Official Statement on Florida Crystals' Objections to Bond Validation for U.S. Sugar Deal

       By: Florida Crystals
Posted: 2008-12-13 05:17:27
Since Governor Charlie Crist's announcement of the purchase of U.S. Sugar's land for Everglades restoration last June, Florida Crystals has sought to work with the South Florida Water Management District and the Governor's office to ensure the deal would achieve the Governor's environmental objectives, while at the same time being financially sound and protecting sustainable agriculture.

Unfortunately, the terms of the deal currently proposed by the District not only do not achieve the Governor's goal of creating a connection between the Lake and the Everglades, but are also detrimental to agricultural interests other than United States Sugar Corp. The current deal will jeopardize legitimate and planned projects to improve water quality and flow thereby delaying Everglades restoration for years, and it will put farmers in the EAA at a competitive disadvantage by allowing U.S. Sugar to lease back the land it sells at below market rates and with a right of first refusal.

As a result, Florida Crystals was forced today to file objections in the hearing relating to the validation of the certificates of participation proposed to be issued by the District to finance the purchase of U.S. Sugar property. The transaction is so substantially different from how it was originally proposed, we must take this action to protect our rights.

While we cannot support the transaction in its current form, Florida Crystals remains supportive of Governor Crist's bold proposal to acquire U.S. Sugar and Florida Crystals stands immediately ready to work with the Governor and the District to enhance the public purpose of this project and bring forward a proposal that is better for the State of Florida, the environment and the taxpayers of the District.
Trackback url: