From the Desk of the Sarasota
City Manager
January 16, 2015
Mother Nature was moody this week bringing us fog, mist and rain.  In this photo, taken yesterday afternoon at Bird Key Park, if you look closely you can see the faintest outline of buildings  through the unusually misty conditions on Sarasota Bay.  One of the many nice aspects of living in our special community is that this occasional dreary weather reminds us of harsher winters a bit, and we know it will clear up and the sunshine and warm temperatures will return soon.  Thank goodness!


  • Community Redevelopment Agency
    Tues., January 20 - 2:30 p.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
  • City Commission
    Tues., January 20 - 2:30 p.m. & 6 p.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
  • Enterprise Zone Development Agency
    Wed., January 21 - 8 a.m.
    Robert L. Taylor Community Complex
  • Development Review Committee
    Wed., January 21 - 9 a.m.
    City Hall - Room 112
  • CRA Advisory Board
    Thurs., January 22 - 3 p.m.
    City Hall Annex - SRQ Media Studio
City Career Opportunities
Opportunity, Just Ahead Green Road Sign with Copy Room Over The Dramatic Clouds and Sky.

Administrative Specialist II
Deputy Police Chief
Graphic Artist
Lifeguard I
Maintenance Technician I - SPD
Plans Examiner
Police Officer, 2nd Class
Rec Attendant
School Crossing Guard
    Supervisor, Parking Garages 


This Week's Items to Know:
MLK Day - City Hall Closed    City administrative offices will be closed next Monday, January 19 in observation of MLK Day.  Garbage, recycling and yard waste will be collected as usual.  Bobby Jones Golf Club and the Robert L. Taylor Community Complex will have regular operating hours.

Also, please note:  The regular City Commission meeting which normally would be held on Monday will be held the following day, Tuesday, January 20 at 2:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. at City Hall.

Click here to see a schedule of the many events planned in Sarasota to remember Martin Luther King, Jr. and the indelible impact he made on our nation with the civil rights movement.  I hope to see you!

Lido Beach Restoration Begins    We are pleased to report that the stabilization and restoration of Lido Beach is underway!  Since Tropical Storm Debby in 2012, Lido Beach has experienced significant erosion to the point where there is little or no beachfront in places, and property and infrastructure is threatened.  The good news is that after extensive coordination with federal, state and local government agencies, we
A barge mobilizes in the Gulf of Mexico to begin
the restoration and stabilization of Lido Beach. 
are now in position to restore approximately 1.8 miles of shoreline to its stable condition before the tropical storm hit.  (Note: This is not the long range beach stabilization project planned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.)

It's essential that our infrastructure is protected and we maintain stable, healthy, visually pleasing beaches for our residents, business owners and the thousands of visitors who enjoy Lido Beach.

For the next two months, expect to see crews working along the beach with the restoration occurring 24/7.  The project started this week near Lido Pool and crews will work south to Ted Sperling Park using recycled sand from the New Pass shoal to restore the beach.  As an area of beach is restored, it will be reopened to the public. 

The project is expected to be finished by the end of March.  Throughout the restoration, ample space for sunbathing and sunset watching will remain unimpeded.

Thank you to City Engineer Alex Davis Shaw for shepherding this complex endeavor through the permitting process and working to secure  $3.6 million in funding from FEMA, Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the Tourist Development Tax.
Taken this week, this photo shows the beach erosion at south
Lido Beach near the Sarasota Sands.

Osprey Ave. Bridge - Temporary Closure Postponed    The temporary closure of the Osprey Avenue Bridge at Hudson Bayou scheduled for next week on Jan. 19 & 20 has been postponed.  When new dates are scheduled, we will let you know.

The temporary closure will be necessary while crews continue an extensive inspection of the bridge in order to gather as much information as possible before putting out bids for a new contractor for the Lift Station 87 project.  Earlier this week, crews conducted geotechnical tests under the bridge. 

We appreciate everyone's patience as staff moves forward with performing its due diligence before taking the next step with a significant utilities infrastructure project.   

Old Bradenton Rd./Myrtle St. - Temporary Closure     The intersection of Old Bradenton Road and Myrtle Street is temporarily closed for approximately the next month while a new roundabout is constructed and new curbs and irrigation are installed.  Progress is being made on the project...and the good news is:  the bulk of the work on Old Bradenton Road is complete with 1.5 miles of new water mains installed and operational.

We understand this ongoing construction has been an inconvenience to residents in the Bayou Oaks neighborhood as complicated underground utility relocations were completed.  We very much appreciate residents' patience as we make the final push to wrap up the project and have an aesthetically pleasing roadway with reliable infrastructure. 

As you make your way around the intersection closure, please follow the detour signs and be on the lookout for children playing in the area who may not be accustomed to cars driving through their neighborhood.   

FEMA Flood Mapping - Open Houses Scheduled   For the past decade, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has been working on a comprehensive effort to update floodplain maps throughout the nation, including here in Sarasota.  The majority of floodplain maps in the U.S. were created 30 years ago, and as land development and drainage patterns have changed, the maps have become outdated.  So, FEMA has been coordinating closely with the City, Southwest Florida Water Management District and Sarasota County to generate new maps based on current flood modeling and digital mapping technology.

