PALM BEACH POST: State land used for sugarcane evades swap in reservoir deal

Palm Beach Post: Written by Kimberly Miller. November 8th, 2018.

Nearly 4,000 acres of state-owned land that could have been traded to expand a reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee was never considered for a swap after its management plan was revised allowing it to avoid an exchange.

The land in Belle Glade is leased to a non-profit prisoner work program that has grown sugarcane on the property in an agreement with Clewiston-based U.S. Sugar Corp. at least through 2016.

Senate Bill 10, which authorized the construction of a massive reservoir to hold excess lake water as a way to alleviate discharges to the northern estuaries, specifically mentions terminating leases to the Prison Rehabilitative Industries and Diversified Enterprises, or PRIDE, so the land could be offered as a swap for parcels closer to the reservoir.

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