20160916-16 Sep 2016

FDEP agreed to waiver on Lido Renourishment Project so it could take more time to review materials related to the application, city engineer says

A Manatee County staff letter provides more details about the proposed seagrass mitigation plan in Perico Preserve

The reason the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) this month agreed to extend by 30 days a decision on its next step in the Lido Renourishment Project permit process was because staff wanted more time to review a specific document and it sought additional information about the proposed seagrass mitigation plan, The Sarasota News Leader has learned. (Read more »)

Braves still in talks with Sarasota County representatives about a Spring Training complex near Venice and North Port

As recently as Labor Day, the chair of the West Villages Improvement District had a phone conversation with team officials

As recently as Labor Day, the chair of the West Villages Improvement District in South Sarasota County talked with representatives of the Atlanta Braves about the potential for the Major League Baseball team to relocate Spring Training games to Sarasota County. (Read more »)

Orange Hammock Ranch owners want to see ‘significant movement’ on acquisition efforts before extending option deadline

July meeting of representatives from five organizations saw agreement on a variety of issues, including the desire to see all of the ranch conserved, Conservation Foundation president says

The owners of Orange Hammock Ranch have made it clear to the Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast that they want “‘significant movement’ before they extend [the Foundation’s] option [to purchase the property], which expires Oct. 4.” That was the message Christine Johnson, president of the Foundation, delivered to the Sarasota County Commission and the North Port Commission during the boards’ joint meeting on Sept. 12 in Venice. (Read more »)

County to relocate utility lines next year so FDOT can proceed with current design of Laurel Road overpass for The Legacy Trail

Because of federal funding restrictions, no other option seemed feasible, the county’s chief engineer reported

Having run out of other options, Sarasota County staff will relocate a 30-inch water line and an 18-inch sewer force main by the end of August 2017 so the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) can build a Laurel Road overpass for The Legacy Trail, Chief County Engineer Isaac Brownman has reported to the commissioners. (Read more »)

Oct. 10 public hearing set on Siesta Key outdoor business displays guidelines

Sarasota County staff proposes the indefinite extension of the guidelines; leaders of island organizations and business owners concur about the lack of complaints

On June 4, 2013, more business owners than usual showed up for the regular meeting of the Siesta Key Village Association (SKVA), and to characterize these new attendees as unhappy might be an understatement. They had learned in May that the Siesta Key Overlay District, which governs all sorts of activities on Siesta Key, did not allow them to display goods outside their shops. Two complained that county Code Enforcement Officer John Lally’s instructions for them to keep wares inside their stores were crippling their ability to make a living. (Read more »)

Siesta Seen

New flashing beacons coming soon to intersection of Givens Street and Ocean Boulevard: Village Association support sought for miniature golf course; International Coastal Cleanup has two dates this year for volunteers; organizations with Siesta ties to participate in the Giving Challenge; SKVA gets an update on Village maintenance; and monitoring continues with wastewater main/water main project

Around mid-October, both north- and southbound drivers on Ocean Boulevard should be alert to new warning lights at the Givens Street intersection, thanks to an initiative prompted by residents of that area and the Siesta Key Association. Former SKA President Michael Shay told The Sarasota News Leader that the organization received an email in early April about concerns regarding traffic in that vicinity. (Read more »)

City and County commissions to hold their final budget hearings next week

Neither is raising its millage rate, but increased property values will bring in more revenue

On the night of Sept. 19, the Sarasota City Commission will hold its final public hearing on its proposed 2017 fiscal year budget. The County Commission will conduct its second required public hearing two days later, at 5:30 p.m. on Sept. 21 at the Administration Center in downtown Sarasota. (Read more »)

Sept. 29 groundbreaking planned for Suncoast Technical College with new public library in North Port

Facility will include a conference center, as well

The commencement of site excavation has been just one of the “big milestones” Sarasota County’s director of libraries and historical resources noted as she updated the County Commission and the North Port Commission this week on the progress of the Suncoast Technical College project in North Port. (Read more »)

