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Longboat Key officials discuss their two-county designation with Manatee commissioners

Longboat Key officials meet with Manatee County officials to discuss their relationship.
Longboat Key officials meet with Manatee County officials to discuss their relationship.(WWSB)
Published: Dec. 1, 2021 at 10:28 PM EST
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BRADENTON, Fla. (WWSB) - The town of Longboat Key is in two counties, Sarasota County and Manatee County, and it will continue to remain that way for the time being.

Town commissioners meeting with Manatee County commissioners on Wednesday at the county administration building in Bradenton. They were discussing a recent study that looked into designating Longboat Key to one county.

“Sometimes that can be difficult for us elected officials to work with two separate counties,” said BJ Bishop, a Longboat Key Commissioner. “But we have continued to try and enhance those relationships and to look to both counties to continue to help us.”

The recent study shows that both counties are very similar, getting a financial boost from working with Longboat Key and in return providing necessary services. County leaders say it’s a win-win.

“I’ve enjoyed working with Longboat Key for many, many years with the county, so when they have a problem they are good at calling us right away and we try to work them out,” said Carol Whitmore, a Manatee County commissioner.

Longboat Key town officials say they will continue to look to Sarasota and Manatee counties to help them with issues that may arise. They say both counties do work closely with them.

“From public transportation to the pipes that we need to put under Sarasota Bay, to parks and rec issues we have on the island,” said Bishop. “So all of those issues, plus more are critical.”

About two-thirds of the 11-mile-long island is in Sarasota County, while one-third is in Manatee County. Longboat Key is one of four towns in Florida that is situated in two counties.

Longboat Key town officials say they will still continue to explore the one-county possibility.

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