From the Desk of Sarasota
City Manager Tom Barwin
March 29, 2019
PIER CLOSURE - The Tony Saprito Fishing Pier, spanning over Sarasota Bay adjacent to Ernest "Doc" and Eloise Werlin Park, is a popular location for recreational fishermen and women.  To ensure public safety, the integrity of the structure is undergoing a comprehensive inspection, which will require it to be temporarily closed.  On Friday, April 5, the pier will be closed to the public from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. while crews complete their work.  It will reopen in plenty of time to enjoy one of our world renowned sunsets (Mother Nature willing) and some moonlit fishing. 


  • City Commission
    Mon., April 1 - 1:30 p.m. & 6 p.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
  • Downtown Improvement District
    Tues., April 2 - 9 a.m.
    City Hall Annex - SRQ Media Studio
  • Development Review Committee
    Wed., April 3 - 9 a.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
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This Week's Items to Know:

Recycling:  Single-Stream Starts April 1     The big day is right around the corner!   Single-stream recycling begins Monday, April 1.     
By this time, you should have received your new 65-gallon recycling
The new carts were delivered curbside.     
cart, which you will now use for all your recyclables.  (If a new cart wasn't delivered to your home, please contact the Solid Waste Division:  941-365-7651.)   
You no longer have to sort recyclables.  Paper, plastic, aluminum cans, glass bottles and cardboard can all be placed together in the new  cart.  Those items will be sorted when they arrive at the recycling center (more on that below).
We encourage everyone to "Be Cart Smart" and know what can and cannot be placed in your cart for recycling.  A helpful search tool is available on the City's webpage: www.SarasotaFL.Gov/BeCartSmart 
Search any item -- from pizza boxes to magazines to holiday decorations -- to learn whether it's recyclable and how to properly dispose of it.   
Use the "Be Cart Smart" search tool to learn whether an item
can be recycled or should be thrown out: 
We appreciate the Recycling Partnership awarding the City of Sarasota a $100,000 grant to help procure the new carts and develop educational materials for the transition.   
Please remember to close the lid on your new cart to keep recyclables in the container and keep neighborhood pets, wildlife and rain water out.   

Recycling Facility Tour    The single-cart recycling program is starting at the same time our contract ends with Waste Pro and we're bringing collection services in-house.  Once City crews pick up your  recyclables curbside, they will be taken to the Waste Pro materials recovery facility near the Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport.
The City's "Green Team" touring the Waste Pro materials recovery facility. 
Waste Pro sorts the materials on-site, then sells the commodities to available markets in the U.S. and overseas.  (It's important to note that while the recycling market has dropped significantly due to China's Green Fence policy, Waste Pro continues to sell all its commodities and is not stockpiling or disposing in the landfill.)   
The City's "Green Team," comprised of representatives from various departments who learn about green initiatives and share with co-workers how to be more sustainable, toured the Waste Pro recycling facility to see firsthand how it functions.
It's a hive of activity with many employees hand sorting items -- one
Aluminum cans going through the sorting process.  
per second --  as they pass by on conveyor belts.  Non-recyclables go to the trash.  Plastics, paper and aluminum etc. are sent on their way to be bundled and ultimately sold.  (Aluminum beverage cans are one of the most efficient commodities.  They can be recycled and back on a store shelf within one month.)  
Approximately 18-20 percent of what arrives at the facility is actually trash and cannot be recycled.  The operation would be much more efficient if we do our part on the front end and make sure we're only sending truly recyclable items to the facility.
Some important takeaways:  
  • Plastic bags are not recyclable.
  • Recyclables placed in plastic bags are thrown out.  So, please place items loose -- unbagged -- in your cart.
  • Wet recyclables slow down and clog the machinery. Please close your cart lid to keep rain water out. 
  • If an item is less than two inches, it shouldn't be recycled.
  • Best materials are placed in collection carts clean, dry and loose.
Thanks to Waste Pro for the tour and helping us better understand the recycling process and how we as a community can be more efficient.
Check out the brief video below to experience the "Green Team" tour and see what happens to your recyclables when they arrive at the Waste Pro facility.
Recycling - Waste Pro Recycling Facility Tour 
Recycling - Waste Pro Recycling Facility Tour 

Lift Station 87 Update   Lift Station 87 is starting to take shape.
As you can see in the photo below, the first section of the concrete walls for the wet well are now in place. This massive underground structure is about 50 feet deep and includes two 15-foot square chambers that will handle about one-third of the City's wastewater flow once complete. A third, smaller chamber, called a "splitter," works to divert the flow into either chamber as needed, creating redundancy in the system and helping to avoid potential wastewater spills.

