BRADENTON, Fla. - The South Florida Water Management District's board of governors has agreed to pay $1.34 billion to U.S. Sugar Corp. for 180,000 acres of sugar cane fields and citrus groves in a purchase to be financed with certificates of participation.

Although there were concerns about looming state budget cuts, the status of the financial markets next year, and the economy of communities affected by the deal, the board voted 4 to 3 on Tuesday to approve the land acquisition contract to help restore the Florida Everglades.

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