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US Sugar Board approves land deal

 

The deal for the state to purchase U.S. Sugar Corp. land to restore a more natural flow of water south to the Everglades has taken another step forward, as you can see from the news contained in the below article. We will keep the news coming your way. Thank you for your continued interest and support.


U.S. Sugar Board Approves Two-Step Land Acquisition


Amended Terms of Purchase Protect Rural Jobs
and Environment
 

CLEWISTON, Fla., May 8, PRNewswire ? The Board of Directors of the U.S. Sugar Corporation today approved the amended contract terms for the South Florida Water Management District's acquisition of the company's land in two affordable phases that enable the company to continue its operations.

"Our board approved the revised acquisition approach implementing Governor Crist's bold vision for our property. While the vision and goal remain unchanged, the economy dictated this more affordable approach," said Robert Coker, senior vice president, public affairs.

"We believe this historic acquisition will still provide great benefits for the environment and a fair value for our company," Coker said. "Our board approval brings us one step closer to getting this done. The next step is the review and approval of the amended contract by the governing board of the South Florida Management District next week."

Under the amended terms, the South Florida Water Management District initially would acquire nearly 73,000 acres of U.S. Sugar Corp.’s land for approximately $536 million with a 10-year option to acquire the remaining 107,000 acres. U.S. Sugar would continue to farm the property through a seven-year lease that may be extended under certain circumstances. The water management district is in the bond validation process in Florida Circuit Court. The acquisition is scheduled to close within 90 days of bond validation.

"This two-step approach provides a greater degree of certainty for our businesses, for our employees and also for our communities by keeping our farming and processing operations viable for the foreseeable future," said Coker.

Coker added that under the amended agreement, U.S. Sugar will lease back the cane land for $150 per gross acre for the initial seven-year period. The water management district can take nearly 33,000 acres of citrus land with one year's notice. The district also may take up to 10,000 acres of cane land at any time in the first 10 years with a two-year notice for approved and funded projects. Up to 3,000 acres of transition lands within or adjacent to local municipalities will be made available for development or community projects.

"Now it is up to the governing board to approve the contract and move forward to implement Governor Crist's vision. We are optimistic that they will," Coker said. 

 

PURRE Water Coalition

New Address:

2340 Periwinkle Way, J-2

Sanibel, FL 33957

239.472.2703 ... FAX 239.472.2365

info@purre.org ... www.purre.org

 

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"We must build a peace in South Florida - a peace between the people and their place, between the natural environment and man-made settlement, between the works of man and the life of mankind itself. "
~ Florida Gov. Reubin Askew ~