Palmetto works to bring hotel to the city

jtate@bradenton.comSeptember 10, 2013 

PALMETTO -- A Venice developer plans to bring a hotel chain to Palmetto.

The Palmetto City Commission on Monday unanimously approved on first read an ordinance that would allow the proposed marina hotel and plaza. A public hearing and final vote were set for Sept. 23.

Mayor Shirley Groover Bryant said Palmetto is long overdue for a hotel.

"It's very much needed in the area," said Bryant. "We have been approached on a couple of different occasions."

If approved, the hotel will be located at 120 Riviera Dunes Way near the Bradenton Area Convention Center.

Jeff Burton, director of the Community Redevelopment Agency, said he's been trying 22 years to bring a hotel to the city.

"A hotel would be great for Palmetto," said Burton. "It will be a national chain."

Venice-based developer Harry Walia's spokesman Dutch Powers said the new hotel could bring at least 80 jobs to the Palmetto area.

Bryant said the city has been working on this deal for a month so many details are not set in stone at this early stage.

"They've talked to a couple of different chains," said Bryant. "But I will not know more until things are more concrete."

The second reading and

public hearing for this ordinance will be at 7 p.m. Sept. 23 at Palmetto City Hall.

In other business:

• Palmetto received a $25,000 economic planning grant from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity to improve the city's urban core.

"That's really going to help us and we are very please about it," said Bryant.

• In the latest version of the city's tentative budget, the city added roughly $22,000 for a Palmetto Police Department dispatcher. The police department originally wanted two dispatchers to help during peak calling times.

The mayor's salary was also increased to $45,000. Previously her salary was $40,976, which was less than her assistant's salary.

• Palmetto is also a third of the way done installing new water meters throughout the city. City Clerk Jim Freeman said the city should finish installing automated meter readers this year. He said residents are given notice before their meters are switched out, which will cause a 20-minute break in water flow.

Janey Tate, city of Bradenton and Palmetto reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7041. You can follow her on Twitter @Janey_Tate.

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