From the Desk of the
City Manager
April 19, 2014
You could say the weather we've been enjoying (until the past couple of days) has been Chamber of Commerce weather...or picture perfect.  We encountered Dalia Shyevitch, a Sarasota County resident, painting en plein air, using oils and brushes to capture the mood of a delightful day on Sarasota Bay near the mooring field.   All 109 planned mooring anchors are now in place in the mooring field and the final phase adding 35 mooring balls is scheduled to occur in August.  This is an excellent addition to our community as the mooring field reduces pollution in the bay with the operator, Marina Jack, providing boat restroom pump out services.  Rates are $25 per day.  Monthly rates vary based on vessel size. For information about the mooring field, including rates, click here.


  • General Employees' Pension Board
    Mon., April 21 - 8:30 a.m. 
    City Hall - Commission Chambers 
  • City Commission 
    Mon., April 21 - 2:30 p.m. and 6 p.m.

    City Hall - Commission Chambers  
  • Community Redevelopment Agency  
    Mon., April 21 - 2:30 p.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
  • Joint Special City Commission
    Tues., April 22 - 1:30 p.m.
    County Administration Center - 1660 Ringling Blvd.
  • Public Art Committee Special Meeting
    Tues., April 22 - 6 p.m.
    City Hall Annex - SRQ Media Studio
  • Firefighters Pension Board
    Wed., April 23 - 9 a.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers  
  • Parking Advisory Committee
    Wed., April 23 - 3 p.m. 
    City Hall - Room 112 
Current Openings
magnifying glass and text  jobs . conceptual photo.
Lifeguard I
Lifeguard II
Manager, Information & Communication Technology
Rec Attendant 
School Crossing Guard
Senior Internal Auditor

This Week's Items to Know:
Building Permits - By the Numbers   We're experiencing a tremendous amount of activity in our building and permitting division with contractors obtaining building permits.  In fact, we're on pace for a record year.  Since the start of the fiscal year on October 1st, 3,700 permits have been issued with a total construction value of $216.6 million.  If that pace continues, we could surpass last year's record breaking number of 6,000 permits issued.  The sheer volume of contractors and those interested in building permits is staggering, with 9,500 walk-in customers served during the past six months.  Over the counter permits include work for air conditioning, electrical systems, plumbing, roofs, doors and windows.  Meanwhile, staff has conducted 8,324 site inspections of construction projects.  These are more positive signs that our local economy is on the rebound.  Kudos to the NDS staff for a job well done especially since they're accomplishing these tasks with approximately 20 percent fewer employees over the past five years.

Water Storage Tank Construction   If you drive by Orange Ave. and 12th St., you'll notice some big construction going on near the City's water treatment plant.  The Utilities Department is building a new water storage tank to replace the current one, which is 64 years old, and has outlived its expected useful lifespan.  This addresses one of our most basic functions as a local government:  to provide clean, safe and reliable drinking water.  Approximately two million gallons of raw water from the Verna well field will be stored in the tank prior to treatment at the City's reverse osmosis water treatment facility.  On average, 6.5 million gallons of drinking water are used each day in the City.  So, the new tank will store approximately 25 percent of a day's total needs.

Physical work on the new tank started last week in the middle of the night when the concrete floor was poured.  Starting at 2 a.m., 22
Crews smoothing out the freshly poured concrete floor. 
trucks poured nearly 200 cubic yards of concrete in about four hours.  It was done during the wee hours to lessen the potential impact on nearby traffic and also to work under more favorable weather conditions to form the concrete properly.  The scaffolding was erected this week and by next week we'll start to see the walls constructed.

This is a significant utility project which will help preserve the dependability of our drinking water service when you turn on your tap.  The City has planned this infrastructure improvement for awhile, with the $1.6 million project being funded through the proceeds of the sale of the Hi Hat Ranch property several years ago.

Once the new tank is operational, the current one, located near Orange Ave. and 10th St., will be demolished.  It's expected that having the new tank on site next to the water treatment plant will improve operations and allow technicians to control water flow rates that much better.  The entire project is scheduled to be completed in August.

Thanks to our City Commissioners past and present who had the foresight to  approve necessary capital improvement projects like this one.  And, thanks to our Utilities Director Mitt Tidwell and project manager Verne Hall for their diligence in ensuring our drinking water supply remains safe and uninterrupted.
Water Storage Tank
The concrete floor being poured in the middle of the night. 
More Progress in Newtown:  Janie Poe Demolition Begins This is a great sight to see!  Demolition officially started this week on the remaining six buildings which used to be part of the Janie Poe public
Janie Poe Demolition
Interior building demolition is underway. 
housing complex in Newtown.  Crews are now removing debris, primarily wood, from the interior of several buildings.  Then, it's anticipated by next week the heavy demolition will begin with the razing of the concrete structures.  The demolition phase is expected to continue until summertime.  As we mentioned in an earlier edition of Weekly Briefs, the site will become Janie's Garden Phase III, a $12 million project with 73 market value and subsidized apartments overseen by the Sarasota Housing Authority. 

