The fight is over…longtime southern Golden Gate Estates holdout - Jesse Hardy – has agreed to sell his 160-acres to the State for nearly $5 million. The state’s been acquiring land AROUND HIM for the past two decades… in what’s now called the Picayune Strand Hydrologic Restoration Project. Negotiations have gone on for the past 2 years… Hardy turned down several offers of cash & land exchanges. He finally agreed to use a mediator… and the parties reached a deal Tuesday night. Ernie Barnett—with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection—says Hardy’s property is a key component of Everglades restoration…
“Without this property we were in jeopardy of not being able to actually do the hydrologic restoration on the property because we would be compromising flood protection to the north. With all this property in public ownership now we have a design that actually does the restoration and provides flood protection for north of I-75.”
Barnett says the more than 12-hour negotiations had a great spirit of cooperation. Hardy, a former Navy SEAL, has until November 30th to find another place to move from the land.
The restoration will fill canals and remove roads…re-establishing a more natural flow of water.
Thursday, 14 April 2005 01:00