BRADENTON — Local business owners and residents met with county officials Wednesday night to review what is to be expected of the new Southwest County Tax Increment Finance (SW TIF) District recently initiated by the BOCC. The educational workshop provided information on how the county will partner with local businesses and asked questions from those in attendance as to what they expect from the new district.
The Central Economic Development Center (CEDC) and Mantee County Neighborhood Services Department hosted workshop number four on the SW TIF, Wednesday night at EZRA Cafe (click for review) on Manatee Avenue in Northwest Bradenton. Of the 20 plus that attended the drink and appetizer event, almost half were residents and the other half either worked or owned a business in the district.
The map provided to the group outlined the borders running from Manatee Avenue south to University Parkway; and old 301, west to Sarasota Bay, including the Cortez Village.
Questions attendees asked included: if abandoned properties and buildings would be addressed; and whether roads and infrastructure would be first on the list. Manatee County Neighborhood Services Director Cheri Coryea said that over the weeks to come, officials would continue to work with locals to decide priorities.
CEDC Executive Director Alison Hewitt passed out information and answered questions about the opportunities the new district would bring, and Karen Stewart, Manatee County's Economic Development Program Manager, also answered questions.
Joe Kane from SAVECORTEZ.COM told Coryea, "We in Cortez don't want any of this. We believe it is the death of Cortez."
Coryea responded that there would be more discussion about what the district offers over the weeks to come. Kane followed up saying, " We are not interested. Tell me what you can do for Cortez now?"
Coryea said they can discuss it later, and Kane said, "Tell me now, tell me something now."
Coryea didn't have a reply, so Kane followed up with, "I'll extend an invitation to you to come and speak at the Fishermen's Hall. You can tell us then." Kane then told Coryea that Carlos Beruff came to Fisherman's Hall to tell them what he could do, and said, "I think he'll tell you he made a mistake."
The next rolling SWTIF show will be held at the First Bank, 2412 Cortez Road West, in Bradenton, on September 10 at 5:30 p.m.
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