Mote Marine Lab asks Manatee County to help pay for new aquarium

Mote Asking For Money For Aquarium

MANATEE COUNTY(WWSB) -Mote Marine Lab wants to build a major new aquarium near Nathan Benderson Park, which is in Sarasota County. But Mote said it’s close enough to the county line to benefit Manatee County as well, so they are asking the county for $15 million toward the cost.

Mote’s Science Education Aquarium is going to cost about $130 million to build and so far Mote has received about $30 million.

Mote thinks Manatee County should help pay because they say it will impact the county’s economy, water, and provide educational experiences for students.

In a letter written to Manatee County Commission Chairman, Stephen Jonsson, Mote said construction of the aquarium will impact Florida’s economy by $280 million directly and indirectly. The letter went on to say, when the aquarium opens up, it will create 260 jobs and bring in about $28 million annually for the area. It also stated that Mote plans on hiring Manatee County companies for construction and maintenance projects.

However, Manatee County officials say that they are not allowed to use their tourism tax dollars on another county. But, they could use that money to promote the new aquarium.

This topic will be discussed at the next commission meeting on Tuesday, March 26th.

The new aquarium should open up in the next two to three years.

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