BRADENTON - The county will take in and spend more than $510 million this year, though that's a drop from previous years as the recession has taken hold.
Falling tax revenues have left the county in a pinch, and even public safety has taken a hit, though some of the sheriff's budget may be restored.
In a hearing that last less than an hour Tuesday evening, the County Commissioners approved the millage rate of 6.2993 in a 7-0 vote; the budget for Manatee County Dependent Special Districts in a 7-0 vote; and the Manatee County Capital Improvement Program in a 7-0 vote.
The vote for the budget, though, was 6-1, with Commissioner Donna Hayes dissenting.
After the meeting, Hayes repeated her objection to the $50,000 for the free island trolley, an issue she raised through several budget meetings and workshops.
"There is no provision for transit service to Lakewood Ranch," she said. That community is in her district. "We're not looking for a handout."
Also, Hayes added, she was upset about their being no extra funding for the Manatee County Sheriff's Office.
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