Final arguments will be held today in the South Florida Water Management District’s quest to validate certificates of participation to purchase the land to help restore the Florida Everglades.

Unlike most validations, which go unnoticed, the district’s has been challenged by five opponents.

The district is seeking to validate up to $2.2 billion of COPs. A first debt sale would go toward purchasing 72,500 acres owned by U.S. Sugar Corp. for $536 million. The initial sale also will provide the district with an option to purchase another 107,500 acres within 10 years.

When the purchase was first announced, the district planned to buy 180,000 acres for $1.34 billion, but it was downsized because of the economy and plummeting property values.

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