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Sarasota County commissioners finished a series of budget workshops this week.
Sarasota Monday, Jun. 30, 2014 3 years ago

Barbetta opposes Robarts spending

by: Jessica Salmond Staff Writer

The Sarasota County Commission held a budget workshop Monday, during which staff presented the 2015 fiscal year capital improvement program updates and additions.

Included in the presentation was a review of the Surtax III resolution allocation funds, which the commission approved in May. One point in the resolution was a $1.65 million funding for improvements to Robarts Arena.

Commissioner Joe Barbetta said he would not support further investment into the site, which hosts events such as the Sarasota County Agricultural Fair and the Sarasota Native American Indian Festival.

“I really don’t want to put any more money in there,” Barbetta said. “That building is way beyond its useful life.”

Other workshop highlights include:
• The Celery Fields enhancement project, including construction of a facility with a “bird wing” roof design, bathrooms, new parking spaces and a viewing deck, is slated to be finished this summer.
• Under a Florida statue, tax collectors who are also constitutional officers must take responsibility for all driver’s license issuing services by June 2015. A new facility is being developed in the mid-county area to assist with this transition. At the July 8 commission meeting, county staff will present all the documents and resolutions to the board for approval. The project would consist of a 9,100-square-foot office building on a 6.5-acre site. The project’s budget is $4.9 million and would come from the general revenues and general government impact fees.



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