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East County Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020 2 years ago

Tourist Development Council recommends Manatee County commit $1 million to Mote's City Island facility

Commissioner Misty Servia says the commitment could be considered at the Feb. 25 commissioners meeting.
by: Pam Eubanks Senior Editor

Manatee County’s Tourism Development Council recommended Feb. 10 using $50,000 a year in tourism dollars for the next 20 years to support marketing and program expansions for Mote Marine Laboratory at the City Island facility in Sarasota.

Manatee County Commissioner Misty Servia, who sits on the Tourism Development Council board, said she has asked the funding proposal to be considered by commissioners during their Feb. 25 meeting.

Mote officials on Feb. 10 requested $5 million of Manatee County tourism-generated dollars to support the City Island facility. By state law, tourism dollars are restricted to certain uses, which include marketing.

Mote officials in March 2019 sought $15 million from Manatee County to help pay for a $130 million aquarium planned for Nathan Benderson Park in Sarasota. That plea was denied. Mote officials say a financial commitment from Manatee County is critical to help secure state and federal funding for the project. 

Sarasota County commissioners in January committed $20 million to the project.

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