Sarasota News Leader

10/18/2013

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Sarasota News Leader October 18, 2013 Page 64 for a half-century proposal to use soft white revenue pot accumulated through the county-administered Tourist Development Tax. sand from Big Pass. The city annually provides a least one-quarter On the west coast of Florida, a current called of the total tax revenue. One stated purpose the littoral drift pushes sand ever southof the tax is to pay for beach repair and ward, day after day. It is the reason all passes renourishment, an increasingly expensive "hook" to the south as the steady current proposition. exerts its pressure. Occasionally, the passes Nothing could better demonstrate how the city are dredged to maintain navigation. and county can cooperate, using the tourist However, the county residents who live on tax revenue to keep the city's beach attracSiesta Key know Big Pass is totally natural. tive and thus continue to attract more visitors It has never been dredged. Its ebbs and flows to the area. But will the county blithely give have not been massaged by the machines of away that Siesta-bound sand? man. While the Army Corps swears taking sand from the northern side of the ebb shoal will THE QUARTER-BILLION-DOLLAR not make one grain's difference at the coun- QUESTION ty's most famous and popular Siesta Beach, residents are extremely wary. And they vote. Next up on the afternoon agenda is an update from a committee looking at the possible A significant part of the funding for the Lido extension of the city's downtown Community Beach renourishment will come from a Redevelopment Agency, or CRA. It is a Boaters and Siesta Key residents are worried about the effects on Big Pass — and Siesta itself — if the pass is dredged. File photo

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