Longtime Hendry County Commissioner Janet Taylor published a scathing condemnation Wednesday of incoming Senate President Joe Negron’s plan to buy up farmland south of Lake Okeechobee.
In a blog entry for the Huffington Post, Taylor said the proposed $2.4 billion land purchase was “a plan designed to benefit the wealthy at the expense of another proud African-American community.”
Negron’s plan involves buying up about 60,000 acres of land south of the lake to store and treat water that later will be pumped into the Everglades and not the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee rivers.
The $2.4 billion price tag would be split between the state and federal governments, and Negron has proposed the state issue bonds to cover its share of the cost.
Environmental groups including Audubon have come out in support of the project, which they say will reduce toxic discharges from Lake Okeechobee which have wreaked havoc on Treasure Coast waterways.
Taylor, a Clewiston Democrat, said the “radical environmental activists” supporting the plan “aren’t interested in following the science, which shows that 95 percent of the water and the nutrients come from the north of Lake Okeechobee, not the south.”
“In their pursuit of our land, they have called for the destruction of the agriculture industry, the flooding of our fields, and even the unthinkable by suggesting on social media that a Herbert Hoover Dike failure might be the best thing,” she said.
Taylor also blasted Negron for developing the plan with environmental special interests, even though he “never stepped foot on the land where he wants to store his dirty water.”