The rebuilt Janie Poe public-housing complex will be adding a new amenity. County commissioners voted two weeks ago to add $225,000 into phase two of the Janie’s Garden Apartments for the design of a bus rapid transit station.
It appears, though, that county commissioners did not know that money would be spent even if the BRT is not built and, right now, the general manager of SCAT says there’s only a 50% chance that it will be constructed.
“This seriously concerns me,” said County Commission Chairman Jon Thaxton. “I just assumed the station wasn’t going to be built if the BRT didn’t go forward.”
The BRT is a faster transit line that would have few stops as it travels from the University of South Florida area to Westfield Southgate Mall. The uncertainty about its future stems from opposition from neighborhood groups who oppose the route traveling near their homes and its price tag — $100 million.
Despite that uncertainty, William Russell, Sarasota Housing Authority executive director, said there’s no contingency plan that stops the BRT station’s construction.
“We felt it was much better to design (the station) now,” he said. “It will be in the same architectural style as Janie’s Garden.”
The BRT station, according to SCAT General Manager Anthony Beckford, will be more than a typical bus stop with a bench and a plastic enclosure.
“It will be a plaza. It will look like a train station,” Beckford said. “It’ll be pretty fancy.”
Russell said if the BRT doesn’t happen, the new station would be used as a regular bus stop.
“I don’t need to build a $225,000 bus stop,” said Thaxton. “I can do a bus stop in the same architecture style for a lot less.”
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24 What are you doing on Christmas Eve?
7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
26 Lights In Bloom
6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
3 FREE 5K Fun Run
7:00 am - 8:00 am
3 Historical Trolley Tour
10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Sound of hope
The holiday season hasn’t officially started until our favorite bell ringers return to their posts.
Shoppers and residents were treated to some holiday harmonies by the Senior Friendship Centers’ group, the Second Wind Harmonica Players, in Downtown Sarasota.
Stepping up to the plate
The Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota County teamed up to bring the anti-bullying event Rachel’s Challenge to Sarasota Dec. 3.