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Sarasota Wednesday, Apr. 16, 2014 3 years ago

Shelter site could become available

by: David Conway Deputy Managing Editor

Homelessness consultant Robert Marbut’s top choice for as a come-as-you-are regional homeless shelter, located at 1330 N. Osprey Ave., may be available to use sooner than the city originally thought.

The site at 1330 N. Osprey Ave. was believed to be off-limits until as late as June 2015, as the city planned to use the land as a staging area for crews working on a nearby deep-injection well project. Now, the city believes it has identified nearly one acre of land to the north of the property that could serve as an alternate staging area for the project, according to city spokeswoman Jan Thornburg.

During Monday’s City Commission meeting, commissioners will consider whether or not to take out a lease on the new property as a staging area. According to Thornburg, the lease would cost the city roughly $1,100 per month over 18 months, with the potential to opt out if construction on the well is completed after a year. If the full term of the lease is carried out, the property would cost the city $19,300.

Thornburg said the city had been searching for a staging area that was larger than the Osprey Avenue site to better handle the project.

"We have been looking for a staging area, because the parcel in question would not be able to accomodate all of the vehicles and staging," Thornburg said.

The city-owned Osprey Avenue site is one of two locations currently under consideration by the city and the county for a potential homeless shelter, along with another site at 1800 East Ave. Commissioners will discuss homelessness issues at a joint meeting on April 22.

Contact David Conway at [email protected].

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