Quality of life rated very high in county survey, but traffic congestion and growth management cited as big concerns this year

Citizen Opinion Survey results presented to County Commission

An “overwhelming majority” of the Sarasota County residents who took the county’s Citizen Opinion Survey this year — 59% — rated their quality of life good or excellent, Susan A. MacManus, a distinguished professor at the University of South Florida, has reported to the County Commission. (Read more »)

Tourist Development Tax revenue remains on path to hit another record this year in the county

Year-over-year decline originally reported in June wiped out by updated reports

The negative number for Tourist Development Tax (TDT) collections in June has disappeared, as Visit Sarasota County President Virginia Haley anticipated during an August interview with The Sarasota News Leader. (Read more »)

South Siesta renourishment area and Lido, Casey and Manasota keys suffered most erosion from Hermine

County and city staff assessments conducted after the storm’s passage by the coast earlier this month

The recently renourished south Siesta Key Beach and Casey Key appeared to have suffered more erosion than other areas of the county as a result of Tropical Storm and eventual Hurricane Hermine, staff of the Sarasota County Environmental Protection Division reported after assessments on Sept. 1, 2 and 6. (Read more »)

Annual Manasota Beach Youth Fall Fishing Tournament set for Sept. 17

Registration will begin at 8 a.m.

The Sarasota County Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources Department will host the Fifth Annual Youth Fall Fishing Tournament at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 17, at Manasota Beach in Englewood, the county has announced. (Read more »)

YMCA’s downtown branch to close on Oct. 7, consolidate with Berlin Branch

Babe Weiller Branch is in Main Plaza, which is expected to undergo redevelopment

The Sarasota YMCA has announced that its Babe Weiller Branch in downtown Sarasota will close on Friday, Oct. 7. The facility will be consolidated with the Frank G. Berlin Branch, located at 1075 S. Euclid Ave., which was renovated in 2015, a press release says. (Read more »)

Baltimore Orioles to host one of nation’s top amateur baseball tournaments in Sarasota this month

Wilson Premier Classic to be held Sept. 15-18

The Baltimore Orioles will host one of the nation’s top amateur baseball tournaments, the Wilson Premier Classic, in Sarasota from Sept. 15-18 at Ed Smith Stadium and the Buck O’Neil Baseball Complex at Twin Lakes Park, the Major League Baseball team has announced. (Read more »)

National Public Lands Day to be marked with Sept. 24 event

Sarasota County seeking volunteers to remove exotic plants and trash from Pinecraft Park in Sarasota

On Saturday, Sept. 24, Sarasota County will mark the 23rd Annual National Public Lands Day with an initiative to improve Pinecraft Park, the county has announced. (Read more »)

Registration open for 11th Annual Sustainable Communities Workshop

Early-bird fee of $35 available through Nov. 1

Early-bird registration is open for Sarasota County’s 11th Annual Sustainable Communities Workshop, which will be held on Thursday, Dec. 1, at the Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida Event and Conference Center, the county has announced. (Read more »)

Buchanan to be honorary chair of World Rowing Championships

Longboat Key Republican’s involvement should ensure high level of success for the event, its director says

U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan of Longboat Key has agreed to serve as honorary chairman of the 2017 World Rowing Championships, the host committee has announced. (Read more »)

Second annual Free Family 5K Walk/Run to be held Sept. 24 on Nokomis Beach

Optional 1.5-mile walk/run will be part of event

The Florida Department of Health in Sarasota County (DOH-Sarasota) and the Sarasota County Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources Department will host their second annual Free Family 5K Walk/Run on Saturday, Sept. 24, at Nokomis Beach, the county has announced. (Read more »)

County’s Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources Department wins state tourism award

Presentation was made in Orlando by the Florida Sports Foundation

Sarasota County’s Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources Department recently earned an Excellence in Sports Tourism Award, which was presented at the Florida Recreation and Park Association (FRPA) Annual Conference in Orlando, the county has announced. (Read more »)