20151218-18 Dec 2015

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Funding sources remain key element of proposals to help the community’s chronically homeless residents

Dedicated funding options for shelter BCC SCC Nov. 6 2015Sarasota county and city staffs have researched food and beverage taxes as well as a special health and mental health taxing district

As Sarasota County staff members continue undertaking due diligence on potential sites for a homeless shelter, pinpointing the funding sources to build and operate such a facility remains a high concern, Wayne Applebee, director of homelessness services for the county, told The Sarasota News Leader in a recent interview. (Read more »)

Call it a matter of monitoring rising tides, and adapting

TS-Debby-flooding-by-Golden-Gate-Point-2City Commission adopts a Bay and Beach Monitoring Plan and a Climate Change Adaptation Plan, with $155,000 in Deepwater Horizon settlement funds going to the programs

Sarasota City Commissioner Susan Chapman watches the tides. “It’s not like Miami yet,” said Chapman, who lives on Hudson Bayou. “But it is something that should scare us.” City officials are not waiting until fish are swimming in the streets to take action. Earlier this month, the City Commission put a new plan in place to monitor — and ultimately prepare for and adapt to — the impacts of a changing climate. (Read more »)

Incoming County Commission chair says his board will hear a presentation on the Lido project peer review

Al Maio better shot SKA Oct. 1 2015 RBHAl Maio says the board is awaiting responses from the state and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on the Atkins report, but the News Leader finds no such responses will be forthcoming

The incoming chair of the Sarasota County Commission told members of the Siesta Key Association (SKA) this month that county staff is awaiting responses from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) on the county’s peer review of the Lido Beach Renourishment Project. (Read more »)

In plans to address homelessness, shelter tour for the media fuels more friction between city and county

Media listens to Applebee shelter tour Dec. 10 2015 RogerDuring the outing for reporters, county officials defend sites under due diligence for a shelter, but city officials find fault with the county’s plan

In September 2013, as homelessness issues consultant Robert Marbut visited with representatives of civic and nonprofit organizations, as well as elected officials, in pitching his solution for what he called a “transformational center” in Sarasota County, he stressed a “Smart Love” approach in dealing with the area’s population of chronically homeless individuals. (Read more »)

Sarasota County School District earns a Gold Level award from Florida Action for Healthy Kids

School Board members with FL Healthy Schools flag 12-8-15 LOW REZThis second consecutive top honor from the state recognizes district efforts to promote good health among students and staff

The Sarasota County School District has earned back-to-back recognition in being named a Gold Level award recipient by Florida Action for Healthy Kids (FAHK) in commendation of its efforts to promote good health for students and staff. (Read more »)

Food truck vendor’s application leads to broader discussion of planned new Sarasota County ordinance

Donna Thompson BCC TV Oct. 27 2015County commissioners voice concerns about giving surrounding property owners sufficient notice of applicants’ requests for Temporary Use Permits

A question about how to proceed on a Temporary Use Permit (TUP) request from a person seeking to set up a food truck at a Bee Ridge Road service station recently led to broader County Commission debate about handling such agenda items until the county has a new food truck ordinance in place. (Read more »)

Siesta Isles Association wins appeal over Sarasota County staff’s stop-work order on tree removal

Beach Way Drive Siesta Isles for BCC Dec. 8 2015 staffCommissioners ask staff to work on a way to prevent future, similar situations involving one department giving the go-ahead for a project and then a second department stopping that undertaking

Not only did the Sarasota County Commission grant the appeal of a Siesta Key homeowners group regarding its efforts to remove and replace trees to beautify two entrances to its neighborhood, but the board last week also unanimously called for a staff review of the county’s Trees Code to prevent similar situations in the future. (Read more »)

Sarasota County Commission votes unanimously to modify job qualifications for Building Official

Tom Polk BCC Dec. 9 2015 TVTrade groups support the change, while a scenario provided by Commissioner Christine Robinson proves ‘very illuminating’

