WEST PALM BEACH, Florida — The board of the South Florida Water Management District just passed a deal to buy around 300 square acres of land from U.S. Sugar. They voted four to three in favor of the purchase, with one abstaining.
But the deal is far from finished. The district’s bid of $1.34 billion may be one among many, as a requisite 60-day auction period begins. Other bidders, such as the Lawrence Group and possibly Florida Crystals, might win interest with shareholders.
Even board members who support the deal as a way to restore portions of the Everglades worry about financing. They have written in an “escape hatch” that stipulates the deal must not negatively impact the district’s basic operations.
Residents of the affected areas also wonder how their lives could be changed because of the deal. Despite concerns, Florida’s Governor Crist told the New York Times that “this land acquisition is the most important step in the history of true Everglades restoration.”
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Source: The New York Times