Gov. Charlie Crist announced the less expensive plan on Wednesday and the district approved it Thursday. The state now plans to pay $1.34 billion for land farmed by U.S. Sugar. That's less than the original price tag of $1.75 billion when it was announced in June.
The lower price comes because the state will not buy the company's mill, railroad or citrus processing plant. The company will keep them and continue production for now. The state plans to use most of the 181,000 acres to help the dying wetlands recover from years of pollution from farming and development.
The state will now move forward with negotiations.