Sarasota News Leader

03/28/2014

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County Commissioner Joe Barbetta cast the only dissenting vote on the marketing cam- paign, citing the numerous free means of getting out the word. However, Vice Chairwoman Christine Robinson told her colleagues before the vote, "This is very necessary … so we can get the widest pool [of responses] that we can." Given the prior period of discord between the City and County commissions over the future of Warm Mineral Springs, she pointed out, "We've scared off bidders. You cannot say that we have not." Commissioner Nora Patterson concurred. "I'd really like this to have some exposure," she said of the solicitation. "We're just going to start the whole ballgame rolling into a mess if we don't have a lot of exposure and at least several choices here." The March 25 County Commission vote was unanimous on actions relative to the short- term operation of the resort, which was won by National and State Parks Concessions Inc. with a bid of $48,280. Barbetta voiced reluctant support of that action. "We should not be doing anything without a long-term [deal] in process," he told his colleagues. "I'm in fear that this is being approved quickly by [the North A graphic in the long-term solicitation package shows the existing land uses on the 81 acres of Warm Mineral Springs. Image courtesy Sarasota County Sarasota News Leader March 28, 2014 Page 48

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