ANNA MARIA ISLAND – A Manatee County Tourist Development Council meeting resulted in approval to revive the Anna Maria City Pier with tourist tax dollars.

“To be able to use tourism tax proceeds to help get this pier renovated, and have that kind of win-win that benefits residents and visitors; it makes it a special project,” said Elliott Falcione, Executive Director of the Bradenton Area Convention and Visitor’s Bureau.

Nearly two months ago, Anna Maria Island lost their beloved City Pier to Hurricane Irma. Nearby businesses felt the effects of its closure.

Sheila Hatfield, an employee at Two Scoops, says it’s been a long–time tradition for residents to grab “two scoops of ice cream” and then go for a stroll on the pier. She says now that the pier is closed, visitors from all around the world are heartbroken.

A $3.2 million revival project is beginning to look achievable with help from the Manatee County Tourist Development Council.

On Monday, December 4, the council agreed to contribute up to $1.5 million.

“They unanimously supported this to the board of the County commissioners,” Falcione said.” Funds coming from short-term rental tax dollars.

On Thursday, December 7, the council is pitching the project to Manatee County Commissioners.

Falcione said, “At the same time, we have to amend the ordinance. So the ordinance that allows the clerk to pay the bills, while using tourist tax development dollars.”

A lot still has to be done. Falcione is confident the pier’s resurrection is on the horizon. If approved, Falcione estimates the project will begin early next year.