The St. Johns River Water Management Board unanimously approved the 100-acre, $500,000 wetlands restoration project on the Intracoastal Waterway near Gamble Rogers Recreation Area in Flagler Beach.
st. johns river water management district
St. Johns River Water Management District officials were largely self-congratulatory today as they discussed a wetlands restoration project that has drawn fierce opposition in Flagler Beach.
With little notice, some haphazardness and many unanswered questions, the St. Johns River Water Management District was speeding toward a $500,000, 113-acre “restoration” of marshes at the south end of Flagler Beach, angering residents and businesses, who slowed the project.
There’s a ribbon-cutting for every imaginable non-event these days, and today Palm Coast cut the ribbon at a water-control structure called a “weir,” in the B-Section.
For a $175,000 house with a homestead tax exemption of $50,000, the typical tax bill will be $2,574, a saving of $2 from the current rate, when Palm Coast, Flagler, School Board and water management district taxes are combined, before accounting for higher property values of about 5 percent. Totals will be higher in Flagler Beach and Bunnell.
All property owners in Flagler County, including all its cities, pay the St. Johns River Water Management District tax. The district’s $135.5 million proposed budget includes $13 million for 22 reclaimed water and water conservation projects, one of them in Flagler.
Hans Tanzler’s tenure will dovetail with Gov. Rick Scott’s directive to make the district a friend rather than a regulator of big water users and applicants, such as utilities, developers and large landowners.
The St. Johns River Water Management District’s 26 percent tax reduction resulted in lay-offs of 95 people and the elimination of more jobs through buyouts and vacancies, affecting various parts of the district’s mission.
Palm Coast will annex the Graham Swamp area to better control its assets, which include the new Graham Swamp trail, but the annexation is also a beachhead on attractive property along Colbert Lane.
The tax bill on a $200,000 house will be $50, down from $62, but the district is laying off employees and reducing conservation, management and partnership projects in line with a new law approved by Gov. Rick Scott.