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Sarasota News Leader January 25, 2013 Page 42 concrete slab. "The columns above and below In the "new business" section of their agenda tried to punch through," he said. "Nobody'd Tuesday, the commissioners talked not only about requiring leashes on dogs in Payne seen anything like it." Park, but establishing a park for dogs nearby "We are going to take the entire [fourth floor where the animals could run and cavort withslab] out and replace it with higher-strength materials and different geometry," said Kerins. out leashes. But the solution does not end there. Higher The commissioners were taken aback by curstories had similar "transfer slab" problems; rent leash regulations in place for Gillespie, Arlington and Bayfront parks. Those allow a those will be addressed as well. maximum 26-foot leash. The building also is vulnerable to crosswinds in a tropical storm event. Kerins said it, too, "That's about from here to the back row," would be strengthened for lateral resistance. said Parks General Manager Todd Kucharski, pointing to the rear of the City Commission Dolphin Tower residents have been cagey — if chambers. not secretive — about the plight of their home, the engineering analysis, the cost of repairs "So my 2-year-old granddaughter is in the and the amount of their insurance settlement. back row and I'm holding the leash … holding And they still are. back a German shepherd?" asked Vice Mayor Work on the high-rise should begin in Feb- Willie Shaw. ruary. "We are building a giant steel truss inside the building. Then we jack and support a 10-story building while we take out the entire fourth floor. We have to hold up the entire building," said Kerins. Kucharski also noted the new circus-themed playground in Payne Park is being frequented by dogs. "Parents are concerned [that] fecal matter has been left," he said. "In terms of replacing an entire transfer deck, City Commissioner Shannon Snyder came up this is unique," he said. "There will be a lot of with two possible locations for a dog park adjacent to Payne Park. One is the former city attention in the engineering world." police station site, since razed to an empty The people watching most closely, no doubt, field on Charles Ringling Boulevard. A second will be the owners of the 116 units of Dolphin is the city property along U.S. 301 adjacent to Towers. Payne Park, the site of the former Scoreboard bar. KICK THE CAN, NOT THE DOG If dogs could count, they would be counting down the days they can run free in Payne Park. The city commissioners and even some dog owners think it is time to rein in the canines at the city's signature park. Public Works Director Doug Jeffcoat suggested all the issues — dog parks, leash length and Payne Park — be referred to the Parks, Recreation and Environmental Protection Advisory Board. %

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