Florida Crystals Opposing State Deal Involving Everglades

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) - The major competitor of U.S. Sugar
has filed a complaint alleging their $1.34 billion dollar deal with
the state does not advance Everglades restoration and unfairly
favors U.S. Sugar.

Florida Crystals filed a motion opposing the financing of the project that allows the state to purchase nearly 300 square miles of farmland. U.S. Sugar would be allowed to lease back the farmland at $50 per acre annually for seven years before turning it over to the state. The South Florida Water Management District must approve the contract.

Officials want the land to clean water and restore natural flow to the Everglades, long polluted by farming and development.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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