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Date of Issue: October 07, 2009

AMI beaches may see federal dollars

U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-Longboat Key) said last week he included $100,000 for Anna Maria Island beach renourishment in a bill passed by the House of Representatives that will provide more than $13 million for dredging projects in Manatee and Sarasota county waters.

The Buchanan bill must still be approved by the Senate and signed by the president.

The federal funds in the bill will “augment local tourist taxes” and will be used for planning and design in the next Islandwide beach renourishment, a press statement said.

“This funding will allow the federal government to partner with Manatee County on periodic beach re-nourishment on Anna Maria Island,” said Buchanan. “This federal support is vital to the environmental and economic health of this coastal community.”

The planned Islandwide project is estimated to cost approximately $16 million.

Anna Maria Mayor Fran Barford said the money is “an answer to our prayers. This is just wonderful news and the residents being impacted are so grateful.”

The next Islandwide beach renourishment is not scheduled to begin until 2014-15.