NewsRegion C Palm Beach CountyWest Palm Beach


Debate over more land once again a focus for reservoir project

Posted at 9:05 PM, Dec 21, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-21 21:06:16-05

Plans for a reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee now have two communities having a similar debate.

One side is worried about their land, the other is concerned about the effectiveness of the project.

The argument came to a head today at a South Florida Water Management District meeting in West Palm Beach today.

"Deja vu all over again," said J.P. Sasser of Pahokee.

Glades community members wore matching shirts at the meeting to make their voices heard.

"The ink was barely dry before we heard conversations to take additional land," said Tammy-Jackson Moore with Guardians of the Glades.

Their frustration was aimed at environmental groups who are pushing district leaders to use more land for their reservoir.

Senate President Joe Negron has already voiced his concerns about this as well.

However district leaders say the current models will have just as much impact in reducing discharges by nearly 60 percent.

"Will fulfill what the legislature will require," said Randy Smith with the South Florida Water Management District.

Irene Gomes, owner of the Driftwood Motel in Jensen Beach, says she will continue to push for more footprint.

"Plans are for a smaller footprint and we need more land," said Gomes.

The district must submit their plans to the State Legislature on January 9.