Local, state and federal officials recognize that sea-level rise presents a real danger to properties across Florida. Vulnerable areas have been identified and plans have been developed to address its effects. However, what is missing is a dedicated funding source to tackle this existential problem.
One possible solution is the creation of a resiliency utility. It would have the authority to adopt fees sufficient to plan, construct, operate, acquire and maintain systems identified in a master plan.
Funds could be collected on a property-tax bill and pledged to finance necessary capital improvements. Private entities could administer the utility to shift risk and create better efficiencies. The Florida Legislature should authorize this.
Local governments can plan for sea-level rise, but without a dedicated funding source, such plans will succumb, along with any structures, to the sea.
– Chad S. Friedman,