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The Sarasota BMX track is the nation's oldest continuously running course.
Sarasota Tuesday, May. 6, 2014 3 years ago

Commission to consider BMX track renovations

by: Alex Mahadevan News Innovation Editor

On Wednesday, Sarasota County may take another step in plans to renovate and expand the BMX track at Tuttle Avenue and 17th Street, which could become another key tourism asset for the area.

Commissioners will discuss a staff recommendation to spend $31,000 to hire Tandem Construction as the construction manager at risk for the initial phases of the project, according to a staff memo. The County Commission has already authorized up to $1 million for the project, and instructed the County Attorney Stephen DeMarsh to find a method to use a portion of tourist development taxes for additional funding.

The total cost of the facility upgrades would be about $1.7 million, said Parks and Recreation Director Carolyn Brown in a June interview with the Sarasota Observer. Depending on the events that were held in the area, potential economic impact is estimated at around $3.5 million annually.

Currently, plans include a new 8-meter Supercross ramp, a new 5-meter ramp, new lighting, electronic starting gates and a redesigned track, according to a staff presentation. The design is 60% complete and the Southwest Florida Water Management District has issued a permit.

If commissioners approve the contract with Tandem, they will provide a guaranteed maximum construction price by September.

Southwest District Parents' Council Inc., which operates Sarasota BMX, will also present an ambitious business plan for the track during the meeting Wednesday. With the new and improved track, the organization expects revenues to grow by eleven times the amount they expect in the current fiscal year to $315,900 in fiscal year 2016. Expenses are expected to increase from $23,660 to $136,214 in the same period, according to the business plan.

At the meeting commissioners will also discuss an update on the 800 megahertz emergency radio system ugrades, and progress on the Bay Island Park seawall replacement project.

What: Sarasota Count Commission meeting
When: 9 a.m. Wednesday, May 7
Where: Commission Chambers, Administration Building, 1660 Ringling Blvd. Sarasota


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