Manatee County Government Administrative Center Commission Chambers, First Floor 9:00 a.m. - June 20, 2017
REVISED June 20, 2017 - Regular Meeting
Agenda Item #55

Restore Act State Expenditure Plan Projects

Briefing Provided Upon Request

Contact and/or Presenter Information
Charlie Hunsicker, Director, ext. 6001
Nan Summers, Grants Coordinator, ext. 6052

Action Requested

Authorization for the Chairperson to sign the transmittal letter to Florida Gulf Consortium Chair naming the State Expenditure Plan proposals for Manatee County’s participation in the Florida Gulf Consortium Restore Act program.

Enabling/Regulating Authority
F.S. 125

Background Discussion

As a Gulf Coast County, Manatee County is eligible to receive a dedicated source of funding provided to all gulf coastal counties for Restore Act eligible activities.  The Restore Act specifies that this source of dedicated funding identified as the Spill Impact Component be distributed in accordance with guidelines of a State Expenditure Plan agreed to by all 23 gulf coastal counties in the state of Florida chartered by interlocal agreement as the Florida Restore Act Gulf Consortium.

Manatee County has participated in the Gulf Consortium through its Commission delegate representative Carol Whitmore and alternate Charlie Hunsicker with the Department of Parks and Natural Resources since 2013.  Development of the State Expenditure Plan has advanced to the point of allocating the anticipated $292 million over 15 years equally among all counties in the amount of $12.7 million available in equal structured payments over 15 years.  While the Spill Impact Component fund dedicated under the Restore Act to the Gulf Consortium is available to meet projects in all eligible categories under the Restore Act, funding for those projects of an environmental or water quality improvement nature may also be used as match for other Restore Act lines of funding available to the counties.  Thus, it is anticipated that each county can recommend a priority list of projects to the Gulf Consortium with a total value that exceeds $12.7 million.

The Gulf Consortium, acting by consensus as a quasi-legislative body, will determine those eligible projects that can be undertaken by individual counties or undertaken by counties in concert with nearby counties for regional results through the State Expenditure Plan .  The State Expenditure Plan will also establish the timing of project implementation for individual counties spread out over the 15 year time frame of Restore Act structured payments.  This decision-making process is necessary because the funding will not be made available under the Restore Act in one lump sum.  Under a "pay as you go" philosophy, the implementation of projects across the 23 counties will be based upon funds available in a Capital Improvement Priority Schedule, much like the prioritization Manatee County is undertaking for expenditures from its half-cent sales tax proceeds.

So that the individual projects submitted by all 23 counties for implementation can be collated, evaluated, and prioritized by the Gulf Consortium consultant team, the Gulf Consortium has requested that member counties submit their list of Restore Act projects at a conceptual level by June 30, 2017.

Manatee County began a public input process under the Department's web pages to solicit ideas and program concepts for Restore Act funding shortly following the passage of the Restore Act legislation in 2013.  Projects for implementation under the Direct Component line of funding coming directly to the Board of County Commissioners, totaling $6.3 million are currently being reviewed by the public through the County's multimedia information campaign.  At the completion of this public review process staff will prepare a report addressing all public comments received and provide a staff recommendation for Board approval of the Direct Component projects on a August regular meeting agenda.  Drawing from that same process of public input over the last four years, a list of projects for the Gulf Consortium Spill Impact Component for Manatee County has been prepared, drawn from consultation with other County departments, consultants for the Gulf Consortium, projects in other coastal counties and previous policy from the Board of County Commissioners to focus on projects of environmental benefit, water quality improvement and eco-tourism promotion.

A preliminary draft of these projects for both the Direct Component and the Gulf Consortium Spill Impact Component was presented to the Board for discussion in a Work Session held on January 31, 2017 (Work Session summary report attached - Attachment 1).  The proposed Gulf Consortium Spill Impact Component projects comprise the following:

  • Under the general category of Natural Systems Protection and Enhancement, four projects are proposed:  (1) Manatee River Oyster Habitat Restoration ($3 million); (2) Robinson Preserve Expansion Coastal Uplands ($1.25 million); (3) Living Shoreline Restoration ($1 million); and (4) Preserve Management Plans ($300,000), with a sub total of $5.5 million or 30% of the total recommended project implementation cost.
  • Under the general category of The Coastal Economy:  Eco-tourism and Sustainable Industry, four projects are proposed: (1) Reef Creation (Artificial Reef) ($1 million); (2) Palmetto Green Bridge Fishing Pier Replacement ($5 million); (3) Gulf Coast Shellfish Institute:  Applied Research for Shellfish Aquaculture and Habitat Restoration ($300,000); and (4) Boardwalks & Trail Easements ($2 million), for a sub total of $8.3 million or 45% of the total recommended project implementation cost.
  • Under the general category of Water Quality Improvements/Storm Water, two projects are proposed:  (1) Coastal Watershed Management Plans ($2.5 million) and (2) Urban Park Storm Water Improvements ($2.1 million) for a sub total of $4.6 million dollars or 25% of the total recommended project implementation cost.

The sum of these recommended projects is estimated in 2017 dollars at $18.4 million, remembering that these projects will be implemented under a Gulf Consortium pay as you go prioritization spread out over 15 years.  The total amount of $18.4 million exceeds the $12.7 million allocation with the anticipation that our proposed environmental and water quality projects can be leveraged with other available Restore Act lines of funding.  The complete description of the recommended projects is included as Attachment 2. 

It is important to note that these conceptual projects have been developed with the input of our local scientific community, peer review input from our colleagues in other coastal counties, and the Gulf Consortium consultant review team and tracks previous Board policy for Restore Act Project Implementation.  There will be an opportunity during the preparation of the final draft of the State Expenditure Plan to add or remove projects from this list as recommended by the Gulf Consortium consultant team and approved by the Board of County Commissioners.  The Board of County Commissioners will also have an opportunity to add or subtract projects or amend proposed project budgets every year as part of the required annual update to the State Expenditure Plan with appropriate opportunity for public review and comment.

County Attorney Review
Not Reviewed (No apparent legal issues)

Explanation of Other

Reviewing Attorney

Instructions to Board Records
Provide copy of approval minutes to Nan Summers for transmission to the Gulf Consortium consultant team.

Cost and Funds Source Account Number and Name

Amount and Frequency of Recurring Costs

Attachment:  Work Session Summary - Attachment 1.pdf
Attachment:  State Expenditure Plan - Attachment 2.pdf
Attachment:  Transmittal Letter for Restore Act.pdf