PORT MANATEE -- The Manatee County Port Authority on Thursday unanimously approved a resolution directing its staff to oppose what could be plans for an unwanted consolidation with its bigger neighbor, Port of Tampa.
The resolution directed the port staff to oppose any consolidation effort, and allow Port Manatee to continue to develop into a premier deepwater port.
"Were hearing our friends north of us are making calls to the governor's office," said Port Authority Chair Carol Whitmore, referring to those representing the Port of Tampa.
"I think Port Manatee needs to take a stand, and let everybody know were in the business, and were going to take a stand.
Manatee County commissioners, who also sit as the port authority board, have been meeting recently with visitors from the Florida Department of Transportation, who sought to discuss consolidation.
The visitors got a chilly reception, authority members said. Local officials saidthey have not asked for any discussion about the subject.
Were not willing to merge with anyone, said Manatee Commissioner Betsy Benac.