A little more than a year after Manatee County began negotiations for a new East Manatee water park, the county could soon begin negotiations for the second time.
On Monday, a county evaluation committee unanimously recommended to the county administrator to begin negotiations with Manatee Lost Lagoon Development LLLP to construct a water park at Tom Bennett Park in East Manatee.
The water park would be built on a 20-acre site at 400 Cypress Creek Blvd., Bradenton. The county commission would have to approve the contract with the selected water park developer.
“Their overall business plan appears and sounds to be solid,” Charlie Hunsicker, the county’s parks and natural resources director, said Monday.
Earlier this spring, the county issued another request for proposal for an aquatic and recreation complex, including the possibility of onsite lodging, which was requested by the developers of Lost Lagoon. Lost Lagoon, which was the sole proposal submitted to the county’s second RFP, had been in negotiations with the county.
“I think it is a well-crafted proposal,” said Dan Schlandt, deputy county administrator.
East Manatee resident Tim Petz expressed his concerns during Monday’s evaluation committee meeting and questioned whether the county considered sites other than Bennett Park for the water park.
“Now you want to put this park in the smack middle of communities,” he said. “If it is world class, people are going to go there anyways.”