Sarasota News Leader

01/10/2014

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SO MANY IDEAS; SO LITTLE MONEY An aerial view shows the boundaries of the Downtown Improvement District. Image courtesy City of Sarasota ANALYSIS: DOWNTOWN IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT PONDERS EXPANSION TO FILL ITS COFFERS By Stan Zimmerman City Editor What do you do when the money runs out? It is a question facing a lot of American families today, and it is one facing the Sarasota Downtown Improvement District (DID). In a nutshell, the DID has shot its wad. million facelift downtown, covering ongoing maintenance and funding its part-time staffer, the DID has about $82,000 per year available. Subtract 20 percent for reserves and contingencies, and there is $58,000 left. "What are we going to do for the next 14 At its Jan. 7 meeting, the five-member govyears?" asked Chairman Ernie Ritz. He was erning board of downtown commercial property owners ponreacting to the news dered an expansion that the district has What are we going to do for the of the geography the only $58,000 to spend next 14 years? DID represents in the each of those years. search for more cash. Ernie Ritz After paying down the Chairman DID Operations principal and interest Downtown Improvement District Manager John that produced a $1.1

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