20171006-6 Oct 2017

Interactive map created to inform county residents about storm debris collection schedule

Staff continuing to try to secure more trucks for the effort

As Sarasota County staff continues to work on initiatives to improve the rate of storm debris collection, the county announced this week that it has developed a new interactive tool to show residents the pick-up schedule. “Visit bit.ly/StormDebrisPickupMap and enter your address into the map to see when you can tentatively expect the storm debris removal truck,” a post says on the Sarasota County Government Facebook page. (Read more »)

City Commission directs staff to work on ‘financially feasible’ options for Bobby Jones Golf Course renovations and to seek grants

Mayor makes motion calling for more community workshops, as well, to gain views of golfers about what they prefer among business plan suggestions

Acting on a three-part motion made by Mayor Shelli Freeland Eddie, the Sarasota City Commission voted 4-1 this week to accept a master plan for renovating the Bobby Jones Golf Club. The board members directed staff not only to work on components of the plan “that are financially feasible,” as Mayor Shelli Freeland Eddie put it in her motion, but also to look for grant opportunities to help cover the estimated $21.7-million expense. (Read more »)

County Commission approves list of projects for which it hopes to win $4,250,000 in SWFWMD assistance

Chair Caragiulo voices frustrations about more and more constituents dealing with flooding issues and the need to find cost-effective solutions

The agenda item called for the Sarasota County Commission’s approval of a list of projects for which county staff hopes to win partial funding from the Southwest Florida Water Management District. However, on Sept. 26, Chair Paul Caragiulo questioned the use of consultants to assist staff with some of the work on those projects, pointing out that the more the county spends on outside help, the less funding it has for actual initiatives. (Read more »)

Judge agrees to county motion seeking dismissal of another count in North Beach Road lawsuit

Hearing set for Nov. 21 on motions calling for summary judgment on two of the remaining legal arguments

Twelfth Judicial Circuit Court Judge Frederick Mercurio has dismissed another count in the lawsuit Siesta Key resident Michael Cosentino filed last year over the Sarasota County Commission’s decision to vacate a 357-foot-long segment of North Beach Road. (Read more »)

City Commission delays vote on Tree Advisory Committee applicants for 30 days

Split decision comes at request of Commissioner Ahearn-Koch, who says she hopes more people will apply for the development interest seats

On a 3-2 vote, the Sarasota city commissioners agreed to extend by 30 days the deadline for applications to the Tree Advisory Committee it approved — also on a 3-2 vote — during its Aug. 21 regular meeting. “I would like to respectfully ask if we could delay this by 30 days, if possible,” Commissioner Jen Ahearn-Koch told her colleagues when they addressed the appointments on their Oct. 2 agenda. (Read more »)

County tourism figures maintain their climb this fiscal year, based on latest revenue report and research undertaken for Visit Sarasota County

‘Bed tax’ revenue remains on pace to break another record

Through the end of July, Sarasota County’s Tourist Development Tax (TDT) collections continued to outpace the total for the same period of the 2016 fiscal year, according to the latest figures released by the Sarasota County Tax Collector’s Office. (Read more »)

Sarasota city commissioners debate how to shorten their meetings, which routinely are lasting until midnight

With a variety of suggestions but no consensus, they table the issue for the second time

After a second round of discussions, the Sarasota city commissioners still have not reached a consensus on whether they should adjust the beginning time of their meetings. The issue first appeared on the Sept. 5 agenda at the request of Vice Mayor Liz Alpert, who voiced concern that meetings routinely were running late into the night. (Read more »)

St. Armands parking garage bonds and $15.5-million project expense approved, with construction to begin after height of tourist season

Sarasota mayor votes ‘No,’ indicating concern that insufficient revenue will be generated by on-street parking meters to help repay the bonds

She joined her fellow commissioners in approving the $11,974,255 Guaranteed Maximum Price and amended construction contract for the project. However, Sarasota Mayor Shelli Freeland Eddie this week voted against issuing $17.5 million in bonds to cover the expense of the St. Armands parking garage, plus the burying of electric lines on the John Ringling Causeway and other facets of the project — including the $100,000 cost of the building permit and the installation of a paid parking system in the facility. (Read more »)

Parsons becomes third high-profile county employee to take a position with Town of Longboat Key

Planning Services manager joining County Administrator Harmer and former chief county engineer in new roles

