Mar 172017
 

David Asdourian, Chairman of the Key Largo Wastewater Treatment District, receives a $1 million check from Monroe County as part of a 10-year interlocal agreement. (L-R): Commissioner Heather Carruthers, Commissioner Sylvia Murphy, Mayor George Neugent, Mayor Pro Tem David Rice, Asdourian, Sue Heim (KLWTD board member) and Commissioner Danny Kolhage. Photo by Cammy Clark.

MONROE COUNTY REPAYS KEY LARGO WASTEWATER TREATMENT DISTRICT
SECOND $1 MILLION INSTALLMENT FROM MAYFIELD GRANT AGREEMENT

KEY LARGO, FL – At the Monroe County Board of County Commissioners meeting Wednesday, Mayor George Neugent presented the Key Largo Wastewater Treatment District with a $1 million check, the second installment in a 10-year Interlocal Agreement regarding the distribution of $17 million in Mayfield Grant Funds for wastewater projects in the Keys.

Monroe County and the Key Largo Wastewater Treatment District entered into the Interlocal Agreement on May 20, 2015, to make the most efficient possible use of the Mayfield Grant Funds for the benefit of all residents of Monroe County, including those who reside within the Key Largo service area. The agreement will save taxpayers a combined $6.5 million in interest costs over the next decade.

Here’s how it works: Monroe County accepted KLWTD’s $17 million portion of the second $50 million allocation of the $200 million Mayfield Grant Fund – which by law the KLWTD cannot use to repay debt for its already built system. Monroe County is using the funds to pay for current construction on the Cudjoe Regional Wastewater System.

In return, Monroe County will repay that $17 million to KLWTD at no interest over the next 10 years. This will allow KLWTD to receive its entitled share of the Mayfield Grant Fund, as well as repay its wastewater construction debt more quickly and thus save money on interest. Monroe County also will save money by using the grant funding to pay for construction at Cudjoe instead of borrowing and incurring interest charges.

Here’s the background of the Mayfield Grant Fund: In 2008, the State Legislature authorized the issuance of up to $200 million of Everglades restoration bonds, to be used as the “Mayfield Grant Funds,” to help defray the cost of mandated but unfunded sewer projects in the Florida Keys.

In March 2012, the State Legislature appropriated and the Governor approved the first of four $50 million yearly allocations of the anticipated Mayfield Grant Funds. This funding was distributed to Cudjoe Regional Wastewater System ($30 million) and Islamorada ($20 million).

In 2014, the State Legislature appropriated and the Governor approved the second $50 million yearly allocation of the Mayfield Grant. The money this time was allocated as follows: $17 million each to Key Largo and Marathon, $7 million to Islamorada, $5 million to Monroe County/Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority, $3 million to Key West and $1 million to Key Colony Beach. The money is distributed when the entities provide paid invoices for qualifying construction.

The Interlocal Agreement between Monroe County and KLWTD also addresses anticipated Year Three and Year Four $50 million allocations. As previously agreed upon by all the municipalities and Monroe County KLWTD will received $12.5 million for Year Three and $13.5 million for Year Four. Under the Interlocal Agreement, Monroe County would accept these funds under the same conditions as the first $17 million.

The Mayfield Grant, which is administered by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, allows participating entities located within Monroe County to reassign grant interests among themselves.

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 March 17, 2017  Posted by at 12:46 am Issue #210, News, Public Notice  Add comments

  4 Responses to “Monroe County Repays Second $1 Million Installment to Key Largo Wastewater Treatment District”

  1. This is the most complete and accurate article on the swap agreement I’ve seen in any Keys publication ever. I see that it was “contributed”. Did it come from the county?

    I would like to point out that the Mayfield Grant was originally meant to finance and refinance construction of central sewer systems in the Keys. Unfortunately for places like Key Largo and Marathon, the state decided to abruptly change the rules when the money finally started coming through.

    Those areas that moved expeditiously in order to meet the state-imposed deadline were punished for doing so. Like a Kafka story. I imagine the county/FKAA hell twins lobbied for the change because it’s hard to believe the state would come up with something so monumentally stupid on their own. (It’s not impossible, just hard to believe.)

    Anyhow, I’m glad the county is paying up with minimal nonsense. (This is only payment #2, of course.) It’s a small thing that taxpayers should be able to take for granted. But when you consider the county’s past conduct, it definitely would not be wise to assume that they will ever willingly do what is right. Even something as basic as paying a debt owed to their own taxpayers.

    I’m guessing the county is prepping for their annual nonsense tour. Last year they were pushing the Emergency Services Surtax – bolstered with a bunch of lies. Who knows what they’ve got in store for us this year? Some “strategic plan” thing.

  2. But no interest paid to Klwtd on that 17 million over the 10 years? Get out a calculator to see what a great deal that is. Humbug. Obviously written by the County.

    “Monroe County will repay that $17 million to KLWTD at no interest over the next 10 years. This will allow KLWTD to receive its entitled share of the Mayfield Grant Fund, as well as repay its wastewater construction debt more quickly and thus save money on interest. Monroe County also will save money by using the grant funding to pay for construction at Cudjoe instead of borrowing and incurring interest charges.”