From the Desk of the
City Manager
June 20, 2014
Bayfront Park Tree
We've added to our urban canopy within Bayfront Park.  Two large magnolia trees were planted this week.  Each is 25 feet tall and required a crane to lift them into position.  One is adjacent to the children's playground, and the other is nearby, next to the boat slips.  Recently, a ficus tree was removed from the park after our certified staff arborists determined the structural integrity was compromised and it posed a public safety concern.  The City's tree ordinance requires that a tree with a 2-5 inch diameter be planted to replace the removed tree.   We exceeded the requirement by planting two trees with a diameter which is nearly double what is required by the ordinance.  Crews also have planted another two dozen assorted native trees throughout the park to increase and enhance the park's forest.  Residents value the extensive urban canopy in Sarasota and we will continue to ensure it thrives.


  • Joint Special City Commission 
    Mon., June 23 - 1 p.m.
    County Administration Ctr. - 1660 Ringling Blvd.
  • Downtown Improvement District    
    Tues., June 24 - 9 a.m.

    City Hall Annex - SRQ Media Studio   
  • Firefighters Pension Board 
    Wed., June 25 - 9 a.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
  • Board of Adjustment   
    Wed., June 25 - 1:30 p.m. 
    City Hall - Commission Chambers  
  • Police Complaint Committee  
    Wed., June 25 - 5:30 p.m. 
    City Hall Annex - SRQ Media Studio
  • CRA Advisory Board
    Thurs., June 26 - 3 p.m. 
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
Current Openings
magnifying glass and text  jobs . conceptual photo.
Maintenance Mechanic I
Manager, Treatment

Come-As-You-Are Shelter Update
Preliminary construction budget figures were released yesterday by Sarasota  County for a proposed come-as-you-are homeless shelter.  Two sites are currently under consideration by both the City Commission and County Board of Commissioners, and each would cost approximately $9 million to build a shelter:

1330 N. Osprey Ave.   -   $9.2 million 
1800 N. East Ave.   -   $8.9 million

It would take an estimated 22 months from the time of signing a real estate contract to opening the facility. As decisions regarding the construction, operation, and financing of a come-as-you-are shelter are debated, I remain hopeful that the community can work together to develop meaningful short and long term solutions for our ongoing chronic homeless challenge.

Led by Calvin Collins, the City's new mental health street case worker, our recently resumed Homeless Outreach Team is focusing on our chronically homeless military veterans to transition them from living on our streets into treatment when appropriate and eventually housing within the next year.  The initial step is to reach out to them and help pair them with benefits they are entitled to as a veteran.

A joint meeting with the City and the County Commissions will be held Monday, June 23rd at 1 p.m. at the County Administration Building, 1660 Ringling Blvd.  

This Week's Items to Know:
Deep Injection Well    A significant utilities improvement project is underway which will result in a tremendous reduction in treated wastewater being discharged into Sarasota Bay.  The Utilities Department is in the process of connecting the City's treated
Deep Injection Well
The deep injection well.
wastewater pipeline and two pumping stations on 12th Street, to a deep injection well across the street adjacent to Osprey Ave.

The project will allow treated concentrate to be safely injected 1,500-1,800 feet underground, well below the aquifer and still further down beneath two impervious layers of earth.  Deep injection has become a common method to safely dispose of treated water.

Construction crews are now preparing to push a 24-inch pipe approximately 120 feet across but under 12th St. by jacking and boring 18 feet below the road and connecting the pumping stations to the deep injection well.  This is a complex process requiring precision work, especially since a multitude of utilities are buried in the area
Deep Injection Well
Crews building the receiving pit on the north side of 12th St.
and must be avoided -- everything from water mains to fiber optics to wastewater and storm water pipes to electrical and telephone lines.  The depth of the pipe connecting to the well will vary as crews navigate around the existing utilities.

In preparation for the connectivity, crews are now building a large launch pit on the south side of 12th St. and a receiving pit on the north side.

Using the deep injection well will ensure the City complies with Florida Department of Environmental Protection regulations and will improve the overall water quality of Sarasota Bay.  The deep well has the capacity to receive up to 18 million gallons of treated wastewater daily.  This means wastewater effluent will be safely discharged into the well daily rather than into the Bay.  (During extremely heavy rain events, it may be necessary to discharge treated concentrate into the Bay, but that should be a rare occurrence.)  This will be a significant victory for our environment and our valued natural resource, Sarasota Bay.

The project will be underway for many more months.  But, we expect it to be completed without disrupting traffic along 12th St.
Deep Injection Well
Crews working inside the first of three trench boxes which will be stacked atop each other underground and used to move a pipe under 12th Street.

Bobby Jones Golf Club - Junior Championship    We have some good news to report regarding young golfers at Bobby Jones Golf Club.  Last weekend, the Junior City Championship attracted a field of
Junior City champions Nicole Polivchak  
and Ron Johnson 
64 youngsters.  That's an impressive number considering the tournament was postponed last October due to a lack of interest.  Staff partnered with Florida Junior Golf to promote the event, and the result was very positive, attracting more kids, ranging from 7 years old to 18.  Plus, approximately two dozen more players participated this time compared to previous tournaments.  Over two days, they played two rounds and competed based on age and gender.

