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Date of Issue: October 26, 2006

Store ready for move, county not

The good news is that the historic Burton Store building in Cortez is ready for its move to a new site. The bad news is that Manatee County permits are not.

Bright House Networks has waived the $6,000 it will cost the communications company to get its cable wires out of the way for the building's move, said Roger Allen, manager of Cortez historic sites for the county. 

He now awaits reactions to his appeals to two other companies, Florida Power & Light and Verizon, to waive their charges for clearing their wires from the building's path during the move. FPL's cost is $1,500, Verizon's $7,425. The FPL fee has been paid in advance as a requirement to getting the move on its schedule, but Allen is hopeful that the cost ultimately will be waived.

Allen said he received a letter from Rose Carlson, vice president and general manager of Bright House, recognizing "the Herculean task of moving the store," and stating that Bright House will donate its services as a charitable donation. Allen noted that Carlson is a native of Manatee County.

The move will take the old building either through the middle of the historic fishing village or down Cortez Road, whichever mover Brett Johnson of R.E. Johnson & Son decides is best for all concerned. It was tentatively scheduled for mid-October, but that's by the board now.

Manatee County must first issue the permits required for the project, and at this point they are hung up in the government.

The old building will be moved to the grounds of the 1912-built school, which is now mostly rehabilitated for the Florida Maritime Museum.

Burton Store started life as a small general store, then a couple of rooms were added as a sort of early motel, and ultimately it became an attachment to the Albion Inn. When the inn was demolished to make room for what is now Station Cortez of the U.S. Coast Guard, the Cortez Village Historical Association managed to have the store building detached and moved across the street to be eventually preserved as an historic relic.

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