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Longboat Key Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2012 5 years ago

Commission gives its two cents

by: Robin Hartill Managing Editor

Longboat Key’s revenues from Sarasota County’s 1% sales tax — also known as the Infrastructure Surtax — could drop by 38%, or $4,763,431 over the 15-year period of 2009 through 2024, according to a recent analysis by the town’s finance department.

The Town Commission will discuss the potential shortfall and its impact on future projects at its Thursday, Jan. 19, regular workshop.

“It’s a 15-year program, so you don’t want to panic, but at the current rate, looking out, it’s not looking too good,” Finance Director Tom Kelley said.

Kelley said that town staff will not ask commissioners to eliminate projects at Thursday’s workshop but will ask them to discuss whether delays to some projects could be necessary.

According to Kelley, the town has received a little more than $1 million of the $12,529,636 the town initially expected to receive through the program.

In a Jan. 12 memo to Town Manager David Bullock, Kelley wrote that the decrease was the result of the economic downturn.

Approximately two-thirds of Sarasota County voters approved the surtax in November 2007. Funds generated through the tax are used for infrastructure projects in the county, public school district and the cities of Sarasota, North Port, Venice and Longboat Key.

Project funding
The following projects have been planned using infrastructure funds.

• Project: Longboat Key Beach Renourishment Project 2014 and erosion control structures
Description: Renourishment of the town’s approximately 10-mile stretch of beach is anticipated at intervals of eight years. The project includes planning, design and permitting, in addition to post-construction requirements such as beach physical monitoring, monitoring of sea turtles, shorebirds and artificial reefs and beach tilling.
Surtax amount: $3,529,000
Years: 2010-2024

• Project: Street resurfacing and drainage improvement
Description: Design, planning, permitting and construction of various street, sidewalk and drainage-system improvements
Surtax amount: $1 million
Years: 2010-2020

• Project: Parks and recreation improvements
Description: Maintenance and improvements of nature preserves, environmental habitats and recreational improvements
Surtax amount: $3 million
Years: 2010-2020

• Project: Canal dredging
Description: Canal maintenance, improvements, engineering, surveying, monitoring and dredging
Surtax amount: $2 million
Years: 2010-2024

• Project: Fire and Rescue Capital Vehicle Acquisitions
Description: The project anticipates the fleet replacement schedule of equipment such as ambulances, engines and aerial apparatus
Surtax amount: $2 million
Years: 2010-2024

• Project: Facilities maintenance
Description: Maintenance and improvements to town facilities
Surtax amount: $1 million
Years: 2020-2024

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