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Sarasota Thursday, Nov. 3, 2011 6 years ago

City seeks input at mooring field meeting

by: Kurt Schultheis Senior Editor

The city of Sarasota wants comments from city residents and boaters on its plan for a Bayfront Mooring Field near Marina Jack.

The City Commission in August 2010 approved a proposal calling for the installation of 35 mooring balls that would be secured by chains anchored on the bottom of Sarasota Bay.

A public meeting is scheduled from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 3, in the Commission Chambers at City Hall to discuss that plan.

The meeting’s focus will be on where boats will be allowed to anchor legally once the Bayfront Mooring Field is operational; the plan calls for the field to open in the spring of 2012.

Construction is scheduled to begin in December.

City staff and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials plan to use the public’s input to help craft the city’s ordinance for the future mooring field. That ordinance is crucial to the city’s efforts to regulate the field and control boating code enforcement issues in Sarasota Bay.

Sarasota is one of five locations throughout the state selected by the FWC to participate in a mooring field pilot program, which allows the city to craft its own ordinance, including the regulation of legal anchorages outside the mooring field.

Plans call for Marina Jack to manage the harbor area, where vessels will hook up to the mooring balls. Marina Jack staff will collect rent, provide restrooms and shower and laundry facilities and pump out sewage holding tanks, as well as ferry ashore boaters who have moored in the field.

The mooring field is a long time coming.

The city has wrestled with a bayfront mooring field for more than 20 years; many local boaters have voiced strong opposition to the concept of a managed field.

If You Go
The city of Sarasota is inviting Sarasota boaters and other residents to a Bayfront Mooring Field public meeting from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 3, in the Commission Chambers at City Hall, 1565 First St., Sarasota.

For more information, contact project manager Tony Russo at 365-2200, Ext. 6367.

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