From the Desk of the Sarasota
City Manager
January 23, 2015
Despite the bustling activity of the Lido Beach restoration project, with fresh sand pouring onto shore from a 16-inch pipe and a bulldozer moving the recycled sand into position, people still want to spend time at Lido Beach.  On Wednesday, we encountered visitors from Montreal, Chicago and New York (just to name a few -- plus some year round residents), who were captivated by the restoration process, including Sandra Iaas and Marlene Uhler, from Toledo, Ohio, who were taking photos and videos.  See below for more
details about the project.


  • Informal City Commission & Informal Session of CRA
    Tues., January 27 - 5 p.m.
    Northern Trust Building
    11th Floor - Community Room
    1515 Ringling Blvd.
  • Police Complaint Committee
    Wed., January 28 - 5:30 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.

Deputy Police Chief 
Graphic Artist 
Landscape Maintenance Tech II 
Lifeguard I 
Parking Garage Attendant  
Police Officer, 2nd Class 
Rec Attendant 
School Crossing Guard 
   Treatment Plant Operator A 
     Treatment Plant Operator B   


This Week's Items to Know:
Osprey Ave. Bridge - SB Traffic Only    After being closed for two days this week, the Osprey Bridge over the Hudson Bayou is now open to one lane of southbound traffic only.  This meets safety
A contractor begins to create a temporary cofferdam
in the Hudson Bayou earlier this week.  
requirements for contractors as they continue to inspect the bridge before the City moves forward with the Lift Station 87 utilities project.  The southbound only traffic pattern will be in place for the next four weeks.  Electronic message boards are in position to alert motorists, and we remain in regular contact with residents in the adjacent neighborhoods.  We appreciate everyone's patience and understanding for the next month while crews gather necessary information which will help guide the City with decisions regarding the Lift Station 87 project.

Street Resurfacing    The City's annual street resurfacing project continues to move along, with Boulevard of the Arts and portions of Lemon Ave. and 10th Street being milled and paved this week.  Weather permitting, crews are scheduled next week to resurface the John Ringling-Washington Drive intersection on St. Armands Key.  To minimize traffic impact, the work will be done at night with crews mobilizing at 11 p.m. 

Other areas scheduled to be milled and/or paved next week include:
  • Boulevard of the Arts (west of U.S. 41)
  • Bay Point (Orange Ave. to the west terminus)
  • Gulfview Dr. (Orange Ave. to the west terminus)
  • 5th Street alleys

Thank you for your patience as we mill and pave approximately nine miles of streets throughout the city.  It's a brief inconvenience for something that we believe will have a lasting impact on our quality of life in Sarasota.   

Contractors milling and paving 10th Street this week.

Lido Beach Restoration - Sand is Flowing!  As we mentioned in the Photo of the Week, the restoration project is attracting a lot of
A brief yet compelling video I shot of  
the beach restoration. 
attention with residents and visitors.  Many people have never seen sand recycled onto shore in order to replenish the beach and help stabilize it. 

When the sand is flowing, it's quite a sight to see:  thousands of cubic yards of fresh sand from the New Pass shoal being pumped onto the beach via a 16-inch pipe. To see what we're talking about, check out the video above that I recorded with my cell phone last weekend.
A bulldozer moving fresh sand on Lido Beach this past Wednesday. 
We're one week into the process, and it's going very well.  Over the next two months, 1.8 miles of shoreline will be replenished from the Lido Pool area to Ted Sperling Park.  Crews will work one section at a time, with each section being approximately 500-700 feet.  For public safety reasons, with heavy machinery moving around, each area will be temporarily cordoned off.  Once a section of beach is filled with beautiful, recycled sand, it will be graded and reopened to the public.  The project is scheduled to be finished by mid-March.
Sand from the New Pass shoal blasting onto Lido Beach through a 16-inch pipe. 
Air Potato Vine Roundup - N. Tower Park     We're rounding up volunteers for another air potato vine roundup at North Water Tower Park!  The event will take place at the park on Sat., February 7th from 9 a.m. - noon.   The City is hosting the event in conjunction
Air potato vines growing in
North Water Tower Park. 
with the Sarasota Bay Estuary Program to kick off a significant three year restoration, stormwater improvement and environmental education project at the park.

SBEP recently was awarded a $300,000 grant from the Environmental Protection Agency Gulf of Mexico Program for water quality improvements and invasive species removal at North Water Tower Park.  What's particularly impressive is the number of diverse groups which participated in the application process:  the Bayou Oaks Neighborhood Association, Indian Beach Sapphire Shores Neighborhood Association, North Trail Redevelopment Partnership, and the Sarasota Sky Pilots Disc Golf Club.

Our Urban Design Studio recently identified the neighborhoods around North Water Tower Park as a catalyst area which could see zoning code changes using a form-based code before other parts of the City.  Staff will be at the event to talk about form-based code and answer questions.
Two of the many volunteers who participated
in the 2013 Air Potato Vine Roundup.

