From the Desk of Sarasota
City Manager Tom Barwin
June 23, 2017
Last Friday, the Van Wezel team kicked off Friday Fest, our free summertime outdoor concert series on the Van Wezel Bayfront.  Doug Deming and the Jewel Tones had the crowd dancing with their fun, bluesy tunes.  And, Mother Nature delivered an incredible sunset the likes of which you can only see on Sarasota Bay.  Thanks to all the staff at the Van Wezel and our volunteers who helped with this event and upcoming ones.  The next Friday Fest will be July 21st with Kettle of Fish.  (Photo Courtesy: Rick Benitez)


  • Board of Adjustment
    Wed., June 28 - 1:30 p.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
  • Board of Rules & Appeals
    Wed., June 28 - 3 p.m.
    City Hall - Room 112

  • Police Complaint Committee
    Wed., June 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.

Computer Support Specialist I
Crew Leader I Landscape Operations
Golf Course Attendant (Part Time)
Landscape Maintenance Tech I (Part Time)
Landscape Maintenance Tech II
Lifeguard I
Maintenance Mechanic (Part Time)
Maintenance Mechanic II
    Police Officer, 2nd Class
Rec Attendant (Children's Fountain)
Rec Attendant (RLTCC)
Supervisor - Landscape Maintenance        

This Week's Items to Know:

Osprey Ave.:  Reopening soon!  Osprey Avenue is being repaved and the concrete curbs and sidewalks reinstalled as we prepare to reopen the street to pedestrian and bicycle traffic as soon as next week.  This is welcome news since the Hudson Bayou Bridge and vicinity has been closed to all traffic while construction crews work on Phase I of the Lift Station 87 project. 

Osprey Ave. at the Hudson Bayou Bridge being resurfaced
in anticipation of reopening the street.

With two major components of the project successfully completed -- microtunneling under Hudson Bayou and also under Luke Wood Park -- crews recently have been demobilizing, removing heavy machinery and returning the area to a good, safe condition for public use. 

We expect the Hudson Bayou Bridge will reopen to pedestrian and bicycle traffic before July.  A firm date is not set for when vehicular access will be permitted, but it's very close!  We anticipate that to happen in mid-July.
Osprey will remain open during Phase 2 while the lift station is constructed.  Then, temporary road closures will be required for utility connections during Phase 3, which is scheduled to begin in December 2019.  

Thanks to the nearby residents and business owners who have patiently endured Osprey being closed while this necessary infrastructure project, which will handle one-third of the effluent flow in the City, is completed. 

Cocoanut Ave. Infrastructure Improvements   On July 5th, the Utilities Department will begin another significant capital improvement project to further strengthen the integrity of the city's wastewater system and lessen the risk of sewage overflows and spills in our coastal community.

Crews will begin replacing a 50-year-old AC (asbestos cement) force main pipe in downtown along Gulfstream Ave. (McAnsh to Cocoanut Ave.) and on Cocoanut Ave. (Gulfstream Ave. to 4th St.) 

This  24-inch line is a critical part of the city's wastewater system, carrying one-third of the wastewater from downtown and the barrier islands to the City's treatment plant on 12th St.  With the force main at the end of its expected lifespan, it needs to be replaced.  Traditional open-cut and directional bore construction will be used, which will present some unavoidable impacts on pedestrian and vehicular traffic.

July 5 - Aug. 31: Cocoanut Ave. will be partially closed between Gulfstream Ave. and Palm Ave. to pedestrians, bicyclists and vehicles.

July 5 - Nov. 15: Eastbound Gulfstream Ave. south of Main Street will be closed.

July 24 - Sept. 15:  
  • NB Cocoanut Ave. will be closed between 1st St. and 2nd St.
  • NB Cocoanut Ave. will be closed between Fruitville Rd. and 4th St.
  • EB & WB 4th St. will be closed east of Cocoanut Ave.
This project is scheduled to be substantially completed by Thanksgiving. 

For more information visit  

The project will be worked on in segments July 5 - November 22.

The project also will include streetscape and beautification improvements on Cocoanut between Gulfstream & Palm Ave.

We greatly appreciate everyone's patience as we continue to proactively replace the City's aging wastewater system.

Age-Friendly Festival - Oct. 28   A global campaign is underway to bring awareness to the benefits of healthy, engaged living for all residents -- no matter the age.  And, we're pleased to join the Age-Friendly movement!

Spearheaded by The Patterson Foundation, Age-Friendly Sarasota is working with leaders within the community to focus on inclusivity as demographics change and lifespans extend.

