SKVA members despair over look of Village pavers, but rain comes to the rescue; valet parking issues get Code Enforcement attention; the public beach gets a ‘Mobi-Mat’; SKVA board and offices elected; results of the Great American Cleanup reported; and SCAT adjusts the Route 10 schedule
The dirty look of the pavers in Siesta Village drew more than a few comments and suggestions this week during the regular meeting of the Siesta Key Village Association (SKVA).
Siesta Key Association (SKA) President Michael Shay — who also serves as the SKVA liaison to the Siesta Key Village Maintenance Corp. (SKVMC) — had just finished explaining that county workers had repaired a water leak near Terrace East when he segued into the topic.
Because the repair work necessitated the removal of “a lot of pavers,” Shay said, employees of Buccaneer Landscape Management — which handles the Village upkeep — put the pavers back with the clean sides up. “That seems to be an issue right now,” Shay continued, noting the seemingly entrenched dirt on Village pavers.
SKVA President Wendall Jacobsen had complained to him, too, Shay said, about a streak along the sidewalk in front of Beach Bazaar, where Jacobsen is the general manager. The sidewalk fronting Ocean Boulevard at the Village gazebo has a similar streak, Shay noted.
“We’ve spot-cleaned the gazebo [area] once already” since the annual power washing of the sidewalks was completed in February, Shay added. “It didn’t do much.”
Shay said he has been trying to figure out what has caused that streaking. “It’s like something is being dragged, just making a line … in the pavers.”
Buccaneer crews have been told not to drag garbage bags, he continued, because “invariably, the bag has got some sort of liquid [inside] and it’s going to drip out.”
SKVA Treasurer Roz Hyman pointed out that some of the Village garbage containers are not as easily accessed as others, so it is possible some dragging of bags occurs.
On the May 4 monthly walk-through of the Village with county staff to take note of any maintenance issues that need to be addressed, Shay continued, he planned to ask for a quote about extra cleaning of the sidewalks. Then it would be up to the SKVMC to decide whether it wants to spend the money on that undertaking he added, noting that he understood the average cost of such work would be $2.25 per square yard.
The SKVMC represents all the landowners in the Siesta Key Village Public Improvement District; they are assessed a fee each year — which the county collects — to pay for Village maintenance.
“At the end of the day,” Shay stressed, “[spot cleaning] really doesn’t do much.”
In the past, Hyman responded, the effective spot cleaning that was done “always took time.”
The most recent pressure washing “was not a good job,” she added.
Yet, the work costs the SKVMC $9,000, Shay told her.
“The day after it was done [this year],” Hyman replied, it appeared as if it had not been done.
Nothing seems to remove old gum from the pavers, Shay reported. The power washing does seem to pick up newer gum deposits, however, he noted.
Kay Kouvatsos asked whether it might be worthwhile to use a sealant on the sidewalks after they are cleaned.
Pavers “are like a sponge,” Syd Krawczyk of Concept Digital Media explained. If they are sealed after cleaning, then they become slippery when they get wet, he added. Furthermore, he said, sealant lasts only a few months.
“I’m not talking about the usage here,” Hyman told him, but after having sealant put on her pavers at home, she has found they do not get slippery when wet.
Even with a sealant, Krawczyk told her, the pavers in the Village will begin to show dirt after a couple of months.
Vice President Mark Smith then joked that instead of continuing to sponsor Siesta Fiesta, perhaps the SKVA should hold an annual pressure-washing competition with a $9,000 prize. (See the related story in this issue.)
“A bikini pressure-washing contest,” Russell Matthes responded.
“Now, you’re talking,” Smith said. “International teams come in with their pressure washers.”
The following day, as Shay and Lisa Cece, the county’s special district coordinator who oversees Village upkeep matters as part of her responsibilities, reported to The Sarasota News Leader that a rainstorm was making a big difference in the look of the pavers.
Cece pointed out in her May 4 email that the Village went “at least  days straight with sunny weather during peak season. Today, in a morning walk through, we could already see most of the spills lifting off the pavers with the initial rain. [The rain] forecast for today should make a big difference in appearance in the Village.”
Valet parking complaints
During the May 3 SKVA meeting, Sgt. Jason Mruczek reported that the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office had received complaints about the valet service for The Hub Baja Grill and Aaron’s Fish Camp — both on Avenida Messina — putting vehicles in “No Parking” zones and in Mira Mar District spaces just outside the Village that require permits. The county’s Code Enforcement officer on the Key, Susan Stahley, dealt with the issue, he added.
