TheLedger.com

BARTOW

A Polk County jury has awarded a Lakeland couple $1.7 million for property sought by the Southwest Florida Water Management District for the Lake Hancock lake level project.

The award Sept. 2 went to Titus and Angela Weflen, who had a five-acre horse farm on Saddle Creek Farm Road, said John M. LeRoux, the Clearwater lawyer who represented them.

LeRoux said this was the first case involving Swiftmud’s attempts to purchase land around the lake and along Saddle Creek to raise the level of Lake Hancock that has actually gone to trial.

Swiftmud officials had previously settled with 54 property owners for a total of $114.8 million. Additional cases are scheduled for trial later this year, LeRoux said.

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