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Water-Related News

As final choice nears, plan to ensure Central Florida water still sparking disagreement

Estimates that are overinflated could cost Floridians up to $2.8 billion too much for the Central Florida Water Initiative, argued George Robbins, former president of a Jacksonville fragrance company, SCM Glidco Organics, that is now known as Renessenz.

“Using the current forecast would deceive those involved and cause taxpayers to pay for activities not needed,” Robbins told a panel overseeing the initiative in an email last week. “You have a moral, ethical, and fiduciary responsibility to provide the most accurate information you have.”

The projections have been challenged before from outside government, but having the argument come from a district board member complicates the case for the initiative, which the water management board is slated to vote on Tuesday.

“District staff is aware of Mr. Robbins’ concerns and is prepared to address his concerns during the discussion of this item,” district spokeswoman Teresa Monson said by email Wednesday.

The Central Florida initiative was drafted after years of work between three water management districts — St. Johns, South Florida and Southwest Florida — that each control part of the area the initiative involves.

It’s designed to make sure water is available for communities around Orlando to continue to grow over the next 20 years.