20171208-8 Dec 2017

Parking fees to be charged in Palm Avenue and State Street garages starting in January as result of 4-1 City Commission vote this week

First three hours to be free

With only Mayor Shelli Freeland Eddie voting against the proposal, the City of Sarasota tentatively will begin charging for parking in its Palm Avenue and State Street garages on Jan. 17, 2018. The first three hours in each garage will be free, Parking Division General Manager Mark Lyons explained. After that period, a person would pay $3 for the first hour and $1 for each subsequent hour. (Read more »)

As Dec. 12 hearing begins on proposed dredging of Big Sarasota Pass, Siesta Key Association officer and a Siesta resident expected to testify so judge can rule on their right to challenge the project

Florida Wildlife Federation withdraws from case because of attorney’s health

Concern over whether a Siesta Key nonprofit organization and a Siesta resident have the legal right to challenge the proposal of the City of Sarasota and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to dredge Big Sarasota Pass prompted a flurry of motions this week, as the parties in a state administrative law case made preparations for the Dec. 12 start of a hearing on the challenges. (Read more »)

‘Jumping Fish’ chosen for Palm/Cocoanut roundabout

Vice Mayor Liz Alpert the only city commissioner to vote against that selection

Jumping Fish, it is. It took a little more than 30 minutes of discussion on Dec. 4, but four of the five Sarasota city commissioners sided with the 99.9% of people had who voted on the city’s social media platforms for that choice out of three finalists for the sculpture at the city’s planned roundabout at the intersection of North Palm and Cocoanut avenues. (Read more »)

Construction safety issues emanating from lack of side setbacks from property lines to be one focus of zoning code discussions, city commissioners agree

City staff discusses ramifications of zoning changes implemented as a result of Duany 2002 master plan for Sarasota

Although he did not actually use the expression that dates back to Hollywood’s silent film era, Sarasota City Commissioner Willie Shaw essentially called for “cutting to the chase” on Dec. 4, about 55 minutes into a discussion about the ramifications of new construction adjacent to existing condominium towers. (Read more »)

Once again, majority of City Commission agrees that city should lease Lido Pool and Pavilion to a Sarasota-based limited liability company

Commissioners trade barbs about representation of constituents and facets of the plans put forth by Lido Beach Redevelopment Partners

It took about an hour and 50 more minutes of discussion on Nov. 30, including numerous pauses when Mayor Shelli Freeland Eddie chastised attendees, citing their lack of appropriate decorum. In the end, an effort by Commissioner Willie Shaw to rescind the City Commission’s Nov. 20 approval of a lease for the Lido Pool and Pavilion property failed on a 2-3 vote. (Read more »)

Good dominates in House 72 Democratic Primary

She will face Republican James Buchanan and Libertarian Alison Foxall in February 2018

Sarasota attorney Margaret Good prevailed in the Dec. 5 Democratic primary for the State House 72 Special Election, winning with 72.4% of the vote, the Sarasota County Supervisor of Elections Office reported. Sarasota business owner Ruta Jouniari had 2,342 votes to Good’s 6,144, the results showed. (Read more »)

Tentative timeline calls for master plan for city’s 42 bayfront acres to win community approval in July 2018

Sarasota Bayfront Planning Organization chair updates City Commission on project team and financing

The goal of the Sarasota Bayfront Planning Organization (SBPO) is to have a master plan in place by late next summer to transform the City of Sarasota’s 42 bayfront acres into a cultural arts district with abundant public access to the water, the SBPO chair told the City Commission this week. (Read more »)

City employees to be given opportunity to provide anonymous comments as part of Sarasota charter officials’ evaluation process

Commission votes unanimously to approve suggestion made by Commissioner Brody

Sarasota City Commissioner Hagen Brody’s colleagues agreed with his suggestion this week that employees should be allowed to comment anonymously on their working relationships with the three charter officials the board members will evaluate next year. (Read more »)

Federal tax legislation could cost Sarasota County an extra $100,000 on debt service for bonds to help fund Atlanta Braves’ Spring Training complex

