The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers controls the fate of Big Pass, which the city of Sarasota has sought as a cheap sand source to renourish Lido Beach.
Sarasota County Commissioner Nora Patterson during the Jan. 15 Siesta Key Condo Council meeting cited the future of the pass, which has never been dredged, as an important topic for island residents to watch this year.
In the past the county controlled the pass, and resisted efforts from other municipalities to tap it for beach nourishment. The U.S. Coast Guard doesn’t mark Big Pass because it is constantly shifting, making it difficult for boaters to navigate.
“They want to combine navigation issues with the cost of finding and importing sand,” Patterson said. “It all sounds very reasonable (to dredge the pass) but can be very problematic when you put it into action.”
IN OTHER NEWS
• Patterson posed with winners of the Siesta Key Condo Lighting Contest.
• Patterson noted that she has changed her stance on lowering speed limits on Siesta based on concerns about the possibility of sharing the roadway with slow-moving electric vehicles.
• Members of the Condo Council looked over plans for the Siesta Key public beach project. Patterson said she expects the $16.5 million to shrink by at least $2 million as the design process progresses.
• Patterson discussed “mowinggate”, and noted that the addition of county staff and improved contracting policies should bring median mowing up to schedule in the coming months.