August 26, 2016 Edition

County Commission agrees that potential for harm to Siesta Key warrants Environmental Impact Statement on Lido project

Board votes unanimously to seek that initiative and to convey its concerns to the state about the proposal for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to use a staging area in Ted Sperling Park

Responding to a July 14 request from the Siesta Key Association, the Sarasota County Commission on Aug. 23 voted unanimously to ask the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to undertake an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to more fully explore the potential for harm to Siesta Key from the proposed dredging of Big Sarasota Pass to renourish South Lido Key Beach. (Read more »)


Residential roadside mowing changes to go into effect Oct. 1 in the county

Property owners may apply for exemptions, which county staff says will be judged on a case-by-case basis

Beginning Oct. 1, approximately 30,000 landowners in Sarasota County will become responsible for mowing the area between their property line and the adjacent roadway within the county’s Urban Service Area, thanks to Aug. 24 action of the Sarasota County Commission. (Read more »)


County Commission increases funding for 2017 fiscal year for program that assists homeless families

Foundations’ reduction of expenditures for the 2017 fiscal year leads to staff request for an extra $197,100

During its final budget workshop of the year, the Sarasota County Commission this week unanimously approved an increase of $197,100 in its share of funding for a program that assists homeless families as well as those on the verge of losing their residences. (Read more »)


Attorney for North Beach Road property owners attempts to dispute ‘fantastic lies’ about County Commission vote

The segment of vacated road will remain accessible to the public ‘in perpetuity’ and no construction will occur on property seaward of it, Charles Bailey III stresses

As part of almost an hour of public comments and exchanges with the Sarasota County commissioners on Aug. 23, a Sarasota attorney tried to dispel what he called “fantastic lies” being spread by opponents to the board’s May 11 vacation of an approximately 360-foot-long stretch of North Beach Road on Siesta Key. (Read more »)


Canadian firm proposes commercial project on Stickney Point Road across from Sarasota Pavilion entrance

Project would include a Dairy Queen and retail center next to the Firestone Complete Auto Care Center

With so much attention focused on plans for Siesta Promenade less than a mile south, a proposed project on property about one-sixth the size of the Benderson Development Co. site has remained in relative obscurity. (Read more »)


Mitigation agreement and new access road for second Whole Foods site win County Commission’s formal approval

Lawsuit filed in February to stop the development on a wetlands site is settled four days before it was to go to trial

Just four days after a lawsuit was settled with Sarasota County and intervening defendants over the planned new Whole Foods project on University Parkway, the County Commission unanimously approved a mitigation agreement involving wetlands on the site. (Read more »)


Potential roundabout at Gulfstream Avenue and U.S. 41 to be focus of public meeting tentatively set for this fall

FDOT has begun a study that will take about 18 months to complete, its staff says; in the meantime, resurfacing of U.S. 41 still is planned in downtown Sarasota starting this fall

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) has notified the City of Sarasota that it expects to conduct a public meeting this fall regarding plans to improve the intersection of Gulfstream Avenue and U.S. 41 in downtown Sarasota, including the potential for constructing a roundabout there. (Read more »)


Funds available through county’s Community Reinvestment Program to almost triple for next fiscal year

Commission agrees to staff suggestion about using interest from the county’s Economic Incentive Fund to make $1.4 million available for new and improved infrastructure projects

Last year, the Sarasota County Commission revived a county program as a de facto replacement for the Downtown Sarasota Community Redevelopment Area (CRA) initiative with which it participated for 30 years with the City of Sarasota. (Read more »)


Operating portion of county’s 2017 budget to rise by 4.1 percent

Funding gap originally expected for 2018 expected to be wiped out by sale of surplus land and increased property value, among other factors

With two public hearings set for next month on the document, the Sarasota County Commission this week took its last formal look at the tentative 2017 fiscal year budget of $1,094,764,401 — a 0.3 percent increase from the current budget, as County Administrator Tom Harmer pointed out. (Read more »)


Judge issues order to move Woman’s Exchange lawsuit forward

City of Sarasota and Laurel Park Neighborhood Association have 30 days from service of Aug. 17 decision to file written responses

As Sarasota City Attorney Robert Fournier had anticipated, a 12th Judicial Circuit Court judge has issued an Order to Show Cause, requiring a response to the Woman’s Exchange’s call for overturning an April City Commission decision. (Read more »)


Contract awarded for final phase of project that will lead to decommissioning of Siesta Key’s wastewater plant

Lakewood Ranch firm to start work in September, with goal to move sewage treatment to the mainland by the end of 2017

The Sarasota County Commission this week set in motion the final phase of a project that will lead to the decommissioning of the Siesta Key Wastewater Treatment Plant in late 2017 or early 2018. (Read more »)


County moving ahead with assessments of property owners for latest South Siesta beach renourishment

Non-ad valorem tax will show up on TRIM notices starting next summer and continue for seven years

A unanimous Sarasota County Commission vote on Aug. 23 will make it possible for the county to recover about 17 percent of the cost of its South Siesta Renourishment Project by assessing the property owners who will benefit from the work. (Read more »)


State constitutional amendments and Charter Review Board change to be focus of discussion

CONA to host presentations on Sept. 12 at the Sarasota Garden Club

On Monday, Sept. 12, the Sarasota County Council of Neighborhood Associations (CONA) will host a discussion of the state and county amendments that will be on the November ballot for all county voters. (Read more »)


Sarasota County Clerk of Court offers new online payment system

Service is available through the office’s website around the clock

Sarasota County Clerk of Court and County Comptroller Karen Rushing and her staff have implemented a new system that enables customers to pay traffic tickets, citations, and civil and criminal fines or fees online, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. (Read more »)


Sarasota Police Department participating in national program to stop drunk driving over Labor Day weekend

Department offers tips to keep the public safe

Because Labor Day weekend has become “a dangerous time for America’s roads,” with many inebriated drivers getting behind the wheel after celebrations, the Sarasota Police Department is partnering with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) “to stop drunk drivers and help save lives,” the department has announced. (Read more »)


Grand opening of county’s improved BMX track planned for Saturday, Aug. 27

Event will begin at 10 a.m. at the Youth Athletic Complex

All members of the community are invited to the grand opening celebration at the BMX track at the Sarasota County Youth Athletic Complex, set for 10 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 27, the county has announced. (Read more »)


Commemoration of 9/11 attacks planned on Sept. 11 at Sarasota National Cemetery

Members of the public invited to ‘adopt’ those who were among the fallen and then participate in the ceremony

A 15th anniversary commemoration of the 9/11 attacks on the United States will be held on Sunday, Sept. 11, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in Patriot Plaza at the Sarasota National Cemetery, organizers have announced. (Read more »)


Emergency Operations Center in Sarasota County wins recognition

Association of Public Safety Communications Officials honors the facility during a conference this month in Orlando

The Sarasota County Emergency Operations Center recently was honored by the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) with the 2016 Technology Leadership Award for a Large Communications Center, Sheriff Tom Knight has announced. (Read more »)


County ready to ‘Walk the Watershed’ to keep Phillippi Creek free of pollution

Public meeting set for Aug. 31 at Florida House in Sarasota

As part of its commitment to environmental stewardship and water quality, Sarasota County staff will conduct a “Walk the Watershed” exercise, a Florida Department of Environmental Protection-approved method of looking for bacterial sources, around Phillippi Creek, the county has announced. (Read more »)