20180511-11 May 2018


Judge recommends dredging of Big Pass be allowed to renourish South Lido Key Beach

Siesta organizations preparing to file exceptions to the order, with final decision on permit up to FDEP secretary

A Florida administrative law judge has recommended that the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) issue a modified permit that would allow the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the City of Sarasota to dredge Big Sarasota Pass to renourish a 1.6-mile stretch of South Lido Key Beach. (Read more »)

County commissioners offer one tweak only to latest City of Sarasota offer to settle CRA payment dispute

Commissioner Hines wins colleagues’ agreement that city needs to deed former Sarasota Police Department land to the county

On a unanimous vote this week, the Sarasota County Commission has agreed with the latest offer from the City of Sarasota to settle a two-year-old disagreement over the ending of the Downtown Sarasota Community Redevelopment Area (CRA) Trust Fund. (Read more »)

FDOT says it would not perform traffic signal re-timing to accommodate Siesta Promenade project

Department staff seeks numerous clarifications regarding Kimley-Horn traffic analyses for the proposed mix-use development

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is seeking a number of clarifications from the consulting firm Kimley-Horn and Associates of Sarasota regarding its traffic studies for the proposed Siesta Promenade mixed-use project, The Sarasota News Leader has learned. (Read more »)

New evacuation procedures to be implemented this year if a hurricane approaches

Among the measures will be a transportation plan with rally points where people may leave vehicles and catch rides to evacuation centers

Along with significant changes in how Sarasota County will order evacuations in advance of an approaching hurricane, staff also has established a list of 17 “rally points” to aid people who cannot drive themselves to an evacuation center. (Read more »)

County commissioners agree they should accept FDOT offer on proposed road swap after department insists on its original terms

County would assume responsibility for roads on Siesta Key, but not the drawbridges on Siesta Drive and Stickney Point Road

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) has made its final “road swap” offer involving River Road and the roads west of U.S. 41 that lead onto Siesta Key. “There’s really no negotiating on this … at least from the secretary’s perspective,” Sarasota County Administrator Jonathan Lewis told the county commissioners during their regular meeting on May 8 in Venice. (Read more »)

Replacement of water line on Gulfstream Avenue in Sarasota expected to start May 18

Affected travel lane to remain open most of the time

Thanks to a unanimous vote of the City Commission this week, work is expected to begin May 18 on the replacement of a 16-inch primary water line in downtown Sarasota, mostly along Gulfstream Avenue. The project is scheduled to be completed by Nov. 18, Bill Riebe, the city’s Utilities Department director, assured Commissioner Hagen Brody during the board’s regular meeting on May 7. (Read more »)

Electric vehicle shuttles seen as option to reduce traffic flow between downtown Sarasota and St. Armands Key

City Commission agrees to add three new proposed projects to special priority list resulting from Barrier Islands Traffic Study recommendations

At some point in the future, an electric vehicle could shuttle people from downtown Sarasota, across the Ringling Bridge and onto St. Armands Key, where they could catch another electric shuttle to the beach. That was a scenario the City of Sarasota’s chief engineer, Alexandrea DavisShaw, described to the city commissioners during their regular meeting on May 7. (Read more »)

Texas company gets City Commission go-ahead to undertake feasibility study regarding development on Marian Anderson Place site

UrbanAmerica has 180 days to undertake its research before deciding how it wishes to proceed

It took less than 15 minutes on May 7 for the Sarasota City Commission to give unanimous approval to a company’s proposal for a feasibility study regarding development on the Marian Anderson Place site in North Sarasota. Staff had recommended that action as the first phase of a two-pronged process. (Read more »)

Tax-increment financing district discussions approved between Sarasota County staff and Sarasota Bayfront Planning Organization

Revenue from the district could help pay for community park and cultural arts venue on 53 bayfront acres in city of Sarasota

On a unanimous vote this week, the Sarasota County Commission approved the start of discussions between county administrative staff and the Sarasota Bayfront Planning Organization (SBPO) on a potential funding mechanism for The Bay Sarasota project. (Read more »)

Siesta Seen

Sewer pipeline work to continue through late fall in areas near the Village; legal fees in Big Pass case surpass $1.1 million; volunteers sought for Memorial Day weekend garbage control effort; Kompothecras’ DUI case moving along; the SKA has a new board member; new Audubon steward protecting beach-nesting birds; and Siesta Farmers Market Temporary Use Permit renewed once more

Quite a bit of sanitary sewer system rehab work is coming up on the Key this summer, thanks to two sets of votes the County Commission took in April. One project — along Canal Road — was expected to get underway this week, the county Public Utilities Department staff told The Sarasota News Leader. (Read more »)


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New Ringling Boulevard/Orange Avenue roundabout expected to open next week

‘BRAVO!’ sculpture to be installed this summer

A new single-lane roundabout at the intersection of Orange Avenue and Ringling Boulevard is expected to open to traffic early next week, the City of Sarasota has announced. While the bulk of the construction was completed about a week ago, a May 8 news release says, final improvements have been underway this week, including the installation of signage, landscaping and a foundation for the public artwork that is to be displayed in the center of the roundabout. (Read more »)

City partnering with restaurants, residents for International Compost Awareness Week, May 6-12

Compost-A-Thon celebration planned for Saturday, May 12, at Robert L. Taylor Community Complex

In celebration of International Compost Awareness Week — May 6-12 — the City of Sarasota is partnering with residents and businesses to help reduce the collective impact on the landfill and the environment, the city has announced. (Read more»)

Volunteers sought by Sarasota County School District

Tutors needed for summer programs, especially

The Sarasota County Schools District is seeking volunteers “interested in helping shape and promote positive social and emotional learning and academic success” for third-grade and middle-school students this summer and during the 2018-19 school year, the district has announced. (Read more »)

33rd Annual Law Enforcement Memorial Service to be held at 9 a.m. on May 15

Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office to host event at its Cattleridge Boulevard headquarters in Sarasota

The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office will host the 33rd Annual Law Enforcement Memorial Service on Tuesday, May 15, the office has announced. The event is held each year during National Police Week, which will be observed May 13-19. (Read more »)

Dinverno named new principal of Venice Middle

He has served as Tuttle Elementary principal since 2014

Tomas Dinverno has been named principal at Venice Middle School, effective July 1, pending Sarasota County School Board approval, the school district has announced. Dinverno, who serves as principal of Tuttle Elementary,has worked for the Sarasota County School District since 2003. (Read more »)