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HomeMy Public PortalAboutRES 16/01RESOLUTION NO. 16-1 A RESOLUTION OF THE TOWN COMMISSION OF THE TOWN OF GULF STREAM, PALM BEACH COUNTY, FLORIDA, OPPOSING HB 461 AND SB 416 THAT SEEK TO FORCE LOCAL GOVERNMENTS AND THEIR TAXPAYERS TO PAY FOR THE COST OF RELOCATING UTILITY EQUIPMENT ALONG PUBLIC RIGHTS-OF-WAY AND WITHIN PUBLIC UTILITY EASEMENTS WHEN SUCH EQUIPMENT UNREASONABLY INTERFERES WITH A PUBLIC ROADWAY MAINTENANCE, IMPROVEMENT, EXTENSION OR EXPANSION PROJECT; FURTHER URGING THE FLORIDA GOVERNOR AND FLORIDA STATE LEGISLATURE TO UPHOLD COMMON LAW AND THE CURRENT FLORIDA STATUTE REQUIRING UTILITY PROVIDERS TO PAY FOR RELOCATION OF THEIR EQUIPMENT UNDER SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES; PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE; AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES. WHEREAS, local governments rely heavily on their statutorily -authorized police powers to best serve the interest of their citizens; and WHEREAS, one of the essential functions of local government is to provide for the health, safety, and welfare of its citizens, particularly in the area of physical infrastructure improvements such as public roadways; and WHEREAS, under Florida common law, established over 100 years ago, and under statutory law, particularly Section 337.403 of the Florida Statutes, local governments have the authority to require utility providers to relocate their equipment placed upon, under, over or along public roadways and within public utility easements when such equipment unreasonably interferes with the completion of public road maintenance, improvement, extension or expansion projects, and to require utility providers to pay for these relocations; and WHEREAS, recent Florida case law directly on this issue has upheld local governments' authority under common law and Section 337.403 to require utility providers to relocate their equipment and pay costs associated with such relocations under these circumstances given that public roadways are by their very nature supposed to serve and benefit the public's safe travel, not utility providers; and WHEREAS, HB 461 and SB 416 seek to require local governments and their taxpayers, and not the utility providers, to bear the cost of relocating utility equipment if such equipment is located along a public roadway and within a public entity easement; and WHEREAS, local governments and their taxpayers burdened with these relocation costs may not even be served by or benefit from the utility equipment that they must pay to relocate given that many utility lines run through a community, but serve another community; and WHEREAS, this cost shifting will dramatically and negatively affect local governments' ability to protect the health, safety and welfare of their citizens given that utility relocation costs will greatly increase the costs of public roadway projects at a time when local governments continue to struggle with funding for such projects, and thatthese increased costs may greatly reduce the size and scope of necessary roadway projects, or prevent them from occurring at all; and NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE TOWN COMMISSION OF THE TOWN OF GULF STREAM, FLORIDA, AS FOLLOWS; Section 1. The Town Commission of the Town of Gulf Stream hereby opposes HB 461 and SB 416, and their efforts to shift the cost of relocating utility equipment along public roadways and within public utility easements to local governments and their taxpayers. Section 2. The Town Commission of the Town of Gulf Stream encourages Florida Governor Rick Scott and the Florida State Legislature to preserve common law and statutory law by opposing these House and Senate Bills that attempt to limit a local government's ability to serve its citizens. Section 3. The Town of Gulf Streams Clerk is directed to distribute this Resolution to Florida Governor Rick Scott, the President of the Florida Senate, the Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives, the Palm Beach County Legislative Delegation, the Florida League of Cities, Inc. and the Palm Beach County League of Cities, Inc. Section 4. This Resolution shall become effective immediately upon adoption. Approved, passed and adopted by the Town Commission of the Town of Gulf Stream, Palm Beach County, Florida, in a regular session assembled this 12th day of February, 2016. ATTEST: Town Clerk TOWN OF GULF STREAM Page 2 of 2 Resolution No. 16-1 T ATTEST: Town Clerk TOWN OF GULF STREAM Page 2 of 2 Resolution No. 16-1