Florida Senate - 2012 SB 354 By Senator Simmons 22-00174-12 2012354__ 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to the Seminole County Expressway 3 Authority; creating the Seminole County Expressway 4 Authority Law; providing definitions; creating the 5 Seminole County Expressway Authority; prohibiting an 6 entity or body or another authority from exercising 7 jurisdiction, control, authority, or power over an 8 expressway system in Seminole County without the 9 consent of the Seminole County Expressway Authority; 10 providing for membership and terms of the authority; 11 authorizing staffing; providing for certain 12 reimbursement for authority members; providing for the 13 powers and duties of the authority; requiring notice 14 of public hearing and an opportunity for municipal 15 officials and residents to discuss and advise the 16 authority; providing for the issuance of bonds; 17 providing for lease-purchase agreements between the 18 Department of Transportation and the authority; 19 providing criteria for the lease-purchase agreements; 20 providing for use of certain revenues as payments for 21 the lease-purchase agreements; authorizing the 22 Department of Transportation to use funds for the 23 operation of the authority and to generate preparatory 24 information necessary for an expressway system; 25 providing for an agent for construction; authorizing 26 the authority to appoint the department as its agent 27 under certain circumstances; authorizing the authority 28 to acquire land and properties; providing for the 29 cooperation of other entities to further the purposes 30 of the act; prohibiting the state from changing the 31 terms of the bonds; exempting the authority from 32 certain taxes; providing for the bond’s eligibility 33 for investments and security; providing for the 34 enforcement by bondholders of any pledge relating to 35 the bonds issued by the department; providing for the 36 extent of the powers authorized by the act; providing 37 an effective date. 38 39 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 40 41 Section 1. Short title.—Sections 1-14 of this act may be 42 cited as the “Seminole County Expressway Authority Law.” 43 Section 2. Definitions.—As used in sections 1-14 of this 44 act, the term: 45 (1) “Agency of the state” means the state and any 46 department of, or corporation, agency, or instrumentality 47 created, designated, or established by, the state. 48 (2) “Authority” means the Seminole County Expressway 49 Authority. 50 (3) “Bond” means a note, bond, refunding bond, or other 51 evidence of indebtedness or obligation, in temporary or 52 definitive form, which the authority issues pursuant to this 53 part. 54 (4) “County” means Seminole County. 55 (5) “Department” means the Department of Transportation 56 existing under chapters 334-339, Florida Statutes. 57 (6) “Expressway” means the same as limited access 58 expressway. 59 (7) “Federal agency” means the United States, the President 60 of the United States, and any department of, or corporation, 61 agency, or instrumentality created, designated, or established 62 by, the United States. 63 (8) “Gasoline tax funds of Seminole County” mean all of the 64 80 percent surplus gasoline tax funds accruing in each year to 65 the Department of Transportation for use in Seminole County 66 under the provisions of s. 9, Article XII of the State 67 Constitution, or all constitutional gas funds as may otherwise 68 be provided by the State Constitution or by statute for use in 69 Seminole County, after deduction of any amount of such gasoline 70 tax funds pledged by the Department of Transportation or the 71 county for outstanding obligations. 72 (9) “Lease-purchase agreement” means an agreement that the 73 authority may enter into with the Department of Transportation 74 pursuant to this part. 75 (10) “Limited access expressway” means a street or highway 76 especially designed for through traffic and over, from, or to 77 which no person has the right of easement, use, or access except 78 in accordance with the rules and regulations adopted by the 79 authority for the use of such facility. The street or highway 80 may be a parkway from which trucks, buses, and other commercial 81 vehicles are excluded, or it may be a freeway open to use by all 82 customary forms of street and highway traffic. 83 (11) “Members” mean the governing body of the authority, 84 and the term “member” means one of the individuals constituting 85 the governing body. 86 (12) “Seminole County Expressway System” or “system” means 87 any expressway and appurtenant facilities thereto in Seminole 88 County, including, but not limited to, all approaches, roads, 89 bridges, and avenues of access for the expressway. 90 (13) “State Board of Administration” means the body 91 corporate existing under s. 9, Article XII of the State 92 Constitution or any successor thereto. 93 Section 3. Seminole County Expressway Authority.— 94 (1) There is created a body politic and corporate, an 95 agency of the state, to be known as the “Seminole County 96 Expressway Authority” and referred to as “authority.” 