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Sarasota Thursday, Jul. 18, 2013 4 years ago



+ SMH lands No. 6 ranking in the state
Sarasota Memorial Hospital moved up two spots in U.S News and World Report’s rankings of the top hospitals in Florida, to sixth best in the state. The 806-bed acute care hospital also retained its No. 1 ranking among all medical facilities the region.

The community hospital’s gynecology department placed 48th in the magazine’s nationwide survey. That department earned perfect scores in patient services, advanced technologies and gynecology patient volume.

Although gynecology was the only SMH department in the top 50 nationwide, the hospital earned high-performing status in six other specialties based on national benchmarks. Those specialties include: diabetes and endocrinology; gastroenterology and GI surgery; geriatrics; nephrology; orthopedics; and pulmonology.

+ Palm and Main crosswalk improvements approved
The City Commission approved the expansion of the Main Street Improvement Project to include the installation of brick pavers to four crosswalks at Main Street and Palm Avenue, but the project was delayed until September.

Parker and Louise Converse, owners of the Artisan Cheese Co., spoke at Monday’s commission meeting against the construction. They said Main Street improvement work had already significantly impacted their business, and that the widened scope of the project would be an even greater burden. The construction will close the intersection for 16 working days.

September is historically a slower month for business. The Downtown Improvement District, which is funding the $57,115 project, had originally requested construction begin later this month.

+ Development coordinator provides update to commission
Norman Gollub, downtown economic development coordinator, presented an update on downtown development efforts at Monday’s City Commission meeting.

Gollub said after talking to people since taking the position, the No. 1 issue facing downtown was homelessness.

Gollub has also spent months asking business owners about the biggest opportunities to nurture downtown. Based on business owners’ responses, Gollub outlined six potential goals for the city:
•Creating jobs for local college graduates;
•Implementing a downtown branding and marketing campaign to compete with Bradenton and Lakewood Ranch;
•Developing affordable downtown housing opportunities for younger and older people alike;
•Including the revitalization of the North Trail in downtown initiatives;
•Revisiting bayfront connectivity and the Cultural District plan.

Meetings and agendas
County Planning Commission Public Hearing – 6:30 p.m. July 18, Commission Chambers, First Floor, Administration Center, 1660 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota.

Note: The Sarasota County Commission will be on recess staring July 22. Regularly scheduled meetings will resume Aug. 27.

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