The Lift Station 87 project includes construction of a wet well that is about 50 feet deep.

In the coming weeks, the contractor will be backfilling the structure with dirt. Underground work on the wet well is expected to wrap up later this summer, at which time above-ground construction will begin on the structure that will house all the lift station's electrical components and controls. A force main that ties into the City's system has already been installed. Later, the aging Lift Station 7 will be decommissioned, re-purposed and landscaped as a neighborhood park.

The Lift Station 87 project is part of the City's commitment to improving our wastewater system and providing reliable service for our customers. The facility will also be able to withstand a Category 3 storm surge, another critical feature for our coastal community. The earlier microtunneling phase of the project was recognized by the Florida chapter of the American Public Works Association as its Project of the Year, and when it is complete, we expect Lift Station 87 will be a more reliable, environmentally sound facility. For more information and updates, visit
Past & Present     David Sollenberger had the daunting task of taking over the reins as Sarasota City Manager following Ken Thompson's remarkable 38-year stint in that position.  Recently, Mar and I had the chance to spend several hours with David and his wife Alise.  It was a great opportunity to learn more about Sarasota's history, Ken Thompson, and the challenges David faced here during his long tenure.    
David is an affable, soft spoken former teacher. 
With former City Manager David Sollenberger
and his wife Alise. 
Coming to Sarasota from Minnesota in 1987, he did much to help revitalize the downtown core, including being involved with relocating the Selby Library to its current home on First Street.  Among his pressing responsibilities was the implementation of $19 million in parks, roads and drainage projects.   
He retired on Dec. 31, 2001, before becoming the "interim" city manager of Plant City, which lasted for eight years.  At the time, Commissioner Gene Pillot called him "a strong administrator with absolute integrity."  
In an interview with the Herald-Tribune, David said he was "most proud of his efforts to make downtown more vibrant and attractive."   He helped transform what once was a dull and declining downtown into one which is today full of life and vitality.  The Ritz-Carlton opened just as David retired.  We continue to build upon those successful efforts and salute David, Alise and all the elected officials he worked with from 1987-2001.  
David and Alise now live near Charlotte, N.C. in close proximity to their grandchildren. 

Van Wezel:  Shows on Sale Now! 

To view the full Van Wezel season, visit 
The Lion King  
Now through Sun., March 31
The Second City:  It's Not You.  It's Me. will be at the Van Wezel April 16. 
All 23 dates and tickets

Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo
Thurs., April 4 - 7:30 p.m. 

RENT 20th Anniversary Tour
Tues., April 9 - 7:30 p.m. 
Wed., April 10 - 7:30 p.m. 
The Music of Cream 
Mon., April 15 - 8 p.m. 
The Second City:  It's Not You. It's Me.
Tues., April 16 - 8 p.m. 
Menopause the Musical
Wed., April 17 - 7:30 p.m. 
Boz Scaggs - Out of The Blues Tour 2018 
Thurs., April 18 - 8 p.m.
Alan Cumming - Legal Immigrant 
Sat., April 20 - 8 p.m.

Rosanne Cash and Band 
Thurs., April 25 - 8 p.m.

The Temptations and The Four Tops 
Fri., April 26 - 8 p.m.

Whoopi Goldberg 
Sat., April 27 - 8 p.m.
The Temptations and The Four Tops will perform at the Van Wezel April 26. 

Lee Greenwood and Crystal Gayle 
Sun., April 28 - 7 p.m.
The Illusionists 
Tues., April 30 - 7:30 p.m. 

Purple Reign
Sat., May 4 - 8 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