Superintendent to meet with Bradenton residents on J.P. Miller land sale


BRADENTON -- Manatee County Schools Superintendent Rick Mills will meet with local residents Tuesday about the possible sale of land near Jessie P. Miller Elementary School.

The district has received an unsolicited offer for the property along Manatee Avenue West, the site of a former school building now known as McKelvey Park. District officials are considering the offer.

Some parents and other residents have objected to selling the property for development and have started a petition and Facebook page to save the 3-acre park bordering J.P. Miller Elementary. The

district wants to use the proceeds of the sale to close a financial deficit.

Julie Aranibar, chairwoman of the Manatee School Board, said in a letter to the editor Friday that the district needs to sell the land to meet its financial obligations.

"Last summer, the Board approved a fiscal recovery plan that included the sale of property that would enable the district to achieve fiscal stability," Aranibar writes. "I'm hoping that (City Councilam Gene) Gallo has requested the City of Bradenton review purchase of this land which will ensure that the property is housed as a park and not listed on the Board of Education inventory. That would ensure that this issue would never be revisited for any School Board Budget."

The meeting is set to start 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in the cafeteria at Miller Elementary, 601 43rd St. W.

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