Air potato vines are an invasive plant, and removing them from the park is a good way to get rid of them while stimulating community interest in the park.

The last City-SBEP Air Potato Vine Roundup, in 2013, attracted over 100 participants who removed more than 2,500 pounds of air potatoes in four hours.

We'd love to see you there next month!  To register (and be counted for a catered lunch following the air potato vine roundup) click here.  To see the community fun and hard work from our previous event, check out the YouTube video below.

SPD Volunteer Award    Congratulations go out to the SPD volunteers who were honored last week with the inaugural Noah Williams Humanitarian Award.  The award, named after a SPD volunteer who recently passed away, will be presented each year to a volunteer who exhibits an extraordinary act of kindness or bravery.

SPD Chief Bernadette DiPino presented the award to four marine patrol volunteers:  Robert Johnson, Jonathan Laronge, Randy Moritz, and Murray Price.  They responded to a medical emergency call involving a person having difficulty breathing on a boat near the mooring field in Sarasota Bay.  The volunteers stabilized the patient who was then taken to Marina Jack and transported to Sarasota Memorial.  We applaud their responsiveness, quick thinking, and dedication to their volunteer duties.
Back Row - L to R:  Bob Johnson, Jonathan Laronge, Randy Moritz;  Front Row - L to R:  SPD Chief Bernadette DiPino, Mary Williams, SPD Volunteer Coordinator Michelle Rinaca

As part of the award, $1,000 will be donated annually to a local organization on behalf of the recipients.  In the case of multiple
An image of Noah Williams on display
during the ceremony.
recipients, like this year, up to $2,000 will be given.  This year's four volunteers collectively selected the Coast Guard Mutual Assistance Fund.

The Noah Williams Humanitarian Award will help us to always remember Noah and his generous support of the SPD.  A special thank you to Noah's widow, Mary, who facilitated the award and was on hand at the inaugural ceremony.

To watch the award presentation, click the YouTube video below.
Inaugural Noah Williams Humanitarian Award ceremony.
Inaugural Noah Williams Humanitarian Award ceremony.

Upcoming Events
U.S. Congressman Vern Buchanan Town Hall 
Sarasota County Commission Chambers
1660 Ringling Blvd.
Sat., January 24
11 a.m.
Information:  941-951-6643 

Achieva Run for Good & 5K Dog Walk     
Payne Park
Sat., January 24  
8 a.m. - Noon

J.D. Hamel Winterfest Arts & Crafts  
Chaplain J.D. Hamel Park 
Sat., Jan. 24 & Sun., Jan. 25
10 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

St. Armands Winter Art Festival
St. Armands Circle Park 
Sat., Jan. 24 & Sun., Jan. 25 
10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Vintage & Collectibles Fair 
Sat., Jan. 24:  10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Sun., Jan. 25:  10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Entrepreneurism & Innovation Workshop 
Robert L. Taylor Community Complex
Tues., January 27
6 p.m.


Upcoming Shows at the Van Wezel

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.
Wed., January 28 - 8 p.m. 

Ballroom with a Twist
Ballroom with a Twist will be at the
Van Wezel on Jan. 29. 
Thurs., January 29 -  8 p.m. 

Golden Boys
Tues., February 3 - 8 p.m. 

Les Ballets Trockadero
Wed., February 4 - 8 p.m. 

106 Years of Broadway
Thurs., February 5 - 2 p.m. & 8 p.m.

Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra
Fri., February 6 - 8 p.m.

The Piano Guys
Sat., February 7 - 8 p.m.

The Time Jumpers
Sun., February 8 - 7 p.m.

The Duke Ellington Orchestra
Mon., February 9 - 8 p.m.

Harry Connick, Jr.
Harry Connick, Jr. will be at the Van Wezel on Feb. 10.

Tues., February 10 - 8 p.m.

Irvin Mayfield and the New Orleans Orchestra
Wed., February 11 - 8 p.m. 

Peter and the Starcatcher
Thurs., February 12 - 8 p.m.

Diana Ross
Fri., February 13 - 8 p.m.

"The Sinatra Centennial" Starring Michael Feinstein
Sat., February 14 - 8 p.m. 

The Piano Men starring Jim Witter
Sun., February 15 - 8 p.m.

Dancing Pros Live!
Mon., February 16 - 8 p.m.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
Tues., February 17 - 7:30 p.m. 

Discover DaVinci and Michelangelo "Side by Side"
Wed., February 18 - 8 p.m.
Garrison Keillor will be at the Van Wezel on Feb. 19.


Garrison Keillor
Thurs., February 19 - 8 p.m.

Ringo Starr And His All Starr Band
Tues., February 24 - 8 p.m.


For more information visit

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Tom Barwin
City Manager