MANATEE — Manatee County commissioners are once again slated to consider buying almost 38 acres for a new county transit depot.
The plan to buy the property for $4.52 million is again on Tuesday’s commission agenda after Tallevast residents won a delay.
Last month, the board delayed action on the matter after Tallevast residents and a neighborhood group, Family Oriented Community United Strong, Inc. (FOCUS), said they had a conflict because they were involved in a court case against defense contractor Lockheed Martin Corp.
After a trial, a jury awarded.275 million for future economic loss, according to U.S. District Court documents.
The lawsuit was part of a protracted legal battle between Tallevast residents and Lockheed Martin stemming from 2000, when the giant defense contractor allegedly found a hazardous leak at its beryllium plant property at 1600 Tallevast Road, but did not inform residents.
"We are disappointed that the U.S. District Court in Tampa ruled that there was a legal contract between the Tallevast citizens group, FOCUS, and Lockheed Martin concerning agreement to pay monies directly to the group for environmental and administrative support," said Gary Cambre, a spokesman for the company. "Lockheed Martin has continued to pay a third-party environmental consultant directly to provide services to FOCUS. We are considering our legal options."
Manatee County Area Transit has outgrown its current facilities at 1108 26th Ave. E., and the 37.71-acre site in Tallevast is under consideration for relocation of MCAT facilities, according to county documents.
The property is located at the intersection of U.S. 301 and Tallevast Road.