County Administrator outlines 2014 accomplishments, 2015 goals during Annual Report to County Commission

  • Feb 24, 2015

MANATEE COUNTY, FL (Feb. 24, 2015) – The new Southwest Manatee district to reinvest in aging areas is taking form, tourism numbers continue to break records and the County’s economic development incentives continue to create or retain thousands of local jobs. Manatee County Administrator Ed Hunzeker discussed those and a host of other local government accomplishments in his Annual Report to the County Commission today.

 Hunzeker recognized the most significant individual achievements from across the organization and he touched on a host of departmental accomplishments from the past year. Notably in 2014, Manatee County Emergency Management became one of five local governments in the state to achieve accreditation through the Emergency Management Accreditation Program; for the second time in four years the Tampa Bay Business Journal named Manatee County Government the Healthiest Employer from among all employers in a seven-county region; and Manatee achieved its Gold Level Green Local Government status through the Florida Green Building Coalition.

 

Hunzeker also reminded the Board of national awards that went to the County’s Fleet Services division which ranked among the country’s best, as ranked by an industry publication and a professional organization.

 

Hunzeker reminded Commissioners that the community is growing rapidly, and the demands placed on the County will continue to grow.

 

“We are on the cusp of another era of substantial growth, and the County Commission has taken prudent steps to accommodate the influx,” Hunzeker said. “As the economy rebounds and our County grows, local government will face an increasing amount of community requests, and even demands for service.” Later he added, “In addition to investing in expanded transit and improved technology, we’ll also need to carefully consider the size of this government and our ability to serve a growing population.”

 

Hunzeker pointed to many of the County’s other successes from the past year:

 

n  The Net Metering Project at the Lena Road Landfill began transforming gas from waste into energy that’s being captured and used to power the neighboring wastewater treatment plant. The project is showing a 53 percent energy savings, equaling more than $375,000 in annual energy savings;

n  The Blackstone baseball fields in Palmetto were completed in May, thanks to a unique partnership the County entered with the City of Palmetto, the Pittsburgh Pirates Charities and the Manatee School District;

n  Critical repairs were made at the Lake Manatee dam at a relatively low cost and in record time compared to similar reservoir repairs. The repairs extended the life of the Lake Manatee Dam another 50 years.

n   In 2014 the plans took an important step forward. Fort Hamer Bridge engineering and permitting was completed. The Commission on Tuesday approved a construction contract for the bridge, and the two-year project to build new span should begin construction in the spring.

n  Working with state and federal leaders, Manatee County secured more than $14 million in beach renourishment grants last year. The money went to restock more than five miles of Anna Maria Island beaches.

Following the report, Commissioner Vanessa Baugh commended Hunzeker and County staff for a year’s worth of achievement.

 

“We’ve got some of the best people working anywhere,” Baugh said. “They’re committed to the job and to this community. You have some great, great people working at Manatee County Government.”

 

The complete report is available on the right hand column of the County Administrator’s website.

 

For more information on Manatee County Government, visit online at www.mymanatee.org or call (941) 748-4501. You can also follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/manatee.county.fl and on Twitter, @ManateeGov.