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Arts and Entertainment Thursday, Apr. 19, 2012 9 years ago

Observe This: Today’s Top Stories

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by: John Ewing

Roundabouts complete by June 15

→ Construction crews have completed 95% of the concrete work involved with shaping the Ringling Avenue roundabouts.

Downtown motorists and pedestrians clamoring for the re-opening of Ringling Boulevard from Orange Avenue to the bayfront can circle June 15 on their calendars.

Ringling roundabouts project manager Neil Gaines said the road and the roundabouts being constructed on Ringling Boulevard at Pineapple Avenue and Palm Avenue will be open no later than June 15. With any luck, Gaines said the roundabouts and the road could open sooner.

Construction crews have completed 95% of the ... [click here to read on!]

City of Sarasota pensions: Local debt crisis

→ With up to $400 million in city pension plans unfunded, the city is heading toward a financial crisis. Taxpayers will pay. It's just a matter of when.

The city of Sarasota’s pension crisis has been a long time coming. City officials, however, may not have the luxury of a long time to solve it.

Nor do they have any options that will not be costly to taxpayers.

With a debt load threatening to crash down on the city’s ability to operate, Commissioner Shannon Snyder said the city would be bankrupt in eight years.

Here’s why: The city of Sarasota — in other words, “taxpayers” — has between... [click here to read on!]

Sarasota district must do more with less

→ Sarasota County School District officials expect the district's budget to be about 55% of what it was during the 2007-08 school year.

Sarasota County School Board members were told by its staff at a workshop Tuesday that property-tax collections county-wide, which are the district’s primary funding source, are estimated to be $41.5 billion in 2012-13, a 35.6% decrease in overall dollars when compared to the $64.7 billion the county collected in 2007-08.

For the district, that drop means revenues the district can use to fund projects in 2012-13 are about half of what they were just five years ago. The district is faced with a capital revenue reduction of 55% in fiscal year 2012-13. Total district revenues most likely will fall from $165.3 million in 2007-08 to $75.4 million in 2012-13.

School Board Deputy Chief Financial Officer Al Weidner said the figures won’t be... [click here to read on!]

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