Important For Polk County Ag Producers !!!

A stormwater assesment fee will be assesed for properties in unincorporated Polk County.  If you are an agricultural producer, specifically an ornamental nursery or sod producer in Polk County now is the time to sign up to implement Best Management Practices on your operation.  For folks to be exempted or receive mitigation credits, they need to apply before September 13th for the credit to make this year’s tax billing.  In order to sign up for the BMPs it only takes a short visit (1.5 hours) from myself and Jemy Hinton with the UF BMP Implementation team/ FDACS to get you signed up. Just call me at Polk County Extension office 863-519-8677 or email me at ststeed@ufl.edu  
 Please read the information below on the Stormwater Assessment and the rules on the credit.

In response to federal and state mandates for local governments to improve the quality of stormwater runoff, on June 26, 2012, Polk County adopted a Stormwater Assessment Ordinance and preliminary rates to be assessed on lands in unincorporated Polk County. Florida Statues provide a 100 percent exemption to the stormwater assessment for agriculture properties that meet certain conditions.

Bona fide farm operations on land classified as agricultural land pursuant to section 193.461 F.S. will be exempt from the assessment if the farm operation provides documentation to the county that the operation has a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Permit, Environmental Resource Permit, Works-of-the-District Permit or Implements of Best Management Practices adopted as rules under Chapter 120 by the Department of Environmental Protection, the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services or a Water Management District as part of a statewide or regional program. This exemption is not automatic. You will need to submit a mitigation credit application following its instructions to provide the necessary documentation to be exempt from this assessment.

To obtain a copy of the county’s mitigation application, or if you have any questions regarding this issue, please contact the Polk County Parks & Natural Resources Division at (863) 534-7377. After August 20, 2012, the county’s mitigation application will be available online at www.polk-county.net. Please follow the indicated links to obtain the application. However, we would encourage you to apply now if you meet the necessary conditions to be exempt.

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