DeLand, FL - During a workshop on Tuesday, Volusia County Council members took a preliminary first step toward asking voters in November if they want to renew the Volusia Forever and ECHO programs for another 20 years.
Kevin Captain, Interim Community information Director, said while no final decisions could be made at the workshop, Council members said they want to take up the matter in March.
Captain said both programs are very popular with Volusia county residents. They have helped fund millions of dollars in recreational facilities and land preservation efforts. Both will require voter approval to continue and will come with small property tax levees of up to two-tenths of a mil each. With an average home price of $150,000, that equates to about $25 per year for each program.
He said Volusia Forever finances the acquisition and improvement of thousands of acres of environmentally-sensitive and outdoor recreation land that is managed by the county. The ECHO program provides grant funds to finance the acquisition, restoration, construction or improvements of facilities for environmental, cultural, historical, and outdoor recreational purposes.
Captain said a number of residents have already shown up at County Council meetings to ask that the programs be renewed.