Manatee County boat ramps open; curfew extended
MANATEE COUNTY – Manatee County Commissioners today voted to open County boat ramps on by Monday, April 13 at 3 p.m. The Board also extended a local curfew from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. and enacted a new local emergency resolution that reaffirms law enforcement's ability to cite individuals who violate group gathering restrictions in public places.
The resolution, however, removes local restrictions on private property which was a part of the action Commissioners took last Friday. It was an action Commissioners took at the recommendation of the Manatee County Policy Group, comprised of county, Sheriff's Office, fire and municipal and police representatives. That group did not want local restrictions to interfere with the ability of Manatee County residents to gather during holiday weekends.
"The curfew has brought the proper amount of attention to the Executive Order and people have listened to what (the County Commission) has to say," said Sheriff Rick Wells. "We are trying to limit the number of people on the roadway at night. We are not trying to restrict their freedoms."
Commissioners urged residents to continue to abide by social distancing guidelines set by the CDC. They voted 4-3 to open boat ramps as a way to restore the business — and for some, the livelihood — of local fishermen out of work, wanting to feed others.