Congratulations to the girls' overall winner, Nicole Polivchak, 16, from Sarasota, and the boys' overall champ, Ron Johnson, 17, from Venice!
Thanks to our hard working staff at Bobby Jones for continuing to seek different ways to make our municipal course fun and inclusive, especially with the younger generation.
Selby Five Points Park - New Grass    If you've noticed crews working in Selby Five Points Park in downtown this week, they're preparing for a quick makeover.  Every two years, the Downtown
Crews installing new sod in Selby Five Points Park. 
Improvement District replaces the grass due to wear and tear from heavy use.  Crews removed the grass this week, and started installing new sod this morning.  It's looking nice!  The project is budgeted for $6,000.   We appreciate the DID covering this expense to improve the appearance of downtown to attract more families and visitors to the park.

Newtown Streetscape Update   The improvement project along Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Way is looking good.  Crews put the finishing touches on four decorative brick crosswalks at Orange Ave. this week.  Up next:  the planting of desert cassia trees along the corridor from Osprey Ave. to U.S. 301.  Bright yellow flowers bloom on the desert cassia and will provide a burst of seasonal color.  The improvements are on schedule and are expected to wrap up this month.  As part of the annual citywide street resurfacing project, the entire Dr. MLK, Jr. Way corridor, from U.S. 301 to U.S. 41, will be repaved during July-August.
One of the four new brick crosswalks at Dr. MLK, Jr. Way and Orange Ave. 
Newtown Playground Updates    The new playground at Orange Ave. Park is open for business!  We mentioned earlier this month in Weekly Briefs that the play equipment for little ones, ages 2-5, was outdated and would be replaced.  The new swing set and play equipment are now installed and, already, they're getting a lot of use. 

In the meantime, there's been a slight delay with the delivery of the new equipment for Mary Dean Park, on Central Ave., which is the larger of the two playground improvement projects.  The materials are expected to arrive within the next few weeks and will be installed immediately.  Both of these quality of life improvement projects are being funded via Community Development Block Grants.
Orange Ave. Playground
Zariyah Bane, who will be 2 years old in August, enjoying a ride on the new swing set at Orange Ave. Park. 
Public Art - Source   Most of us refer to it as the Half Shell Fountain, but the public art piece installed at Lemon Plaza in downtown actually is called Source.  And, over time, it was intended to develop a stable corrosion known as patina.  Designed by Rhode
Public Art
Source by Brower Hatcher was designed to develop a patina. 
Island artist Brower Hatcher, the City Commission approved the piece in 2004 and it was installed in October 2005.  After a couple of years, though, the patina wasn't appearing as quickly as hoped, so a local artist was contracted to sand blast the copper shell and spray it with a salt water mixture to accelerate the natural patina process.  Just like a copper penny, over time, a natural green layer of stable corrosion will develop.  So, the green color you see on the shell is part of the artwork and is supposed to be there.

We have an extensive public art collection throughout the City.  If you'd like to learn more about it visit

Photo Exhibit     Next time you go to the Property Appraiser, Supervisor of Elections or Tax Collector in the Terrace Building in downtown, you might want to build in some extra time to take in the new permanent photo exhibit.  A total of 41 black and white historic photos are on display.  Each was captured by local photographer J.B. McCourtney and highlight people from Southwest Florida who had an impact on our community.  Some names you will recognize, like Rita Roehr (the City's first female mayor) and Fredd "Glossie" Atkins (the City's first African-American mayor), while others you may not, like Juanita Hamilton (Marie Selby's cook and companion) and Mack Doss (local rancher).  The photos are artistic while historic, documenting over 30 years along the Suncoast.

You can see the display weekdays 7 a.m. - 5 p.m. inside the Terrace Building, 101 S. Washington Blvd.

We are very fortunate to have this high quality display free and open to the public in downtown.  Thanks to all who made it possible:  the estate of Barbara Caren McCourtney, Sarasota County Commission, Sarasota County Supervisor of Elections Kathy Dent, Sarasota County Tax Collector Barbara Ford-Coates, and Sarasota County Property Appraiser Bill Furst, with assistance from Sarasota County Historical Resources. 
Photo Exhibit
Two of the 41 photos by J.B. McCourtney now on permanent display at the Terrace Building.
                         Upcoming Events

Coffee with a Cop Coffee with a Cop
Starbucks - 1401 1st Street  
Tues., June 24
4 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.

State Street Garage Project Update
City Hall Annex - SRQ Media Studio
Wed., June 25
2:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. 

Upcoming Shows at the Van Wezel

Friday Fest - Yesterdayze 
Fri., June 27 - 5 p.m.
FREE Outdoor Concert 

American Idol Live!
Thurs., July 17 - 8 p.m.
Friday Fest - Come Back Alice
Fri., July 25 - 5 p.m.
FREE Outdoor Concert


Friday Fest - SoulRcoaster
Fri., August 22 - 5 p.m.
FREE Outdoor Concert
Friday Fest - Adrian Ray
Fri., Sept. 26 - 5 p.m.
FREE Outdoor Concert

Thanks for reading this week's updates.  If you'd like to receive Weekly Briefs directly to your inbox click 'Join Our Mailing List' below or send us an email at

From sunny Sarasota,

Tom Barwin
City Manager
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