Note: One can only be astounded by the way Mosaic phosphate company conducts its business in Hardee County. The following headline article was published in our local newspaper The Herald Advocate.
Background: In August of 2008 at the time the Hardee County Commission issued a Development Order for the South Fort Meade Mine Extension an additional separate “development agreement” was also approved – designed to provide economic mitigation for the adverse impacts that the mine would have on Hardee County. The two principals representing Mosaic and Hardee County respectively were Parker Keene and Bill Lambert. The agreement was for the mining company to pay about $4 million per year for 10 years to Hardee County’s Economic Development Authority – headed by Lambert. The funds were meant to be used to develop an alternative local economy in anticipation of the day when the phosphate resources of Hardee County would be exhausted and the county would be left with 125,000 of post-mined land, 30,000 acres of it in clay slimes, degraded ground water and an economy with no engine.
Less than a year after the mining of the South Fort Meade Extension is underway Parker Keene, now a hired consultant, is at Lambert’s door asking for the money back – to fund Mosaic’s high-risk golf fantasy resort isolated in the the middle of the Bone Valley mining district which will supposedly embrace everything from wellness retreats to skeet-shooting….
Mosaic Wants Hardee $$$ For Polk Project
Michael Kelly of The Herald – Advocate
June 16, 2011
The Mosaic Company informed the Hardee County Industrial Development Authority it well apply for grant money for the mega multi-million-dollar luxury resort the company is building in Polk County.
The local grant money, overseen and awarded by the IDA stems from the 10-year, $42 million economic mitigation agreement previously reached between Mosaic and the county over the 10,583-acre South Fort Meade Mine extension into Hardee County.
Parker Keene, who recently retired from Mosaic and is working as a hired consultant, made the presentation concerning the project named “Streamsong,” to the IDA board on Tuesday morning.
Keene said the upscale resort development which will be located off the Fort Green Road a few miled across the Polk County line, is in the middle of Mosaic’s 250,000 acres of land. It will feature 222 guest rooms, a spa, guided bass fishing sporting clays and two 18 hole championship-level golf courses.
The project would create over 200 full-time jobs, according to Keene.
Because the resort will be situated 60 minutes from the Tampa airport and 90 minutes from the Orlando airport Mosaic is hoping it will attract business conferences and retreats as well as leisure travelers and golf enthusiasts.
The land was mined from the mid-1960s until two years ago, Keene said.
Mosaic is currently reclaiming the land, and will do so for the specific purpose of its post-mine use, which Keene said has never been done before.
He went on to say the resort would be operated by a management company and that eventually Mosaic would sell the resort to another company, such as Marriot or another main-stream resort corporation.
The resort would open in October of 2013.
Mosaic will be funding the cost of building the resort, but Keene did not want to disclose the total amount needed for the project. He said Polk County has agreed to a $17.6 million bond the company wojuld pay back over 30 years. Keene said he will come back before the Hardee County IDA in the future to ask for local money. He did not say how much the company would be asking for.
IDA Executive Director Bill Lambert could not disclose the dollar amount of the Mosaic request, but said it was significant.
Mosaic’s annual reports show the company’s net earning for the past 3 years was $5.2 billion.