Residents urged to contact Sarasota County about mowing concerns

High grass stands in the median on Webber Street Aug. 8, near the Tuttle Avenue intersection. Photo by Rachel Hackney

The death this week of Andrea Rody, a Sarasota County resident who was cutting grass in a median, “is a tragic reminder that performing mowing and other services on roadways is risky and should not be attempted by residents,” says a Sarasota County news release issued today, Aug. 7.

“Our hearts all go out to her family, her friends and her neighbors who knew her as someone who was proud of her neighborhood and took pride in making it attractive,” Christine Robinson, Sarasota County Commission chairwoman, said of Rody in the news release. “I learned of the accident with sadness and a heavy heart.”

Other residents who are concerned about the appearance of roadways in their neighborhoods should contact the county about those concerns, instead of attempting to do the work themselves, county officials say. “Mowing companies and county workers are professionally trained and equipped to safely work in traffic,” the news release adds.

The county’s Call Center may be reached at 861-5000. For the commissioners’ contact information, click here.

The dismissal in May of the firm that won the county roadside mowing bid in January has resulted in high grass along many area roads. At the County Commission’s direction on a 3-2 vote May 23, county officials began working on getting quotes to award mowing contracts on a month-by-month basis until a new bid package could be put together. Over the past couple of weeks, the number of complaints about mowing emailed to the commissioners has climbed.

On July 31, Deputy County Administrator Bill Little responded to a query about the situation from Commissioner Jon Thaxton:

“The quotes are due by [2 p.m.] on Friday, 8/3. The goal is to work with the successful bidder and a quick contract turnaround and have a purchase order issued by the end of next week, if not sooner. Hopefully, the vendor can move quickly to begin mowing soon thereafter.”

The county mowing schedule, with a list of areas where mowing is under way, is available on the county’s website, The news release says mowing has begun in the following areas:

• Rural North: Fruitville Road (Coburn Road to Verna Road), Singletary Road, Verna Road, Myakka Road, Wilson Road, Lena Lane, Murphy Road, Shannon Road, Carlton Road, Hancock Road, Coburn Road and Sarasota Center Boulevard.

• Urban North: Fruitville Road (Coburn Road to McIntosh Road), McIntosh Road, University Parkway, Myrtle Street and Beneva Road.

• Rural South: Border Road area, East Laurel area, River Road, Winchester Boulevard and Warm Mineral Springs.

• Urban South: South River Road, Pine Street, State Road  776, Venice Avenue, Venice East Boulevard., Englewood-area residential streets, Center Road, Jacaranda Boulevard., Shamrock Boulevard., Venice Bypass, U.S. 41 South, Harbor Drive, Pinebrook Road and South Venice residential streets.