When Seaboard Air Line extended its railroad service into Manatee County in 1902, Samoset was born. The town’s proximity to the railroad line was enticing for developers to create subdivisions in the area. In 1926, Samoset was incorporated as a city.
It began as a railroad town, prospering briefly during the early 1900s land boom until the Great Depression, from which it never recovered.
Today, with a lack of sidewalks, narrow streets, no streetlights and poor drainage in Samoset, Taura Denis decided it was time to reverse the neighborhood’s trajectory.
She has been mobilizing local citizens in an attempt to revitalize one of Manatee County, Florida‘s oldest neighborhoods. In May of 2016, she organized the Samoset Neighborhood Association for this area of about 4700 residents.
In her research, Denis found out that Manatee County has had a plan dating back to 2007, detailing many of the same concerns residents still have a decade later.
Now, Manatee’s new half-cent infrastructure sales tax is expected to generate $30 million a year for the next 15 years. Residents are hoping some of that revenue will finally go toward revitalizing Samoset.
The Samoset Neighborhood Association is trying to regain the county’s focus for revitalization. “I think that if they didn’t know there was an interest in Samoset before, maybe then they know now,” Denis said. “I think that they know that we have a voice now.”