Sarasota News Leader

04/19/2013

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ANOTHER EMBARRASSMENT Only a few of the light strands are working in Five Points Park. Photo by Norman Schimmel DOWNTOWN IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT MEMBERS DEBATE THE FUTURE OF LIGHTS AFTER NUMEROUS PROBLEMS IN FIVE POINTS PARK By Stan Zimmerman City Editor Five Points Park is high ground in Sarasota. Perhaps before the white men came, it was sacred ground — possibly a burial or flensing site. But in the early 21st century, it seemed a great hex began to emanate from the park. companies and we were excited about it and said, 'Let's go all-out,'" said district Operations Manager John Moran during the regular DID meeting on Tuesday, April 16. "The system is costing a lot more than expected while under warranty, and a lot more when it comes It devoured artwork used to decorate the park. It off warranty," he added. "At an annualized rate, you devoured the benches used to rest the tired. It de- could be looking at $35,000 to $40,000 annual mainvoured the sleep of residents who live in towers tenance for those light strands." nearby. It even devoured the lights in the trees. Right now, three strands are working. The other 28 Two years ago, as one of are dead. "In the latest rethe earliest projects of port of failure, 28 strands the Downtown ImprovePeople are going to say we blew failed due to tree growth ment District (DID), col- $90,000. or rodents," said Moran. or-changing lights were "Our three-year warraninstalled in the trees of Ernie Ritz ty ends in less than a Chairman Five Points Park. "When year," he told the district Downtown Improvement District we started, we had five members.

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