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Manatee County federal legislative priorities include Ft. Hamer bridge, manatee protections

MANATEE COUNTY – Ahead of a planned trip to the Nation’s Capital this week, Manatee County leaders are releasing a list of their Federal Legislative Priorities.

In a short video, Manatee County Commissioners detailed several top-priority projects they’re hoping to see gain support from Florida’s Congressional delegation. While this important information is being distributed to lawmakers in Washington, it is also being shared with local media and residents.

"Soon, your County Commissioners will be heading up to Washington, D.C. to advocate for Federal support for projects that will improve your quality of life.” Said Commission Chair Kevin Van Ostenbridge – pointing to this unique opportunity to keep “the taxpayers of Manatee County informed and involved.”

In addition to the widening of Ft. Hamer Road -- and building a much-needed second span across the Manatee River -- the County Agenda also includes further funding of Veterans’ and Affordable Housing initiatives, infrastructure enhancements to promote public and pedestrian safety – and the “Manatee Protection Act,” which would officially upgrade the West Indian Manatee from the threatened to endangered under the Endangered Species Act.

Commissioners will also work with U.S. Congressman Buchanan to ask for appropriations to monitor fish habitat; build bike lanes, turn lanes and lights along the 15th Street East corridor and construct a pedestrian bridge at Lincoln Park.

“We feel the Board’s 2022 platform reflects the legislative priorities that will help us achieve our mission to ensure Manatee County continues to be a premiere place to live work and play,” said District Five Commissioner Vanessa Baugh.

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