MOORE HAVEN, FLORIDA -- In reply to St. Lucie Commissioner Grande's letter to her, Glades Commissioner Donna Storter Long replied today:
Dear Commissioner Grande,
Thank you for the information.
When the power park proposal was publicly made, my first reaction was ambivalent-financial aspect of course the heavy positive, but COAL? My prior knowledge of this fossil fuel resource was limited, and other than its plentiful availability, my perception was completely negative. I am trying to keep an open mind and learn as much as I can.
I have seen the FP&L presentation multiple times and their "show" IS quite convincing, especially in light of the proposed economic advantage to Glades County. However, the initial approach and negotiations were privately held for months before the Glades County Commission resolved to support the power park, and prior to my election to the Board in November. Therefore, I do NOT have all nor the same the information that persuaded my esteemed colleagues to vow their support. None (of our Board members) has experience or education in the power-producing field, but I do believe that all sincerely care about all aspects of Glades County's future, especially economically and environmentally.
And too, the property owner of the proposed site, Lykes Bros., with extensive land holdings in Glades and Highlands counties with plans for development, seems to me to be in the most vulnerable position to suffer any detriment from coal powered industry, yet are willing to sell property for this venture.
As part of the permitting process, our Deputy County Manager Larry Hilton has a meeting of experts scheduled for February 20, 6-9 pm at Doyle Conner Building in Moore Haven, with opportunity for the public to submit questions in writing for the panel's discussion. I expect this forum to provide an opportunity to address all issues, and allay concerns of those who felt excluded from the process when the initial proposal was not publicized before the Commission's announcement of support.
Thank you again. In addition, I apologize that Glades County Commission chose by 4-1 vote (my dissention) to ignore St. Lucie County Commissioner Craft's letter of appeal concerning the FPL Plant, especially in light of the regional, even global, impact a coal-powered industry will have.