Seminole County provides opportunity for owners of waterfront property located in unincorporated Seminole County to receive lake and aquatic vegetation management as a public service when the services are funded by non-ad valorem assessment (i.e. creation of an MSBU). The services offered by the County serve a public purpose by protecting or enhancing the environmental qualities, utility, and/or stormwater management aspects of a waterbody. The creation of a lake management MSBU, as well as the on-going efforts to provide improvements requires community involvement and support.
An MSBU may be established to fund a one-time restoration project or to fund ongoing management of a waterbody with aquatic vegetation management as the primary objective. Restoration projects utilized the capital improvement assessment format that includes a one-time levy of an assessment with opportunity to participate in a financed repayment plan by which annual installment payments are collected through the property tax bill. Ongoing services utilize the variable rate assessment format through which assessments are levied and collected annually via the property tax bill. All properties that have special benefit as a result of these public services will be assigned an assessment that represents the equitable cost share allocated to the property.
The basic criteria for qualifying for these assessment-funded lake management services are as follows:
When an application is received for creating an MSBU for lake management services, Seminole County’s MSBU Program and Lake Management Program partner to establish a lake management plan and a financial plan for the waterbody. Both plans will give consideration to the needs of the waterbody, best lake management practices, outcome desired by the community, short- and long-term goals, and monetary constraints. The lake management plan, and subsequently the scope of services may contain several features:
Note: Lake restoration plans may include all features listed, while aquatic vegetation management plans are typically limited to features 1, 2 and 3 unless otherwise specified by the governing ordinance..
The lake management services funded by assessment are restricted to the activities deemed critical to restoring, developing and/or maintaining conditions that enhance the water quality and over-all health and utility of the respective waterbody; with aquatic vegetation management being limited to the water and the shoreline when/where noxious, invasive, and/or exotic vegetation could/would threaten or impede the waterbody. Native vegetation and/or vegetation that do not present a detriment to the waterbody as determined by the Seminole County Lake Management Program are not targeted as a priority within the scope of aquatic vegetation management services.
Detailed information and application is available in the Lake Management MSBU Application Packet. Additional information about lake management and riparian stewardship are also available from the Lake Management Program.