Sarasota News Leader

01/24/2014

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WHO PAYS FOR THIS CLEANING? Downtown Improvement District board members say outdoor dining is one primary reason city sidewalks stay dirty. Photo by Norman Schimmel DOWNTOWN IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT BOARD MEMBERS LOOK TO THE CITY FOR HELP IN REMOVING GRIME — AND CHEWING GUM — FROM THE SIDEWALKS By Stan Zimmerman City Editor In its "salad days," the Sarasota Downtown Improvement District board members considered sidewalk cleaning an important task, but peripheral to their major mission — downtown beautification. Now that a beautification has been completed, the DID is so short of money that sidewalk scrubbing is almost out of financial reach. During the group's Jan. 21 meeting, members looked for ways to soften the cost. First up was a representative of the Downtown Merchants Association (DMA). Ron Campion, who is that group's "chairman of clean sidewalks," said, "We'd like to partner with the DID to clean our sidewalks to a higher level." The problem is grease, grit and gum, in that order. Campion's plan is for the DID to front as much as $25,000 for the DMA to buy We'd like to partner with the DID a sidewalk cleanto clean our sidewalks to a higher level. i n g m a c h i n e . T h e merchants associRon Campion ation would take it Member from there, hiring a Downtown Merchants Association part-time retiree to

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