Before the Sarasota County commissioners last week gave unanimous approval to a change in the qualifications for the county’s Building Official, the director of Sarasota County’s Planning and Development Services Department assured them that building industry groups, the county’s Chambers of Commerce and area engineers and architects supported the modification. (Read more »)

Siesta Seen

16-Rachel Brown Hackney-EmailCommission renews Siesta Key Farmers’ Market TUP and approves Beachside sign; county engineer clears up reader’s question about lake names; SKA discussion focuses on help for residents; non-conforming Village newsracks to be addressed by Code Enforcement; and Chamber awards nomination deadline extended

Two Siesta Key items on the Sarasota County Commission’s Dec. 9 agenda were handled promptly under the new “Presentation Upon Request” policy for public hearings. They were the continuation of the Temporary Use Permit (TUP) for the Siesta Key Farmers’ Market for another year; and approval of a license agreement with Holderness Enterprises LLC so it can erect a subdivision entryway sign within the public right of way on Columbus Boulevard. (Read more »)

Sarasota Bay found to have its largest seagrass acreage since the 1950s

Seagrass smSouthwest Florida Water Management District releases findings of its research from 2012 to 2014

Seagrass acreage in Sarasota Bay is at its highest level since the 1950s, having grown by 701 acres from 2012 to 2014, the Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD) has announced. (Read more »)

Sarasota County offering matching funds to assist neighborhoods

Neighborhood Grant Program page scgov Dec. 2015Next round of workshops announced for those interested in the Neighborhood Grant Program

Twice each year, residents of area neighborhoods submit proposals to the county to fund changes they wish to see in their communities, a county news release notes. The next round of Sarasota County Neighborhood Grant Program workshop dates has just been released and is available on the Neighborhood Services website. (Read more »)

Winners of 30th Annual Sarasota Holiday Boat Parade named

2015 Sarsaota Boat parade private division winnersEvent benefits Suncoast Charities for Children

On Saturday, Dec. 12, more than 20 decorated vessels participated in the 30th Annual Sarasota Holiday Boat Parade of Lights, held on Sarasota Bay. The event, which is produced by and benefits Suncoast Charities for Children, nets an average of $10,000 in donations each year for the nonprofit organization, a news release explains. (Read more »)

Raven Air to begin nonstop flights between Sarasota and Key West

PA23Five-passenger planes to fly the route three days a week starting Jan. 15, 2016

On Jan. 15, 2016, Raven Air LLC will begin nonstop service to Key West from the Sarasota Bradenton International Airport (SRQ), the airport announced this week. Based in Marco Island, Raven Air will offer the flights on Mondays, Fridays and Sundays, using five-passenger aircraft. (Read more »)

Most Sarasota County facilities to be closed on Christmas and New Year’s Day

Snowmen on Siesta Beach via scgov.netGarbage collection schedule will be adjusted as well

Most Sarasota County government offices and facilities will be closed Thursday, Dec. 24, and Friday, Dec. 25, in observance of the Christmas holiday, and Friday, Jan. 1, for New Year’s Day. “That includes all county recreation centers, Arlington Pool, Payne Park and the public pistol and rifle range at Knights Trail Park,” a news release points out. (Read more »)

Reindeer Games set for Christmas Day at Bobby Jones Golf Club

Bobby Jones Golf Club from website Dec. 2015Non-competitive event will begin at 8:45 a.m.

The Eighth Annual Reindeer Games will be played at Bobby Jones Golf Club in Sarasota on Christmas Day, the City of Sarasota has announced. The club is located at 1000 Circus Boulevard, northwest of the Beneva Road/Fruitville Road intersection. (Read more »)

Sheriff’s Office honored for support of employees serving in the military

SCSO-ESGR-Award-copy-320x277Organization presents department its highest award

The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office has received the Seven Seals Award from Employer Support of The Guard and Reserve (ESGR), a Department of Defense office, Sheriff Tom Knight has announced. “ESGR promotes cooperation and understanding between Reserve Component Service members and their employers,” a news release explains. (Read more »)