(1) The provisions of this chapter shall become effective in a county of this state upon the adoption of a resolution by the board of county commissioners of such county, or, in counties operating under a countywide charter, by the appropriate board, declaring that such county is subject to the provisions of this chapter. Any board of county commissioners which adopts such a resolution shall immediately notify the commission of its adoption and submit the resolution to the commission. A county, after 10 continuous years under the jurisdiction of the commission, may by resolution or ordinance rescind any prior resolution or ordinance imposing commission jurisdiction and thereby exclude itself from the provisions of this chapter, except that the county may not exclude itself from the provisions of this section.
(2)(a) Within 30 days after this chapter becomes applicable to a county, each utility shall register by filing with the commission a written statement setting forth the full legal name of the utility, its mailing address, and a brief description of its service area.
(b) On the day this chapter becomes applicable to any county, any utility engaged in the operation or construction of a system shall be entitled to receive a certificate for the area served by such utility on the day this chapter becomes applicable to it. Within 90 days after the day this chapter becomes applicable to it, the utility shall make application for a certificate by filing with the commission:
1. A map of its existing system or system under construction;
2. A description of the area served by the system; and
3. A tariff listing all rates and charges and such other financial information as may be required by the commission.
Such application shall be accompanied by a fee as provided by s. 367.145. If a utility fails to register with the commission within the prescribed time, the commission may require that the utility apply for an original certificate of authorization in accordance with s. 367.045.
(c) Before the commission issues a certificate of authorization under paragraph (b), it may establish the amount of money prudently invested in property of the utility, which property is used and useful in the public service; may establish other elements of the rate base; and may set and approve rates pursuant to s. 367.081.
(3) In consideration of the variance of powers, duties, responsibilities, population, and size of municipalities of the several counties and in consideration of the fact that every county varies from every other county and thereby affects the functions, duties, and responsibilities required of its county officers and the scope of responsibilities which each county may, at this time, undertake, the Counties of Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Calhoun, Charlotte, Collier, Dixie, Escambia, Flagler, Gadsden, Gilchrist, Glades, Hamilton, Hardee, Hendry, Hernando, Hillsborough, Holmes, Indian River, Jefferson, Lafayette, Leon, Liberty, Madison, Manatee, Miami-Dade, Okaloosa, Okeechobee, Polk, St. Lucie, Santa Rosa, Sarasota, Suwannee, Taylor, Union, Wakulla, and Walton are excluded from the provisions of this chapter until such time as the board of county commissioners of any such county, acting pursuant to the provisions of subsection (1), makes this chapter applicable to such county or until the Legislature, by appropriate act, removes one or more of such counties from this exclusion.
(4) As of the day a utility is no longer regulated by the commission under this chapter, each such utility which is engaged in the operation or construction of a system shall be entitled to receive from the county in which it is located and operating a certificate of authorization for each area for which such utility held a certificate of authorization from the commission on the day the utility became subject to regulation by the county. The utility will make application by filing with the governing body of the county:
(a) A map of its existing system or system under construction;
(b) A certified copy of the certificate of authorization issued by the commission, including a legal description of the service area for which the certificate of authorization was issued;
(c) A tariff, listing all rates and charges then in effect, which shall remain in effect until thereafter lawfully changed;
(d) A copy of the operating regulations and procedures of the utility then in effect, which shall remain in effect until thereafter lawfully changed; and
(e) The then-current rate base of the utility, which shall then continue to be the rate base of the utility until thereafter lawfully changed.
(5) When a utility becomes subject to regulation by a county, all cases in which the utility is a party then pending before the commission, or in any court by appeal from any order of the commission, shall remain within the jurisdiction of the commission or court until disposed of in accordance with the law in effect on the day such case was filed by any party with the commission or initiated by the commission, whether or not the parties or the subject of any such case relates to a utility in a county wherein this chapter no longer applies.
(6) Any county in which utilities as herein defined were regulated by the commission on or after January 1, 1980, which subsequently cease to be so regulated, shall, within 90 days of the cessation of commission regulation, adopt and follow as minimum standards of regulation the provisions of s. 367.081, except for paragraph (4)(a), and s. 367.082, except that the word “commission” shall be read as “the governing body of such county” when the context implies or admits. The authorized rate of return shall be no less than the weighted cost of the capital of the utility, including debt and equity.
(7) Notwithstanding anything in this section to the contrary, the commission shall have exclusive jurisdiction over all utility systems whose service transverses county boundaries, whether the counties involved are jurisdictional or nonjurisdictional, except for utility systems that are subject to, and remain subject to, interlocal utility agreements in effect as of January 1, 1991, that create a single governmental authority to regulate the utility systems whose service transverses county boundaries, provided that no such interlocal agreement shall divest commission jurisdiction over such systems, any portion of which provides service within a county that is subject to commission jurisdiction under this section.
(8) Each county which is excluded from the provisions of this chapter shall regulate the rates of all utilities in that county which would otherwise be subject to regulation by the commission pursuant to s. 367.081(1), (2), (3), and (6). The county shall not regulate the rates or charges of any system or facility which would otherwise be exempt from commission regulation pursuant to s. 367.022(2). For this purpose the county or its agency shall proceed as though the county or agency is the commission.