BRADENTON -- Manatee County commissioners Tuesday approved spending $30,000 to build a community soccer field on property at Blanche H. Daughtrey Elementary School near Pride Park.
The South County Community Redevelopment Area Advisory Board has been trying to find ways to provide recreational facilities for youth in the area, said Cheri Coryea, director of county neighborhood services.
A plan to build a soccer field across the street on the old Taylor Nursery property, now owned by the county, was estimated to cost $50,000 to $75,000.
Level ground and irrigation access makes the school property more viable and costs roughly half as much.
Parks and Recreation Department officials agreed to purchase goals for the soccer field. Staff is also seeking donations through the People for Parks Foundation.
In another matter, commissioners directed staff to come up with options and funding sources to create summer programs for children and adults at the Rubonia Community Center.
County and community groups in Rubonia have been working for decades to bolster activity within the community.
A motion made to allocate $20,000 for a summer program in Rubonia was tabled as commissioners asked for more details.
The community center was closed in 2012 due to lack of activity, but Coryea said programs have begun to make a comeback with senior citizen exercise classes, health-related educational programs and after-school student programs.
"I agree with it in concept, but I don't want to just throw money at it," Commissioner John Chappie said.
Commissioners asked staff to present programs and funding options at the May 7 commission meeting.
In other business:
Commission approved spending $22,000 to consolidate 19 electric meters at the county-owned DeSoto Center.
The former strip mall now houses the Manatee County Sheriff's Office Property and Evidence facility and supervisor of elections office. After consolidating all meters to one master meter the county will save $641 a month in base charges.
Commission adopted proclamations designating April as Child Abuse Prevention Month, County Government Month, Guardian Ad Litem Volunteer Recognition Month, April 21-27 as National Volunteer Week and May 2 as National Day of Prayer.