NAPLES — At the May 11 meeting of the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) governing board, Glades County Commissioner asked SFWMD to keep the promises made by previous boards.
“In 2007 the Glades County Commissioners were approached by water management with a plan to purchase I think 1,700 acres, with 1,000 feet on State Road 80 and also riverfront property on the north end,” Long told the governing board.
“I don’t think you could find 1,700 acres in any other county that could be so cheaply obtained. We are not developing quickly. We are only like 15,000 population with voters of 7,100. So being an elected official there is no big deal. But this particular issue is a very big deal for us.
“We were told the county would have the opportunity to maintain the direction of the 1,000 feet on SR 80, about 250 acres, for future development,” she continued.
Since 2007 many SFWMD representatives have appeared before the Glades County Commission and “assured us they were going to do that.
“However, we don’t have good communication between our board and your board,” she said.
“If the board gave its word in 2007 with the promise that we would have this property, and now we’ve been told the plans are final. They’ve totally changed. Glades County will not have any control or direction on what happens,” Long continued. “That’s not fair. That’s not keeping your word.
“We know that things happen, plans change, needs change, water issues change, so you have adapted to do that,” she said.
“We do have another parcel in Glades County we would like for the board to consider instead,” Long said.
“We need direction in how to approach you for that. We don’t have good representation to Glades County from water management in that we have to request a visit from somebody.
“I know we’re small, but we’re a big part. There’s Nicodemus Slough, Lake Hicpochee and other water management areas that help clean the water for the rest of the state.
“The agriculture industry has done their share in preventing pollution. They don’t want to waste fertilizer either. It costs money.
“I would like your staff to reach out to me, not just our chairman, but to come to our meetings. Tell us why we can’t get what was promised, and how we can get another change.” She said.