Recently I had a chance to speak with Palmetto Mayor Shirley Groover Bryant about the issues facing Palmetto in the coming year. Bryant is excited about the Palmetto Marriott Hotel that is under construction at the Bradenton Area Convention Center. The hotel will feature a full service restaurant and 252 guest rooms. The addition of the hotel should create more activity at the Convention Center which should bring more business to Palmetto.
Bryant is also pleased that the new state of the art Palmetto Police headquarters will be ready for occupancy this spring. The present headquarters is old and has a leaky roof that makes it difficult to store crime-scene evidence. This new state of the art building will help the Palmetto Police Department continue to keep the citizens of Palmetto safe.
A new roundabout near Blackstone Park will hopefully be completed soon.
Bryant noted that this intersection has been the scene of 2 deaths. The roundabout will make the intersection much safer. The improvement is being funded jointly by the City of Palmetto and the Florida Department of Transportation.
Construction will also begin on a public-private partnership parking project near the First Baptist Church of Palmetto. This project will add 45 much needed parking spaces for people visiting downtown and the Historic district.
The Palmetto Women’s Club should begin the long awaited major facelift to their historical building. It will include renovations and restorations to the original building. If approved, the building will become an event or cultural center in Downtown Palmetto for another 100 years of memories.
The Connor Park project should be completed in 2023. The park will have an important environmental impact as it will have the ability to clean thousands of gallons of stormwater before it flows in the Manatee River. The park will feature a multi-use trail and a gazebo.
Mayor Bryant noted that the Community Redevelopment Agency has approved adding facilities to the Martin Luther King Park and is drafting plans to update and replace Lamb Park and 17th Street Park.
Bryant is excited about the future for Palmetto and looks forward to working with new Ward 2 commissioner Sunshine Matthews and the rest of the city commissioners.