Conservation Leaders Unite Against Materio’s Support of Project
West Palm Beach, FL -- (SBWIRE) -- 01/30/2018 -- Environmental and conservation leaders from the West Palm Beach community were stunned to hear of City Commissioner Shanon Materio's vote in support of a controversial road development that would extend State Road 7, threatening the water quality for West Palm Beach, Palm Beach and South Palm Beach residents. Materio was the only sitting member of the West Palm Beach City Commission to cast a vote in support of the project. The extension and expansion of State Road 7 is expected to cost nearly $80 million. Materio's vote in support of the taxpayer-funded project would increase traffic along an environmentally sensitive area and could lead to more road congestion and growth.
The extension of the road would impact more than 219 acres of conservation land that is considered part of the Florida Everglades and serves as the primary source of drinking water for more than 130,000 residents. Additionally, the land serves as a habitat for wildlife, such as bald eagles, roseate spoonbills, alligators and other species.
Materio, acting as a member of the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), voted yes in support of the road extension in direct opposition to a West Palm Beach resolution opposing the road. Following her vote in support of State Road 7, Materio was removed from the MPO for opposing West Palm Beach.
The City of West Palm Beach has recently received a favorable ruling in the fight to oppose the expansion of State Road 7. In a statement on January 18, 2018, the City stated, "The City of West Palm Beach has achieved a favorable legal outcome in its effort to protect the environmental quality of Grassy Waters Preserve, a 23-square mile remnant of the Everglades."