Amendment One funds were not intended for local waste water projects or sewage plant upgrades, as some water utilities and even Tallahassee politicians like House Speaker Steve Crisafulli are suggesting. Yes, more money is needed for these serious problems, but it was not the intent of the amendment to pay for public works projects as there are better sources in place for them.
A somewhat touchy issue is beach sand replacement. Florida Audubon has suggested 30 million for beaches. This is the amount of Doc stamp money that had been spent annually on beach projects, but was dropped during the recession. Senator Charlie Dean, chairman of the Senate's Committee on Environmental Preservation and Conservation, which will determine how to spend the money, believes there will be a certain amount for beaches, but that it is too soon to be talking dollar amounts.
Senator Dean has also spoken up for his home county, and stated in the Chronicle recently that cleaning King's Bay is a perfect fit for the Amendment 1 program. Some Citrus County environmentalists think that the money would be better spent by attacking the sources of pollution that created the mess in the first place!
In the category of most worrisome suggestions, Agriculture wants money for building sewage treatment plants to subsidize more subdivisions on what is now farm land, while hunters are hoping for more hunting preserves!
In conclusion, let your opinions be known on the Senate web site, but carefully review the text of the amendment first!! A few interested parties are already threatening lawsuits, and it is the amendment text that will be used to settle any issues that arise. Some helpful web sites follow:
Amendment text: http://www.voteyeson1fl.org/sections/page/amendment
Senate web site for comments: http://www.voteyeson1fl.org/sections/page/amendment
Chronicle Editorial Friday Jan 23, 2015:
Another very helpful web site: http://floridawaterlandlegacy.org/sections/page/takeaction