Another photo of a ditch with water.
Photo of a ditch with water.
Photo of a ditch with water.

Welcome to the Haines City Water Control District

The Haines City Water Control District (the District) was originally created as the Haines City Drainage District Number 1, Laws of Florida, Chapters 13649 (1929) and 14517 (1929). Currently, the District operates as an independent special district under Chapter 2004-402, Laws of Florida, and under Chapters 189 and 298, Florida Statutes.

The Haines City Water Control District was created for the purposes of maintaining a drainage ditch that meanders in a southerly direction on both the east and west side of U.S. Highway 27 that is located within a defined geographic area lying generally on the western side of the corporate limits of Haines City, Florida, and Polk County.

NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING BEFORE THE HAINES CITY WATER CONTROL DISTRICT IN POLK COUNTY TO CONSIDER THE LEVY AND PROVIDE FOR COLLECTION OF ANNUAL NON-AD VALOREM SPECIAL ASSESSMENTS TO FUND COSTS ASSOCIATED WITH WATER CONTROL AND ACTIONS TO MAKE LANDS WITHIN THE DISTRICT AVAILABLE AND HABITABLE FOR SETTLEMENT AND AGRICULTURE

Notice was given by publication on July 14, 2021, in The Ledger of the District's annual consideration of the adoption of non-ad valorem assessments as a part of the annual budget process which necessarily involves levying such assessments to provide adequate revenues to pay for annual operating and capital costs associated with the District’s required water control and planning process, and to create necessary and reasonable reserves.

The property subject to this district and assessment lies within Polk County, Florida.

This notice concerns the process the Board of Supervisors of the Haines City Water Control District, an independent special district, (the “District”), is considering to accomplish funding of essential District services and facilities. This published Notice is compliant with the requirements of law, and at the same time provides to the reader an overview and brief explanation of the District’s annual funding process.

The District hereby gives notice of annual consideration of the adoption of non-ad valorem assessments as a part of the annual budget process which necessarily involves  levying such assessments to provide adequate revenues to pay for annual operating and capital costs associated with the District’s required water control and planning process, and to create necessary and reasonable reserves. The District water control plan and assessments are for the purpose of comprehensive water management and control toward development of lands within the District, and managing water by means of canals, ditches, levees, dikes, pumping, and other water control works and improvements toward making the lands within the District available and habitable for settlement and agriculture, for the public convenience, welfare, utility and benefit, and other purposes as provided by chapter 298, Florida Statutes, and other applicable law.

In 2018 the District Board recognized a lack of significant reserves, and determined its operations and statutory responsibility required imposition of rates necessary to increase annual reserves and better position the District to receive matching or other funding or contributions from other state or federal agencies. The District Board’s objective was to take guidance from chapter 298, Florida Statutes, and put in place the minimum rate of non-ad valorem assessment of Fifty Dollars ($50) per acre or portion thereof in each instance for each parcel in the District as provided for in s. 298.349, Florida Statues, which is recommended for initial or start-up operations.  Such action was then validated by the Circuit Court. The District Board proposes and intends to consider the same rates, fees and charges as imposed last year for Fiscal Year 2021-2022, and to fund substantially the same budget amount as budgeted last year. The District Board will continue to consider actions needed to update the District’s required water control plan, the consequences of past practices, the necessity to create and replenish reasonable reserves in the annual budget, and reasonably and realistically better anticipate costs of District service, operations, capital delivery and administration in the District’s overall budget, and other economic conditions while showing financial and water control stewardship, and in consideration of the required timing for notice and public hearing on the matter - this Notice is necessary and required by law.

Accordingly, provision of water control and actions to make lands within the District available and habitable for settlement and agriculture will likely continue in ensuing years to be funded, almost exclusively, by these assessments apportioned and levied by law on property located within the District.

Limited additional information will be posted on the District’s website at https://hainescitywatercontroldistrict.com/  If you wish to learn more, more information can be obtained at the District’s website.

On Tuesday, August 3, 2021, at 5:00 p.m. in the Lobby/Community Room of the Haines City Library, 111 North 6th Street, Haines City, Florida, the District Board of Supervisors of the Haines City Water Control District will hold a public hearing for the purpose of receiving comments on the District’s proposed annual non-ad valorem assessments.

You are invited to attend or appear at the public hearing, and/or to file written comments or objections with the District Secretary within the 20 days before the hearing.  You are encouraged to send your written comments or objections to the District Secretary at myhcwcd@gmail.com  All written comments or objections received prior to the hearing will be summarized and shared with the District Board for consideration. If you decide to appeal any decision made by the District Board with respect to any matter considered at or after the hearing, you will need a record of the proceedings and may need to ensure that a verbatim record is made, including the testimony and evidence upon which the appeal is to be made.

