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Sarasota Wednesday, Aug. 11, 2010 7 years ago

Rink may be on thin ice

by: Robin Roy City Editor

Members of the Downtown Sarasota Alliance, who are trying to bring an ice rink to downtown during the holidays, made a second pitch to the Downtown Improvement District for funds.

John Simon, DSA board member, previously asked the DID board for $15,000 to help reserve the full-size rink that would be placed on First Street, between Selby Five Points Park and the library.

DID board members told him if they got a financial commitment from the city and county, then they would likely pitch in the funds.

The city agreed to a $25,000 loan and to waive more than $100,000 in permit fees. But the county would not immediately commit any money.

Simon asked the DID Aug. 10 if it would consider offering more than the $15,000, possibly in a loan, to make up for a lack of county funding.

About $150,000 is needed by September to secure the skating rink.

He warned that Lakewood Ranch and Bradenton may be competing for the services of the skating-rink contractor.

Organizers believe the an ice rink would be a huge downtown draw for families during the holiday season.

DID Chairman Larry Fineberg said he was open to discussing the matter more fully.

Contact Robin Roy at [email protected].

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