#transparency – The cost to protect the water supply
#transparency – Download at the bottom of the page ALL the documents related to ten years of fighting to preserve the city’s water supply.
September 1, 2015
(West Palm Beach, FL) – What does it cost to fight to preserve the city’s water catchment area (WCA) and the source of the city’s drinking water? A new report prepared for the West Palm Beach City Commission breaks down and details the city’s 10 year battle to preserve the Grassy Waters Everglades Preserve from development.
Over the past ten years, three projects have threatened the city’s water catchment area. Efforts to extend Roebuck Road, Jog Road and State Road 7 have all been the subject of intense city opposition over the last ten years. All three, according to city officials, would have jeopardized not only the wildlife of the Grassy Waters Everglades Preserve, but would have risked contamination of drinking water for the City of West Palm Beach, the Town of Palm Beach, and the Town of South Palm Beach.
According to the report, the “City Commission has financially supported all the City’s efforts to protect the [Water Catchment Area] over the past ten years. During that period, the City has expended approximately $889,000 in legal fees and costs in its opposition to Roebuck Road, Jog Road and [State Road] 7 extensions.” That averages just under $90,000 per year over the ten year period.
As of today, no permits have every been issued for any of the three roadway projects. State funding for the State Road 7 extension is not in the current budget and pushed back at the state level.
The report was put together as a review for newer members of the City Commission. Now that the Florida Department of Transportation has filed a permit application with the South Florida Water Management District, it’s possible the fight to preserve the Water Catchment Area will, for the first time, lead to a legal battle at both the state and federal levels.
Over the past ten years, three attempts have been made to put a four-lane high speed roadway through the Water Catchment Area. The first was an extension of State Road 7 in 2005. That was followed by county-led efforts to extend Roebuck Road in 2008, and Jog Road in 2010.
Both Roebuck and Jog Roads were successfully defeated. The fight over State Road 7 remains ongoing. The new report includes over a dozen documents
Below are all the documents that detail the ten year effort.