+ County reduces building-permit fees
To help spur economic development, county commissioners approved a resolution to cut building-permit fees by 10% for a year.
For a home valued between $100,001 and $250,000, the building-permit fee would drop from $400 to $360.
“We thought we would do our small part to try to stimulate the economy,” said Rob Lewis, executive director for planning and development services.
The planning and development services department operates solely on the fees it collects, not on the county’s general operating fund. In the past three years, 70 employees have been laid off from that department, which has resulted in lower operating costs.
The county collected $3.5 million in building-permit fees in 2009.
+ Downtown group eyes info kiosks
The Downtown Sarasota Alliance wants to alter the city’s wayfinding system to include interactive computer kiosks. The wayfinding system consists mainly of signs directing people to public-parking lots and specific city districts. The DSA would like to add several informational kiosks, similar to maps in malls that show visitors where downtown shops and restaurants are.
DSA board member Randall Bono asked the board to consider comparably priced interactive kiosks, which would cost $5,600 each. Bono said the DSA could sell ad space, which could generate revenue above and beyond the maintenance costs.
The DSA board unanimously approved a motion to ask the city to pursue the hi-tech kiosks, however, the city’s wayfinding consultant is submitting its final plans April 1.
“We’re looking to transition from planning to implementation,” said Dr. Clifford Smith, the city’s wayfinding project manager. “But that does not mean that things can’t be changed in the future.”
+ Meetings & Agendas
• Alta Vista Neighborhood Association — 7 p.m. Thursday, March 25, Harmony Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center, 2600 Courtland St., Sarasota
• Joint meeting of City Commission — 8:30 a.m. Monday, March 28, Venice Community Center, 326 Nokomis Ave. S., Venice
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2 3rd annual 'Power of the Girl' Business Breakfast
2 French apÃ©ro evening
5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
2 Florida's Children First 2014 Sarasota Reception
5:30 pm - 7:30 pm
2 'Safe Sex Halloween Bash: Midnight on the Bayou' Pre-Party Kiki
7:00 pm - 11:00 pm
Bridging the gap
The Children’s Guardian Fund wants to help teens get hired.
Win big in two Observer contests
Starting in October, the Observer will now offer prizes for winners of the weather photo contest, sponsored by Manasota Flooring Inc.
Can you dig it?
Third- and fourth-grade students of Temple Beth Sholom had a chance to brush up on their paleontology skills last week while digging for faux dinosaur bones.