Despite Rulings, Fla Canker Payments in Limbo

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — People in two Florida counties whose citrus trees were chopped down by the state in the citrus canker eradication program are still waiting for court-ordered compensation.

Rulings in Broward and Palm Beach counties could cost the state more than $30 million. But state agriculture officials are refusing to pay, contending the Legislature first must approve the money. They’re also appealing the rulings.

The tree owner attorney says he may return to court in a bid to force the state to pay. Ultimately the issue may be settled by the state Supreme Court.

The state destroyed more than 16 million citrus trees in the decade-long battle against canker. That included more than 860,000 residential trees. The state made some payments but homeowners say it wasn’t enough for mature healthy trees.

Source: Curt Anderson, Associated Press