From the Desk of Sarasota
City Manager Tom Barwin
December 14, 2018

This St. Armands construction site is a hive of activity, as seen early Wednesday morning.   The project is in the homestretch and will bring 500 parking spaces, including five electric vehicle charging stations, plus bicycle storage, and public restrooms to St. Armands Circle.   We anticipate the St. Armands Parking Garage will open to the public in January 2019, which will begin the very affordable paid parking program. Parking revenues will go toward paying the bond for the garage.  More on the paid parking program and the installation of pay stations below in Weekly Briefs. 


  • Development Review Committee
    Wed., December 19 - 9 a.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
  • Police Compliance Committee
    Wed., December 19 - 5:30 p.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
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This Week's Items to Know:

Lido Renourishment - Update     Work is continuing on the emergency renourishment and shoreline preservation project on Lido Beach, with approximately 20 percent of the project now completed.
Due to heavy seas associated with a cold front this week, the dredge was briefly suspended.  Operations resumed on Wednesday and will continue 24/7, although work may be suspended again this weekend due to expected stormy weather and accompanying choppy seas.  If dredging is postponed due to the weather, it will resume as soon as conditions become favorable.
Progress continues with the Lido Beach renourishment.

Heavy machinery is staged on the beach just north of Lido Pavilion.  Crews currently are working in a 400- to 500-foot zone, cordoned off with yellow caution tape.    
Reminder:  Lido Beach, Lido Pool, pavilion and restaurant are open for business during the renourishment.  Please continue to maintain a safe distance from the construction zone.
St. Armands Parking    Parking pay stations were installed along St. Armands Circle this week in anticipation of the completion of the new St. Armands Parking Garage soon and the start of the paid parking program. 
About three dozen sleek, unobtrusive pay stations are now located around the circle.  Over the next few weeks, staff will test the programming and functionality.   Please note:  The stations will become operational after the garage opens, which is expected next month.
The pay stations are conveniently located, user-friendly and take credit or coins. You'll also be able to download an app and pay via your smart phone. (More details coming soon.)      
The newly installed parking pay stations will be activated after the parking garage opens.

Rates will be color coded.  Look for signage with the color-coded zones when you park:   
Green (on the circle) = $1.50/hour
Yellow (periphery) = $1.00/hour
Purple (surface lot)  = $0.75/hour
Parking in the garage will be only $0.50 per hour.
The St. Armands merchants and City staff have worked closely on how best to resolve the parking crunch on the circle, and it was agreed a public parking garage within a short walk to the shops and restaurants would free up on-street parking and alleviate traffic congestion on the circle.  To help pay for the parking garage, a very affordable, easy-to-use paid parking program will begin when the garage opens.  
This pay station style was selected after extensive demonstrations were conducted on St. Armands Circle asking people to test several different variations.
Once this program is in place, a paid parking program will be implemented in downtown along portions of Main Street and Palm Avenue by May 2019, as approved by the City Commission.         
Community Survey - Coming Soon!   Shortly after the New Year, the City will roll out a community survey, its first in five years.  From the creation of a Parks and Recreation Department to approval of The Bay master plan, much has happened in Sarasota in recent years, and we're eager to take residents' and visitors' pulse on a wide variety of issues.   
The survey is web-based and will be available online from Jan. 4 through Feb. 9, 2019 in English and Spanish at SarasotaFL.Gov/Survey2019  (Please note:  Until the page becomes active on Jan. 4, there will be a 'Page Not Found' message.)
In the coming weeks, we'll be reaching out to the community in a variety of ways, including attending and distributing information during the popular downtown Farmers Market, the Winter Fine Arts Festival and the Seafood and Music Festival.   We'll also provide handouts to merchants announcing the survey, so they can share with their shoppers and diners.   
We're interested in hearing from all -- full-time residents, seasonal residents, visitors, business owners and merchants --  about services, programs and priorities.  The feedback we receive will be presented to the City Commission and considered during the upcoming budget process.  We're hopeful everyone and anyone who lives, works or plays here and who cares about the future of our special community joins in and participates in this community-building partnership.

The survey is in depth with a total of 24 questions.  It should take less than 15 minutes.   And for taking the time to participate, prizes will be offered!  
Look for the 2019 Community Survey starting on Jan. 4.  As the launch date draws closer, we'll share the link here, on the City's website and Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and NextDoor
SNN City Report:  e-Scooters  The focus of this week's "City Report" on SNN is transportation and the emerging trend toward personal mobility sharing.  Short distances are covered -- usually the
An e-scooter company, Bird, has approached the City about deploying scooters in Sarasota.

the first or last mile of a trip --  and, the latest innovation is the electric scooter.
Staff members are reviewing the concept and how e-scooters could be included in the City's emerging micro transit system in business and densely populated areas.
Tune in to SNN tonight at 5 p.m. and 10 p.m. for the report or check out previous "City Report" segments online.   

Van Wezel:  Shows on Sale Now! 

On Your Feet!
Video:  On Your Feet! hits the Van Wezel Dec. 26-30.

To view the full Van Wezel season, visit 
A Christmas Carol 
Sun., December 16 - 6 p.m.
  A Christmas Carol will be at the Van Wezel Dec. 16.

Itzhak Perlman: In The Fiddler's House 
Mon., December 17 - 7:30 p.m.

Celtic Thunder X 
Tues., December 18 - 7:30 p.m.
The Sound of Music 
Wed., December 19 - 7:30 p.m.
Thurs., December 20 -  2 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.

Moscow Ballet:  Great Russian Nutcracker  
Fri., December 21 - 3 p.m. & 7 p.m.
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer 
Sat., December 22 - 6:30 p.m.
On Your Feet! 
Catch Something Rotten!
Jan. 7 & 8 at the Van Wezel.

Wed., December 26 - 7:30 p.m.
Thurs., December 27 - 7:30 p.m.
Fri., December 28 - 7:30 p.m.
Sat., December 29 - 2 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, December 30 - 1 p.m. & 6:30 p.m. 

The Sweet Caroline Tour 
Mon., December 31 - 9 p.m.
Salute to Vienna New Year's Concert 
Wed., January 2 - 7 p.m.
Jay Leno 
Thurs., January 3 - 8 p.m.
Something Rotten!
Mon., January 7 - 7:30 p.m.
Tues., January 8 - 7:30 p.m.
3 Redneck Tenors 
Wed., January 9 - 8 p.m.
Blue Suede - The Premier Elvis Birthday Bash 
Thurs., January 10 - 8 p.m.
Air Supply 
Sun., January 13 - 7 p.m.
The Righteous Brothers 
Tues., January 15 - 8 p.m.

Linda Eder 
Thurs., January 17 - 8 p.m. 
Pilobolus Shadowland:  The New Adventure 
Tues., January 22 - 7:30 p.m.
Howie Mandel 
Wed., January 23 - 8 p.m.

The Midtown Men 
Fri., January 25 - 8 p.m.
  Dick Fox's Golden Boys will perform at the Van Wezel Jan. 29.

Gladys Knight 
Sat., January 26 - 8 p.m.
Jerry Lee Lewis 
Sun., January 27 - 7 p.m.
Tony Orlando 
Mon., January 28 - 8 p.m.
Dick Fox's Golden Boys 
Tues., January 29 - 7:30 p.m.
Neil Berg's 110 Years of Broadway 
Wed., January 30 - 2 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.
To purchase tickets over the phone call 941-953-3368 or stop by the Box Office at 777 N.Tamiami Trail.   
For a complete schedule of events, visit

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

Tom Barwin
City Manager