Sarasota News Leader

01/04/2013

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FALLING FURTHER BEHIND Commissioner Joe Barbetta/File photo COUNTY IMPACT FEE TABULATION MISTAKE LEADS TO STAFF MEMBER���S RESIGNATION, CONCERNS ABOUT FLORIDA STATUTE VIOLATION By Cooper Levey-Baker Associate Editor A spreadsheet error cost one Sarasota County employee his job shortly before Christmas, and, according to at least one commissioner, it leaves the county even further behind in complying with state law. In 2011, the commission voted to temporarily slash its fees in half to spur development, but that short-term reduction expires in February. The commission has pushed to have permanent rates, reflecting current construction prices, in place before that deadline. The County Commission was all set to It just seemed like there was no ���On December 16, consider new road when I was transferimpact fees ��� the sense of urgency. ring tabular data from charges billed to deJoe Barbetta the analysis spreadvelopers for projects Commissioner sheets to the technithat increase demand Sarasota County cal report, I found an on county infrastrucerror in one of the tature ��� at its Jan. 16 meeting, but a late December announcement bles,��� Davis wrote to Reid on Dec. 19. ���The from County Administrator Randy Reid put road impact fee methodology is implementthe kibosh on that. Reid���s message revealed ed as a series of interconnected tables in a spreadsheet. When an error is made at an earthat Transportation Director Clarke Davis had ly step, it propagates through the tables and discovered an error in the spreadsheet tables affects the final results.��� used to calculate the new impact fees and that the numbers could not be corrected in time Two days after sending that email, Davis refor that Jan. 16 session. signed.

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