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Water district approves early budget for upcoming year

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The Suwannee River Water Management District Governing Board on Dec. 11 approved a preliminary budget of $14.9 million and a proposed millage rate of 0.4143, the same as last year.

In accordance with a new statutory requirement, the district must present a preliminary budget to the Legislature by Jan. 15. The preliminary budget provides the Legislature with additional oversight of the district’s budget.

The preliminary budget with the assistance of projected state funding supports the district’s core mission, including springs protection, and maintains reserve funding for cost-share programs.

Strategic priorities and program highlights include continuation of:

- Heartland Springs Initiative

- Minimum flows and levels (MFLs)

- North Florida Regional Water Supply Partnership

- Aquifer recharge feasibility study

- Land management and surplus lands programs

- Data collection, monitoring and analysis

- Agricultural cost-share program

- Santa Fe and Suwannee River Basins Nutrient Reduction and Irrigation Retrofit program

- RIVER (Regional Initiative Valuing Environmental Resources) cost-share program

 Also:

- Initiating Otter Springs restoration

- Implementing aquifer replenishment projects

- Implementing dispersed water storage projects

- Developing MFLs for the Aucilla River, Wacissa River, Econfina River, Fenholloway River, Steinhatchee River and Lake Palestine.,

 A copy of the proposed budget is posted on the Business and Financial page at www.mysuwanneeriver.com.