The Sarasota County Commission will meet tomorrow in Venice.
One item undergoing consent is the addition of a second route of Sarasota Area County Transit on Siesta Key. Route 10 would run from the Westfield Southgate Mall, out to the public beaches on Siesta and to Turtle Beach and end at the Sarasota Pavilion. This new route would complement the timetable of the current route 11 and bring a bus to the Siesta Key beach every 20 or 25 minutes, said Kendra Keiderling, SCAT public outreach and marketing coordinator.
During the discussion section of the meeting, commissioners will review the organizational evaluation of Sarasota Area County Transit. The commission approved the conduction of this evaluation at its April 29 meeting.
This initial evaluation does not provide any recommendations as to what changes should be made to Sarasota’s transit. The evaluation is supposed to update the commissioners on the current state of SCAT, including budget information and provided services, according to the item’s memo.
The evaluation will provide information for commissioners to decide what the next step in determining what the future of SCAT will be.
In the past, several possibilities have been considered. Commissioners from both Sarasota and Manatee counties began discussing, in private meetings, the possibility of a marriage between SCAT and Manatee County Area Transit. The combination would be under a private manager.
However, if SCAT privatized, its current employees would lose their pension and possibly see a decrease in pay.
SCAT sent out a survey on privatization, and 57% of the 2,500 responses was against a merger with MCAT.
The option was supposed to be discussed in an Oct. 15 meeting, but the meeting was canceled due to a lack of support.
Also on the agenda:
• Wayne Applebee will provide the commission with an update on the selection for a Come As You Are Shelter in the homeless initiative. The city of Sarasota and the commission met jointly June 23 to discuss picking a site. However, the meeting did not result in a choice, and both the city and county agreed to continue searching for a suitable location.
• The commission will authorize the purchase of furniture, fixtures and equipment for the Gulf Gate Library. The amount of materials purchased cannot exceed $750,000.
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