25 Jan 2019



Tampa consulting firm wins contract to develop City of Sarasota’s first master transportation plan

On a unanimous vote on Jan. 22, the Sarasota City Commission agreed to pay a Tampa transportation consulting firm $399,947 to complete the city’s first formal master transportation plan. The firm, ADEAS-Q, will be paid out of funds the city received through BP’s settlement of damages over the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.

‘Bed tax’ revenue down 8.7% for first two months of fiscal year in Sarasota County

Sarasota County “bed tax” revenue for the second month of the current fiscal year continues to show red tide’s effect on tourism. Collections of the Tourist Development Tax (TDT) for November 2018 totaled $74,092.83 less than they did in November 2017, Sarasota County Tax Collector Barbara Ford-Coates has announced.

Latest reduction in state funding for affordable housing programs spurs city commissioners to agree to increased advocacy at the legislative level

By consensus this week, the Sarasota city commissioners agreed to urge the members of the county’s legislative delegation to work on stopping the state government’s continual raiding of money that is supposed to be set aside for affordable housing. Established in 1992, the Sandowski Fund receives a portion of the document stamp tax paid on all real estate transactions in the state.

Reopen Beach Road seeking to intervene in lawsuit Siesta property owners filed over Mike Cosentino’s County Charter amendments

Siesta Key resident Michael Cosentino has asked a 12th Judicial Circuit Court judge to allow a nonprofit organization he established in June 2016 — Reopen Beach Road — to intervene in a lawsuit against Sarasota County. That complaint seeks to have the court throw out two amendments Cosentino proposed to add to the County Charter, which won voter approval in November 2018.

Legacy Trail extension construction should start as soon as possible on segments without issues needing to be addressed, county commissioners say

Sarasota County commissioners have called for county staff to start on links of The Legacy Trail that can be completed more quickly, given voters’ endorsement last November of $65 million in bonds to pay for the North Extension of the route to downtown Sarasota, as well as to North Port. Commissioner Alan Maio brought up the issue during his report to his colleagues during their regular meeting on Jan. 15.

Circuit Court judge once again rules against Siesta Key Association in Big Pass case

Once again, a 12th Judicial Circuit Court judge has struck down legal challenges made by the Siesta Key Association (SKA) as the nonprofit seeks to prevent the dredging of Big Sarasota Pass. Yet, just as she did in October 2018, Judge Andrea McHugh has figuratively left the door open for the SKA to try another approach in the case.

Pinecraft Community Center plans win County Commission approval, but only after variety of stipulations added

It took the addition of some last-minute stipulations, but the Sarasota County Commission has given unanimous approval to plans for a 9,260-square-foot community center in the Amish and Mennonite area just east of the city of Sarasota known as Pinecraft. The project is planned for the property on the northwest corner of Beneva Road and Hacienda Street, county Planner James Ehrmann explained to the commission on Jan. 16.

Another option proposed for renaming of North Sarasota Public Library

Late last November, at the request of a number of Newtown residents, the Sarasota County Commission authorized a formal process, under county guidelines, to rename the North Sarasota Public Library. On Oct. 23, 2018, then-commission Chair Nancy Detert explained to her colleagues that she had received visitors representing Newtown, who had asked that the library bear the name of Ed James, who had died in mid-March 2018.

Siesta Seen

As manager of the Siesta Key Village Maintenance Corp., island resident Michael Shay keeps a sharp lookout for anything in the Village that is amiss. And since he usually adheres to an early morning schedule for his first reconnaissance mission of the day, he readily notices whether streetlights are functioning, or not.

OPINION (free):


Cartoon of the Day

OTHER NEWS (free):

Photo Essay: A meditation on the God of Small Things

New time restrictions for Sarasota parking garages and on-street spots to take effect Jan. 29

Atlanta Braves and West Villages to host block party in downtown Venice on Feb. 9

Sarasota County releases 2018 Annual Report

Supervisor of Elections Turner inviting scholarship applications from college juniors and seniors

Van Wezel Foundation names new CEO

County’s Materials Management Division earns award for second consecutive year