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Longboat Key requests funding help from Manatee for sewer line project

The request came during Wednesday's meeting with the Longboat Key Town Commission and the Manatee County Commission.

Longboat Key Town Manager Tom Harmer recalls what his predecessor Dave Bullock told him when the former county administrator agreed to work for Longboat Key in 2017.

“(Bullock said), ‘The one thing I lose sleep over at night is this wastewater line that goes across the bay,'” Harmer said.

Harmer said he, too, has had nightmares about the town’s wastewater pipeline, which was built in 1973 and broke in 2020, spilling millions of gallons of raw sewage on the Manatee County side about a football field away from the bayshore.

“The fact that we have one, single line that is almost 50 years old, that transports all of our waste to the mainland 24/7, is something you lose sleep over if you’re a manager,” Harmer said.

In response to the June 2020 break and spill, the town is satisfying a state consent order and moving forward with plans to build a parallel pipeline, and the town has asked Manatee County officials to help pay for it.