Last Call — A prime-time read of what’s going down in Florida politics.
Florida TaxWatch released a new report Wednesday highlighting how “green infrastructure” such as wetlands and urban forests could help mitigate flooding and stormwater runoff in coastal communities across the state.
The nonpartisan watchdog group used recent projects undertaken by the City of Jacksonville to augment traditional drainage systems, which can become overwhelmed and lead to pooling stormwater that damages streets and buildings. FTW’s report suggests green infrastructure projects are less expensive to the taxpayer and more effective.
“Floridians are all too familiar with the devastating impacts of heavy rainfall and severe storms like hurricanes. Man-made infrastructure alone clearly isn’t cutting it, and what’s more, it’s expensive, costing taxpayers between 4% and 19% more than natural systems. And these costs are only expected to increase as population growth creates more demand and puts added pressure on existing systems,” Florida TaxWatch President and CEO Dominic M. Calabro said.
“Florida TaxWatch studied the City of Jacksonville’s successful green infrastructure initiatives and the many benefits these systems — in conjunction with man-made systems already in place — have had on the community, including millions of dollars in taxpayer savings. That’s why implementing green infrastructure to the greatest extent possible has been a hallmark of our taxpayer cost-saving recommendations for over 40 years, and we strongly recommend that other cities invest in green infrastructure, now and in the future, to reduce the risks of flooding and stormwater runoff, build more resilient communities, and generate savings that may address other critical needs.”
FTW noted that the state will spend $300 million on man-made flooding and stormwater runoff mitigation projects during the current fiscal year and an additional $7.7 million to maintain the existing infrastructure.
Meanwhile, the Jacksonville model — which encompasses conservation areas and parks, unpaved lots, and urban tree canopies — has effectively reduced state government costs, property damage and associated costs, and pollution while improving water quality. The Bold City projects are also expected to save taxpayers $112.8 million over the long haul.
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—”The billionaire keeping TikTok on phones in the U.S.” via John D. McKinnon and Stu Woo of The Wall Street Journal
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Quote of the Day
“Let’s keep our eyes on what’s important, which is that we are producing the outcomes for our students that enable them to be successful.”
— Chancellor Ray Rodrigues, downplaying state universities’ rankings slips.
Put It on the Tab
Look to your left, then look to your right. If you see one of these people at your happy hour haunt, flag down the bartender and put one of these on your tab. Recipes included, just in case the Cocktail Codex fell into the well.
Last Call is published by Peter Schorsch, assembled and edited by Phil Ammann and Drew Wilson with contributions from the staff of Florida Politics.