From the Desk of the
City Manager
June 27, 2014
Construction Crew
You may be noticing more construction workers hanging around downtown.  As we've mentioned in previous editions of Weekly Briefs, many significant developments are underway.  These two men are working on the One Palm Avenue site, where a hotel and apartments are under construction.  Approximately 30-50 workers are on-site now, and as the project progresses that number is expected to increase up to 100-150 laborers, depending on the work that is being done.  It's nice to see so many of these hard working tradespeople working in Sarasota once again.


  • Development Review Committee   
    Wed., July 2 - 9 a.m.

    City Hall Annex - SRQ Studio   
Current Openings
magnifying glass and text  jobs . conceptual photo.

No current advertised positions.

The City of Sarasota employment webpage is updated weekly. 
                     Please check back for future listings.                     

Homeless Initiative Update

During a joint meeting between the City Commission and County Board of Commissioners this past Monday, both Commissions opted not to move forward with a come-as-you-are shelter at the two sites under consideration in North Sarasota with an estimated $9 million construction cost.  The Commissions agreed to continue looking inside and outside the city limits for a viable location for a come-as-you-are shelter and jail diversion program.

This next phase will be overseen by the City Manager and County Administrator with consultation from Robert Marbut.  All ideas for possible locations for a come-as-you-are shelter are welcome.  Please contact my office directly at 941-954-4102.

Another City-County joint meeting will be held in September to provide both Commissions with  a status update. 

This Week's Items to Know:
Robert L. Taylor Community Complex - Summer Camp     With the arrival of summer, we officially have shifted into day camp mode at the Robert L. Taylor Community Complex, weekdays 7:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.  Oodles of children ages 6-12 descend upon the rec center every morning for camp.  Programming includes fun, education-based activities (a math scavenger hunt was held earlier this week), weekly field trips, swimming, and playing board games and team sports.  Breakfast and lunch also are served.  Once again this year, the day camp is filled to capacity with 85 children enrolled.  (The camp is so popular there is an extensive waiting list.)  The RLTCC summer camp is a very affordable option for working parents who know their children will be in a safe environment and entertained with structured, quality programming.

To help operate the summer camp, 10 paid camp counselors were recently hired as well as 13 paid counselors in training (CITs).  These seasonal employees, who are older teenagers and young adults from
CIT Class
CITs attending a weekly instructional session taught by CareerSource Suncoast 
the North Sarasota area, help supervise the young campers.  As part of their training, the CITs also attend a weekly 3 hour youth employment program to help them develop skill sets which will help them become highly desirable employees.

This week's class session focused on the importance of treating others with respect.  Other classes will discuss the value of strong communication skills, team building, the ability to make informed and effective financial decisions, how to prepare an effective resume, as well as job interview preparation.  These instructional sessions have been provided at no cost by CareerSource Suncoast (formerly known as Suncoast Workforce) for the past three years.  The goal is for the CITs to graduate from the program and possibly advance into a camp counselor position in the future.

RLTCC is a very busy place right now with a lot of fun activities underway.  We appreciate our many community partners who help make the RLTCC day camp a success every day.
RLT Field Trip
Children boarding a tour bus Wednesday morning to travel to St. Petersburg to attend a Tampa Bay Rays game.

Bobby Jones Golf Club - Summer Camp    Summer camp also is being offered at Bobby Jones Golf Club.  The first of three junior camps, being held in June, July and August, just wrapped up this week...and the camp was filled to capacity with young golfers eager to sharpen their skills.

Each camp runs three days 9 a.m.- noon with a kid-friendly lunch provided.  Youngsters ages 8-18 can participate with a $100 registration fee per student.

The next golf camp is scheduled for July 21-23 and the last one of the summer will be held August 11-13.

For more information contact the golf shop at 941-954-4163 or visit

State St. Garage Update - Load Test    A construction test, known as a statnamic load test, was conducted at the State Street Garage site this week.  The test measures the carrying load capacity of the foundation piles that will be used in the construction of the new
A contractor prepares for the second of three statnamic load tests at the State Street Garage site. 
parking garage.  The process involves propelling a mass upwards that places a tremendously heavy load in a downward compression on a test pile.  Three of these tests were conducted Wednesday afternoon using four blocks each weighing 14,500 pounds.  With each test, the pressure was increased to determine the strength and stability of the test pile.

This kind of load test creates a very brief hydraulic hiss or boom.  If you heard a loud sound (or three) around 2:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. Wednesday afternoon in downtown, that probably was it.

The good news:  the tests were successful and we are preparing to start the foundation construction within the next several weeks. 

