Meeting attendees urge caution on U.S. Sugar deal

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At the first of three meetings planned before a Dec. 16
vote, farmers, community leaders and environmentalists urged the South
Florida Water Management District, charged with approving the state’s proposed $1.34 billion deal
for U.S. Sugar land, not to rush into a deal. Farmers argued that the lease
terms would make U.S. Sugar even more competitive and hurt smaller growers.
Environmentalists said the deal could keep some of the land off-limits for
restoration. Residents said the state needs to make a plan to preserve or
replace jobs lost through the deal.