The new proposed floodplain maps indicate that 4,400 parcels within the City of Sarasota will move into a higher risk flood zone, while 520 will be mapped out of a high risk area.  It's important for property owners to check their flood zone status.  When the new maps, known as Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs), take effect in 2016, property insurance rates will be impacted.  This program will help federal taxpayers offset the costs of rebuilding following locally declared, nationally recognized disasters.

To help property owners understand the new maps and the possible financial implications, six open houses will be held in Sarasota County over the next two months.  Two will be held in the city limits:
  • Tues., January 20:  4 p.m. - 7 p.m.
    Bayfront Community Center - 803 N. Tamiami Trail
  • Tues., February 24:  4 p.m. - 7 p.m.
    Bayfront Community Center - 803 N. Tamiami Trail

Please note:  Property owners will be notified via postcard about the open houses if their parcel will be placed into a different flood risk category. 

A formal presentation will not be given during the open houses.  Instead, officials will be on hand to talk with property owners one-on-one and provide specific mapping information regarding their parcel.  Also, insurance representatives will be available to answer questions about residential and commercial coverage.  To see a list of currently scheduled open houses in Sarasota County click here.

For more information, including Frequently Asked Questions, visit the Sarasota County flood map webpage:  


I'd like to thank our staff in the Neighborhood & Development Services Department for their involvement over the years with this monumental undertaking.  And, we encourage everyone affected to consider attending one of the open houses. 


Robert L. Taylor Community Complex - Fitness Special     In last week's edition of Weekly Briefs, we featured a cardio workout class at the Robert L. Taylor Community Complex.  If you're considering becoming a pass holder, now is the time!  Not only can you start the year with a great place to work out, but right now you can get something extra.

For the next month, those who sign up for a new adult fitness or full pass will receive one month free.  Current pass holders can receive a free month by referring a new pass holder who registers for an adult fitness or full pass.  With passes starting at just $10 a month (with no contract), RLTCC is very affordable for an individual or a family.  Plus, the equipment and workout facilities are top notch.

The buy one, get one month free offer ends on February 15.  (Family and youth passes are not included)  For more information click here or call 941-954-4182.

Upcoming Events

Art & Antiques Show & Sale
  Municipal Auditorium
Fri., Jan. 16 & Sat., Jan. 17:   10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Sun., Jan. 18:  Noon - 5 p.m. 
Ringling Bridge Run 
Ringling Bridge
Sat., January 17
8 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.

Robert "Bud" Thomas Golf Tournament     
Bobby Jones Golf Club 
Sat., January 1 7 
8 a.m. 
$85 per player  

Classic Antique Car Show
St. Armands Circle Park
Sat., January 17
10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Sarasota Fine Art Festival
Gulfstream Ave. - Downtown  
Sat., Jan. 17:  10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Sun., Jan. 18:  11 a.m. - 5 p.m.

SMOA Bash 
Historic Sarasota High School
Sat., January 17
6 p.m. - 10 p.m.

MLK Jr. Unity Worship Service  
Light of the World International Church
3650 17th Street 
Sun., January 18
4 p.m.

Memorial Breakfast & Community Awards Ceremony
Robert L. Taylor Community Complex  
Mon., January 19 
7:30 a.m.
$20 per person

MLK Unity Walk 
Start:  Robert L. Taylor Community Complex 
End:  Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Park
Mon., January 19
11 a.m.

MLK Community Celebration in the Park
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Park
Mon., January 19
Noon - 5 p.m.

Free Admission 

FEMA Floodplain Map Open House 
Bayfront Community Center - 803 N. Tamiami Trail
Tues., January 20
4 p.m. - 7 p.m.

Upcoming Shows at the Van Wezel

The Bronx Wanderers
Sun., January 18 - 7 p.m.

David Feherty Off Tour
Tues., January 20 - 8 p.m.
Michael Bolton will perform at the
Van Wezel on Jan. 21st. 

Michael Bolton
Wed., January 21 - 8 p.m.

ABBA the Concert
Thurs., January 22 - 8 p.m. 

Kathleen Madigan   
Fri., January 23 - 8 p.m.

Elvis Lives! 
Sat., January 24 - 8 p.m.

An Evening with Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons  
Tues., January 27 - 8 p.m.

Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis Jr.  
Ballroom with a Twist will be at the
Van Wezel on Jan. 29th.
Wed., January 28 - 8 p.m.

Ballroom with a Twist
Thurs., January 29 -  8 p.m.

 For more information visit

In this edition of Sarasota Scene, our contributing photographer Norm Schimmel caught up with a mini-camp this week being held by the Baltimore Orioles for baseball players who want some extra practice before spring training gets underway.  Pitchers and catchers arrive soon -- a sure sign that spring is right around the corner!  Tickets for Orioles' spring training games go on sale Saturday, January 24 at 10 a.m.  For a game schedule and tickets click here.

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

Tom Barwin
City Manager

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