For the third time in recent months, the Town of Longboat Key has lured away a Sarasota County Government employee. Following in the proverbial footsteps of County Administrator Tom Harmer and former county Chief Engineer Isaac Brownman, Planning Services Division Manager Allen Parsons will be joining the town’s staff, Longboat Town Manager Dave Bullock notified his commissioners this week. (Read more »)

Siesta Seen

Recycling finally coming to Siesta Village; eminent domain foreseen as part of resolution for Midnight Pass Road flooding; new signage in gazebo to help prevent unwelcome behavior; south Siesta resident offers an alert about renourishment assessments; and law enforcement responds to Village incident

For years, Michael Shay has been yearning to see recycling containers installed in Siesta Village. As maintenance manager for the Siesta Key Village Maintenance Corp., he has spent considerable time scouting out locations where people routinely throw cans and water bottles into the garbage. Yet, because the contract the County Commission approved with Buccaneer Landscape Management in August 2014 included no provision for recycling, Shay learned that recycling could not be added to the firm’s responsibilities. (Read more »)

Tenth Street Boat Ramp to be closed Oct. 9-12

Dredging of boat basin will necessitate the temporary action

As the contractor dredging the 10th Street Boat Basin advances toward the boat ramps, all six boat ramps at the 10th Street Boat Ramp will be closed Monday, Oct. 9, through Thursday, Oct. 12, the City of Sarasota has announced. (Read more »)

Florida offering online voter registration

Website launched Oct. 1

On Sunday, Oct. 1, the State of Florida launched a new online voter registration website for state residents who would like to register to vote online or who are already registered but need to update their records, Sarasota County Supervisor of Elections Ron Turner has announced. (Read more »)

All registered Sarasota County voters to receive new voter information cards

A number of changes — including shifts in congressional and state Senate districts — necessitated the action

The Sarasota County Supervisor of Elections Office issued new voter information cards on Friday, Sept. 29, to all registered voters in Sarasota County, Supervisor of Elections Ron Turner announced. (Read more »)

Elections to be focus of Oct. 9 CONA meeting

Special election for District 72 House seat to be among topics

On Monday, Oct. 9, members of the public are invited to join the Sarasota County Council of Neighborhood Associations (CONA) for a presentation by Sarasota County Supervisor of Elections Ron Turner, the organization has announced. (Read more »)

Fire Prevention Open House to feature family fun

Oct. 7 event to be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Fire Station No. 5 on North Beneva Road

Family members of all ages are invited to enjoy what Sarasota County staff says will be a fun-filled and educational Fire Prevention Week Open House, an annual event sponsored by Sarasota County Emergency Services. (Read more »)

South Venice Beach Waterway Restoration Project to be focus of Oct. 14 celebration at The Grove

Event to mark culmination of the initiative

During an event on Saturday, Oct. 14, Sarasota County, in partnership with the South Venice Civic Association Water Quality Task Force and the Southwest Florida Water Management District, will mark the completion of the South Venice Beach Waterway Restoration Project, the county has announced. (Read more »)

Residents advised to be cautious when dealing with unsolicited contractors, post-Irma

City and county removing storm debris at no cost, for example, although flyers being distributed in city say otherwise

City of Sarasota residents are being advised to be alert and cautious when hiring contractors following Hurricane Irma. “Over the weekend, we received word that flyers are being placed on storm debris piles in neighborhoods advertising removal at ‘reasonable rates,’” Sarasota Public Works Director Doug Jeffcoat said in a news release. (Read more »)

Pine View School in Osprey earns high rankings in U.S. and Florida on niche.com

Website recognizes Pine View as the top public elementary school in the nation

In the 2018 list on the school-ranking website niche.com, Pine View School has been recognized as the top public elementary school in the U.S. out of 49,776 schools, and it is the sixth-ranked public middle school out of 23,000 schools in the nation, the Sarasota County School District has announced. (Read more »)

County’s Master Gardeners to hold annual sale on Oct. 14

Event to take place at Twin Lakes Park

Sarasota County Master Gardeners will hold their 12th Annual Plant Sale on Saturday, Oct. 14, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Twin Lakes Park, located at 6700 Clark Road in Sarasota, the organization has announced. Visitors will be able to choose from among hundreds of plant varieties at the sale. (Read more »)