In this approach the District Board will consider each parcel of property assigned an identification number by the Polk County Property Appraiser as one (1) tax parcel. If approved by District Board after the hearing, the rate of assessment for each tax parcel is proposed to be the sum of (i) fifty dollars ($50) per acre or portion thereof uniformly attributed to the tax parcel by the Polk County Property Appraiser at the time the District’s assessment roll is certified for collection, plus (ii) $5.00 to defray District notice, administrative and implementation costs, plus (iii) the costs of the Property Appraiser and Tax Collector allowed by law, plus (iv) adjustment for statutory discount for early payment necessarily associated with the use of the uniform method of collection.

Any non-ad valorem assessment imposed will by law only be imposed by the District Board, as an independent special district, and NOT by the Haines City Commission, nor the Polk County Board of Commissioners, nor the Polk County Property Appraiser, nor the Polk County Tax Collector.  Any activity of the Property Appraiser or Tax Collector under the provisions of this process are purely ministerial.

The dollar amount attributed to each affected tax parcel in the District and other information concerning the proposed non-ad valorem assessment can be obtained by email request sent to myhcwcd@gmail.com

The amount of revenue the District expects to collect using the specific assessment rates described in this Notice, net of cost for statutory discount for early payment necessarily associated with the use of the uniform method of collection (by law up to 4%) and statutory commissions and fees charged by the County constitutional offices of the Polk County Tax Collector and Polk County Property Appraiser (by law up to 2% for each), and the District’s cost to partially defray associated assessment and roll development, advertising, implementation and administrative costs ($5 per tax parcel) is approximated to be $139,750; and, such revenue must be used exclusively to fund the associated budget for the District.

Payment of the subject non-ad valorem assessment for the Fiscal Year beginning October 1, 2021, is anticipated to be due and collected as a non-ad valorem assessment on the same bill as taxes to be mailed in early November 2021. The District will also provide the proposed amounts to be assessed for each parcel to the Polk County Property Appraiser to include in the TRIM notices expected to be sent by that office in August pursuant to s. 200.069, Florida Statutes. The collection process by the Polk County Tax Collector for non-ad valorem assessments of this nature is called the uniform method. General law requires that affected property owners be reminded that: Until paid, the District’s non-ad valorem assessment will constitute a lien against assessed property equal in rank and dignity with the liens of all state, county, district, or municipal taxes and other non-ad valorem assessments. Assessments become delinquent in the same manner as for unpaid taxes, and failure to pay the upcoming assessment will cause a tax certificate to be issued against the property which may result in loss of title.

Please note: The noticed rate of assessment herein can be decreased by the District Board, but by law the rate of the assessment noticed herein cannot be increased beyond that previously noticed without another mailed and published notice of this nature being provided by the District. Thank-you for your review.

PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES NEEDING ASSISTANCE TO PARTICIPATE IN THE HEARING SHOULD CONTACT THE DISTRICT SECRETARY, LINDA ROBINSON, PRIOR TO THE PROCEEDING AT (863) 221-2516 OR MYHCWCD@GMAIL.COM FOR ASSISTANCE AT LEAST 48 HOURS IN ADVANCE OF THE MEETING. IF HEARING IMPAIRED, TELEPHONE THE FLORIDA RELAY SERVICE NUMBERS (800) 955-8771 (TDD) OR (800) 955-8770 (VOICE) FOR ASSISTANCE.

Linda Robinson, Secretary/Treasurer

 

What's New?

Owners of land situated in the Haines City Water Control District are hereby notified that the next meeting of the Board of Supervisors has been set for Tuesday, August 3, 2021, at 5:00 PM, or as soon thereafter as may be heard, in the Lobby of the Haines City Public Library, 111 North Sixth Street, Haines City, Florida. At said meeting, the Board of Supervisors will consider, among other matters, the following:

I. Public Hearing to Consider the Levy and Provide for Collection of Annual Non-Ad Valorem Special Assessments to Fund Costs Associated with Water Control and Actions to Make Lands within the District Available and Habitable for Settlement and Agriculture.

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II. Public Hearing before the Board of Supervisors for review and discussion of the preliminary budget for Fiscal Year 2021-2022.

By law, the meetings of the Board of Supervisors are open meetings. All individuals are welcome to attend and be heard.

At any meeting of the Haines City Water Control District any person, his or her agent, or attorney may appear and be heard. Any person desiring to appeal any decision made by the Haines City Water Control District with respect to any matter considered at the a meeting or hearing will need a record of proceedings and that for any such purpose may need to ensure that a verbatim record of the proceedings is made, which record includes the testimony and evidence upon which the appeal is to be based (Florida Statute  286.0150).
In accordance with the American with Disabilities Act and Florida Statute 286.26, persons with disabilities needing special accommodation to participate in any proceeding should contact the secretary prior to the proceeding at 863-221-2516 for assistance.  If hearing impaired, telephone the Florida Relay Service numbers 1-800-955-8771 (TTY) or 1-800-955-8770 (VOICE) for assistance.

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