MANATEE COUNTY — Sandy Metcalf stepped to the shoreline of Jiggs Landing and peered out over the Braden River as the sun faded along the water’s distant edge.
The scenery has changed here since she came to live on the old fishing camp property with her Uncle “Jiggs” Metcalf and Aunt Agnes in 1953, but the memories soak her like a summer’s afternoon rain.
“This brings me back, even though it doesn’t look anything like it did, but it’s going to,” she said.
Metcalf, who now lives just south of Ocala in The Villages, made a point to attend Manatee County
Commissioner Donna Haye’s Advisory Committee meeting May 1 as guest speaker Charlie Hunsicker, the county’s director of natural resources, unveiled final site plans for improvements to Jiggs Landing. The $1.2 million construction project is expected to start in August and last about a year.
“It’s going to be transformed into something that’s akin to what it was when I grew up,” Metcalf said. “It’s not going back in time, but it is. You’re going to have a (connection) between Old Florida and the present. This (place) is just going to come alive again.”
In keeping with the property’s heritage as an old fishing camp, Manatee plans to rebuild the site’s boat launch and sea walls and construct four overnight rental cabins for fishermen as well as two picnic pavilions, a playground area, a concession area, a canoe and kayak launch and a fishing pier and boardwalk.
The five-acre property also will include a residence for a caretaker as well as an original cabin from Jiggs Landing that will be restored and turned into a museum about Jiggs Landing and the Braden River.
Hunsicker said construction should begin in August and portions of the site likely will be closed during construction.
Contact Pam McTeer at [email protected].
At Manatee County Commissioner Donna Hayes’ Advisory Committee meeting at The Preserve Golf Club May 1, Hayes updated constituents on the impact of the federal stimulus package, a one-cent tourism tax and the Tampa Bay Regional Area Transit Authority, among other topics. Additionally, special guest Bill Hutchinson, director of public safety, addressed improvements Manatee County has made to improve emergency medical services over the last year, as well as the recent outbreak of swine flu.