Sarasota News Leader

03/08/2013

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Sarasota News Leader OTHER ALTERNATIVES March 8, 2013 Page 37 ty staff had requested the work begin at the end of March. After Harriott provided a project and options overview, Patterson asked, "Shouldn't we be That was when Ayers pointed out that the whole project had to be completed by late doing [the work] as rapidly as we can?" summer. If the firm waited until June to start, "In theory, yes," Harriott replied. However, for example, he said, that would coincide with he continued, if Ajax crews worked at night the usual onset of the rainy season. as well, the noise and lighting would be disruptive to guests of a nearby hotel as well as "I have no problem waiting till the first of April," he added, "but if you want much later residents. than that, you're really pushing it." "Four weeks to close a main road is a big "Frankly, even the first of April would help a deal," Patterson said. great deal," Patterson responded. Ayers then told the commissioners the Ajax team felt daytime work would be "safer for Barbetta then asked why SMH would pursue a road closure without first checking with couneverybody." ty representatives. Ayers added, "We hope to do [the work] in three weeks," though the company had re- That point was raised in a pre-bid meeting, quested four in the event of unexpected de- Ayers said, adding that while hospital representatives had asked the contractors to conlays. sider how the work could be handled, "[that "I have seen some pretty major projects that project aspect] was kind of open-ended." were done only at night … including the replacement of some major parts on the [north] After the board's vote, Commissioner Chrisbridge to Siesta Key, in an area surrounded by tine Robinson thanked Ayers for the concesresidents," Patterson replied. "Anyway, three sions on the schedule. "This is a major intersection," she added, "[but] Ajax has always weeks would be better than four." been a good, responsible partner in Sarasota Then Patterson pointed out to Harriott, County, and this is just further evidence of "March is still high season, and April's not far that." behind. … Why are we not waiting until after Noting that Charles Bailey, SMH's attorney, Easter?" was in the audience, Robinson also asked Harriott emphasized that the project is un- that if such a situation arose again in the fuder the control of Sarasota Memorial, not the ture, the commission would appreciate having county. someone from the hospital consult with it before seeking a vote. When Patterson asked whether county staff had discussed the timing with representatives "It would have been nice for the hospiof the hospital, Harriott reiterated, "We don't tal board to be a partner in this," Robinson hold the contract." Nonetheless, he said, coun- added. %

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