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Manatee seeks money to relieve Rubonia flooding

Area is often under water after heavy rains

MANATEE COUNTY — State legislators this week are hearing in-person appeals from Manatee County commissioners for funding and other support, with a $2.8 million request to relieve flooding in the low-income neighborhood of Rubonia being a high priority.

Platted in 1913, the subdivision north of Palmetto and south of Interstate 275, just 2 feet above sea level in some areas close to McMullen Creek and Terra Ceia Bay, frequently is under water after heavy rains that swell its ditches and make its roads impassable.

Commissioners regard their chances of securing state dollars to construct curbs, gutters and storm drain piping in Rubonia as slim — but they intend to try.

"We know money is not grown on trees in Tallahassee," Commission Chairwoman Betsy Benac said as the board reviewed the request last week. "It's going to be a tough, tough, tough sell."

Even so, commissioners want to at least attempt to get a grant before considering another option their staff is exploring.