MANATEE -- Manatee County commissioners Tuesday agreed to consider a proposal for a new $3 million expansion of the tax collector's operation.
Tax Collector Ken Burton Jr. proposed demolishing a former ABC Liquor Store at 904 301 Blvd. W., and constructing a new building on the site to more efficiently handle those needing help with driver licenses.
Burton told the commission he expects a "tsunami" of customers in 2017, and hopes to be ready to provide good service with a new 8,500-square-foot facility across the street from his current office in Bradenton.
Burton told commissioners that his office handles about 25,000 renewals for existing residents, but that he expects that number to jump to 37,000 by 2017. More people will also need help as a result of federal immigration reform, he predicted.
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"We know it's going to happen," he said after the workshop Tuesday at Manatee County Administrative Building.
The total cost of the project is nearly $3 million, including the $375,000 price of the property, officials said.
The tax collector's office will borrow money from the county and pay it back over time from excess proceeds accrued over time, said Manatee County Administrator Ed Hunzeker.
The commissioners, who were meeting in a workshop session in which they do not vote, directed that the matter be put on an upcoming agenda for a regular meeting where formal action may take place.
Sara Kennedy, Herald reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7031. Follow her on Twitter@sarawrites.