Barrier Island Traffic Study including Siesta, Casey and Manasota keys wins support as Sarasota County transportation priority

Variety of new recommendations could lead to less congestion

Although Commissioner Charles Hines asked a lot of questions, he ultimately joined three of his colleagues in supporting the inclusion of a $1.1-million Sarasota County Barrier Island Study on an updated list of county transportation funding priorities. (Read more »)

County administrator optimistic new parks interlocal agreement with Venice can be completed within 60 days

County Commission to rescind November 2017 letter that led to community controversy over operation of Venice parks

The Sarasota County administrator said this week that he feels it is feasible for the County Commission and the Venice City Council to sign a new agreement within 60 days, spelling out each local government’s future responsibilities regarding the city’s parks. (Read more »)

Majority of City Commission chooses to stick with current policy for special events in downtown Sarasota

Downtown Sarasota Condominium Association had sought changes

Residents of downtown Sarasota condominium complexes believe the City of Sarasota needs stricter regulations for special events in their part of the community. The majority of the City Commission begs to differ. (Read more »)

County ‘closest [it has] ever been’ in negotiations over swap of River Road to the state, with county taking control of Siesta Key roads

Commissioner Charles Hines broaches need for political pressure to conclude the deal

The news first was aired publicly on Sept. 13, 2017, during the regular Sarasota County Commission meeting in Sarasota: County staff was in discussions with staff of the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) about potentially assuming ownership of roads on Siesta Key in exchange for the state taking control of River Road. (Read more »)

Myrtle Street improvements put on Sarasota County’s regional transportation priority list with hope of winning a spot on state road project list

Consultant awarded increase in funding for design and pre-construction work for part of upgrades

Thanks to Sarasota County Commission action this week — and an anticipated Sarasota City Commission vote — completion of long-sought improvements to Myrtle Street in north Sarasota moved yet another step forward. On the recommendation of the planning manager for the Sarasota-Manatee Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), the County Commission voted 4-0 to rank the project No. 6 on its 2018 priority list for Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) funding. (Read more »)

Parking to be prohibited on north side of Old Stickney Point Road to improve public safety

County Commission agrees to request from residents

Responding to residents’ concerns, the Sarasota County Commission this week voted unanimously to prohibit parking along the north side of Old Stickney Point Road from the Midnight Pass Road intersection to 45 feet east of Sabal Drive. (Read more »)

Special Magistrate hearing set on March 9 in effort to force removal of portable toilet and sign from Cosentino property at 10 Beach Road

Cosentino also has applied to FDEP to rebuild the deteriorated groin that juts into Big Pass

On March 9, Sarasota County staff will ask a Code Enforcement Special Magistrate to order Siesta Key resident Mike Cosentino to remove a portable toilet and sign from property Cosentino owns at 10 Beach Road, adjacent to Beach Access 2 outside Siesta Village. (Read more »)

Siesta Seen

Fire chief addresses Station 13 action in regard to hurricane; about 85% of Fire Department calls on Key EMS-related; Condo Council announces paid beach parking survey results; Siesta Beach falls to No. 2 on TripAdvisor list; residents asks whether Key can get more Code Enforcement officers; City of Sarasota pays most of December 2017 Big Pass legal bill from Lido residents’ counsel; north Siesta lift station to get permanent generator; Make Siesta Drive Safer achieving improvements; Positive RePercussions to offer group drumming therapy; and Siesta Chamber hires new promotion and event coordinator

During the Feb. 20 Siesta Key Condominium Council meeting — with Sarasota County Fire Chief Mike Regnier and County Commissioner Alan Maio as special guests — Mark Smith, immediate past chair of the Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce, addressed a bit of a different topic during the Q&A session. (Read more »)

Baltimore Orioles generate $97 million in annual economic impact in Sarasota County

Increasing year-over-year growth in that figure confirmed by independent research undertaken for Sarasota County

The economic impact of the Baltimore Orioles in Sarasota has continued to grow year-over-year to approximately $97 million, according to an independent analysis commissioned by Sarasota County. (Read more »)

Supervisor of elections urging voters to return their vote-by-mail ballots in timely fashion for March 20 elections

Early voting to begin March 10 and continue through March 17

Sarasota County Supervisor of Elections Ron Turner is reminding vote-by-mail voters that their ballots for the March 20 elections must be returned in time to reach the Supervisor of Elections Office no later than 7 p.m. on election night, to be counted. (Read more »)

County to host March 5 open house on Floodplain Management Plan update

Event to be held from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at Suncoast Technical College in Sarasota

Sarasota County will host an open house on Monday, March 5, to collect additional public comments on the county’s Floodplain Management Plan update, the county has announced. Since August 2016, Sarasota County has been working with a consultant to update its Floodplain Management Plan, which helps identify flood safety initiatives following the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s updated criteria, a news release explains. (Read more »)

Steube announces run for Congress

State senator has filed for seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Tom Rooney

State Sen. Greg Steube has announced that he will run for Florida’s 17th U.S. Congressional District seat, which is being vacated by U.S. Rep. Tom Rooney of Okeechobee. The district covers nine counties, a news release notes, but southern Sarasota County and Charlotte County account for over 56% of the total voters. (Read more »)

Del Castillo named Riverview High School principal

Appointment effective July 1

Erin del Castillo has been named the new principal of Riverview High School (RHS), effective July 1, pending School Board approval, the Sarasota County School District has announced. (Read more »)

Ed Smith Stadium voted top Spring Training venue

Research based on fan comments

Ed Smith Stadium is the top venue among Major League Baseball Spring Training sites in both Florida and Arizona, ReviewTrackers, a data-mining firm in Chicago, has reported. “The study analyzed the comments in 36,000 online reviews of the 23 stadiums used for Spring Training, tracking how fans felt about the facility itself, food and drink offerings, and the overall experience for fans and families,” a news release explains. (Read more »)