From the Desk of the
City Manager
April 25, 2014
Lido Pool is a popular place for swimmers, like Lee Bollow from Ohio, to train and workout.  Bollow was visiting Sarasota recently to participate in a U.S. Masters Swimming competition and he opted to train in Lido Pool right along the Gulf of Mexico.  With five lanes and a year round water temperature of 80 degrees, it's well suited for those swimming laps or families who just want to relax near the beach. Annual, seasonal and daily passes are available --- and are affordable with a day pass costing $4 for adults and just $2 for seniors. The pool is open Tuesday-Sunday 10 a.m. - 4:45 p.m.  For more information click here.


  • Downtown Improvement District  
    Tues., April  29 - 9 a.m.

    City Hall Annex - SRQ Media Studio   
  • Board of Adjustment  
    Wed., April  30 - 1:30 p.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
  • Community Workshop 14-CW-07
    Wed., April 30 - 5:30 p.m.
    City Hall - Room 112
Current Openings
magnifying glass and text  jobs . conceptual photo.
Civilian Volunteer Coordinator
Director of Marketing & Audience Development
Lifeguard I
Lifeguard II
Parking Garage Attendant 
Rec Attendant 
School Crossing Guard
Senior Internal Auditor
Treatment Plant Operator C
Utility Mechanic I

This Week's Items to Know:
Invented Here - Blue + You    Thanks to a partnership with the Ringling College of Art and Design, SPD has a new marketing campaign as well as a freshly made over website:  Created by nine students via the new Collaborative Project Center at Ringling, the initiative was officially unveiled this morning at SPD Headquarters.

Blue + You is a simple yet creative and effective concept that we hope will strike a chord with the community and help strengthen our partnership/community policing philosophy to connect residents with their police department.  The 'blue' represents law enforcement; the plus sign signifies we're working together; and the 'you', naturally, is each individual in our community.  This is such a spot on slogan, it could be used by law enforcement agencies across the nation.

SPD is hosting its inaugural Blue + You event tomorrow night (Sat., April 26) at 7:30 p.m.  It's Blue + You Movie Night at SPD  with a free showing of 'Despicable Me 2' , projected on the outside wall of the police building.  All are welcome to come out and support our very first Blue + You program. (See Upcoming Events for details.)

Thanks to Chief DiPino for spearheading this great community initiative.   And, congratulations to our bright and talented Ringling students who devised a unique marketing program that truly captures our partnership policing philosophy:  Blue + You.
Ringling students and SPD unveiled the Blue + You campaign this morning. 
Construction Update:  Arlington Pool   The Arlington Pool Aquatic Center improvement project remains on schedule.  The pool is now
The pool is on schedule to reopen by July 4th.
almost completely drained as crews prepare to clean it and do some minor surface repairs.  In the meantime, crews have started the process of installing a new pump filter system, heater system, electrical service and electric panels.  The current systems are 30 years old and must be replaced.  The target completion date is July 4th -- just in time for the summer swim season.

Construction Update:  Water Storage Tank  Significant progress has been made on the two million gallon water storage tank being constructed near Orange Ave. and 12th St.  I inspected the construction site this weekWater Storage Tank Construction with Utilities Director Mitt Tidwell and project manager Verne Hall, and it was an interesting tour.  (To get an idea of what I saw during the site visit, check out the accompanying YouTube video.)  The metal forms to create the cylindrical structure are now in place.  While we were on site, concrete was being sprayed onto the forms, with crews smoothing it out by hand, to create the exterior tank wall.  Next, the metal forms for the dome roof will be installed and concrete will be poured over it.  Following that, the exterior wall will be covered with another coat of concrete.  The project has been underway for just about two weeks, and it was impressive to see how much work already has been accomplished for this significant infrastructure improvement.  The project is expected to be finished in August.  On average, 6.5 millions of drinking water are used each day throughout the city.  Ultimately, the new tank will hold approximately 25 percent of one day's drinking water needs.
Project manager Verne Hall points to work being done at the site as Utilities Director Mitt Tidwell and I look on. 
Construction Update:  Brother Geenan Way MURT   If you haven't been near the Senior Friendship Centers on Brother Geenan Way just east of Osprey Ave. recently, you may not recognize it.  Many of our planned improvements are nearing completion.  A 10 foot wide multi-use recreational trail (MURT) has been installed from U.S. 301 to Osprey, and beneath the MURT are two new large pipes which were installed to improve drainage.  Approximately 90 percent of the new landscaping in that area is finished with lots of vegetation and many trees being planted.  So, that section is nearing completion.  The MURT will connect the Laurel Park neighborhood to Burns Square and will be a healthy addition to our exercising options in the area.  As a safety precaution, pipe bollards were installed this week on both sides of the Hudson Bayou bridge to prevent cars from trying to cross it.  Please note:  Although it appears to be open, the MURT is still an active construction site.  Crews are working as quickly as possible to finish the project so you can start enjoying it soon.  We appreciate your patience.   
Brother Geenan Way MURT
The newly installed MURT winding through new landscaping along Brother Geenan Way. 
Bobby Jones Golf Club - Increased Usage  We're seeing some positive numbers so far this year from our municipal golf course, Bobby Jones Golf Club.  During the first six months of our fiscal year, more rounds of golf are being played and more golfers are renting
Bobby Jones
The British course at Bobby Jones Golf Club. 
power carts.  From October through March, rounds of golf are up 1,343 --- approximately a 2 percent increase.  Meanwhile, golf cart rentals increased by 2,600 -- that's a 6 percent boost.  This is good news, especially when you consider Mother Nature prevented play on several days.
Bobby Jones also continues to be the place to be for amateur golfers with a competitive spirit.  We're hosting three significant events starting this weekend with the 43rd Men's City Championship.  That tournament will be held over two weekends, concluding next weekend -- when the Women's Partners & Individuals City Championship is also underway.  If you're interested in participating in the women's tourney, registration is open until Mon., April 28 at the end of business.  To download an application click here.  And, for the second year, we are one of just ten golf courses in Florida which will participate in a youth golf competition called 'Drive, Chip and Putt'.  Kids ages 7-15 compete in driving, chipping and putting skills for a chance to advance to the finals at Augusta National Golf Club before the Masters next year.  The event will be held Sat., June 7th.  For more information visit Congratulations to our hard working staff at Bobby Jones and let's keep up the good work as we head into summer!

