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The Florida Senate

2019 Florida Statutes

F.S. 338.26
338.26 Alligator Alley toll road.
(1) The Legislature finds that the construction of Alligator Alley, designated as State Highway 84 and federal Interstate Highway 75, has provided a convenient and necessary connection of the east and west coasts of Florida for commerce and other purposes. However, this state highway has contributed to the alteration of water flows in the Everglades and affected ecological patterns of the historical southern Everglades. The Legislature has determined that it is appropriate and in the public interest to establish a system of tolls for use of Alligator Alley to produce needed financial resources to help restore the natural resource values lost by construction of this highway.
(2) The Department of Transportation is directed to continue the system of tolls on this highway. Notwithstanding the provisions of s. 338.165(2) to the contrary, such toll collections shall be used for the purposes of this section.
(3)(a) Fees generated from tolls shall be deposited in the State Transportation Trust Fund and shall be used:
1. To reimburse outstanding contractual obligations;
2. To operate and maintain the highway and toll facilities, including reconstruction and restoration;
3. To pay for those projects that are funded with Alligator Alley toll revenues and that are contained in the 1993-1994 adopted work program or the 1994-1995 tentative work program submitted to the Legislature on February 22, 1994; and
4. By interlocal agreement effective July 1, 2019, through no later than June 30, 2027, to reimburse a local governmental entity for the direct actual costs of operating the fire station at mile marker 63 on Alligator Alley, which shall be used by the local governmental entity to provide fire, rescue, and emergency management services exclusively to the public on Alligator Alley. The local governmental entity must contribute 10 percent of the direct actual operating costs. The amount of reimbursement to the local governmental entity may not exceed $1.4 million in any state fiscal year. At the end of the term of the interlocal agreement, the ownership and title of all fire, rescue, and emergency equipment used at the fire station during the term of the interlocal agreement transfers to the state.
(b) Funds generated annually in excess of those required to pay the expenses in paragraph (a) may be transferred to the Everglades Fund of the South Florida Water Management District. The South Florida Water Management District shall deposit funds for projects undertaken pursuant to s. 373.4592 in the Everglades Trust Fund pursuant to s. 373.45926(4)(a). Any funds remaining in the Everglades Fund may be used for environmental projects to restore the natural values of the Everglades, subject to compliance with any applicable federal laws and regulations. Projects must be limited to:
1. Highway redesign to allow for improved sheet flow of water across the southern Everglades.
2. Water conveyance projects to enable more water resources to reach Florida Bay to replenish marine estuary functions.
3. Engineering design plans for wastewater treatment facilities as recommended in the Water Quality Protection Program Document for the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.
4. Acquisition of lands to move STA 3/4 out of the Toe of the Boot, provided such lands are located within 1 mile of the northern border of STA 3/4.
5. Other Everglades Construction Projects as described in the February 15, 1994, conceptual design document.
(4) The district may issue revenue bonds or notes under s. 373.584 and pledge the revenue from the transfers from the Alligator Alley toll revenues as security for such bonds or notes. The proceeds from such revenue bonds or notes shall be used for environmental projects; at least 50 percent of said proceeds must be used for projects that benefit Florida Bay, as described in this section subject to resolutions approving such activity by the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund and the governing board of the South Florida Water Management District and the remaining proceeds must be used for restoration activities in the Everglades Protection Area.
History.s. 4, ch. 94-115; s. 2, ch. 97-258; s. 2, ch. 2011-64; s. 15, ch. 2014-223; s. 3, ch. 2018-145; s. 6, ch. 2019-153.