HISTORICAL MARKERS FOR THE FUTURE
HISTORICAL MARKERS FOR THE FUTURE
We own and manage Conservation and Environmental Resources lands in Hendry and Collier Counties and engage in leasing of land for cattle grazing, recreational hunting, and mining, as well as the management and conservation of unimproved native pasture land, Conservation and Environmental Resources totals approximately 72,000 gross acres. We occasionally lease the same acreage for more than one purpose.
Water Storage Contract Approval
In December 2012, the South Florida Water Management District (“SFWMD” or “District”) issued a solicitation request for projects to be considered for the Northern Everglades Payment for Environmental Services Program (“Program”). In March 2013, the Company submitted its response proposing a dispersed water management project on a portion of its ranch land. The dispersed water management project (“Water Project”) encompasses a large-scale water storage/nutrient reduction project over approximately half of the Company’s 71,000-acre ranch located in southern Hendry County. The Water Project has the ability to store/treat 92,000-acre feet of water, making it one of the largest private storage projects proposed to date and the largest within the Caloosahatchee River watershed. The Water Project was approved by the South Florida Water Management District in late 2014, and the Company’s engineering and environmental consultants immediately began working on a detailed design.
As a result of the uniqueness of the project site, which consists of over 11,000 acres of wetlands and contains several cultural resource sites, considerable effort has been undertaken over the past 2.5 years in securing necessary regulatory approvals for the project from both the State of Florida and the federal government. In addition, the largeness of the project requires close coordination with adjacent landowners, as well as the water control districts that serve those landowner/properties. On September 29, 2015, the SFWMD amended the contract to extend it for an additional year. The contract term is eleven years and allows up to one year for implementation (design, permitting, construction and construction completion certification) and ten years of operation, whereby the Company will provide water retention services. Payment for these services includes an amount not to exceed $4,000,000 of reimbursement for implementation. In addition, it provides for an annual fixed payment of $12,000,000 for operations and maintenance costs, as long as the project is in compliance with the contract and subject to annual District Board approval of funding. The contract specifies that the District Board has to approve the payments annually and there can be no assurance that it will approve the annual fixed payments. The Florida budget for the state’s 2017/2018 fiscal year as approved included funding for the Program. Permitting is currently underway with construction to follow immediately upon receipt of permits. Annual fixed payments will not commence until completion of construction.
In the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2013, Alico was granted an easement by the United States Department of Agriculture (“USDA”), through its administering agency, The Natural Resources Conservation Service, on approximately 11,600 acres of Ranch and Conservation land located in Hendry County, Florida.