Learning From Sarasota - Trenchless Technology   Over the past 18 months, the Utilities Department has focused on replacing critical force mains transmitting wastewater to and from our barrier islands.  The Utilities team conducted an evaluation and established a matrix to prioritize the replacements based on risk of failure or possible loss of operation capacity.  Some of the force mains were subaqueous, while others were located near public parks, and commercial and residential areas.  For those reasons, rather than digging up roads, over 18,000 feet -- or 3.4 miles -- of pipes were replaced by using a trenchless technology called horizontal directional drilling (HDD). 
Capital Improvement Project Manager Steve Topovski presented a technical paper entitled 'Replacing Critical Force Mains Using HDD Methods in Coastal Areas of the City of Sarasota'.  

Our Capital Improvement Project Manager, Steve Topovski, recently presented a technical paper in Orlando at a national conference of the North American Society for Trenchless Technology about our process and how the City of Sarasota is taking proactive steps to keep our utility infrastructure up to date.  Many municipalities across the nation are experiencing failing utility systems due to age and are hoping to learn how cities, like Sarasota, have successfully replaced their force mains.  The fact that our staff member was invited to discuss our successful methods at a national conference is a testament that we are on the right track with our utility capital improvement projects.  Kudos to Steve and the entire utilities team for this recognition.

Downtown Special Events Review      As we've mentioned in previous installments of Weekly Briefs, quite a bit of construction activity will be underway in downtown by this summer.  Foundation work has started on a new hotel at Palm Ave. and Ringling Blvd. The new State Street Parking Garage is scheduled to begin in mid-May.  
State St. Garage
Construction of the State Street Garage is expected to begin in mid-May. 
Construction on the Jewel, an 18 story condo building with mixed use, is expected to begin any day.  And, streetscape and utility infrastructure improvement projects are planned along First Street.  With that in mind, we're being proactive and taking steps to mitigate traffic congestion before the construction begins.  During its meeting Monday night, the City Commission directed staff to return soon with a resolution temporarily suspending special events on Main Street in downtown during the heavy construction period.   The proposed time period is July 4, 2014 - September 2015.  Anyone interested in hosting a special event downtown would be encouraged to use one of our many other public venues within the city limits, such as Payne Park.  It's important to note that the proposed temporary suspension would not impact any parades, New Year's Eve celebrations or Thunder by the Bay.  The weekly Downtown Farmers Market also would not be impacted.     
Upcoming Events

Suncoast Boat Show    
 Fri. and Sat. April 25 & 26:  10 a.m. - 7 p.m. 
Sun., April 27:  10 a.m. - 5p.m.
Bayfront - Marina Jack

Pines Rehab Run 
Sat., April 26
7 a.m. - 10 a.m.
Bayshore Road

March for Babies 
Sat., April 26
8 a.m. - Noon
J.D. Hamel Park

Veteran's Stand Down 2014 
Sat., April 26
8 a.m. - Noon
Payne Park Auditorium

St. Armands Fine Art Festival 
Sat. April 26:  10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Sun., April 27:  11 a.m. - 5 p.m.
St. Armands Circle Park

Prescription Drug Take Back 
Sat., April 26
10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
SPD Headquarters - 2099 Adams Lane

Blue + You: Movie Night 
Free Movie: 'Despicable Me 2'
Sat., April 26
7:30 p.m.
SPD Headquarters (Outside) - 2099 Adams Lane

Upcoming Shows at the Van Wezel:

John Legend
Van Wezel seats
Sun., April 27 - 7 p.m.
Voices of the Holocaust

Mon., April 28 - 7:30 p.m.
Thanks for reading this week's updates!  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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