Sarasota County and the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office will hold a workshop at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 1, to discuss proposed changes to a county ordinance regulating the purchase of secondhand goods, precious metals and scrap metal.
The workshop will be held in the Green Room at the Sarasota County Twin Lakes Complex, 6700 Clark Road, Sarasota.
The two proposed ordinances are available online at http://bit.ly/pcXkiS. The public also may submit comments, questions and suggestions online at firstname.lastname@example.org until 5 p.m. Tuesday, Nov 8.
This workshop follows County Commission discussion Oct. 12 about the proposed ordinance changes. The commissioners expressed concern that the draft presented at that time did not contain sufficient exemptions and that, as a result, flea markets, church secondhand sales and even Habit for Humanity’s ReStore business would be adversely affected. As a result, county staff has separated the original draft ordinance into two ordinances. One ordinance covers secondhand dealers while the other covers metal recyclers.
The ordinances are scheduled for a Dec. 13 public hearing before the County Commission.
Sheriff’s Office officials, working with the county’s Criminal Justice Commission, have proposed the revised ordinances as a means of handling the growing problem with the theft and sale of stolen goods such as ferrous, non- ferrous and precious metals (gold, silver and copper). Increasing demand for metals of all types and rising metal prices also have significantly contributed to increased metal thefts.
Metal theft has cost Sarasota County residents and businesses more than $8 million over the past several years, according to Sheriff’s Office statistics. Metal theft also creates an environmental hazard, as air-conditioning and appliance refrigerants are released into the atmosphere after the theft of metals from those units.