Sarasota News Leader

08/09/2013 & 08/16/2013

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Page 30 of 113

Sarasota News Leader August 9 & 16, 2013 Page 31 "so they are better able to address the needs" Patterson added, "I'm not terribly personally supportive of this project in its form," referof the areas where they are placed. ring to the potential dredging of Big Pass. Permeable adjustable groins on Longboat Key However, she said she was in full support "have been working well," she pointed out. of keeping all the county's beaches "in good PUBLIC VETTING shape." The Corps has agreed to present its findings THE DEBBY PROBLEMS during the SKA's Dec. 5 meeting, van Roekens said. Representatives also will provide that in- While the wait continues on the next big Lido formation to the Boaters Coalition, he added. renourishment, DavisShaw emphasized this week that she is anxious to move forward on Corps representatives generally prefer to set more immediate, emergency plans to stabiup "stations" featuring individual aspects of lize that beach because of the severe erosion a project, DavisShaw told the News Leader, it suffered in 2012 during the days-long oninstead of making a traditional presentation slaught of Tropical Storm Debby. to an audience. The Corps' view is that such a process encourages people to ask questions "We're moving forward slowly," she told the about specific aspects of a project that inter- News Leader. "Permitting is the biggest unests them, and Corps representatives provide known in any of the beach projects." the answers. "That [method] seems to be best Yet, DavisShaw referenced what Patterson received," she added. had alluded to during the SKA meeting: TourStill, she pointed out, she was not certain what ism data confirms the value of maintaining the the Corps representatives would do when they beach at a such a level that it continues to draw tourists. come to Sarasota in December. Data for 2012, commissioned by Visit Sarasota County and released on July 22, showed When questions about the cost of the Lido re- 100,100 visitors stayed overnight in commernourishment arose during the SKA meeting on cial lodging on Lido Beach, with direct spendAug. 1, Patterson explained the use of Tourist ing of $81,956,900. Development Tax revenue for such projects. The total economic impact of those tourists on A certain portion of the TDT money is allo- the county's economy was put at $155,537,800, cated to local governments in the county ac- the data shows. Additionally, those visitors cording to a formula based on population, she paid $5,163,300 in state and local taxes and pointed out. supported 3,617 jobs. TOURIST TAX DOLLARS AT WORK "My guess is they've stockpiled enough" of the That is why, DavisShaw told the News Leadcity's portion of the TDT revenue, she added, er, "we try to make the beaches as healthy as to pay for the Lido expense. possible." %

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