Feds to ask Manatee for lower dumping fees for Wares Creek sludge

MANATEE -- The dredging at Wares Creek has brought up more wet, sludgy material than engineers had expected, which is more difficult and more expensive to dispose of than clean, dry dirt, county officials said Tuesday.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plans to ask the county June 5 to consider some reduction of its landfill fees in order to dispose of much more sludgy matterial than was anticipated, said Sia Mollanazar, a county public works engineer, who reported to the Manatee County Commission on Tuesday on the progress of the Corps' project.

He acknowledged that the situation has slowed work, but said dredging has not stopped at the creek, which courses through downtown Bradenton before emptying into the Manatee River.

The Corps hopes reduced fees at the county's Lena Road landfill will keep the overall cost of the project in control without hampering operations at the landfill, Mollanazar said.

After decades of frustration and waiting, dredging finally began in January on the first phase of the $51.8 million Cedar Hammock-Wares Creek Flood Control project.