20170915-15 Sep 2017

Note to readers: We did not have power until Tuesday night, and we publish Thursday night, so this edition is slightly abbreviated.

Almost 19,000 people sheltered in Sarasota County during Irma, county administrator reports

Commissioners’ primary criticism about emergency operations focuses on need for shelters in Venice and Englewood

Almost 19,000 individuals occupied the 14 Sarasota County shelters that were opened in advance of Hurricane Irma’s strike over the night of Sept. 10, County Administrator Tom Harmer reported to the County Commission this week. Although all the general population shelters had closed prior to the board’s regular meeting on Sept. 13, he said, one special needs facility remained open. (Read more »)

County Commission says owners of two Siesta Key parcels can take the county’s offer for the land or take the county to court

Board refuses to agree to higher price — and certain restrictions — sought by owners of 162 and 168 Beach Road

On a 4-1 vote this week, the Sarasota County Commission essentially told the owners of two parcels on Siesta Key’s Beach Road that they can accept the $2,850,000 the county is willing to pay for the property, or they can file suit against the county for preventing them from building homes on the Gulf-front land. (Read more »)

North Port Commission’s Sept. 19 vote on agreement with Braves expected to be last approval step in Spring Training project for South County

County Commission offers full support of final document it had to approve for new $100-million complex to be built

On March 8, 2016, then-Sarasota County Commissioner described the prevailing attitude as “cautionary excitement”: The board was preparing to authorize County Administrator Tom Harmer to negotiated with the West Villages Improvement District and the Atlanta Braves in an effort to entice the team to relocate its Spring Training operations to the North Port community. (Read more »)

Public Service Tax hearing to be part of county budget meeting on Sept. 18 in Venice

5% would be added to residential electric, water, gas and L.P. gas bills

Because of Hurricane Irma, the Sarasota County Commission has postponed its first set of public hearings on the proposed 2018 fiscal year budget until Sept. 18. Originally, the session was set for Sept. 11. However, all county offices were closed that day in the aftermath of the storm’s passage through the area. (Read more »)

City of Sarasota storm damage-related emergency building permits to be put on fast track

Fees waived

The City of Sarasota Building Division is accepting applications for emergency building permits and electrical permits for storm-related damage, the city announced on Sept. 13. (Read more »)

Be wary of scam artists while pursuing repairs, Sheriff Tom Knight warns the public

After a hurricane strike, unlicensed contractors and illegitimate handymen typically come into a community, sheriff says

The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office is reminding the public in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma “to be aware of unlicensed contractors and other service providers trying to take advantage of residents who experienced property damage.” (Read more »)

Power outages remain among top frustrations for county residents in Irma’s aftermath

‘Comfort stations’ offered to aid those still with no electricity; county announcing more openings of libraries and parks

While many Sarasota County operations were returning to near normalcy by the afternoon of Sept. 14, residents still without power were the most frustrated, based on comments The Sarasota News Leader heard. As of 4 p.m. Sept. 14, Florida Power & Light Co. reported that 67,000 customers in the county had no electricity, out of the 218,840 affected by Irma. (Read more »)

World Rowing Championships still on schedule for Sept. 23 start, with only minor damage reported at Nathan Benderson Park

About 900 athletes expected, down from 1,500 estimate two weeks ago

Although Nathan Benderson Park was affected by Hurricane Irma, along with the rest of Sarasota County, the 2017 World Rowing Championships remains “full steam ahead” to open Sept. 23 and run through Oct. 1, County Administrator Tom Harmer announced during the Sept. 13 County Commission meeting. (Read more »)