The BOCC approved the swap interlocal this past Wednesday, May 20th. Is this a good thing or a bad thing for Key Largo? That remains to be seen. It all depends on whether the state and the county come through.
Paragraph 16 is the issue. Here’s what it says:
16. DECLARATION OF FUNDING PARITY KLWTD acknowledges that, as of the date of this agreement and subject to the full funding of the Mayfield Grant and all provisions of this ILA and the Obligation described herein, good and satisfactory efforts have been made by the County to address any claim of funding inequity.
Paragraph 16 implies that the funding disparity will only be addressed by state money. No state money, no equity. However, Monroe County has an obligation to make this right whether state money comes through or not. The funding disparity was created by the way the county chose to distribute the infrastructure sales tax throughout the unincorporated area. When it comes to the infrastructure sales tax the BOCC has 100% authority. With that authority comes a responsibility to use the money in a fair and responsible manner.
There were conflicting stories at the BOCC meeting about whether this paragraph was demanded by the county as a condition of the agreement. The BOCC and the County Administrator strenuously denied that it was, even laughing at the suggestion. By all accounts, the wastewater board believed that excluding this paragraph was a “deal-breaker” for the county. Apparently that is NOT the case at all, which is very good news.
The solution is simple. The wastewater board could approve an addendum to the agreement striking that paragraph. The BOCC and the County Administrator emphatically stated that they have no objection to paragraph 16 being excluded so this will not be an issue. The addendum can then be approved by the BOCC as a bulk item.
Here is a link to a video of the meeting. The swap agreement is item O2.