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Farmers Blasting Senate Reservior Proposal

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Opponents of a proposed 2.4 billion dollar reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee are gearing up for a confrontation with lawmakers.

A group called EAA Farmers, short for Everglades Agricultural Area, plans to deliver a sharply worded letter to members of the Senate Environmental Preservation and Conservation Committee when it meets Tuesday afternoon.

The group opposes a measure by Republican Senator Rob Bradley of Orange Park that gives water managers a December 2018 deadline to buy 60 thousand acres of farmland from “willing sellers.”

In the letter, EAA Farmers say they’re not willing sellers and the reservoir won’t solve toxic algae blooms. What’s more, they say the move would force a sugar mill and two vegetable packing houses to close, costing scores of jobs.

A Miami native, former WFSU reporter Jim Ash is an award-winning journalist with more than 20 years of experience, most of it in print. He has been a member of the Florida Capital Press Corps since 1992.