2004 Florida Statutes
Citrus canker eradication; compensation to homeowners whose trees have been removed.
(1) The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services shall provide compensation to eligible homeowners whose citrus trees have been removed under a citrus canker eradication program. Funds to pay this compensation may be derived from both state and federal matching sources and shall be specifically appropriated by law. Eligible homeowners shall be compensated subject to the availability of appropriated funds.
(2) To be eligible to receive compensation under the program, a homeowner must:
(a) Be the homeowner of record on the date the trees were removed from the residential property as part of a citrus canker eradication program;
(b) Have had one or more citrus trees removed from the property by a tree-cutting contractor as part of a citrus canker eradication program on or after January 1, 1995; and
(c) Have received no commercial compensation and is not eligible to receive commercial compensation from the United States Department of Agriculture for citrus trees removed as part of a citrus canker eradication program.
(3) The amount of compensation for each tree removed from residential property by the citrus canker eradication program shall be $55 per tree. If the homeowner's property is eligible for a Shade Dade or a Shade Florida Card, the homeowner may not receive compensation under this section for the first citrus tree removed from the property as part of a citrus canker eradication program.
(4) The specification of a per-tree amount paid for the residential citrus canker compensation program does not limit the amount of any other compensation that may be paid by another entity or pursuant to court order for the removal of citrus trees as part of a citrus canker eradication program.
(5) Of the funds appropriated to the department under this section, the department may use up to $500,000 to administer the residential citrus canker compensation program. Specifically, the department shall:
(a) Take reasonable steps to identify and notify owners of citrus trees removed as part of a citrus canker eradication program of the availability of the compensation program.
(b) Notify homeowners of the manner in which the owner may request funding.
(c) Develop a compensation request form and make it available to eligible homeowners.
(d) Develop a process to resolve disputes relating to compensation. The department's decision is final and is not subject to chapter 120.
History.--ss. 45, 54, ch. 2001-254; s. 59, ch. 2001-279; s. 11, ch. 2001-380; s. 31, ch. 2002-402; s. 58, ch. 2003-399; s. 2, ch. 2004-254.