Log in Subscribe

BOCC Receives Work Session Presentations on Comp Plan and Healthcare


BRADENTON—On Tuesday, Manatee County Commissioners convened for a two-part work session addressing two topics. The morning portion of the meeting was dedicated to an update presentation on the ongoing comprehensive plan rewrite, while the afternoon session included a presentation on the county's funding support for medical providers to low-income and uninsured individuals.

Held as a work session meeting, commissioners took no action on Tuesday for either item. Instead, commissioners received presentations provided by a contracted consultant and staff members and utilized the opportunity to ask questions and participate in general discussions on the topics.

Comp Plan Update

In May 2023, the county contracted the services of Engineering Planning and Design Consultants Kimley-Horn to lead its Comprehensive Plan rewrite initiative. County staff worked in concert with Kimley-Horn on the project, which officially kicked off in July 2023.

The county’s comprehensive plan is a long-term planning document that defines the community's future vision and establishes the associated goals, objectives, and policies that should guide decision-making toward achieving that vision. It outlines a defined plan for how the county will be developed in the future and lays the foundation for the county’s land development code.

A comp plan touches on almost every facet of a community’s quality of life, addressing land use and transportation, the environment and resources, parks and public services, and even historical preservation. Manatee County Government must maintain a Comprehensive Plan per Florida Statute 163.3167(2).

In August 2023, Kimley-Horn, with representatives of Manatee County’s Development Services, Public Works, and Utilities Departments, hosted a series of public outreach meetings seeking the public’s feedback on the Comp Plan’s update and to hear from the community what they envision for the future of Manatee County. 

These public workshop sessions were followed by a presentation update by Kimley-Horm before the board last September. Tuesday was the first public update on the progress of the Comp Plan rewrite since September.

Tuesday’s work session meeting was set to inform commissioners of the status of the Comprehensive Plan Update and explore recommendations regarding Future Land Use and Transportation Elements.

Kelley Klepper, Vice President and Senior Planner of Kimley-Horn led the update presentation on Tuesday. Manatee County’s newest Comprehensive Plan Division Manager/Impact Fee Coordinator, Rachel Layton, who was hired to the department in January of this year, also participated in the presentation.

Besides providing the update, Kelley told commissioners he was also interested in hearing commissioner feedback.

“We’ve been at this for about a year,” Kelley said Tuesday, “there’s been some change over with new staff coming in and old staff retiring. We’ve been working through that process.”

The presentation touched on each element of the Comprehensive Plan, the scope of the rewrite/update of the Comp Plan, information gathered from the public during workshops, and key findings concerning land use, conservation, and transportation.

To date, Kimley-Horn says that in partnership with county staff, they have conducted data collection and analysis, hosted community outreach meetings (with more anticipated this summer), prepared a matrix for each element within the Comprehensive Plan to evaluate existing policies and proposed adjustments, and have completed a review of existing goals, objectives, and policies within the current Comprehensive Plan and have drafted updates for each element.

Commissioner feedback and questions for presenters included topics such as zoning, density bonuses, procedural efficiencies, and future land development and maps.

Community-Based Health Care Model

The afternoon portion of Tuesday’s work session meeting was dedicated to a presentation and board discussion on the county’s funding for indigent healthcare services through various non-profit agreements, indigent care agreements, Low-Income Pool (LIP) funding, and the Manatee County Indigent Health Care Program.

These initiatives are designed to meet the healthcare needs of area residents who are uninsured and low-income and are facilitated through collaborative partnerships with hospitals, federally qualified health centers (FQHCs), and community providers.

Tuesday’s presentation was provided by Health Information Services Manager Geoff Cordes and Manatee County Public Safety Deputy Director James Crutchfield. 

The presenters led a comprehensive review of current funding mechanisms and partnerships and provided recommendations for how the county can best continue to provide healthcare services to uninsured residents.

The discussion focused on strategies to help steer (or divert) low-income or uninsured residents to more practical and financially sustainable healthcare services and providers rather than relying on hospital emergency rooms or other hospital-based services.

Some possible solutions discussed included establishing no-cost clinics and pharmacies, increasing funding, expanding mobile medical solutions, creating or expanding telecare options, and supporting emergency room diversion programs.


To replay both the morning and afternoon sessions of Tuesday’s work session meeting, click the video below.


No comments on this item

Only paid subscribers can comment
Please log in to comment by clicking here.