Manatee County taxpayers, commissioners would be wise to purchase, preserve tract

June 26, 2014 

Whiting Preston, President of Manatee Fruit Company, reacts as a passing motorist tells him to 'smile' near a sign on 1300 acres of his land near 75th Street West and Cortez. Preston and family have a website where they encourage people to visit and give input. TIFFANY TOMPKINS-CONDIE/Bradenton Herald

TTOMPKINS@BRADENTON.COM Buy Photo

Soon the Manatee County commission will begin the long, arduous task of reviewing Whiting Preston's proposed development for the Manatee Fruit Company land.

I have no problem with Preston's initial concept, but I would like the county and Preston to at least explore the concept of the county purchasing the property.

This idea comes from one fact and one assumption, both of which I'll explain.

The fact is the many preserved areas the county has acquired and developed over the years have become a real jewel for our area and our citizens and visitors.

The assumption I am making is that our citizens faced with the prospect of 6,500 homes and considerable commercial space might approve a long-term dedicated tax increase for such an acquisition.

I fully realize this suggestion is monumental and hard to fathom conceptually; all I ask is you give it consideration. Personally I believe low-impact, passive usage would be palatable to our public.

Dale Woodland

Anna Maria

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