97 (2) The authority has exclusive right to exercise all the 98 powers under sections 1-14 of this act, and no other entity, 99 body, or authority within or without Seminole County may 100 directly or indirectly exercise jurisdiction, control, 101 authority, or power in any manner relating to any expressway 102 system within Seminole County without the express consent of the 103 authority or as otherwise provided in sections 1-14 of this act. 104 (3) The governing body of the authority consists of seven 105 members. Five members must be members of the Board of County 106 Commissioners of Seminole County, and the term of each member is 107 concomitant with his or her term as a county commissioner. Two 108 members shall be appointed by the board of county commissioners 109 from among the duly elected municipal officers within the 110 county, and the municipal members serve 2-year terms unless 111 reappointed. Each 2-year term runs from the date of appointment 112 and automatically terminates if the member ceases to be a duly 113 elected municipal officer. The board of county commissioners 114 shall fill a municipal membership vacancy within 45 days after 115 the occurrence of the vacancy, and the board must appoint an 116 individual who is jointly recommended to the board of county 117 commissioners by two-thirds of the municipalities in the county 118 within 30 days after the vacancy. 119 (4) The authority shall elect one of its members as chair 120 of the authority. The authority shall elect a secretary and a 121 treasurer, who need not be members of the authority. The chair, 122 secretary, and treasurer hold the office at the will of the 123 authority. Four members of the authority constitute a quorum, 124 and the affirmative vote of three members is necessary for any 125 action taken by the authority. A vacancy in the authority does 126 not impair the right of the quorum to exercise the rights and 127 perform the duties of the authority. 128 (5) Each appointed member of the authority shall enter upon 129 his or her duties upon the effective date of his or her 130 appointment, or as soon thereafter as practicable. 131 (6) The authority may employ an executive secretary, an 132 executive director, and its own counsel and legal staff, 133 technical experts, engineers, and other employees, permanent or 134 temporary, as it may require; determine the qualifications and 135 fix the compensation of the persons, firms, or corporations; and 136 employ a fiscal agent. However, the authority shall solicit at 137 least three sealed proposals for the performance of any services 138 as the fiscal agent. The authority may delegate to one or more 139 of its agents or employees any of its powers as it deems 140 necessary to carry out the purposes of sections 1-14 of this 141 act, subject to the supervision and control of the authority. 142 (7) The authority shall reimburse its members for travel 143 and other necessary expenses incurred in connection with the 144 business of the authority as provided in s. 112.061, Florida 145 Statutes, but the members may not draw salaries or other 146 compensation. 147 Section 4. Powers and duties.— 148 (1)(a) The authority may acquire, hold, construct, improve, 149 maintain, operate, own, and lease, in the capacity of lessor, 150 the Seminole County Expressway System. 151 (b) The authority, in the construction of the Seminole 152 County Expressway System, may construct any extension, addition, 153 or improvement to the system or appurtenant facilities, 154 including all necessary approaches, roads, bridges, and avenues 155 of access, with any change, modification, or revision of the 156 project as deemed necessary. 157 (2) The authority may exercise all powers necessary, 158 appurtenant, convenient, or incidental to the implementation of 159 sections 1-14 of this act, including, but not limited to, the 160 following: 161 (a) To sue and be sued, implead and be impleaded, and 162 complain and defend in all courts; 163 (b) To adopt, use, and alter at will a corporate seal; 164 (c) To acquire, purchase, hold, lease as lessee, and use 165 any franchise or property, real, personal, or mixed, tangible or 166 intangible, or any interest necessary to implement the purposes 167 of sections 1-14 of this act; and to sell, lease as lessor, 168 transfer, and dispose of, at any time, any property or interest 169 acquired by the authority; 170 (d) To enter into and make leases for terms not exceeding 171 40 years, as lessee or lessor, and to implement the right to 172 lease as provided in sections 1-14 of this act; 173 (e) To enter into and make lease-purchase agreements with 174 the department for terms not exceeding 40 years or until any 175 bond secured by a pledge of rental, and any refund, are fully 176 paid, whichever is longer; 177 (f) To fix, alter, charge, establish, and collect rates, 178 fees, rentals, and other charges for the services and facilities 179 of the Seminole County Expressway System, which rates, fees, 180 rentals, and other charges are sufficient to comply with any 181 covenant made with the holders of any bonds issued pursuant to 182 sections 1-14 of this act; however, the authority may assign or 183 delegate to the department any of its rights and powers; 184 (g)1. To borrow money as provided by the State Bond Act. 185 2. To reimburse Seminole County for any sums expended from 186 the gasoline tax funds of Seminole County and any other revenues 187 provided to the authority by Seminole County and used for the 188 payment of the obligations. If the authority deems it 189 practicable, the authority may repay disbursed revenues from 190 Seminole County or gasoline tax funds, together with interest at 191 the highest rate applicable, to any obligations of the authority 192 for which funds or revenues were used to pay debt service. 