Sent this message to the below on Wednesday. While we didn't win, all the sqaulking did gather SPOKEN concessions on future boat ramps.
We should write a brief press release on the result with the SFWMD promises for our elected officials (below) who were copied. This way, the rest of the world is aware of promises made and will assist in prevention of amnesia by the SFWMD in the future.
Folks; please remember our elected officials work for US! Additionally, all the bureaucrats (WMD) are responsible to our legislators.
With legislation pending for us, I hope each of you take a little time to contact your elected official before March.
To find your Senator/Rep http://www.myflorida.com/portal/Government
and click on Legislative Branch
Subj: OPPOSED TO SFWMD RESOLUTION 2006-141
Date: 1/11/2006 1:02:40 PM Eastern Standard Time
ladies & Gentlemen,
I AM OPPOSED TO WMD RESOLUTION 2006-141. I AM OPPOSED TO THE PROPOSED SALE OR TRADE OF SHADY OAKS PROPERTY ON LAKE KISSIMMEE by THE SOUTH FLORIDA WATER MANAGEMENT DISTRICT I AM OPPOSED TO ANY SALE OR TRADE OF THIS PROPERTY BY THE SOUTH FLORIDA WATER MANAGEMENT DISTRICT.
Captain **** *******
Florida Airboat Association-President
16147 Ravendale Dr.
Tampa, Fl. 33618
The Florida Airboat Association is an umbrella statewide sportsmen organization of airboat related businesses, organizations and clubs. We actively promote safe boating while protecting our natural resources. The FAA members have a long tradition as leaders in conservation, humanitarian aid and protection of Florida's native habitats by both word and action of it's members.
The members of the Florida Airboat Association received United States Congressional recognition in 2005 for their resolve in volunteer rescue efforts of hurricane Katrina victims.
FAA Press Release in November
RECENT LAND SHENANIGANS BY STATE
THREATEN FLORIDIANS' RECREATIONAL
ACCESS TO PRIME WATERWAYS, RAISE
QUESTIONS ABOUT MISUSE OF TAX DOLLARS
Less than a year ago, the South West Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) used the threat of eminent domain to obtain from a private owner 3,000 acres of prime recreational Lake Kissimee west shore real estate, supposedly to restore water levels to historic benchmarks.
Now barely eight months later, SFWMD finds less than a third of that pristine acreage was required for the fulfillment of the agency's goals. SFWMD is proposing the unneeded part of the land be declared surplus for sale to interest parties, including developers.
What just a short while ago held great promise for Florida citizens as a major waterway access area to over a dozen pristine lakes and connector streamsnow seems destined to be sold to the highest bidder. If this happens to be development interests, based on historic trends the public soon will be denied access. Another of the rare pieces of Florida that can be enjoyed by the public will be gone, locked up in gated communities.
In a reverse of the action being taken by the Water Management District,, the Governor and Cabinet ( Board of Trustees) recently approved the purchase of development rights on property near the Shady Oaks Property. To taxpayers it seems odd that one arm of government is selling developable land in the same place that another arm of government is purchasing new development rights! One could legitimately ask why one agency of the state is spending tax dollars to purchase property, while another arm is selling almost identical property as "surplus".
The original purchase price, obtained by the threat of condemnation, was approximately $16 million. By some accounts, it appears the Water Management District intended all along to retain the 800 acres and sell off the remainder of the property as "surplus" land. In this manner, the Water Management District could pay for the 800 acres it needed and realize a profit from selling the remainder of the land.
Sportsmen and boaters point to the fact that the original purchase was made using Florida Forever tax funds earmarked for restoration and preservation of natural areas to keep them open and available for public access.
Florida boaters in general and the Florida Airboat Association especially are concerned that another point of public access is now in jeopardy of being withdrawn from public use.