County Commission splits 3-2 on approving a new 5% utilities tax but no millage increase for 2018 fiscal year
All department chiefs and the constitutional officers who sought budget hikes will be asked to inform the commission about affected projects if they were to halve their increases
It took about 70 minutes of discussion, two split votes and one failed motion, but the majority of the Sarasota County Commission this week opted to support Chair Paul Caragiulo in refusing to raise the county’s millage rate for the 2018 fiscal year. (Read more »)
City’s CRA settlement proposal includes asking county to help fund a new job training facility, make payments into the Newtown CRA Trust Fund and provide annual support for the Robert L. Taylor Complex
Majority of city board members also agree to city manager’s suggestion that a pocket park with parking spaces be created on the former Police Department site
Having engendered County Commission anger over their postponement of the discussion two weeks ago, the Sarasota City Commission spent about 75 minutes during its regular session on June 19, debating facets of a proposal in an effort to settle its dispute with the county over a final payment into the Downtown Sarasota Community Redevelopment Area (CRA) Trust Fund. (Read more »)
Maintenance funding for county’s Environmentally Sensitive Lands Protection Program property to be increased as of the 2018 fiscal year
County Commission splits 3-2, with two board members concerned that an advisory council unanimously had urged it to wait a year on the decision so other options could be pursued
The vice chair of their Environmentally Sensitive Lands Oversight Committee (ESLOC) implored them to wait another year before deciding whether to increase the percentage of money put toward maintenance of lands purchased through the Environmentally Sensitive Lands Protection Program (ESLPP). (Read more »)
Sheriff seeking no new personnel for the 2018 fiscal year, but rising health care and retirement expenses among reasons for 2.85% budget increase
Crime has decreased 53% in the county over the past eight years, with command staff working to make the best use of its resources, sheriff and chief deputy say
Over the past eight years, overall crime has decreased 53% in Sarasota County, largely a result of the intelligence-led policing philosophy that has been the hallmark of Tom Knight’s leadership as sheriff. That is the best record in the state, Major Paul Richard, who heads up the Sheriff’s Office’s Law Enforcement Division, told the Sarasota County Commission during its June 20 budget workshop. (Read more »)
Limited liability company seeking coastal setback variance to build house completely seaward of Sarasota County’s Gulf Beach Setback Line, which was established to protect property owners
Applicant also wants to install a paver driveway along part of Beach Access 10 as the road to the home
As sand has continued to accrete on Siesta Key’s beach, more and more property that once was completely or partly underwater has become increasingly attractive to developers. Still, within the past four years, the Sarasota County Commission has remained stalwart in denying petitions for Coastal Setback Variances to allow new homes to be built seaward of the county’s Gulf Beach Setback Line (GBSL) — the figurative line in the sand. (Read more »)
Tax collector still wrestling with need for more parking near the Terrace Building in downtown Sarasota
Barbara Ford-Coates also reports to the County Commission that she has received the first check from Airbnb
After the new Mid-County Tax Collector’s Office opens — tentatively in the spring of 2018 — and the Pompano Avenue office where driver tests are administered closes — customer parking challenges are expected to increase in the vicinity of the Terrace Building in downtown Sarasota, Tax Collector Barbara Ford-Coates told the Sarasota County Commission this week. (Read more »)
Homestead fraud cases have put property valued at more than $88 million back on the county’s tax roll
Firm assisting with that effort gets 30% of taxes paid as a result of investigations, Property Appraiser’s Office administrative director says
From October 2015 through May of this year, the Sarasota County Property Appraiser’s Office has been able to add property with a taxable value of $88,063,000 back to the tax roll, thanks to investigations into homestead fraud cases, Brian Loughrey, the office’s administrative director, told the County Commission this week. (Read more »)
Project expected to get underway no later than February 2018
Construction of the City of Sarasota’s next two roundabouts — at the 10th and 14th street intersections of U.S. 41 — is set to begin no later than February 2018, staff has confirmed with the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT). In a June 12 email to City Manager Tom Barwin, Assistant City Engineer Daniel Ohrenstein wrote that he also had confirmed that the timeline for the project is two years. (Read more »)
First one set for Friday, June 23, in downtown Sarasota
Sarasota County staff will hold three public workshops to gather public comments on revised transportation concurrency requirements, along with a draft resolution that would update the transportation analysis requirements associated with proposed new developments within the county, staff has announced. (Read more »)
Award announced at event in Orlando this week
Booker High School Principal Rachel Shelley has been recognized with Florida’s 2017 Principal Achievement Award for Outstanding Leadership, an honor “popularly known as Florida Principal of the Year [award],” the Sarasota County School District has announced. (Read more »)
Free programs will be conducted on Thursday evenings through Sept. 14
The next installment of Sarasota County’s popular Civics 101 program is set to begin on July 27 and continue through Sept. 14, the county has announced. (Read more »)
Gary Leatherman was hired more than 10 years ago by Superintendent Gary Norris
Gary Leatherman, longtime director of the Sarasota County School District’s Communications and Community Relations Department, will retire on June 30, the district has announced. (Read more »)
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