193 3. To hire and retain independent certified public 194 accountants and auditors to audit the books and records of the 195 authority and the department with respect to the Seminole County 196 Expressway System or any part thereof, so long as any bonds of 197 the authority are outstanding; 198 (h) To make contracts and to execute all instruments 199 necessary to conduct its business; 200 (i) Without limitation of the foregoing, to borrow money 201 and accept grants from, and to enter into contracts, leases, or 202 other transactions with, any federal agency, the state, any 203 agency of the state, Seminole County, or any other public body 204 of the state; 205 (j) To have the power of eminent domain, including the 206 procedural powers granted under chapters 73 and 74, Florida 207 Statutes; 208 (k) To pledge, hypothecate, or otherwise encumber all parts 209 of the revenues, rates, fees, rentals, or other charges or 210 receipts of the authority, including all or any portion of the 211 gasoline tax funds of Seminole County or other revenues received 212 by the authority pursuant to the terms of any lease-purchase 213 agreement between the authority and the department or any other 214 agreement between the authority and Seminole County, as security 215 for any of the obligations of the authority; 216 (l) To do all acts necessary for the conduct of its 217 business and the general welfare of the authority in order to 218 implement the powers granted to it by sections 1-14 of this act 219 or any other law; and 220 (m) To employ fiscal agents as provided by section 3 of 221 this act. The State Board of Administration may, upon request of 222 the authority, act as fiscal agent for the authority in the 223 issuance of any bonds that may be issued pursuant to section 5 224 of this act. The State Board of Administration may, upon request 225 of the authority, take over the management, control, 226 administration, custody, and payment of any debt service or fund 227 or asset available for any bond issued pursuant to section 5 of 228 this act. The authority may enter into a deed of trust, an 229 indenture, a resolution, or another agreement with its fiscal 230 agent, a financial institution, an insurance company, or a bank 231 or trust company within or without the state, as security for 232 the bonds, and may, under the agreement, sign and pledge any of 233 the revenues, rates, fees, rentals, or other charges or receipts 234 of the authority, including any portion of the gasoline tax 235 funds of Seminole County or other revenues received by the 236 authority pursuant to the terms of a lease-purchase agreement 237 between the authority and the department or any other agreement 238 between the authority and Seminole County. The deed of trust, 239 indenture, resolution, or other agreement may contain provisions 240 as are customary in such instruments, or, if the authority 241 authorizes, may include, without limitation, provisions as to: 242 1. The completion, improvement, operation, extension, 243 maintenance, and repair of the Seminole County Expressway 244 System; the lease of, or lease-purchase agreement for, the 245 system; and the duties of the authority and others, including 246 the department. 247 2. The availability and application of funds and the 248 safeguarding of funds on hand or on deposit. 249 3. The rights and remedies of the trustee and the holders 250 of the bonds and any institution providing liquidity or credit 251 support for the bonds. 252 4. The terms and provisions of the bonds or the resolutions 253 authorizing the issuance of the bonds. 254 5. The terms and conditions pursuant to which the authority 255 or any trustee for the bonds is entitled to receive any revenues 256 from Seminole County to pay the principal of or interest on the 257 bonds. 258 (3) The authority may not pledge the credit or taxing power 259 of the state or any political subdivision or agency of the 260 state, including Seminole County. The obligations of the 261 authority are not deemed obligations of the state, or any 262 political subdivision or agency of the state. The state, or any 263 political subdivision or agency of the state, except the 264 authority, is not liable for the payment of the principal of or 265 interest on the obligations. However, the gasoline tax funds of 266 Seminole County or other revenues may be pledged for the payment 267 of the principal of or interest on the obligations pursuant to 268 the terms of a lease-purchase agreement between the authority 269 and the department or any other agreement between the authority 270 and Seminole County. 