$25,000 grant to improve Palmetto's downtown area

jtate@bradenton.comSeptember 13, 2013 

PALMETTO -- The Palmetto CRA received a $25,000 grant from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity to help develop the downtown district.

The grant will help Palmetto develop a downtown commercial core plan to address downtown parking, stormwater and transportation needs, said Jessica Sims, FDEO press secretary.

"This grant will encourage private investment into the city's downtown area," Sims said.

FDEO gives planning grants to local governments that meet its criteria. The municipalities are asked to submit a letter of request to the department identifying the project and its importance to the community.

Jeff Burton, Community Redevelopment Agency director, said the grant will allow the city to identify downtown areas that need more parking and confirm they are meeting stormwater runoff requirements.

"We'll use the money to improve what the city defines as the downtown area," said Burton.

He said city employees will collect data needed for downtown planning.

Sims said the city still has to send in its final signatures so the grant can be valid.

However, Burton said they've already started doing what they can to get this project going.

"The CRA has already begun the work by collecting existing city and CRA downtown documents," he said. "Work will continue into the spring of 2014."

During their Monday commission meeting, the city was formally presented with the $25,000 economic planning grant. Mayor Shirley Bryant accepted the check from FDEO representatives Chris Wiglesworth and Brenda Winningham.

Burton said residents should log on to their Facebook like page, which is "Palmetto Community Redevelopment Agency," for updates on CRA projects.

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

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