Town of Palm Beach Snubs “Reach 8” Olive Branch
PALM BEACH August 27th- Rumors that the Surfrider Foundation, Snook Foundation and three individuals challenging the Reach 8 dredge-and-fill project had “initiated” the settlement are untrue. Surfrider et al. had simply returned to the table Friday afternoon with a written compromise, similar to those offered at various intervals in this fight, after the Town attorneys’ last-ditch request for a settlement option. A press conference will be held today to discuss the case and the proposed settlement terms.
12:10pm, Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Palm Beach Town Hall Steps, 360 South County Road, Palm Beach, FL
In the interest of keeping engineers and lawyers from fleecing Palm Beach taxpayers of upwards $20 million, the Town still refused the settlement offer. Surfrider et al. have rock-solid evidence proving that the project designed by Coastal Planning& Engineering (CPE) is fatally flawed. “The only possible result of this project is the destruction of the beach/reef ecosystems, displacement of surfing/fishing/diving communities, and a colossal waste of Town and State tax dollars” said plaintiff Captain Danny Barrow.
The Chapter had also offered the Town possibly the best collection of coastal science minds in the Country, to explore the most sustainable and cost-effective ways to manage and balance the Town’s coastal resources.
The administrative court process is not the only or last place the project is likely to be challenged. “The federal (Army Corps) permit still has not been issued, and the petitioners will challenge its issuance if necessary” said Petitioners’ attorney Jane West. Win, lose or draw, these decisions will likely face appeals by either losing both party. This is a process that could have been avoided by the Town. However, now the end is nowhere in sight.
The trial will carry on at the Town of Palm Beach, Emergency Operations Center, 355 South County Road, Palm Beach, Florida. The trial will continue through 29, September 2 through 6, and Sept 8 to 12, 2008.