Lawmakers in town next Wednesday

The Desoto County Legislative Delegation will convene to consider proposed legislation and appropriation requests next Wednesday in the DeSoto County Commission Chambers in the County Administration Building, 201 East Oak St., beginning at 1:30 p.m. State Se. Ben Albritton and state Rep. Melony Bell will be present for the meeting.

Local bills, in draft form, must be presented at the hearing and should be accompanied by a resolution from the local government supporting the proposed legislation. The public will also be given an opportunity to address the delegation on state issues of concern. Those interested in addressing the delegation, please contact Jae Williams in Sen. Albritton’s office for a Participant Request Form. This form and all supporting documentation should be completed and returned electronically to williams.jae@flsenate.gov or by mail to: Sen. Ben Albritton, 410 Taylor St., Suite 106, Punta Gorda 33950

If you are submitting a funding request, you must complete the Senate Local Funding Initiative Request Form at http://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Appropriations/2019 AND the House Appropriations Project Request Form at http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Appropriations/projects.aspx and submit it to the sponsoring legislator’s office on or before close of business on Jan. 30, or your funding request may be ineligible for consideration during the 2019 Legislative Session.

Contact details: Jae Williams in Sen. Albritton’s office, williams.jae@flsenate.gov or 941-575-5717. For questions concerning local funding requests, contact: Senate, whaley.karen@flsenate.gov, House, anne.bell@myfloridahouse.gov.

Mosaic mediator approved by BOCC

DeSoto County has approved a Jacksonville attorney to act as mediator in the dispute with Mosaic Fertilizer over a property rezoning denial in July 2018. Terrance Schmidt is to serve as a special magistrate to possibly resolve a rezoning denial by the DeSoto Board of County Commissioners, which voted 4-1 against rezoning farmland to industrial mining. Schmidt practices resolution law and is a certified mediator, said Donald Conn, the county’s attorney. Schmidt’s fee is $450 per hour, with a $10,000 limit placed. DeSoto County and Mosaic will split those costs, Conn said Tuesday at the regular board meeting. A dispute hearing will be public. Schmidt’s recommendation is not binding. Commissioner Elton Langford in voting to accept Schmidt said dispute resolution “is part of the process … I understand that now.” Langford in July 2018 initiated a vote to deny Mosaic’s application to rezone 14,000 acres of farmland.

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