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Sarasota Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013 4 years ago

Beach improvements top county's agenda

by: Nolan Peterson News Editor

The Sarasota Board of County Commissioners met Wednesday to hear public comments on issues ranging from puppies to speed limits and made a key decision about the Siesta Beach Park Improvement Project.

The County Commission passed a motion Wednesday to approve a ranked list of potential add-ons to the Siesta Beach Park Improvement project. Recently released cost estimates put the project $375,303 below its allotted price tag. County Commissioners were presented with a list of optional additions by project managers to round out the already set-aside $21.5 million.

Commissioners insisted that the approved improvements will be included only if they do not take the overall cost of the project above its $21.5 million budget.

The options, as ranked by the County Commission, are:

1. Dune walkovers: $214,500
2. West Pavilion: $241,697
3. 10 additional two pole shelters: $142,780
4. Park tree size and species upgrade: $190,000
5. Upgrade esplanade concrete to standard pavers: $124,609
6. Concrete paving at maintenance yard: $86,130
7. Covered maintenance building: $73,689
8. Parking lot tree size and species upgrade: $140,000

The Siesta Beach Park Improvement Project will add parking at Siesta Beach; revamp and expand the beach pavilion and restroom facilities; add a new east concession and restroom area; and make the park more environmentally friendly.

Final design and construction plans will be presented to the County Commission on Oct. 23. If the commission approves, construction will begin in November and is expected to last two years.

Also at Wednesday's meeting, Kelly Westover, Sarasota County environmental supervisor, presented a proposal to explore a sediment removal project in Hudson Bayou and Sarasota Bay. The project will depend on grant money, Westover said, with the remainder paid by county Sediment Surtax III funding. The cost to the county would be approximately $500,000, Westover said.

Despite several public comments, the board delayed a decision on a measure to regulate of the sale of commercially bred animals in retail establishments, citing the need for clarity on ways to target offending retailers without affecting the bottom line of legitimate breeders.

Other topics discussed at Wednesday’s meeting included:

* The county approved a $19 million bond purchase to fund a new emergency operations center.

* A measure was passed to raise the speed limit from 40 mph to 45 mph on a section of Fruitville Road from the end of state maintenance near Coburn Road to Debrecen Road.

The next Sarasota County Commission meeting is scheduled for 9:00 a.m., Sept. 10, at the Robert L. Anderson Administration Center, 4000 S. Tamiami Trail, Venice.

Contact Nolan Peterson at [email protected]

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