UNDATED (AP) - Florida has reached a tentative deal with U.S.
Sugar to revise a proposed land buy meant to boost Everglades
restoration, significantly lowering the initial $1.75 billion cost.
The revised deal for a territory about the size of the city of Chicago would mean the state will not buy the company's high-tech sugar mill, railroad lines and citrus processing plant. However, the overall acreage involved in the deal wouldn't be significantly reduced.
Gov. Charlie Crist is scheduled to announce the potential deal on Tuesday.
Under the initial proposal, U.S Sugar was set to go out of business after six years once the deal was signed. Now it's unclear how long the land will remain in agriculture since the new proposal calls for farming to be phased out over time as restoration projects are designed. That could mean the company - which has about 1,700 employees - will remain in business longer.
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)