“It’s been addressed a few times. Hopefully,” Mruczek continued, ‘that will be stopping.”
SKA President Michael Shay pointed out that on one evening during season, he decided to drive instead of walk into the Village, and he encountered a bottleneck on Avenida Messina that was created by the valet parking service. As he turned westbound from Ocean Boulevard, Shay said, two vehicles already on the street had stopped to let out the occupants and use the valet service. Another car headed eastbound on Avenida Messina also stopped for the same reason, Shay continued. That left the street blocked, he added, noting the time was about 5:30 p.m.
Mruczek replied that he has asked deputies on the evening shift to be on the lookout for problems with the valet parking.
In another recent Code Enforcement matter, Mruczek said, complaints had been lodged about Napoli’s staff blocking public parking spaces in front of Another Broken Egg.
Both restaurants are in the Key Corners plaza at the intersection of Ocean Boulevard and Avenida Messina.
“I think that’s been resolved,” Mruczek added of that issue.
Mobi-Mat installed at the public beach
A new “Mobi-Mat” has been installed at Siesta Public Beach, county staff has announced.
Mobi-Mats are portable and removable rollout pathways for pedestrians and users of wheelchairs, strollers and beach carts, a county news release explains. They have been used in Florida for more than 15 years and are found at more than 100 beaches, parks and private businesses throughout the state, the release adds.
“The new Mobi-Mat at Siesta Beach will more easily facilitate everyone’s access to the beach, including those transporting beach coolers and other beach paraphernalia,” the release notes.
“This is yet another great addition to Siesta Beach, and another amenity for our visitors to enjoy,” said Sarasota County Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources Director Carolyn Brown in the release. “They are easy to maneuver and comfortable for walking. They also benefit persons with disabilities by providing them with a way to access beaches and get closer to the water,” she added in the release.
Approximately 450 feet of the Americans with Disabilities Act-rated Mobi-Mat was installed on top of the sand at the West Concession area at Siesta Beach, the release continues, noting that authorization must be obtained from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to use the mats on beaches.
“Historically, sea turtles have nested less frequently on Siesta Beach than on other beaches in the Sarasota County,” the release points out. Records also show that most nests have been 500 to 1,000 feet away from the Mobi-Mat installation location, it adds. The 45-degree wing design of the Mobi-Mat was chosen to help minimize any potential barrier for hatchlings upon their return to the Gulf of Mexico, the release says. In the event of a sea turtle nesting near the Mobi-Mat, Sarasota County staff will remove portions of the mat closest to the nest “to minimize any potential conflicts,” the release explains. Finally, daily monitoring of sea turtle nesting activities occurs during the nesting season, the release adds, and that will help minimize any conflicts between the Mobi-Mat and sea turtles.
May means time for elections of the Siesta Key Village Association board members and officers, so that was part of the business the organization undertook during its regular meeting on May 3.
The officers will remain the same: Wendall Jacobsen, general manager of Beach Bazaar, president; Mark Smith of Smith Architects, vice president; Roz Hyman, treasurer; and Helene Hyland of Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate, secretary.
The board members are Jacobsen; Smith; Hyman; Hyland; Russell Matthes, co-owner of the Daiquiri Deck restaurants; Kay Kouvatsos, co-owner of Village Café; Bob Stein, publisher of Siesta Sand; Glen Cappetta, owner of Sun Ride Pedicab; and Stephanie Brown, general manager of Siesta Key Oyster Bar.
The Great American Cleanup
Siesta Key Association President Michael Shay reported this week that he had 31 volunteers gather on April 16 for Keep Sarasota County’s observance of the Great American Cleanup.
They collected 32 bags of garbage and four bags of recyclable materials, he told members of the SKVA on May 3, as they worked on Siesta Public Beach and all of Ocean Boulevard through the Village.
Shay thanked SKVA President Wendall Jacobsen for Beach Bazaar’s donation of sunscreen for the volunteers.
A SCAT adjustment
Sarasota County Area Transit (SCAT) has made scheduling changes to Route 10, which serves both Siesta Public Beach and Turtle Beach, the county has announced.
For the summer season, Route 10 service will not extend to the Amish and Mennonite community of Pinecraft or to the Cattlemen Road Transfer Station, a news release explains. Buses will operate only between Turtle Beach and Southgate Mall.
For more schedule and map details, visit www.scgov.net/scat, or call 861-5000.