Here's an up close view of what the load test looked and sounded like:
State St. Garage Foundation Load Test 
State Street Garage foundation load test 
Golden Gate Point - New Development    Construction of a five story condominium building on Golden Gate Point is set to move forward after details with the developer were finalized last week.  This is another positive indicator that our local economy is turning around.  The development will be located at 188 Golden Gate.  An $8.6 million project, it will feature eight condo units over one story of parking.  Although no firm date is set for construction to begin, we expect it to happen soon.

Brother Geenan Way/MURT Update    The drainage improvement project and extension of the multi-use recreational trail (MURT) connecting Laurel Park and Burns Square is progressing well.  18
Extensive landscaping runs along the MURT.
additional parking spaces have been added on the south side of Brother Geenan Way, bringing the new total to 35 spaces, and soon curbing will be installed.  This week, crews connected reclaimed water lines to provide irrigation for the extensive new landscaping along the MURT.  Pedestrian light poles also are being installed on concrete bases.

The MURT is quite wide -- 10 feet across -- and will give residents a healthy alternative to using their car to travel between Laurel Park and Burns Square.  Soon, you'll be able to walk, run and bicycle along that portion of the MURT.  We expect to reach substantial completion of this quality of life improvement project by the end of July.

Orange Ave. Parking Lot - Temporary Closure    The Public Works Department is preparing to make some much needed improvements to the Orange Ave. Parking Lot, which means the lot will be temporarily closed for a few weeks.  Starting July 8th, the surface lot, located at the southeast corner of Orange Ave. and 2nd St., will be unavailable for public parking.  Currently, the area is prone
Orange Av. Lot
The Orange Ave. Lot will close July 8th for approximately three weeks. 
to flooding and crews will make improvements to facilitate drainage.

The lot, which has 20 public parking spaces, will be closed for approximately three weeks.  During that time, drivers are encouraged to use available on-street parking as well as the First Street Parking Lot and Second Street Garage (adjacent to Whole Foods), which are a short, healthy walk away.

The Public Works Department and Parking Operations Division planned for this improvement project to occur out of season.  City divisions have  reached out to area business owners to explain the need for the project and offer helpful parking solutions for their customers. 

Holiday Traffic Restrictions - July 3-6     With July 4th falling on a Friday this year, it's going to be an especially busy weekend next week.  Already, we're receiving inquiries at City Hall regarding events taking place and the possible impact on traffic.

Starting with the Festival Parade of Power Boats on Thursday, July 3rd, followed by the annual fireworks display on the Bayfront on Friday, July 4th, and concluding with two days of the Suncoast Super Boat Grand Prix on July 5 and 6, temporary road closures and traffic restrictions will be in effect, including the temporary closure of the 10th Street boat ramp at Centennial Park.  (The boat ramp will be closed July 4th at 11 p.m. - July 6 at 6 p.m.)

The SPD is prepared for what is expected to be a very busy holiday weekend, and we would like to remind everyone to be safe and stay alert for road closures.  Blue + You = Safe Holiday Weekend.

To see a complete list of temporary closures, as well as safety reminders, click here.  For a list of special events, see 'Upcoming Events' below.

Sarasota Lawn Bowling Club - WEDU     The Sarasota Lawn Bowling Club, located adjacent to the Municipal Auditorium along Tamiami Trail, has been getting some nice, well deserved publicity lately.  The club currently is featured on WEDU, public television, on the program "Up Close with Cathy Unruh".

You may have heard that Sarasota was selected recently to host the
Lawn Bowling
Players at the Sarasota Lawn Bowling Club. 
U.S. Open Championship in 2016 and 2017.  This international lawn bowling event is expected to attract an impressive 300-400 players, along with overseas media coverage.  In addition to playing on Sarasota's Bayfront, auxiliary venues will be held in Sun City Center and Port Charlotte.  The successful tournament bid was assembled by Sarasota Lawn Bowling Club President Daniel Jittu with staff members from the Visit Sarasota County Sports Commission, Sarasota County and the City of Sarasota.  Bravo to all!

The club welcomes new members.  If you're interested in learning more about this fun, competitive sport that people of all ages can play, the WEDU program featuring the Sarasota Lawn Bowling Club is a must-watch video.  Click here to view.

Upcoming Events

Festival Parade of Boats 
Main Street:  U.S. 301 to Gulfstream Ave.
Thurs., July 3
7 p.m.

Bayfront Fireworks Spectacular
Bayfront Park
Fri., July 4
Dusk - approx. 9 p.m.

Powerboats By The Bay
Centennial Park
Sat., July 5
11 a.m. - 7 p.m.

Super Boat Grand Prix Boat Race
Lido Beach (Between New Pass & Big Pass)
Sat., July 5 and Sun., July 6
11 a.m. and 1 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
Tonight is our first Friday Fest of the summer -- a free outdoor concert on the lawn along Sarasota Bay behind the Van Wezel.  Bring blankets and lawn coolers, please.  Hope to see you there!

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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