271 (4) The consent of a municipality is not necessary for any 272 project of the authority, notwithstanding any provision in 273 sections 1-14 of this act or any other law to the contrary or 274 whether the project lies within the boundaries of any 275 municipality, in whole or in part. However, an official or a 276 resident of a municipality in which a project of the authority 277 is located, in whole or in part, must have reasonable 278 opportunity to discuss the project and advise the authority of 279 his or her position at a duly advertised public hearing. Notice 280 of the public hearing must be advertised in a newspaper 281 published in Seminole County and circulated in the affected 282 municipalities. The notice must be published once at least 2 283 weeks before the public hearing and must contain the time and 284 place of the public hearing and a short description of the 285 subject to be discussed. The public hearing may be adjourned 286 from time to time and set for a time and place certain without 287 necessity of further advertisement. In routing and locating an 288 expressway or its interchange in or through a municipality, the 289 authority must consider the effect of such location on the 290 municipality as a whole and must not unreasonably split or 291 divide an area of the municipality or separate one area of the 292 municipality from another. 293 Section 5. Bonds.—Bonds may be issued on behalf of the 294 authority as provided by the State Bond Act. 295 Section 6. Lease-purchase agreement.— 296 (1) The authority may enter into a lease-purchase agreement 297 with the department relating to and covering the Seminole County 298 Expressway System. 299 (2) The lease-purchase agreement shall provide for the 300 leasing of the Seminole County Expressway System by the 301 authority, as lessor, to the department, as lessee; shall 302 prescribe the terms of the agreement and the rentals to be paid; 303 and shall provide that, upon the completion of the faithful 304 performance of the agreement and the termination of such lease 305 purchase agreement, the authority shall transfer to the state 306 title in fee simple absolute to the Seminole County Expressway 307 System and the authority shall deliver to the department deeds 308 and conveyances necessary to vest title in fee simple absolute 309 in the state. 310 (3) The lease-purchase agreement may include other 311 provisions, agreements, and covenants as the authority and the 312 department deem necessary, including, but not limited to, 313 provisions as to the bonds to be issued pursuant to this part; 314 the completion, extension, improvement, operation, and 315 maintenance of the Seminole County Expressway System and the 316 expenses and the cost of operation of the authority and the 317 system; the charging and collection of tolls, rates, fees, and 318 other charges for the use of the services and facilities; the 319 application of federal or state grants or aid made or given to 320 assist the authority in the completion, extension, improvement, 321 operation, and maintenance of the Seminole County Expressway 322 System, which the authority may accept and apply to these 323 purposes; the enforcement of payment and collection of rentals; 324 and any other terms, provisions, or covenants necessary, 325 incidental, or appurtenant to the making of, and full 326 performance under, the lease-purchase agreement. 327 (4) The department, as lessee under such lease-purchase 328 agreement, may pay, as rentals under the agreement, any rates, 329 fees, charges, funds, moneys, receipts, or income accruing to 330 the department from the operation of the Seminole County 331 Expressway System and the gasoline tax funds or other revenues 332 of Seminole County used to pay the principal of or interest on 333 any obligations issued to finance any portion of the system and 334 may also pay, as rentals, any appropriations received by the 335 department pursuant to state law. The lease-purchase agreement 336 or any holder of bonds issued pursuant to section 5 of this act 337 may not require the making or continuance of any appropriations. 338 (5) Gasoline tax funds or other revenues of Seminole County 339 may not be pledged as rentals under a lease-purchase agreement 340 or another agreement without the consent of Seminole County, 341 evidenced by a resolution adopted by the board of county 342 commissioners of the county at a public hearing held pursuant to 343 due notice thereof published at least once a week for 3 344 consecutive weeks before the hearing in a newspaper of general 345 circulation in the county. The resolution must provide that, for 346 bonds issued on behalf of the authority, any excess of the 347 pledged gasoline tax funds and other revenues of Seminole County 348 which is not required for debt service or for reserves for debt 349 service shall be distributed to Seminole County as provided by 350 law. Before making any application for the pledge of gasoline 351 tax funds, the authority shall present the