Sarasota News Leader

01/31/2014

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The work of the Downtown Sarasota Community Redevelopment Area (CRA) Extension Study Committee is over. Now comes the selling of its product. The reality hit home at the committee mem- bers' last formal meeting — held on Wednesday evening, Jan. 29 — as they reviewed the final draft of their report. It is written as a 125- s l i d e P o w e r P o i n t p r e s e n t a t i o n , b u t another PowerPoint show will be prepared for the joint Sarasota City-County commis- sion meeting tentatively scheduled for April Fool's Day. One of the projections in the final report indicates — if the plan is approved — that more than $400 million in county tax reve- nue will be shifted to downtown Sarasota activities. Selling that to the county commis- sioners could be an uphill battle. Extending the life of the CRA will require a Critics argue that the Downtown Sarasota Redevelopment Agency has rid the city of blight and slums and does not need to be extended. Photo by Norman Schimmel MANY FACTORS WILL COME INTO PLAY AS THE DECISION IS MADE ON WHETHER TO EXTEND THE DOWNTOWN SARASOTA COMMUNITY REDEVELOPMENT AGENCY EMERGING INTO THE REAL WORLD The two most important decisions: Extend the CRA? And for how long? All the rest can be negotiated. Marlon Brown Deputy City Manager City of Sarasota By Stan Zimmerman City Editor

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