Budget woes clip Everglades land deal

Published: Wednesday, April 1, 2009 at 10:50 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, April 1, 2009 at 10:50 a.m.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. Florida Gov. Charlie Crist is cutting back his celebrated $1.34 billion deal to buy land from U.S. Sugar Corp. to help restore the Everglades.

Crist announced Wednesday that the tanking economy forced the state to scale back the purchase to less than half the acreage at less than half the cost.

Environmentalists praised Crist when he announced the deal in June. Since then, the deal has slowly unraveled.

The state had been working to secure financing for the 180,000 acres of land in the Everglades from the nation's largest producer of cane sugar. The deal apparently became too expensive amid budget shortfalls and crashing property taxes.

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