From the Desk of Sarasota
City Manager Tom Barwin
June 14, 2019
Whether you're aboard a sailboat or jet ski, sightseeing on a charter boat or paddling a simple kayak, Sarasota Bay is always an inspiring place to be, and Wednesday afternoon was no exception, as seen from this shaded spot along the shores of Ken Thompson Park at City Island under overcast skies. It's always refreshing to see such active use of our beautiful waterways and community assets.

  • General Employees' Pension Plan Board of Trustees 
    Mon., June 17 - 8:30 a.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
  • City Commission 
    Mon., June 17 - 1:30 p.m. & 6 p.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
  • Historic Preservation Board
    Tues., June 18 - 3 p.m.
    City Hall Annex - SRQ Media Studio
  • Planning Board Special Meeting
    Tues., June 18 - 5 p.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
  • Development Review Committee
    Wed., June 19 - 9 a.m.
    City Hall Annex - SRQ Media Studio
  • Parks, Recreation and Environmental Protection Board
    Thurs., June 20 - 5 p.m.
    City Hall -Commission Chambers
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This Week's Items to Know:

Roundabouts - 10th and 14th streets   Construction is steadily progressing on the Florida Department of Transportation's two roundabout projects on U.S. 41 at 10th and 14th streets.

Much of the work done to this point has occurred underground, including installation of waterlines at the southwest corner of Imperial Drive and U.S. 41, as well as installation of drainage structures and road base work at 10th Street and 41. 

Paving is scheduled along U.S. 41 on the west side and at 10th Street, as well as the intersection of 14th Street, during the night throughout next week, with lane closures expected.  Motorists should be attentive for new traffic patterns, barrels, pavement markings and traffic lights when traveling through these construction zones.  Both the Centennial Park boat ramp and the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall remain accessible from U.S. 41, and FDOT's crews are working to minimize noise and disruption for surrounding neighborhoods.

As these signalized intersections are replaced with roundabouts, FDOT is also enhancing connectivity, circulation and safety. U.S. 41 will be widened between the two intersections and will include bike lanes as well as dedicated turn lanes, a 10-foot sidewalk along the west side and a 6-foot sidewalk along the east side. 

Other improvements include raised islands for pedestrian refuge at the intersections of 41 at 10th and 14th streets, pedestrian signals, LED street lights, landscaping and utility and underground drainage structure replacements. The expected completion is spring 2020. 

Roundabouts are increasingly becoming more popular in Florida and around the country due to their many safety, environmental and engineering benefits, which include dramatic reductions in serious injury and fatality crashes as well as fewer delays for drivers. Visit FDOT's roundabout information page to learn more.

Florida Department of Transportation contractors are working on constructing two roundabouts at the intersections U.S. 41 and 14th Street, seen here, and 10th Street.
Five Points Park - Turf Restoration   While traveling around downtown this week, you may have noticed fencing installed around the perimeter of Selby Five Points Park.
Our Parks and Recreation Department is in the midst of a turf restoration project to replace turf and shrubs lost over the winter. The fencing was put up to allow for regular watering and to allow the Palmetto St. Augustine grass to take root. We expect to have the fence removed on or before July 3 so that the public can continue to enjoy this oasis in the heart of downtown

We appreciate the efforts of our dedicated landscape maintenance staff, who do their best to keep all of the City's parks looking lush, green and beautiful!

The Parks and Recreation Department is restoring the turf at Selby Five Points Park.

Lift Station 87 - Update   Take a look below at the amazing progress made on the Lift Station 87 project, a massive undertaking that will improve our wastewater system and provide more reliable service for our customers over the next century. This structure sits about 50 feet underground and will handle approximately one-third of the City's wastewater flow when complete.

The City's contractor recently placed concrete for the second lift of wetwall walls. With one more lift, the wetwell will be to grade, and progress should accelerate over the next several months as above-ground construction begins on the building that will house all of the lift station's electrical components and controls, well above any threat for a storm surge or related flood.

We appreciate the continued patience of nearby residents affected by the construction. The public can remain updated on the project through  community meetings hosted by the project team, visits with Utilities Department staff at the project construction office (824 Osprey Ave.), calls to the project information line (941-356-8071) and via the project website, .

A view of the recent underground work on the Lift Station 87 project, which remains on budget.

Security Screenings - City Meetings   Beginning Monday, June 17, new security screening measures will be in place for City Commission meetings here at City Hall. We will be taking precautionary measures to enforce state statutes that prohibit all firearms at meetings of government bodies.

Citizens are advised to arrive a few minutes earlier than usual to allow for a quick screening process - no different than one encountered attending a game at the ballpark - as they enter the commission chambers. 

This change has been carefully considered by City administration and Police Chief Bernadette DiPino for some time now. In addition to the SPD officers already present at each meeting, we feel this additional layer of security is prudent to provide peace of mind for all those participating in local government. It's an unfortunate sign of the times, but the safety of all of our citizens, City staff and officials remains our highest priority. We thank everyone for their understanding and cooperation.
Discover Sarasota - Trolley Tours   Looking for something fun to do this summer? Check out Discover Sarasota Tours, a local company that launched last fall. 

You may have spotted their air-conditioned trolleys cruising around the City and stopping at points of interest as part of their various tours. 

Among the offerings are a City sightseeing tour of many of our historic neighborhoods and arts and cultural organizations, including our own Van Wezel Performing Arts Center, as well as a public art tour highlighting many of the works in the City's public art collection.  Another option is their Circus City Tour, where tour-goers can learn about Sarasota's circus roots. 

Visit for more information on this fun, local entertainment option, and thank you to Discover Sarasota for promoting all that our special City has to offer!

Van Wezel:  Subscriptions on Sale Now! 

To view the full Van Wezel season, visit 
Friday Fest - Big Night Out 
Fri., June 21 - 5 p.m.
FREE Event 
Friday Fest - Rebel Heart 
Fri., July 19 - 5 p.m.
FREE Event 
Friday Fest - Reverend Barry and the Funk 
Fri., August 16 - 5 p.m.
FREE Event 
Friday Fest - Ari and the Alibis 
Fri., September 20 - 5 p.m.
FREE Event 
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

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Tom Barwin
City Manager