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The Sarasota County Commission will discuss the media production incentive rebate program, the Come As You Are homeless shelter and Sarasota County Area Transit tomorrow.
Sarasota Monday, Aug. 25, 2014 3 years ago

County Commission convenes for August meeting

by: Jessica Salmond Staff Writer

The Sarasota County Commission will hold its first meeting after its recess this week.

The meeting will be held in a two-part session tomorrow and Wednesday.

Tuesday’s agenda will include the following:

Proposed revisions to Incentive Rebate Program

The commission will be voting on revisions to the Sarasota County Film, Television, Media Production/Post Production Rebate Incentive Program application.

County staff has revised the application form to improve issues that have affected it. The new application states that the project will not be reimbursed until it has been rated, to be sure that the companies applying for the incentives have projects that are eligible for the rebate. Other changes include making expenditures funded by other government grants exempt from reimbursement by Sarasota County, and clearly stating on the application that billed goods and services from merchants outside of Sarasota County are not eligible for reimbursement by the county.

The last provision is “to ensure that applicants requesting reimbursement for their projects are actually contracting with Sarasota County Business and are providing a true economic impact on the local economy,” according to the staff memo.

The county filed a lawsuit against Sanborn Studios, a company that was awarded the incentive in 2010, on July 28 for failing to create the promised 117 full-time positions in Sarasota in exchange for the $650,000 incentive paid to the company. The company stated it met with the county last year and was told it had met its obligations.

Update on county’s progress with Come As You Are homeless shelter

County Administrator Tom Harmer will give the board an update on homelessness and homeless services in the county.

After the city decided to end its participation in the joint effort for a CAYA shelter, the county continued to look for shelter locations.

County staff found nine shelter sites, but had to eliminate them because upon further review they would not be suitable for the shelter. Problems included distance from supportive services, lack of existing buildings and a lack of sufficient buffers at locations near residential areas.

According to Harmer’s memo, no site is currently up for further investigation, although the staff has not ended its search and is continuing to look for a site fitting Dr. Robert Marbut’s shelter criteria in unincorporated county property.

Update to the Sarasota County Area Transit Development Plan

The commission will discuss proposed updates to the SCAT development plan.

This development plan lays out a strategic guide for the next 10 years. Major updates are made every 5 years. SCAT collected on-board surveys of passengers to update features such as the second route on Siesta Key and the new route on University Parkway this past year.

The Pinecraft Amish community wrote a letter in support of the pilot seasonal route through their community last year; SCAT staff recommends running this route again in 2015, beginning November 2014.

SCAT staff is also recommending service enhancements to increase frequency on Route 14 (Bee Ridge), because it is one of the highest-performing routes, according to the memo, along with improvements to bus stops and shelters county wide.

Also, SCAT will be conducting a comprehensive operational analysis in 2015 to guide future plans, including the relocation of the downtown SCAT transfer station.

The meeting is at 9 a.m. in the Commission Chambers at the County Administration Building, 1660 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota.


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