Wednesday, August 27, 2008

From Tom Warnke: Closed-door session in Palm Beach reveals 500K cash offer, Press Conference set for noon on Wed.

Here is an update from the Town of Palm Beach closed-door Town Council meeting held tonight. The meeting was to consider a possible settlement in the ongoing legal case challenging the proposed Reach 8 dredge and fill project.

As a result of revelations during tonight's meeting, and to further detail the proposed settlement, petitioners in the case have called a news conference for 12:10 P.M. Wednesday, August 27th, in front of the Town of Palm Beach Town Hall. Attorneys for the Surfrider Foundation, the Snook Foundation, and three other individual plaintiffs called the press conference. The City of Lake Worth and the Eastern Surfing Association have joined the legal action as intervenors opposed to the proposed dredge and fill project.

Although the Palm Beach Town Council voted not to accept a proposal from the petitioners, it was revealed that private attorney's hired by the Town recently offered $500,000.00 to the plaintiffs if they would drop the legal challenge. Although the offer was refused, it was unknown to the Town Council until tonight's meeting, and caused considerable consternation among council members. Additional details about the actual offer put forward by the plaintiffs will be announced during the news conference, as well as recent efforts and proposals by the plaintiffs to preserve Palm Beach's native sand beaches.

At 9:00 A.M. on Wednesday all parties to the case will continue with the third day of the expected three-week Florida DEP hearing on the case, being held at the emergency operations center on the third floor of the Town of Palm Beach Fire Department. The hearing is open to the public.