20160408-8 Apr 2016

State grants six-month extension to City of Sarasota and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for answers on Lido project

If all the material has not been provided to the state by Sept. 16, no further extension will be provided, the FDEP project manager tells an SKA officer

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) has granted a six-month extension to the City of Sarasota and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to provide a response to the agency’s second Request for Additional Information (RAI2) regarding the proposal to dredge Big Sarasota Pass to renourish Lido Key Beach. (Read more »)

Continuation of Woman’s Exchange hearing planned for April 11, city attorney says

Though the city commissioners could vote that evening to delay it, Robert Fournier says the parties are agreeable to proceeding after an already scheduled discussion regarding the city election schedule

The Sarasota City Commission’s continuation of the Woman’s Exchange quasi-judicial hearing tentatively has been set for Monday evening, April 11, Sarasota City Attorney Robert Fournier told The Sarasota News Leader on the morning of April 7. (Read more »)

Regional network encompassing Legacy Trail fails to win top ranking from state council for FDOT funding

Sarasota County, Venice and North Port continuing to work on extensions of the trail — and looking for other sources of money

A Southwestern Florida trail system that includes Sarasota County’s Legacy Trail did not win top ranking for recommended state funding during the Florida Greenways and Trails Council meeting late last week in Tallahassee, regardless of the support for it offered by the Sarasota County Commission and other local government bodies and organizations. (Read more »)

No meetings scheduled yet to fill in information gap county peer review noted in Lido Renourishment Project

County’s coastal initiatives manager says he is awaiting administrative direction on how to proceed, though he anticipates a discussion with the city engineer in the coming weeks

Almost exactly two weeks after the chairman of the Sarasota County Commission directed county staff to get answers to questions raised by a county-funded peer review of the City of Sarasota/U.S. Army Corps of Engineers proposal to dredge Big Sarasota Pass to renourish Lido Key Beach, no meetings have been scheduled yet between city and county staff. (Read more »)

County owes one last payment to the Downtown Sarasota CRA, city attorney and finance director say

County assistant administrator disputes that, but city staff members point to their research

Last fall, with the passage of its 2016 fiscal year budget, the Sarasota County Commission removed one enduring item from its debit list: payment of ad valorem tax revenue to the trust fund for the Downtown Sarasota Community Redevelopment Agency. (Read more »)

Future of Siesta Village Easter Egg Hunt at Access 5 a point of worry

County Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources Department staff to meet with representatives of the organization about the future of its 15-year-old event

Although the 15th Annual Easter Egg Hunt & Games sponsored by the Siesta Key Village Association on March 26 was “a great success,” Treasurer Roz Hyman reported to members during their monthly meeting this week, an upcoming discussion with Sarasota County staff will determine the future of the event at Beach Access 5. (Read more »)

Consternation continues over cost of county bus shelters; concern also voiced over delay in jail A/C project

County commissioners ask staff to check on potential of less expensive bus shelter options on the Venice Bypass and on South Tamiami Trail, thanks to state collaboration; more information sought about work schedule for the jail

Consternation over the $40,000 cost of a Sarasota County Area Transit (SCAT) bus shelter figuratively raised its head again last week as the Sarasota County Commission reviewed capital projects that will be funded over the next five years by its Surtax 3 program. (Read more »)

Siesta Seen

A new proposal could ease Village parking problems; Siesta Fiesta time is April 9-10, and event T-shirts will be for sale as usual; Spring Break proves pretty smooth for the Sheriff’s Office; and Code Enforcement wins kudos

Another solution to the perpetual parking problem in Siesta Village is percolating, Siesta Key Village Association Vice President Mark Smith told members of the merchants’ organization during their monthly session on April 5. (Read more »)

Human Resources Department working to diversify Sarasota County staff

Engagement with young people seen as one key to achieving the goal

Sarasota County staff is putting a focus on “engaging young people” — starting with those in middle school — to let them know about the potential for their future employment in county departments and to ensure the county’s workforce is diversified, the county’s human resources chief has told the County Commission. (Read more »)

For this writer, there is one and only Y

From the enthusiasm of people working out to the camaraderie on the racquetball courts, the Bahia Vista facility offers much to appreciate

Every time I leave the Y after my workout, I feel better. Sometimes that is just a physical reaction; sometimes, just a mental one; and sometimes, both. Watching people demonstrating a high level of motivation inspires me; their enthusiasm is contagious. (Read more »)

Go wild! Go native!

Sweet Bay Nursery to host its 17th Native Plant Festival and Sale on April 9

The 17th Native Plant Festival and Sale will be held on Saturday, April 9, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Sweet Bay Nursery, located at 10824 Erie Road in Parrish. (Read more »)

CONA to hold forum for all the candidates seeking State House seats for Districts 72 and 73

Session set for April 11 at the Sarasota Garden Club off Tamiami Trail in downtown Sarasota

On Monday, April 11, the Sarasota County Coalition of Neighborhood Associations (CONA) will hold a forum for the candidates campaigning for two Florida House seats, the organization has announced. (Read more »)

Fifth Third Bank partnering with The Salvation Army in Sarasota to fight hunger through a food drive

Food collections will be accepted at bank branches through April 29

Feeding America, a nonprofit nationwide network of food banks, has reported that more than 1,040,000 South Florida residents have food insecurity, meaning they do not have consistent access to vital nutrition, Fifth Third Bank points out in a news release. (Read more »)

Orioles set franchise record for home sellout games during Spring Training since the club moved to Sarasota

Attendance total for this year was 119,029, club says

With the March 31 crowd of 5,441 for the final Spring Training home game of the Baltimore Orioles at Ed Smith Stadium this year, the Orioles drew a total of 119,029 fans for 16 home games in Sarasota this season, the team has announced. (Read more »)

Section of The Legacy Trail to be closed for utilities work later this month

Construction set for April 18-22 in North Creek Bridge area

Because of construction work, a section of The Legacy Trail will be closed April 18-22, with the reopening set for April 23, Sarasota County has announced. (Read more »)

Teresa Mast files for School Board seat

She will face District 2 incumbent Caroline Zucker

Teresa Mast of Sarasota, a small business owner and mother of two, filed paperwork on April 4, declaring her candidacy for the District 2 seat on the Sarasota County School Board. (Read more »)

Rissler moving from COO of SANCA to Sarasota County Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources post

She will become deputy director of operations for the department

Less than a year after she left her position as director of sports at Visit Sarasota County to become chief operating officer of the Suncoast Aquatic Nature Center (SANCA) — which manages events at Nathan Benderson Park — Nicole Rissler has been named the new deputy director of operations for the Sarasota County Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources Department, the county announced this week. (Read more »)

Two new digital tools launched for public reporting of problems observed in Sarasota County

Free tools designed to help people relay concerns to staff in real time

Sarasota County has launched two new digital tools designed to provide the public “with additional ways to engage with their government,” the county has announced. (Read more »)