The Real Deal Miami

Judge declines to strike down Everglades deal

August 24, 2010 04:00PM

Everglades

The Miccosukee Tribe’s plea for a federal judge to strike down Gov. Charlie Crist’s $197 million deal for 26,800 acres of U.S. Sugar-owned land in the Everglades has been denied. The Miccosukees had said that the South Florida Water Management District would be using money to pay for the land that is needed for an already-stalled Everglades restoration project in western Palm Beach County. In a ruling released yesterday, U.S. District Judge Federico Moreno said that the district, which he ordered in March to restart that project, would be able to pay for both the restoration project and the U.S. Sugar deal and that “enjoining a vote on the expenditure of funds may be beyond the court’s power.” The latest, slimmed-down version of the deal was approved earlier this month and is expected to close Oct. 11. The Florida Supreme Court is still expected to render an opinion. [Miami Herald]