|MANATEE COUNTY, FL (March 18, 2014) – Prepare. Respond. Thrive.
That’s the theme of this year’s National County Government Month which Manatee County will celebrate along with more than 3,000 counties around the United States in April. Throughout April Manatee County will host a number of public events aimed at promoting County services and a Ready, Resilient community.
Manatee County has been recognized with first-place finishes in each of the last three years for its County Government Month efforts by the National Association of Counties. Each year counties across the country celebrate National County Government Month to raise public awareness and understanding about the roles and responsibilities of county government.
Through the Resilient Counties Initiative, the National Association of Counties is encouraging counties to focus on how they prepare and respond to natural disasters and emergencies or other challenges such as economic recovery, public health issues, or safety needs.
Manatee County Community Services Director Brenda Rogers, who each year organizes events for the celebration, said the County will highlight several local services that naturally fit in with this year’s readiness theme.
“Every year we embrace County Government Month because it gives us an opportunity to emphasize the value and importance of so many programs, services and events that help the community,” Rogers said. “This year is no different and we think people will get some truly good information on local services throughout April.”
The County Government Month activities include:
Manatee Veterans Services division will host four Friday workshops during April to promote benefits that U.S. armed forces members earned during service to their country. Each meeting will begin at 9 a.m., and light refreshments will be served at 8:30 a.m. The seminar schedule includes:
· Service-connected disability and Vietnam service: April 4, in the Fourth Floor Osprey Room, 1112 Manatee Ave. W. (County Administrative Building) — An informative discussion on service-connected disabilities and Agent Orange-related disease and illness;
· Veteran and Surviving Spousal Pensions: April 11, in the Fountain Room, 1002 Manatee Ave. W. – An overview of the benefit and entitlement requirements to obtain non-service-connected or survivor pensions, aid and attendance;
· Healthcare and Burial Benefits: April 18, in the Fountain Room, 1002 Manatee Ave. W. – a topical discussion on the VA healthcare system and healthcare benefits available to qualified veterans. Veterans Services officers will also discuss Sarasota National Cemetery and burial benefits;
· Open Forum: April 25, Fountain Room, 1002 Manatee Ave. W. – Veterans Services officers will discuss the G.I. Bill for post-9/11 veterans, as well as education benefits and VA home loans.
For details on these and all County Government Month-related events, visit the County’s web calendar next month.
Manatee County Extension Service will co-sponsor the Garden Gala and Farm Stand at Lincoln Memorial Middle School on April 5. The free “Nourishing our World” event from 9 a.m. to noon will offer pointers on how to grow fresh fruits, vegetables and more.
Throughout April, Manatee County will be encouraging business owners to sign up for new Business Recovery Directory, a free emergency information exchange network. Manatee County Economic Development Program Manager Karen Stewart said the information businesses provide will help emergency managers in the event of an emergency. By signing up for the Business Recovery Directory, businesses can have their products or services considered for purchase during recovery operations, thus keeping federal recovery dollars local. For more information, contact Karen Stewart by e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call (941) 749-3029.
For more information on Manatee County Government, visit online at www.mymanatee.org or call (941) 748-4501. You can also follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/manatee.county.fl and on Twitter, @ManateeGov.