|The proposed location for the Tara Bridgge|
It's been almost 20 years since the possibility of a Tara bridge was first presented to the Manatee County Board of Commissioners. Every stop has had it's problems, and many commissioners have come and gone in the process. In 2009, the county took possession of the property and now it's time to settle up.
For the 3.86 acres and the 22.5 acres that adjoin, the total pricetag would come to over $1.5 million. Commissioners fear the uncertainty in the price of a settlement. Also, the $200,000 to $300,000 in legal fees just to fight the $1.07 million asking price for the 3.86 acres could escalate costs enough to offset savings. If the settlement goes before the courts, the $500,000 caveat for the remaining 22.5 acres also gets dropped from the deal.
The bridge is still without funding and may remain that way for another few years. Still, not moving to resolve the issue could possibly result in an escalated price in the future. The bridge, for now, remains in the MPO's (Metropolitan Planning Organization) future plans. But opposition to the bridge is still an issue, even though the land has been purchased.
Manatee County Commissioners are divided about the future of the bridge, but all feel the purchase of the property is in the county's best interest. Seeing it as a definite part of Manatee's future plans, they voted unanimous to purchase the two parcels for the amount of $1.57 million. Will we get a bridge? That we'll have to wait and see.
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