This is a thoughtful approach to addressing issues with the philosophy, "If it's good for those who are older, it's good for all."

As a municipality, there are many opportunities to weave age-friendly elements into the community: from building codes, to parks and rec programming, to planning wider sidewalks, to appropriately placing sitting benches, to training our City employees on how to interact with all ages.

We will be part of the Age-Friendly Festival on Sat., Oct 28 at the Sarasota Fairgrounds, where staff will have a chance to discuss how we're being a proactive age-friendly city.  Organizers are planning a  fun experience for families with entertainment, food trucks, and interactive exhibits.  Admission will be free -- for attendees and those interested in presenting -- thanks to the generosity of The Patterson Foundation. 

The fall calendar fills up quickly in Sarasota, so we encourage you to save the date now:  October 28.  To learn more visit or find them on Facebook

July 4th - Holiday Schedule    City administrative offices will be closed on Tues., July 4 for Independence Day. 

Garbage, recycling and yard waste will be collected one day later on Wed., July 5.

Hours of operation at some parks & rec facilities will vary:
  • Bobby Jones Golf Club:  6 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.
  • Children's Fountain:  CLOSED
  • Lido Pool: 10 a.m. - 4:45 p.m.
  • Robert L. Taylor Community Complex: 6 a.m. - 10 a.m.



With festivities for the Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix kicking off this weekend with a golf tournament and car show, it's gearing up to be a busy time.   


The "Boats on Main" Downtown Block Party will be held on Friday, June 30 starting at 6 p.m. on Main Street (between Orange Ave. and Palm Ave.)  The festival is open to the public with free admission.

The races will be held July 1 & 2 off Lido Beach. 


The Powerboat Grand Prix races will be held Sat., July 1 & Sun., July 2 with most spectators heading to Lido Beach to watch the action.  Reminder: Tents, chairs, blankets etc. are allowed on the beach after sunrise.  Please be mindful of where you're walking and swimming and share the beach with our seabirds, turtles and dolphins who call the area home too.  (More on this below.)


The festivities wrap up on Tues., July 4 with a traditional, patriotic Bayfront Fireworks Spectacular at Bayfront Park starting at 9 p.m.  


For more information visit   


Thanks to Lucy Nicandri and her team with Suncoast Charities for Children who bring the Grand Prix to Sarasota each year, raising funds for special needs children while gaining national exposure for the Sarasota region.   


We also would like to note that the 4th of July weekend is one of the busiest times for our Sarasota Police Officers.  We appreciate them sacrificing holiday time with their families to ensure the community is safe during the celebrations. 


Share the Beach   To raise awareness about the importance of respecting the natural habitat of seabirds, turtles, dolphins and other marine creatures, the Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix recently launched an education campaign called "Share the Beach".

If you're on the beach, be careful where you're walking.  Black skimmers are nesting in the sand and with the shoreline eroding, there's precious little space between the water, sunbathers and birds.
Also, watch for sea turtles. Typically they lay eggs at night, so to protect the nests no one is allowed on Lido Beach before sunrise starting this weekend, June 25 - July 10.

On the water, adhere to all posted speed zones and please be on the lookout for dolphins and our state and federally protected manatees.  Give way to's their natural habitat.

For more information and tips about coexisting nicely with our wildlife, click here

Van Wezel:  Shows on Sale Now! 

The following is a list of shows through Dec. 2017.  To view the entire Van Wezel season visit 

Diana Ross
Fri., June 23 - 8 p.m.
Diana Ross will
perform June 23. 


Friday Fest: Kettle of Fish
Fri., July 21 - 5 p.m.
FREE Concert

Friday Fest:  Jah Movement Reggae Band
Fri., August 25 - 5 p.m.
FREE Concert

Tony Bennett
Fri., September 8 - 8 p.m.

Friday Fest:  Reverend Barry & the Funktastic Soul
Fri., September 15 - 5 p.m.
FREE Concert

Doo Wop Spectacular 
Sat., November 4 - 7:30 p.m.
Tony Bennett will be at the Van Wezel Sept. 8.


Celtic Thunder
Wed., November 15 - 7:30 p.m.

Straight No Chaser
Thurs., November 16 - 8 p.m.

Moscow Ballet Great Russian Nutcracker
Fri., Dec. 29 - 3 p.m. & 7 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

Weekly Briefs will be on summer hiatus until July 14.  Have an enjoyable and safe July 4th holiday!

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Tom Barwin
City Manager