Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Crist expected to announce revised deal for U.S. Sugar land

TALLAHASSEE — After weeks of negotiations, Gov. Charlie Crist is expected to announce a smaller, cheaper Big Sugar land deal today.

With his blockbuster bid to buy out U.S. Sugar Corp. crumbling along with the economy, the governor said Tuesday that he was ready to take a third swing at a scaled-back deal of about 75,000 acres.

"My goal is to hit the sweet spot, no pun intended, and really target in on the acreage that's important to able to be successful … connecting the lake to the Everglades," the governor told reporters.

Crist provided no other specifics and his office declined to answer questions or confirm that a new agreement had been struck. U.S. Sugar executives did not return calls.

The South Florida Water Management District, in line to buy the land, declined to comment.

"You'll have to wait for an announcement," said Crist spokesman Sterling Ivey.

Crist is expected to unveil a new, dramatically downsized deal Wednesday morning, though last-minute negotiations could push things back.

The new proposal is expected to be close to what the Times/Herald reported previously: About $500 million for 75,000 acres, trimmed from $1.34 billion for the company's entire 180,000-acre empire of citrus groves and sugar fields.

Plans call for eventually converting the land into reservoirs and pollution treatment marshes to help the Everglades and Lake Okeechobee for decades.

The governor has already tweaked the deal once since announcing it last June, reducing the original $1.75 billion bid for the entire company to a cheaper land-only deal. But that effort also has been undermined by budget shortfalls, rising unemployment and plummeting property values and tax revenues.

Crist expected to announce revised deal for U.S. Sugar land 03/31/09 [Last modified: Saturday, April 4, 2009 11:30am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Police take boy out of home where sister was shot

    News

    TAMPA — Lizette Hernandez watched a Tampa police officer remove her 19-month-old son from her in-laws' house, the same home where earlier this month her 4-year-old daughter was shot to death.

    Nelly Zoller snuggles with her grandfather's dog, Venus. Her father says she went looking for candy in her grandmother's purse and found a gun instead. [Facebook]
  2. Rick Scott announces support for new legislation, $50 million to fight opioid crisis

    State Roundup

    Gov. Rick Scott announced Tuesday that he is calling for a series of new proposals to fight the opioid epidemic in Florida, including $50 million in new funding.

    Gov. Rick Scott announced on Sept. 26, 2017, that he is calling for a series of new proposals to fight the opioid epidemic in Florida, including $50 million in new funding. [Associated Press file photo]
  3. Republicans to unveil broad tax cuts Wednesday, put off tough decisions

    Business

    President Donald Trump and top Republicans will promise a package of sweeping tax cuts for companies and individuals, the Washington Post reports, but the GOP leaders will stop short of labeling many of the tax breaks they hope to strip away, putting off controversial decisions that threaten to sink the party's tax …

    President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference with Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy in the Rose Garden of the White House, Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2017, in Washington. [Alex Brandon | Associated Press]
  4. Double your fun: Twitter's testing a 280-character limit for tweets

    News

    Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey last year made a definitive announcement about the company's famous 140-character count amid rumors that the firm would substantially relax the limit. "It's staying," Dorsey told the "Today" show's Matt Lauer. "It's a good constraint for us."

    In this 2013, file photo, the Twitter logo appears on an updated phone post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. [AP photo]
  5. Dead woman with sun tattoo found near elementary school

    News

    TAMPA --- She had a tattoo of a sun on her abdomen, with the words "The World is Mine."