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Manatee County targets nearly $1 billion for infrastructure

MANATEE COUNTY — A long-awaited public swimming pool in the Palmetto area, the continuing expansion of 44th Avenue East for a new east-west thoroughfare and additional trails and kayak amenities at Robinson Preserve are among $961.8 million worth of projects Manatee County intends to get accomplished in the next five years.

On Thursday, the County Commission reviewed a capital improvements plan that begins Oct. 1, the start of the 2016-2017 fiscal year and continues through 2021.

“It’s a never-ending cycle,” Jan Brewer, the county’s financial management director, said — noting that some unspent dollars and incomplete projects in the current budget will roll over and are included in the $961.8 million.

She also announced that the county is working on a new interactive site to be added to the county’s website that will enable the public to see the entire plan on an interactive map. Users will be able to zoom in and click on specific locations and project details. Everything planned for a neighborhood -- sidewalks, turn lanes, water pipelines, new parks -- will be on view.

The web version will provide “a much higher level view” than the paper version, which consists of more than 400 pages of project-by-project specifics.