Newtown Centennial Kickoff   The Newtown Centennial, celebrating 100 years of the existence of our predominantly African-American community, is officially underway following an opening ceremony  Thursday night at Fredd Atkins Park.  Organizers of the Newtown Centennial plan to celebrate the community's rich history with 100 hours of community activities and civic engagement throughout the calendar year.  Parades, tours, salutes and reunions are all planned over the next 365 days.  Upcoming events include:  a history project to collect individual's personal stories, a photo exhibit, historical tour, and praise fest.  (See Upcoming Events below for more details.)
Newtown Centennial
The kickoff begins one year of events celebrating Newtown's centennial. 
April 17, 1914 marks the date when the initial 96 lots in the neighborhood were platted on North Orange Ave. between 21st St. and 24th St.  The parcels were located in what was then Manatee County.

The Newtown community has preserved its dynamic culture and identity for 100 years.  That is a remarkable achievement and testament to the residents' love and pride for their neighborhood.  While they embrace their past and their many achievements with local civil rights issues, Newtown leaders are working to resolve present day challenges facing the community, including a need for more employment and jobs training.  Together with our North Sarasota Redevelopment Office team we look forward to making even bigger strides.    
Laurel Park Historic District Walking Map   For those who enjoy history as well as a leisurely stroll, you can combine the two with a walk
1841 Oak St., known as the Honorable John Early Home, is one of 45 homes featured on the tour. 
through the Laurel Park Historic District.  The Laurel Park Neighborhood Association has created a walking tour map detailing 45 historic homes in the area.  Eight neighborhood residents worked on the project, tracking down information on the homes which date from 1899 to 1941.  Congratulations to the Laurel Park Neighborhood for producing a helpful map which history buffs certainly will enjoy.  To download the walking tour map click here

New SPD K9   SPD has a new addition:  a 21-month-old German Shepherd named Andro.  He arrived from Germany last week and will
Andro arrived in Sarasota last week. 
be the K9 partner for Officer Nick Dominis.  The two will spend the next couple of weeks bonding and socializing, then they will attend K9 school where they will go through a 480 hour training regime required by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Training.  During that time, Andro will become proficient in narcotics detection and patrol duties.  Before they hit the streets for patrol, though, Andro and Officer Dominis will have to pass a State certification exam.  Andro is replacing K9 Kuda, who served the community for eight years and is now enjoying retirement, living with his former handler Officer Trip Schwenk.  We look forward to seeing Andro grow both physically and in his new role as a K9 officer.
K9 Andro joins the Sarasota Police Department
SPD Video:  K9 Andro bonding with Officer Dominis. 
Upcoming Events

Newtown Centennial Photo Exhibits 
Fri., April 18 - Sat., May 31
For exhibit hours contact:  941-487-4305    

"Tell Your Story"
(Newtown Centennial Event)
Sat., April 19
10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
2741 N. Osprey Ave.

Victory Sarasota Church Easter Sunrise Service 
Sun., April 20
5:30 a.m. - 10 a.m.
N. Lido Beach

The Tabernacle Easter Sunrise Service 
Sun., April 20
Bayfront Park

Church of the Palms Easter Sunrise Service 
Sun., April 20
6:30 a.m. - 8 a.m.
Lido Beach

Newtown Centennial Praise Fest
Sun., April 20 
3 p.m.
Robert L. Taylor Community Complex

8th Annual Elite Gentlemen 941 Easter Egg Hunt
(Newtown Centennial Event) 
Sun., April 20
3 p.m.
Robert L. Taylor Community Complex

History Room Tours 
(Newtown Centennial Event)
Mon., April 21
By Appointent (941-355-2967)
Booker High School

Earth Day Documentary 
(Newtown Centennial Event)
"Living with Trash" - Impact of the brownfield on Newtown
Tues., April 22
6:30 p.m.
1751 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Way
Coffee with a Cop
                    Coffee with a Cop 
                    Thurs., April 24 
                     8:30 a.m. - 10 a.m. 
                  Einstein Bagels - 3800 S. Tamiami Trail     

Upcoming Shows at the Van Wezel:

Discover DaVinci and Michelangelo "Side by Side"
Van Wezel Interior
Sat. April 19 - 8 p.m.
Shen Yun Show

Tues. April 22 - 7:30 p.m.
Wed., April 23 - 2 p.m.
Men Are From Mars - Women Are From Venus LIVE!
Thurs., April 24 - 8 p.m.

Thanks for reading this week's updates! Hope you enjoy a safe, restful and peaceful Passover and Easter.  Don't forget:  If you'd like to receive Weekly Briefs directly to your inbox just send us an email at

From sunny Sarasota,

Tom Barwin
City Manager
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