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Sarasota Thursday, May 7, 2020 4 months ago

Sarasota County begins reopening some services

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Sarasota County Libraries are offering curbside pickup and beach concessions are starting to open up.
by: Brynn Mechem Staff Writer

As the state begins Phase 1 of reopening, local leaders are formulating plans to safely reopen Sarasota County. 

At the forefront of county amenities and services are beaches and library services, though leaders also have plans for restaurants and businesses. 

County commissioners unanimously approved a resolution to waive Temporary Use Permits for county restaurants and business operations. This enables businesses owners to conduct operations outdoors so they can more easily follow social distancing guidelines. 

Additionally, county staff began planning for the reopening of county libraries. On Monday, the libraries began offering curbside pickup for items that were placed on hold. Library staff will contact library cardholders to schedule pickup times when requested materials become available.

Those interested in placing holds on material can do so on the library's website or by calling 941-861-1110. Due dates for materials have been extended until June 1. 

Following the opening of beaches on May 4, county staff began making plans for the reopening of beach concessions. The concessions at each beach will open and operate according to the following schedule: 

  • Siesta Beach: May 7, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.,
  • Nokomis Beach: May 7, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.,
  • Venice Beach: May 8, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.,
  • North Jetty Park: May 11, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and 
  • North Jetty Fish Camp: May 11, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Finally, many county parks and athletic complexes are now available. All county tennis and pickleball courts are open, though players and spectators are asked to follow social distancing guidelines. 

The R/C Squadron at Rothenbach Park and the R/C Fliers of Venice are open to club members only. No visitors or guests are permitted at this time. 

Beginning May 9, commercial recreational kayak tour operators may offer rentals at county kayak launches. Tours are not allowed at this time. 

Basketball and volleyball courts, as well as dog parks and playgrounds, will be opened as part of the county's Phase 3. 

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