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Title 51 - Parks, Recreation and Tourism
LEGACY TRUST FUND
The General Assembly finds that:
(1) there is a critical need to preserve and acquire the state's sensitive and pristine ecological and recreational resources and sites, as well as the state's natural and historical resources and sites, and there is a need to continue to develop and fund state parks and other outdoor recreational facilities for the state's citizens and out-of-state visitors;
(2) a planning, acquisition, and funding mechanism must be established to meet future preservation, acquisition, and development of natural resource needs in South Carolina;
(3) innovation and cooperation among parties and agencies interested in conservation, preservation, and recreation must be promoted to continue the high quality of life of this State; and
(4) funding must be available on a yearly basis to implement these objectives and to match funds for private, nonpublic sources.
Legacy Trust Fund created.
There is created the Legacy Trust Fund which shall consist of all monies appropriated or transferred to it, all donations, matching funds, and all interest earned on such monies which shall be retained in the fund and used for its stated purposes. The revenues from the Legacy Trust Fund may be matched by public funds, private funds, in-kind contributions, and other funding sources. The title to land as an in-kind contribution must be in fee or as an easement to a governmental or nonprofit entity. The Legacy Trust Fund shall make available funds to acquire sensitive ecological resources and to preserve and renovate or restore historic sites. The funds shall further be used for the development of existing and future state parks and Heritage Preserves and to protect habitat for plant and animal species considered endangered by the Department of Natural Resources and to acquire or develop, or both, resource-based recreational projects and facilities within the State.
Legacy Trust Fund; appointment and duties of board of directors; staff.
(A) There is created a fifteen-member board of directors, thirteen of which shall be appointed by the Governor. The Governor shall appoint two board members from each congressional district and one board member from the State at large, who shall serve as the chairman. Six board members shall be appointed for two-year terms, and seven board members shall be appointed for four-year terms. Subsequent to the initial two-year terms, all terms shall be for four years, and members shall serve until their successors are appointed and qualify. In addition, notwithstanding the provisions of Section 8-13-770, the Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee and the Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, or their designees, shall serve as members of the board. The Governor must exercise due diligence in appointing a chairman and board members with backgrounds and experience in conservation, preservation, or recreation, or a combination thereof.
(B) The board of directors shall:
(1) establish criteria and requirements to determine funding guidelines and funding decisions including the requirement of a commitment to preservation, conservation, and recreation;
(2) decide, based on those criteria and requirements, which entities may receive funding from the Legacy Trust Fund;
(3) give primary consideration to projects, acquisitions, and restorations that demonstrate cooperative efforts among eligible agencies and organizations, including joint matching funding, joint administrative duties, and projects that serve several interests;
(4) submit an annual report to the General Assembly and the Budget and Control Board which must include a list of the funding recipients, a description of the projects, and a description of the benefits brought about as a result of the funding.
(C) The Legacy Trust Fund shall be a part of the Governor's Office. Staff shall be appointed by the board upon consent of the Governor to carry out the purposes of this chapter. The staff shall be paid with monies from the Legacy Trust Fund. The staff shall report to the board of directors and the Governor.
Legacy Trust Fund; annual analysis and audit.
The state auditor shall perform an annual analysis and audit of the Legacy Trust Fund.
Entities eligible for project consideration and grants from Legacy Trust Fund.
The following entities are eligible for project consideration and grants from the Legacy Trust Fund:
(1) Department of Natural Resources;
(2) Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism;
(3) Department of Archives and History;
(4) South Carolina Institute of Anthropology and Archaeology;
(5) nonprofit eleemosynary organizations exempt under Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3); and
(6) local governments or political subdivisions including counties, municipalities, and special purpose districts.
Legacy Trust Fund not to hold title or interest in land; eligible organizations to hold title or interest in properties; requirements for receipt of funds.
(A) Eligible organizations shall acquire properties or projects and maintain title and other interest in acquired properties. The Legacy Trust Fund may not hold any interest or title in any parcel of land.
(B) To be eligible to be considered for funds from the Legacy Trust Fund, the recipient entity must:
(1) demonstrate the ability to complete the project and the ability to acquire and maintain the property after the project has been completed;
(2) acquire a full fee title in acquisition of land and property projects unless:
(a) the project results in an easement for a valid conservation and preservation or recreation purpose, in which case the partial title or easement shall be transferred to the recipient entity; or
(b) the project is part of a landowner incentive program for endangered species habitat conservation administered by the Department of Natural Resources;
(3) demonstrate the ability to pay costs associated with developing recreational and public use lands associated with funded projects;
(4) pay costs, if applicable, of renovation or restoration, or both or pay remaining costs of renovation or restoration through public and private funds or both, if funds are provided for renovations or restorations or both, of publicly or privately owned properties considered historic by the Department of Archives and History;
(5) maintain all records on funded projects including, but not limited to, inventory, surveys, costs, contracts, and other natural resources programs which may be eligible for grants from the Legacy Trust Fund; and
(6) maintain all funded properties and projects in good order.