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Public invited to community meetings on half-cent for local roads, public safety & parks

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MANATEE COUNTY – Manatee County will host a series of educational meetings in October aimed at raising the public’s awareness of this fall’s half-cent sales tax for infrastructure. Voters will consider the County’s half-cent for roads, public safety equipment and parks during the Nov. 8 General Election.

There will be seven meetings throughout the County: one in each County Commission district, plus two meetings for Manatee’s at-large commissioners. At each meeting, a County Commissioner will deliver opening remarks, followed by a 20-minute presentation on the proposed tax by County spokesman Nick Azzara. After the presentation, people will have a chance to ask questions of County staff knowledgeable about the tax and its proposed projects.

“These community meetings are really geared at voters who want to make an informed decision on the half-cent for infrastructure question on the ballot,” Azzara said. “We’ll go through the basics of what the tax is, why it’s on the ballot and talk about some of the projects will be funded in each district if voters approve the half-cent in November.”

A list of the projects the County is proposing with the half-cent can be found at

Each meeting will begin at 6 p.m. at the following dates and locations:

  • Commissioner Vanessa Baugh’s meeting will be held Tuesday, Oct. 4 at Lakewood Ranch Townhall, 8175 Lakewood Ranch Blvd.
  • Commissioner John Chappie’s meeting will be held Wednesday, Oct. 5 at Manatee Utilities building, 4410 66th St. West, Bradenton.
  • Commissioner Charles Smith’s meeting will be held Thursday, Oct. 6 at Palmetto Library, 923 6th Street West, Palmetto.
  • Commissioner Carol Whitmore’s meeting will be held Tuesday, Oct. 11 at the Bradenton Area Convention Center, 1 Haben Blvd., Palmetto.
  • Commissioner Robin DiSabatino’s meeting will be held Wednesday, Oct. 12 at South Manatee Branch Library, 6081 26th St. W., Bradenton.
  • Commissioner Betsy Benac’s meeting will be Wednesday, Oct. 19 at Braden River Library, 4915 53rd Ave E, Bradenton.
  • Commissioner Larry Bustle’s meeting will be held Thursday, Oct. 20 at the Rocky Bluff Library at 6750 U.S. Highway 301 N., Ellenton.

For more information on Manatee County Government, visit online at or call (941) 748-4501. You can also follow us on Facebook at and on Twitter, @ManateeGov.