MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. — The government in Manatee County said Anna Maria Elementary will serve as overflow parking on select holidays and school breaks.
"It's right on Gulf Drive and about a half a mile from the public beach where we have lifeguards and bathroom facilities and a concession stand," said Kevin Van Ostenbridge, Manatee County Commission Chairman.
Officials said the change is part of an agreement with the school district.
Parking issues have plagued the area for years as residents and visitors flock to the beautiful beaches.
Leaders in Manatee County and Holmes Beach recently met to discuss the ongoing problems. Leaders discussed other solutions such as parking at the library and talks of building a parking garage, but they ran out of time before any decisions were reached. They agreed to meet again at a later date to continue the conversation.
Van Ostenbridge also encourages people to take public transit from Bradenton that goes right to the public beach.
"The bus line down Manatee Avenue and runs right to it so it's super easy and then you don’t have to look for a parking spot at all," said Van Ostenbridge.
The school parking adds an additional 65 parking spaces to the more than 300 spots at Manatee Public Beach.
County officials said on Twitter that the school would operate as overflow parking on the following days:
- Spring Break
- March 12-20
- Memorial Day Weekend
- May 28-3
- Fourth of July Weekend
- July 2-4
- Labor Day Weekend
- Sept 3-5