(1) STATE POLICY RELATIVE TO HISTORIC PROPERTIES.— (a) The rich and unique heritage of historic properties in this state, representing more than 10,000 years of human presence, is an important legacy to be valued and conserved for present and future generations. The destruction of these nonrenewable historical resources will engender a significant loss to the state’s quality of life, economy, and cultural environment. It is therefore declared to be state policy to:
1. Provide leadership in the preservation of the state’s historic resources;
2. Administer state-owned or state-controlled historic resources in a spirit of stewardship and trusteeship;
3. Contribute to the preservation of non-state-owned historic resources and to give encouragement to organizations and individuals undertaking preservation by private means;
4. Foster conditions, using measures that include financial and technical assistance, for a harmonious coexistence of society and state historic resources;
5. Encourage the public and private preservation and utilization of elements of the state’s historically built environment; and
6. Assist local governments to expand and accelerate their historic preservation programs and activities.
(b) It is further declared to be the public policy of the state that all treasure trove, artifacts, and such objects having intrinsic or historical and archaeological value which have been abandoned on state-owned lands or state-owned sovereignty submerged lands shall belong to the state with the title thereto vested in the Division of Historical Resources of the Department of State for the purposes of administration and protection.
(2) RESPONSIBILITIES OF STATE AGENCIES OF THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH.—
(a) Each state agency of the executive branch having direct or indirect jurisdiction over a proposed state or state-assisted undertaking shall, in accordance with state policy and prior to the approval of expenditure of any state funds on the undertaking, consider the effect of the undertaking on any historic property that is included in, or eligible for inclusion in, the National Register of Historic Places. Each such agency shall afford the division a reasonable opportunity to comment with regard to such an undertaking.
(b) Each state agency of the executive branch shall initiate measures in consultation with the division to assure that where, as a result of state action or assistance carried out by such agency, a historic property is to be demolished or substantially altered in a way which adversely affects the character, form, integrity, or other qualities which contribute to historical, architectural, or archaeological value of the property, timely steps are taken to determine that no feasible and prudent alternative to the proposed demolition or alteration exists, and, where no such alternative is determined to exist, to assure that timely steps are taken either to avoid or mitigate the adverse effects, or to undertake an appropriate archaeological salvage excavation or other recovery action to document the property as it existed prior to demolition or alteration.
(c) In consultation with the division, each state agency of the executive branch shall establish a program to locate, inventory, and evaluate all historic properties under the agency’s ownership or control that appear to qualify for the National Register. Each such agency shall exercise caution to assure that any such historic property is not inadvertently transferred, sold, demolished, substantially altered, or allowed to deteriorate significantly.
(d) Each state agency of the executive branch shall assume responsibility for the preservation of historic resources which are owned or controlled by such agency. Prior to acquiring, constructing, or leasing buildings for the purpose of carrying out agency responsibilities, the agency shall use, to the maximum extent feasible, historic properties available to the agency. Each agency shall undertake, consistent with the preservation of such properties, the mission of the agency, and the professional standards established pursuant to s. 267.031(5)(k), any preservation actions necessary to carry out the intent of this paragraph.
(e) Each state agency of the executive branch, in seeking to acquire additional space through new construction or lease, shall give preference to the acquisition or use of historic properties when such acquisition or use is determined to be feasible and prudent compared with available alternatives. The acquisition or use of historic properties is considered feasible and prudent if the cost of purchase or lease, the cost of rehabilitation, remodeling, or altering the building to meet compliance standards and the agency’s needs, and the projected costs of maintaining the building and providing utilities and other services is less than or equal to the same costs for available alternatives. The agency shall request the division to assist in determining if the acquisition or use of a historic property is feasible and prudent. Within 60 days after making a determination that additional space is needed, the agency shall request the division to assist in identifying buildings within the appropriate geographic area that are historic properties suitable for acquisition or lease by the agency, whether or not such properties are in need of repair, alteration, or addition.
(f) Consistent with the agency’s mission and authority, all state agencies of the executive branch shall carry out agency programs and projects, including those under which any state assistance is provided, in a manner which is generally sensitive to the preservation of historic properties and shall give consideration to programs and projects which will further the purposes of this section.
(3) DEPARTMENT OF MANAGEMENT SERVICES.—The Department of Management Services, in consultation with the division, shall adopt rules for the renovation of historic properties which are owned or leased by the state. Such rules shall be based on national guidelines for historic renovation, including the standards and guidelines for rehabilitation adopted by the United States Secretary of the Interior.