Benderson Park to be focus of next CONA meeting

Finances of rowing facility owned by Sarasota County to be major part of Jan. 8 discussion

The Finish Tower has become the key landmark at Benderson Park. File photo

On Monday, Jan. 8, the public is invited to join members of the Sarasota County Council of Neighborhood Associations (CONA) for dialogue led by Pat Rounds and Bill Zoller regarding Nathan Benderson Park, CONA has announced.

The site of the 2017 World Rowing Championships in September, the county-owned Benderson Park has been in the spotlight in recent months, as its operations have revived concerns about taxpayer funding for, and the structuring of, tourism-related public-private partnerships, a news release explains.

Invitees for the panel are Stephen Rodriguez, president and CEO of the Suncoast Aquatic Nature Center Associates Inc. (known as SANCA); Fredrick Piccolo of the Nathan Benderson Park Foundation; and Dennis Maley of the Bradenton Times, the news release notes

The program will include discussion of the grand vision for the facilities, “priorities, realities, and how this partnership will be able to fulfill its costly commitments,” the release adds.
A question-and-answer session will follow the panel discussion.

See for more information about CONA.

A social period will begin at 6:30 p.m., with the meeting to follow at 7 p.m., the release points out. CONA holds its sessions at the Sarasota Garden Club, which is located at 1131 Boulevard of the Arts in Sarasota. The building is at the intersection of Tamiami Trail, just south of the Municipal Auditorium. The parking area and the entrance are reached from Van Wezel Way.