florida Statutes 403.1838
- Department: means the Department of Environmental Protection. See Florida Statutes 403.281
(b) The rules of the Environmental Regulation Commission must:
1. Require that projects to plan, design, construct, upgrade, or replace wastewater collection, transmission, treatment, disposal, and reuse facilities be cost-effective, environmentally sound, permittable, and implementable.
2. Require appropriate user charges, connection fees, and other charges sufficient to ensure the long-term operation, maintenance, and replacement of the facilities constructed under each grant.
3. Require grant applications to be submitted on appropriate forms with appropriate supporting documentation, and require records to be maintained.
4. Establish a system to determine eligibility of grant applications.
5. Establish a system to determine the relative priority of grant applications. The system must consider public health protection and water pollution prevention or abatement and must prioritize projects that plan for the installation of wastewater transmission facilities to be constructed concurrently with other construction projects occurring within or along a transportation facility right-of-way.
6. Establish requirements for competitive procurement of engineering and construction services, materials, and equipment.
7. Provide for termination of grants when program requirements are not met.
(c) The department must perform adequate overview of each grant, including technical review, regular inspections, disbursement approvals, and auditing, to successfully implement this section.
(d) The department may use up to 2 percent of the grant funds made available each year for the costs of program administration.
(e) Any grant awarded before July 1, 1994, under this section, remains subject to the applicable department rules in existence on June 30, 1993, until all rule requirements have been met.