Martin County Settlement of Lake Point

The Martin County Commission voted 4-1 in November 2017 (Sarah Heard dissenting) to enter into the attached settlement agreement with Lake Point to end the pending lawsuit against the County.


The agreement requires Martin County to pay Lake Point $12 million for 400 acres of Lake Point property in western Martin County and to issue a public apology for "the harsh words and inappropriate deeds of certain commissioners that unnecessarily tarnished the reputation of Lake Point and denigrated the benefits of the Public Works Project."


The agreement requires the County to adopt a new Land Development Regulation that will allow Lake Point to build a concrete batch plant and an office building on its property.


The agreement requires the County to give Lake Point an easement over the land acquired by the County to allow Lake Point to transport water from Lake Okeechobee for sale for consumptive use.


It also revises the Interlocal Agreement between the County and SFWMD to match the SFWMD's agreement with Lake Point that extends the term of the agreements by 50 years and essentially allows Lake Point to do whatever it wants on the property during that period without any obligation by Lake Point to construct or maintain stormwater treatment areas or other infrastructure to allow the property to provide environmental benefits.


In commissioner discussion, Sarah Heard called the agreement a "betrayal" of citizens and taxpayers and refused to support it.


Ed Ciampi spent a very long time giving an inaccurate description of the history of the project and the litigation and made extremely critical comments about Commissioner Heard and other commissioners who he said caused this problem -- except, of course, Commissioners Smith and Jenkins and himself, who he said had no role in this matter whatsoever.  Ciampi also was critical of Maggy Hurchalla's role in engaging in "secret" communications with other commissioners about Lake Point.


Ciampi was indignant that Commissioner Heard called the agreement a political ploy, and he assured the public that there were no politics at all involved in his decision to "protect Martin County" by agreeing to spend millions in taxpayer dollars to settle the Lake Point lawsuit.


Copies of the agreement were handed out by Sarah Woods literally moments before the meeting convened, so we will need some more time to review and digest the agreement, but it appears to provide very little benefit to Martin County residents and taxpayers. 


Click here to read the Legal Department's settlement agreement