Sarasota News Leader

05/03/2013

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NO NEW TAXES The County Commission meets with staff during an April 30 budget workshop in the Think Tank in the Administration Center in Sarasota. Photo by Rachel Hackney FACED WITH NEW NEEDS AND A BACKLOG OF MAINTENANCE PROJECTS — AND NO MONEY FOR THEM — THE COUNTY COMMISSION SEEKS MORE INFORMATION BEFORE SETTING PRIORITIES By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor Affirming they have no plans to raise taxes, the Sarasota County commissioners this week nonetheless delayed decisions on how to fund capital projects over the next five years until they obtain more detailed information about their options. County Administrator Randall Reid called it a "shocking figure," but he pointed out that other counties are in much worse situations. Some are looking at $500 million in road project backlogs as a result of less revenue and tighter budgets resulting from the recession. Among the projects covered during an April Still, when Reid suggested options such as 30 budget workshop were $30 million in road a transportation surtax or an increase in the resurfacing needs, $12.2 million in bridge re- general operating millage rate, Commissioner pair and renovation projects and $8.3 million Joe Barbetta responded, "From my perspecin athletic field improvements for which no tive [those] are off the funding is available table … Additional for Fiscal Years 2014 revenue sources need We're faced with terrible, terrible to come from economthrough 2018. Commissioner Christine Robinson said of the road situation, "It just takes my breath away." numbers right now. Christine Robinson Commissioner Sarasota County ic development, increasing our tax base and streamlining our organization."

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