plan of its proposed 352 project to the Seminole County Planning and Zoning Commission 353 for comments and recommendations. The department may covenant in 354 a lease-purchase agreement that it will pay all or part of the 355 cost of the system, and any part of the cost of completing the 356 system to the extent that the proceeds of bonds issued for the 357 project are insufficient, from sources other than the revenues 358 derived from the operation of the system and the gasoline tax 359 funds or any other revenue of Seminole County pledged for such 360 purpose. The department may agree to make payments from any 361 moneys available to Seminole County, in connection with the 362 construction or completion of the system, as deemed by the 363 department to be fair and proper under any covenant that is 364 entered into. 365 (6) The system is a part of the state road system, and the 366 department may, upon the request of the authority, expend money 367 out of any funds available for the purpose and use its 368 engineering and other powers deemed necessary by the department 369 for the operation of the authority and for traffic surveys, 370 borings, surveys, preparation of plans and specifications, 371 estimates of cost, and other preliminary engineering and other 372 studies. However, the aggregate amount of moneys expended for 373 this purpose by the department may not exceed the sum of 374 $500,000. 375 Section 7. Agent for construction.—The authority may 376 appoint the department as its agent for the construction of and 377 improvements and extensions to the Seminole County Expressway 378 System and for the completion of the system. If the department 379 is appointed, the authority shall provide the department with 380 complete copies of all documents, agreements, resolutions, 381 contracts, and instruments relating to the system; shall request 382 the department to do the construction work, including the 383 planning, surveying, and actual construction of the completion, 384 extension, and improvement to the Seminole County Expressway 385 System; and shall transfer the necessary funds for the 386 construction to the credit of an account of the department in 387 the State Treasury. The department shall proceed with the 388 construction and shall use the funds that are authorized for the 389 construction of roads and bridges. 390 Section 8. Acquisition of lands and property.— 391 (1) The Seminole County Expressway Authority may acquire 392 private or public property and property rights, including rights 393 of access, air, view, and light, by gift, devise, purchase, or 394 condemnation by an eminent domain proceeding, as the authority 395 deems necessary to implement sections 1-14 of this act. The 396 property that the authority may acquire includes, but is not 397 limited to, any land: 398 (a) Reasonably necessary for securing applicable permits, 399 areas necessary for management of access, borrow pits, drainage 400 ditches, water retention areas, rest areas, replacement access 401 for landowners whose access is impaired due to the construction 402 of a facility, and replacement rights-of-way for relocated rail 403 and utility facilities; 404 (b) For existing, proposed, or anticipated transportation 405 facilities on the Seminole County Expressway System or in a 406 transportation corridor designated by the authority; or 407 (c) For the purposes of screening, relocation, removal, or 408 disposal of junkyards and scrap metal processing facilities. 409 410 The authority may condemn any material and property necessary 411 for these purposes. 412 (2) The authority may exercise the right of eminent domain 413 in the manner provided by law. 414 (3) If the authority acquires property for a transportation 415 facility or in a transportation corridor, the authority is not 416 subject to any liability imposed by chapter 376 or chapter 403, 417 Florida Statutes, for preexisting soil or groundwater 418 contamination due solely to its ownership. This section does not 419 affect the rights or liabilities of any past or future owners of 420 the acquired property, nor does it affect the liability of any 421 governmental entity for the results of its actions that create 422 or exacerbate a pollution source. The authority and the 423 Department of Environmental Protection may enter into an 424 interagency agreement for the performance, funding, and 425 reimbursement of the investigative and remedial acts necessary 426 for property acquired by the authority. 427 Section 9. Cooperation with other units, boards, agencies, 428 and individuals.—Any county, municipality, drainage district, 429 road or bridge district, school district, or any other political 430 subdivision, board, commission, or individual in or of the state 431 may make and enter into a contract, lease, conveyance, or other 432 agreement consistent with sections 1-14 of this act with the 433 authority. The authority may make and enter into a contract, 434 lease, conveyance, or other agreement with any political 435 subdivision, agency, or instrumentality of the state, any 436 federal agency, any corporation, or any individual to implement 437 sections 1-14 of this act. 438 Section 10. Covenant of the state.