Everglades deal with US Sugar puts Florida town in limbo

CLEWISTON, Fla. — Fearing a bitter future when United States Sugar Corp. leaves the town that sugar built, people here are rallying around their mayor's call for a role in negotiating the company's controversial exit.

''We should have a seat at the table to help out in the decision-making,'' Mayor Mali Chamness insisted in the face of news that U.S. Sugar would sell its holdings to Florida water managers and leave the business in six years as part of an ambitious Everglades restoration project.

Chamness' rallying call drew applause from the 300 farmers, business owners and residents who packed John Boy Auditorium this month for an emergency meeting about the area's future.

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