Sarasota News Leader

01/25/2013

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Sarasota News Leader January 25, 2013 Page 44 "It's just not fair for the other organizations putting on events," said DID Chairman Ernie Ritz. "I put on an event, and I didn't get reimbursed. And what about the recent Thunder on the Bay? That raised $3 million in income, and [the organizers] don't get reimbursed." SIDEWALK MATTERS DID members agreed to examine the resolution providing for reimbursement. City Resolution 11R-2248 says, "[T]he City Commission resolves to redirect fifty percent (50%) of the Special Event permitting fees to the special self-taxing districts known as the Downtown Improvement District (DID) and the St. Armands Business Improvement District (BID)." As city budgets tightened, sidewalk cleaning occurred less frequently; the DID has tried to take up some of the slack. The item will come up for discussion again at the next DID meeting, in early February. Sidewalk cleaning is becoming an issue, especially at restaurants. There will be a trial run of a new sidewalk scrubber capable of removing gum and grease in the near future, Moran said. Meanwhile, the battle over pedestrian walkthrough of sidewalk restaurants remains an issue. "The rules aren't being enforced the by city," said Ritz. "The biggest problem is beExpenses range widely. For a small, one-day tween the tips of the umbrellas." event, the fee is $275. For a large three-day "There's supposed to be five feet between the tables and chairs," said Stancel. "This is one event, the tab is $3,300. of those almost impossible-to-enforce regThere has been some tension recently be- ulations. Things are constantly moving out tween the all-volunteer DSA and the DID. there." % Questions have been raised about reimbursement of organizations for fees paid to host events such as Thunder by the Bay. Photo by Norman Schimmel

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