Sarasota News Leader

04/26/2013

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Siesta Seen VILLAGE PROPERTY OWNERS CAN EXPECT TO PAY THE COUNTY LESS FOR UPKEEP IN COMING YEARS; DATA SHOWS THE RADAR SIGNS ON SIESTA ARE SLOWING DOWN DRIVERS By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor Mark Smith, chairman of the Siesta Key Village Maintenance Corp., is spreading some excellent news to the property owners who are assessed for the upkeep, he told me last week. Tom Maroney, general manager of business operations in the Public Works Department, Smith reviewed all the expenses that have been incurred, he reported. The county fiscal year will not end until Sept. 30, but all signs indicate the property owners will see a significant reduction in their assessments in coming years, Smith said on April 17 — about 50 percent over the next three years. In September 2012 —13 months after the county had taken over the upkeep — Championship Landscape Maintenance Professionals of Fort Myers began keeping the Village clean, having won the approval of the County Commission with a bid of $97,417.70. The actual bills so far for FY 2013 total $53,456.54, Smith pointed out, but a few other encumbrances bring the tally to about $62,000. Yet, for this fiscal year, the total district assessment was $210,719, Smith noted. In a recent meeting with Sarasota County staff members Ryan Montague of the Traffic/Mobility Office and Bottom line, Smith said on April 17: With Championship on board, "it's costing us less." Mark Smith. Photo by Rachel Hackney It always creates an uneasy feeling, he added, when a local government body "has more of your money than they're supposed to," but it appears the situation this time will work out well for the property owners.

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