—The state pledges to, 439 and agrees with, any person, firm, corporation, or federal or 440 state agency subscribing to or acquiring the bonds issued by the 441 authority pursuant to section 5 of this act that the state will 442 not limit or alter the rights vested in the authority and the 443 department until all bonds at any time issued, together with the 444 interest on the bonds, are fully paid and discharged. The state 445 pledges to, and agrees with, the United States that, when any 446 federal agency constructs or contributes any funds for the 447 completion, extension, or improvement of the Seminole County 448 Expressway System or any part or portion thereof, the state will 449 not alter or limit the rights and powers of the authority and 450 the department in any manner that would be inconsistent with the 451 continued maintenance and operation of the Seminole County 452 Expressway System or the completion, extension, or improvement 453 of the system, or that is inconsistent with the due performance 454 of the agreement between the authority and the federal agency. 455 The authority and the department have and may exercise all 456 powers granted in sections 1-14 of this act necessary to 457 implement the purposes of sections 1-14 of this act and the 458 purposes of the United States in the completion, extension, or 459 improvement of the Seminole County Expressway System or any part 460 or portion of the system. 461 Section 11. Exemption from taxation.—The authority created 462 pursuant to sections 1-14 of this act is for the benefit of the 463 people of the state, for the increase of their commerce and 464 prosperity, and for the improvement of their health and living 465 conditions. Because the authority is performing essential 466 governmental functions in carrying out the purposes of sections 467 1-14 of this act, the authority is exempt from taxes or 468 assessments upon any property acquired or used by it for such 469 purposes, or upon any revenues, rates, fees, rentals, receipts, 470 income, or charges received by it. The bonds issued by the 471 authority, their transfer, and the income from the bonds, 472 including any profits made on the sale of the bonds, are at all 473 times free from taxation of any kind by the state or any 474 political subdivision, taxing agency, or instrumentality of the 475 state. However, the exemption granted by this section is not 476 applicable to any tax imposed under chapter 220, Florida 477 Statutes, on interest, income, or profits on debt obligations 478 owned by corporations. When a property of the authority is 479 leased, it is exempt from ad valorem taxes if the use by the 480 lessee qualifies the property for exemption under s. 196.199, 481 Florida Statutes. 482 Section 12. Eligibility for investments and security.—Any 483 bonds or other obligations issued pursuant to sections 1-14 of 484 this act are legal investments for banks, savings banks, 485 trustees, executors, administrators, and all other fiduciaries, 486 and for all state, municipal, and other public funds, and are 487 securities eligible for deposit as security for all state, 488 municipal, or other public funds, notwithstanding the provisions 489 of any law. 490 Section 13. Pledges enforceable by bondholders.—A pledge by 491 the department of rates, fees, revenues, gasoline tax funds of 492 Seminole County, or other funds as rentals to the authority, or 493 any covenant or agreement relative to the pledge, is enforceable 494 in any court of competent jurisdiction against the authority or 495 directly against the department by any holder of bonds issued by 496 the authority. 497 Section 14. Complete and additional authority.— 498 (1) The powers conferred by sections 1-14 of this act are 499 in addition to the existing powers of the authority and the 500 department, and sections 1-14 of this act do not repeal any of 501 the provisions of any other law, general, special, or local. The 502 extension and improvement of the Seminole County Expressway 503 System, and the issuance of bonds pursuant to section 5 of this 504 act to finance all or part of the cost of the system, may be 505 accomplished upon compliance with the provisions of sections 1 506 14 of this act without regard to or necessity for compliance 507 with the provisions, limitations, or restrictions contained in 508 any other general, special, or local law. Approval of any bonds 509 issued under this part by qualified electors or qualified 510 electors who are freeholders in the state, in Seminole County or 511 in any other political subdivision of the state, is not required 512 for the issuance of bonds pursuant to section 5 of this act. 513 (2) Sections 1-14 of this act do not repeal, rescind, or 514 modify any other law relating to the State Board of 515 Administration, the Department of Transportation, or the 516 Division of Bond Finance of the State Board of Administration, 517 but supersede any law that is inconsistent with the provisions 518 of sections 1-14 of this act. 519 Section 15. This act shall take effect July 1, 2012.