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Owners Get $ 42 Million For Florida Destroyed Citrus Trees | WGN Radio 720

File – On Wednesday, December 11, 2013, oranges ripen in an orchard in Plant City, Florida. Sixteen years after the court battle began, approximately 18,000 homeowners in central Florida will be paid more than $ 42 million for destruction by Florida’s agricultural institutions. Their citrus trees during state efforts to eradicate harmful citrus diseases. (AP Photo / Chris O’Meara, file)

Orlando, Florida (AP) — 16 years after the court battle began, about 18,000 homeowners in central Florida destroyed citrus trees to eradicate harmful citrus diseases, Florida. Receive payments totaling over $ 42 million from.

Orange County homeowners receive about $ 700 per healthy tree destroyed as part of an order issued in Orlando’s state court last month. In a 2014 court ruling, each healthy tree was valued at $ 344, but years of fees and interest doubled the per-tree payment.

More than 60,000 healthy, uninfected trees were destroyed in Orange County between 2002 and 2006 as part of the Florida Agricultural and Consumer Services Department’s efforts to eradicate citrus ulcers, according to the lawsuit. rice field.

Citrus ulcers do not harm the human body, but they can shed citrus leaves and fruits prematurely, creating unattractive lesions in the fruits. According to the USDA, lesions leak bacterial cells that can spread to other trees by wind, rain, or contaminated equipment.

The Florida Department of Agricultural and Consumer Services argued that homeowner trees are pollution and not worth compensating. Under this program, healthy trees within 1900 feet (580 meters) of the infected tree were destroyed to stop the spread of the disease.

As compensation, the 2000s state offered Florida homeowners a Wal-Mart gift card of $ 100 for the first destroyed tree and $ 55 for each additional tree. If the homeowner resisted, authorities threatened arrest or obtained a warrant to go to private land and destroy trees.

Last year, the Florida State Assembly approved payments to Orange County homeowners. A third-party administrator distributes the check to track homeowners whose addresses are no longer present.

Tens of thousands of homeowners in Broward, Lee, and Palm Beach counties have won class action proceedings against the state over destroyed trees, and compensation varies from county to county. The proceedings in Miami-Dade County are still pending.

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Follow Mike Schneider on Twitter at https://twitter.com/MikeSchneiderAP.



Owners Get $ 42 Million For Florida Destroyed Citrus Trees | WGN Radio 720

Source link Owners Get $ 42 Million For Florida Destroyed Citrus Trees | WGN Radio 720

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