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Happy Anniversary, Charlie Crist: Thanks a Bunch for U.S. Sugar Deal

Congrats, Charlie, it's your anniversary.

Yes, it's been one year exactly since Florida completed its $197 million land deal with U.S. Sugar Corp., when Gov. Charlie Crist bought Floridians what amounts to a draft pick to be named later.

Let's see. You got 26,800 acres of farmland that are what? Citrus groves and sugar cane? And it's pretty much the wrong land to create a flowway and move Everglades restoration forward? An awful lot of people tried to tell you and the South Florida Water Management District Board that you wouldn't have enough money left after the purchase.

Sounds like you've got to make a trade for something better.

Well, Charlie, look at it this way. You don't have to worry your white head over it anymore. Rick Scott, the new governor, proposes swapping much of that land for private property in order to build new reservoirs closer to existing stormwater treatment areas. That's the draft pick to be named later. It could include trading much of the Palm Beach County portion of the former U.S. Sugar Corp. land.

While state officials continue to scratch their heads over how to use the 26,800 acres, U.S. Sugar keeps farming it. What a deal for the Everglades, tan man. Thanks.

The deal allows U.S. Sugar Corp. to keep using the citrus land rent free until the district is ready to take it over.

Meanwhile, the district is trying hard to find a paying tenant.

Great legacy, Charlie.

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