Seminole County provides opportunity for owners of waterfront property located in unincorporated Seminole County to receive lake restoration and aquatic weed control 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 quality and over-all health and utility aspects of a natural waterbody. The creation of an 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 aquatic weed control 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 aquatic services are as follows:
When an application is received for creating an MSBU for aquatic services, Seminole County’s Lake Management Program develops a service plan for addressing the needs of the waterbody and the MSBU Program develops a financial plan to accommodate the service plan. 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 service plan, and subsequently the scope of services may contain several features:
Note: Lake restoration plans may include all features listed, while aquatic weed control services are typically limited to features 1, 2 and 3 unless otherwise specified by the governing ordinance.
The aquatic services funded by assessment are restricted to the activities deemed critical to restoring, developing and/or maintaining conditions that enhance the environmental quality and over-all health and utility of the respective waterbody; with aquatic weed control being limited to the water and the shoreline when/where noxious, invasive, and/or exotic vegetation could/would threaten or impede the waterbody. Native aquatic vegetation and/or vegetation that does 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 services.
Detailed information and application is available in the Aquatic Services MSBU Application Packet. Additional information about lake management and riparian stewardship are also available from the Lake Management Program.