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The 2018 Florida Statutes

Title XXXV
AGRICULTURE, HORTICULTURE, AND ANIMAL INDUSTRY
Chapter 582
SOIL AND WATER CONSERVATION
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F.S. 582.30
582.30 Discontinuance of districts; referendum; commissioner’s authority.
(1) Any time after 5 years from the organization of a district under the provisions of this chapter, any 10 percent of owners of land lying within the boundaries of such district may file a petition with the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services praying that the operations of the district be terminated and the existence of the district discontinued. The department may conduct such public meetings and public hearings upon petition as may be necessary to assist it in the consideration thereof. Within 60 days after such a petition has been received by the department it shall give due notice of the holding of a referendum, and shall supervise such referendum, and issue appropriate regulations governing the conduct thereof, the question to be submitted by ballots upon which the words “For terminating the existence of the   (Name of the soil and water conservation district to be here inserted)  ” and “Against terminating the existence of the   (Name of the soil and water conservation district to be here inserted)  ” shall appear with a square before each proposition and a direction to insert an X mark in the square before one or the other of said propositions as the voter may favor or oppose discontinuance of such district. All owners of lands lying within the boundaries of the district shall be eligible to vote in such referendum. Only such landowners shall be eligible to vote. No informalities in the conduct of such referendum or in any matters relating thereto shall invalidate said referendum or the result thereof if notice thereof shall have been given substantially as herein provided and said referendum shall have been fairly conducted.
(2) If two-thirds or more of the qualified voters in such referendum shall have voted for the discontinuance of the district, the department shall certify to the supervisors of the district the result of such referendum and that the continued operation of the district is not administratively practicable and feasible.
(3) In the alternative, the Commissioner of Agriculture may dissolve or discontinue a district if:
(a) Upon review and recommendation of the Soil and Water Conservation Council, the council determines that the continued operation of the district is not administratively practicable and feasible under the provisions of this chapter;
(b) The district fails to comply with any audit or financial reporting requirement of chapter 189 and the department’s inspector general reviews and confirms in writing that the district has failed to comply with such requirement; or
(c) The department receives a resolution adopted by the supervisors of the district requesting that the commissioner issue a certificate determining that the continued operation of the district is not administratively practicable and feasible under the provisions of this chapter.
(4) If the requirements for dissolution or discontinuance of a district are satisfied under subsection (1), subsection (2), or subsection (3), the department shall publish notice of a proposed certification determining that the continued operation of the district is not administratively practicable and feasible under the provisions of this chapter. The notice shall be published once a week for 2 weeks in a newspaper of general circulation within the county or counties in which the district is located, stating the name of the district and a general description of the territory included in the district, and requiring that any comments or objections to the proposed certification, or any claims against the assets of the district, must be filed with the department clerk not later than 60 days after the date of last publication.
(5)(a) Upon expiration of the 60-day period after the date of last publication, the commissioner, upon review of any comments or objections received under subsection (4), may issue a certificate determining that the continued operation of the district is not administratively practicable and feasible under the provisions of this chapter.
(b) If the commissioner issues a certificate determining that the continued operation of a district is not administratively practicable and feasible under the provisions of this chapter, the department shall file the original certificate with the Department of State and shall provide a copy of the certificate to the supervisors of the district at the district’s principal office designated under s. 582.15(1)(c).
History.s. 14, ch. 18144, 1937; s. 7, ch. 19473, 1939; CGL 1940 Supp. 4151(485); s. 3, ch. 67-207; ss. 14, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 3, ch. 2003-97; s. 52, ch. 2011-206; s. 38, ch. 2012-190.