Water-Related News

Government efficiency or lsquo;hostile takeover’? Water Authority bill advances in legislature

LEESBURG – A bill that would change the way the Lake County Water Authority operates is making its way through the Florida Legislature.

House Bill 1105, sponsored by Rep. Keith Truenow, R-Tavares, cleared its last committee Tuesday, and is now clear for a vote on the House floor. It would need Senate approval, too, before going to the governor's desk for a signature.

The bill proposes changing the water authority from an independent district to a dependent district, moving operations to the Lake County Commission.

But even if it does pass in the legislature, the measure needs support from the commission, which did not pitch the idea to Truenow and has so far stayed neutral on it.

Truenow, who did not return multiple requests for comment from the Daily Commercial, said in committee meetings that the bill is intended to eliminate taxing duplications, streamline services and "provide better oversight."

But some of his colleagues, who mentioned they received emails from Lake Countians with concerns about this proposal, took issue with the biggest tenet of the bill: taking an elected board and making it an appointed board without voter approval.