North Longboat police patrols boosted by County

Eroding trees on Beer Can Island just after sunset. Photo by Steve Reid

Editor & Publisher

Manatee County has agreed to a six-month trial that will pay $5,000 per month to offset some of the cost Longboat Key spends patrolling Beer Can Island.

Beer Can Island, also known as Greer Island, is attached to Longboat Key’s north tip by a thin sandy ribbon, but is nearly inaccessible due to a thicket of mangroves and marshland.

For years, boaters and recreation users have anchored and both partied and explored with the occasional complaint coming from neighbors. Due to the number of visitors and the massive accretion of sand under the Longboat Pass Bridge, Longboat Key has had to increase patrolling to the area.

Another perk emanating from Manatee County is the county has agreed to pick up trash three times a week from Greer Island and continue throughout the year. Additionally, Manatee County signed off on permitting for an access trail to make it easier for Longboat Police and safety personnel to reach Greer Island.

The above initiatives belie a thawing in the cold war-like relationship Longboat Key has had with Manatee County over the past several years.

Longboat Key commissioners have complained that Manatee County residents of Longboat pay more in property taxes and receive less services in the Manatee portion. They also have complained that Manatee County has not been responsive, especially financially, on numerous initiatives. The newfound cooperation was welcomed by Town Manager Tom Harmer.

Harmer will present the town commission an inter-local agreement for the law enforcement services at their regular meeting on Monday, April 9 at 1 p.m. in Town Hall.

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