20160527-27 May 2016

City of Sarasota seeking close to $1 million from county to help fund Robert L. Taylor Community Complex operations in the 2017 fiscal year

County administrator has asked staff to research and report on the county’s history of financial support for the facility

Sarasota County Administrator Tom Harmer has asked staff of the county’s Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources Department to review a City of Sarasota request for the county to contribute close to $1 million to assist in operating the city’s Robert L. Taylor Community Complex (RLTCC) in the 2017 fiscal year. (Read more »)

With mediation in legal case still set for May 27, County Commission approves mitigation plan for second Whole Foods site on University Parkway

County staff says the action on the agreement was necessary to proceeding with processing the project application

Three days before a scheduled mediation conference in a legal case over the matter, the Sarasota County Commission voted 4-1 on May 24 to approve the mitigation agreement necessary for a Whole Foods and Wawa development to proceed on an 8.24-acre site on University Parkway. (Read more »)

County Commission sides with roofers and business organizations in denying tax incentives to national firm looking to relocate its headquarters

Economic Development Corp.’s CEO talked of potential for $100 million in annual economic impact with 180 new jobs in place

Referencing what she called the “business disruption” created by the proposal, Sarasota County Commissioner Christine Robinson made the motion on May 24 to deny the opportunity of local and state tax incentives to a national roofing company interested in moving its headquarters to the county — with the potential of $100 million in annual economic impact when the firm reached its full employment of 180 people. The motion passed 4-1, with Commissioner Carolyn Mason in the minority. (Read more »)

FDOT proposes changes to Jacaranda Boulevard roundabout to significantly reduce the number of crashes

Funding is available from the state, the district operations engineer says, and the tentative timeline calls for the work to be completed no later than June 2017

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) has proposed a number of improvements for the Jacaranda Boulevard/Venice Avenue roundabout in Venice, all of which its district operations engineer believes can be accomplished with state funding, the Sarasota County Commission learned this week. (Read more »)

Although Tourist Development Tax revenue continues to rise, March collections showed the least gain so far this fiscal year

Visit Sarasota County’s president tells the County Commission that Brazil’s economic woes are proving to have an impact statewide on tourism

Sarasota County’s Tourist Development Tax (TDT) revenue continued its climb in March, according to the latest figures from the Sarasota County Tax Collector’s Office. Through April 30, the total TDT revenue for the 2016 fiscal year — which began Oct. 1, 2015 — was $11,937,453.17. That is $569,927.27 more than the county collected through the same period in 2014-15, the records show. (Read more »)

Benderson Development reveals modified plans for Siesta Promenade

First phase of construction could begin this fall on vacant lot at the northwest corner of Stickney Point Road and U.S. 41.

Benderson Development is taking its first steps to gain county approval for the latest version of Siesta Promenade — a mixed-use center that would transform the busy intersection — and hopes to break ground as early as fall 2016 on the retail and hotel component of the project, Todd Mathes, director of development at Benderson, told Siesta Sand. (Read more »)

City commissioners spar over comments in May 2 minutes

City auditor and clerk defends characterization of board discussion in one case and promises to review public remarks in the other

It might be said that a local government body’s approval of minutes of its meetings is a routine affair. Occasionally, an elected official will offer a correction. Even then, discourse over those records of board action rarely takes more than a couple of minutes. (Read more »)

Two City Commission votes pave the way for parking meter revenue and assessments to pay for St. Armands garage to be constructed in 2018

Commissioner Shelli Freeland Eddie argues that a phased-in meter program would have been preferable

With two divided votes, the Sarasota City Commission has moved forward with a plan to assess property owners in the Commercial Tourist District on St. Armands to help finance a $15-million parking garage in the shopping district. (Read more »)

Turtle Beach Park improvements should be completed by late fall

County Commission unanimously approves contract with Magnum Builders of Sarasota to create new parking spaces and playground, as well as a rain garden, among other features

Turtle Beach Park is expected to have a number of new amenities by late fall, thanks to a unanimous vote of the Sarasota County Commission on May 24. The board’s approval of a $694,296.69 contract with Magnum Builders of Sarasota came as it voted on a multitude of Consent Agenda items entailing routine business when it met this week in Sarasota. (Read more »)

Next Civics 101 class to begin on July 7

Course designed to make people aware of how the county operates and the resources it offers to the public

Sarasota County will continue offering a “backstage pass” to residents through the popular Civics 101 program, which will return from 6 to 8:15 p.m. on Thursday, July 7, the county has announced. (Read more »)

AARP Florida files request to intervene in FPL’s $1.34-billion proposed rate increase case

Public welcome to offer testimony on the company’s request when Florida Public Service Commission holds hearing on June 3 in Sarasota

AARP Florida has filed a request to formally intervene in Florida Power & Light Co.’s $1.34-billion proposed rate increase case before the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC), urging the PSC to reject the hike “as too costly for consumers,” AARP Florida State Director Jeff Johnson has announced. (Read more »)

Website dedicated to City of Sarasota’s upcoming Osprey Avenue infrastructure improvement project

Upgrading of utility mains and resurfacing to be handled in two phases starting in January 2017

A new website providing information about what City of Sarasota staff calls “a significant future project” on Osprey Avenue is available, the city has announced. The website may be found at www.OspreyAveImprovements.com. (Read more »)

Sheriff’s Office and Sarasota Police Department participating in national Click It or Ticket campaign

Initiative will continue through June 5

The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office and the Sarasota Police Department are participating in the National Click It or Ticket Enforcement Campaign, which is designed to save lives and remind motorists that Florida law requires them to buckle up, a Sheriff’s Office news release says. (Read more »)

Lori White named Superintendent of the Year by Florida Alliance for Arts Education

Award to be presented next month in Daytona Beach

The Florida Alliance for Arts Education (FAAE) has named Lori White, superintendent of the Sarasota County Schools, its 2016 Superintendent of the Year, the organization has announced. (Read more »)

Lifeguard hours to be extended starting Saturday, May 28, with Memorial Day weekend getting underway

Sarasota County has six guarded beaches

Sarasota County’s beach lifeguard operational hours will be extended on all guarded beaches from 10 a.m. to 6:45 p.m., starting Saturday, May 28, and that schedule will run through Labor Day weekend, the county has announced. (Read more »)

City of Sarasota administrative offices to be closed for Memorial Day

Parade will begin at 10 a.m. in downtown Sarasota

The City of Sarasota’s administrative offices will be closed Monday, May 30, in observance of Memorial Day, the city has announced, but garbage, recycling, yard waste and bulk waste collections will not be impacted. (Read more »)

Downtown Sarasota economic development coordinator has left the post for a new job

Norm Gollub relocating to the Pacific Northwest

Norm Gollub left the community on May 20 after serving as the City of Sarasota’s downtown economic development coordinator for the past three years, City Manager Tom Barwin has announced. (Read more »)

County staff to mark grand opening of new Fire Station No. 14 on May 3

Facility will serve the Vamo and Osprey areas

Sarasota County staff will host a grand opening for Fire Station No. 14 (Vamo) at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, May 31, the county has announced. (Read more »)