The governing board of the district may sell lands, or interests or rights in lands, to which the district has acquired title or to which it may hereafter acquire title in the following manner:
(1)(a) Any lands, or interests or rights in lands, determined by the governing board to be surplus may be sold by the district, at any time, for the highest price obtainable; however, the selling price may not be less than the appraised value of the lands, or interests or rights in lands, as determined by a certified appraisal obtained within 360 days before the effective date of a contract for sale.
(b) A written valuation of land determined to be surplus pursuant to this section; related documents used to form, or which pertain to, the valuation; and written offers to purchase such surplus land are confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution. This exemption expires 2 weeks before the contract or agreement regarding the purchase, exchange, or disposal of the surplus land is first considered for approval by the district. (c) Before expiration of the exemption established in paragraph (b), and in order to facilitate successful or expedited closure of the sale of surplus land, the district may disclose confidential and exempt valuations and valuation information which are related to surplus land, or written offers to purchase such surplus land, to potential purchasers:
1. During negotiations for the sale or exchange of the land;
2. During the marketing effort or bidding process associated with the sale, disposal, or exchange of the land;
3. When the passage of time has made the conclusions of value invalid; or
4. When negotiations or marketing efforts concerning the land are concluded.
(d) Paragraphs (b) and (c) are subject to the Open Government Sunset Review Act in accordance with s. 119.15 and shall stand repealed on October 2, 2023, unless reviewed and saved from repeal through reenactment by the Legislature.
(2) All sales of land, or interests or rights in land, shall be for cash or upon terms and security to be approved by the governing board, but a deed therefor shall not be executed and delivered until full payment is made.
(3) Before selling any surplus land, or interests or rights in land, the district shall publish a notice of intention to sell on its website and in a newspaper published in the county in which the land, or interests or rights in the land, is situated once each week for 3 successive weeks, three insertions being sufficient. The first publication of the required notice must occur at least 30 days, but not more than 360 days, before any sale is approved by the district and must include a description of lands, or interests or rights in lands, to be offered for sale.
(4) The governing board of a district may exchange lands, or interests or rights in lands, owned by, or lands, or interests or rights in lands, for which title is otherwise vested in, the district for other lands, or interests or rights in lands, within the state owned by any person. The governing board shall fix the terms and conditions of any such exchange and may pay or receive any sum of money that the board considers necessary to equalize the values of exchanged properties. Land, or interests or rights in land, acquired under former s. 373.59, Florida Statutes 2014, may be exchanged only for lands, or interests or rights in lands, that otherwise meet the requirements of that section for acquisition.
(5) In any county having a population of 75,000 or fewer, or a county having a population of 100,000 or fewer that is contiguous to a county having a population of 75,000 or fewer, in which more than 50 percent of the lands within the county boundary are federal lands and lands titled in the name of the state, a state agency, a water management district, or a local government, those lands titled in the name of a water management district which are not essential or necessary to meet conservation purposes may, upon request of a public or private entity, be made available for purchase through the surplusing process in this section. Priority consideration must be given to buyers, public or private, who are willing to return the property to productive use so long as the property can be reentered onto the county ad valorem tax roll. Property acquired with matching funds from a local government shall not be made available for purchase without the consent of the local government.
(6) Any lands the title to which is vested in the governing board of a water management district may be surplused pursuant to the procedures set forth in this section and s. 373.056 and the following:
(a) For those lands designated as acquired for conservation purposes, the governing board shall make a determination that the lands are no longer needed for conservation purposes and may dispose of them by a two-thirds vote.
(b) For all other lands, the governing board shall make a determination that such lands are no longer needed and may dispose of them by majority vote.
(c) For the purposes of this subsection, all lands for which title has vested in the governing board prior to July 1, 1999, shall be deemed to have been acquired for conservation purposes.
(d) For any lands acquired on or after July 1, 1999, for which title is vested in the governing board, the governing board shall determine which parcels shall be designated as having been acquired for conservation purposes.
(7) Notwithstanding other provisions of this section, the governing board shall first offer title to lands acquired in whole or in part with Florida Forever funds which are determined to be no longer needed for conservation purposes to the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund unless the disposition of those lands is for the following purposes:
(a) Linear facilities, including electric transmission and distribution facilities, telecommunication transmission and distribution facilities, pipeline transmission and distribution facilities, public transportation corridors, and related appurtenances.
(b) The disposition of the fee interest in the land where a conservation easement is retained by the district to fulfill the conservation objectives for which the land was acquired.
(c) An exchange of the land for other lands that meet or exceed the conservation objectives for which the original land was acquired in accordance with subsection (4).
(d) To be used by a governmental entity for a public purpose.
(e) The portion of an overall purchase deemed surplus at the time of the acquisition.
(8)(a) If a parcel of land is no longer essential or necessary for conservation purposes and is valued at $25,000 or less as determined by a certified appraisal obtained within 360 days before the effective date of a contract for the sale, as specified in subsection (1), the governing board may determine that the parcel of land is surplus and may offer to sell it to the adjacent property owners. If the governing board elects to offer for sale the parcel to adjacent property owners pursuant to this subsection, the governing board must publish the notice of intention to sell as required under subsection (3), one time only and the governing board must send the notice of intention to sell the parcel to adjacent property owners by certified mail and publish the notice on its website. For the purpose of this subsection, the term “adjacent property owners” means those owners whose property abuts the parcel.
(b) Fourteen days after publication of such notice, the district may sell the parcel to an adjacent property owner or, if there are two or more owners of adjacent property, accept sealed bids and sell the parcel to the highest bidder or reject all offers.
(c) If the parcel is not sold to an adjacent property owner pursuant to paragraph (b), the district may sell the parcel at any time to the general public for the highest price obtainable.
If the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund declines to accept title to the lands offered under this section, the land may be disposed of by the district under the provisions of this section.