Congress considering tax on financing for athletic stadiums

The final version of Congress’ federal tax overhaul could cost Sarasota County $100,000 more in debt service on bonds to help pay for the Atlanta Braves Spring Training complex in North Port. That was the news County Administrator Tom Harmer delivered to the County Commission on Nov. 14. (Read more »)

County ‘bed tax’ revenue allocated to City of Sarasota expected to be needed this fiscal year for Lido Renourishment Project, city engineer tells county staff

Expense of renourishment projects a focus of Tourist Development Council members’ discussion

About a month before an administrative law hearing was scheduled to begin on challenges to the project, City of Sarasota staff informed Sarasota County staff that the city hopes to use about $3.6 million it is due in Tourist Development Tax (TDT) revenue this fiscal year to help pay for the renourishment of the South Lido Key Beach. (See the related story in this issue.) (Read more »)

Siesta Seen

Contractor repairs damaged irrigation lines; Siesta Village maintenance ordinance gets a tweak; boat crash occurs in Big Pass; Cosentino apparently has ceased public remarks to the County Commission; Gaddie wins seat on county advisory committee; Condo Council speaker flooded with questions; and Terrace East representatives praise a county employee

A contractor based in Seffner — outside Tampa — sent a crew to Siesta Village this week to repair irrigation lines that were damaged as a result of the installation of fiber optic cable for MCI cell phone coverage, The Sarasota News Leader learned on Dec. 6. (Read more »)

U.S. 41 nighttime lane closures planned between Ninth and 15th streets in Sarasota Dec. 4-8

Prep work underway for roundabout projects at 10th and 14th streets

Lane closures on U.S. 41 between Ninth and 15th streets have been planned from Monday, Dec. 4, through Friday, Dec. 8, as contractors for the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) begin preparations for the construction of the roundabouts at 10th and 14th streets in Sarasota, the City of Sarasota has announced. (Read more »)

FDOT open house on Dec. 12 to focus on alternatives for U.S. 41 corridor from Ringling Boulevard to Main Street

Session will begin at 5 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) will hold a public meeting at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 12, to present alternatives in its project development and environment (PD&E) study for the U.S. 41 corridor from Ringling Boulevard to Main Street, the department has announced. (Read more »)

Holiday Boat Parade of Lights set for Dec. 9

Prime viewing areas in Sarasota are Marina Jack, Bayfront Park and Centennial Park, city manager advises

Traditionally, the second Saturday of December is reserved for the Holiday Boat Parade of Lights in Sarasota, “and this year is no exception!” City Manager Tom Barwin has reported. Dec. 9 will mark “the 32nd year for this festive event that lights up Sarasota Bay,” Barwin added in his Dec. 1 newsletter. (Read more »)

County Council of Neighborhood Associations to hold Dec. 11 meeting followed by potluck holiday party

Members of the public welcome to attend

On Monday, Dec. 11, the public is invited to join members of the Sarasota County Council of Neighborhood Associations (CONA) for its annual holiday party, which “will follow a very brief business meeting,” the organization has announced. (Read more »)

New $25-million control tower completed at Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport

Airport working with FAA in anticipation of starting use of the facility in summer of 2018

Halfacre Construction Co. of Sarasota recently completed a new 139-foot-high Sarasota Bradenton International Airport tower, the firm has announced. Halfacre began the project in November 2015. (Read more »)

Riverview High principal named to state education post

Wilks to serve as acting principal

Florida Commissioner of Education Pam Stewart has named Riverview High School Principal Paul Burns as the Florida Department of Education’s deputy chancellor of educator quality, effective Jan. 3. (Read more »)

Alta Vista Elementary to host second Reading Street

Family members welcome to attend Dec. 12 event, as long as they bring books to read, staff says

On Dec. 12, students at Alta Vista Elementary in Sarasota will open their favorite books for the school’s second sidewalk “read-in,” known as Reading Street, the Sarasota County School District has announced. The event will start at 10 a.m. (Read more »)