City moves to put its money where its mouth is to preserve Grassy Waters
The more the state and Palm Beach County try to run State Road 7 through Grassy Waters Everglades Preserve, the more it will cost the city to fight it.
Since 2005 when West Palm Beach Mayor Lois Frankel started the battle to save Grassy Waters and the city's drinking water supply from the dangers of expanding roads, the city has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to protect it.
Next week, the city will vote to allocate another $500,000 to continue the battle. The money will not affect funding for any city departments or programs and it will not create any additional costs to taxpayers. The money is being moved from an existing reserve account.
Last month the City of West Palm Beach filed a petition to fight a permit issued by the South Florida Water Management District to allow the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) to build State Road 7 through Grassy Waters Everglades Preserve.
"We will fight as long and as hard as we need to in order to protect our drinking water and our environment, regardless of the cost," said West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio at the time the petition was filed. "How do you put a price on safe drinking water?"
Several agencies have voiced opposition to the State Road 7 project. Three Federal Government agencies have expressed concerns over the road. They include the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Commission and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The first hearing on the permit is expected to be held sometime over the summer.