Sarasota News Leader

04/25/2014

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SIESTA KEY JUSTIFIABLY FEARS THE ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS OPINION EDITORIAL EDITORIAL Shortly, we under- stand, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (COE) will deliver to the City of Sarasota its much anticipated models/ analysis regarding the Lido Renourishment Project — specifically, the effects that could be expected from dredging Big Sarasota Pass and constructing three groins on South Lido Key to keep sand in place on the renour- ished beach. As City Engineer Alexandrea DavisShaw explained to the News Leader this week, the city will have its own consultant — who has remained independent of the COE work — look over that material to see whether any major concerns exist or if modifications are needed before the federal agency schedules public meetings on the data. Therefore, it could be mid-June before the Army Corps airs its findings in the first such session. However, because the materials will become a matter of public record once the agency delivers them to the city, we expect a scram- ble of requests for them. Regardless of what the city's independent consultant finds, we also imagine a lot of people are going to be unhappy. The key issue all along in this pro- cess has been a lack of public trust regarding the Army Corps' work. The agency has pushed back the timetable for the release of these documents so many times, it is difficult not to be cynical in considering the reasons. The prime one, of course, is whether the Army Corps has been massaging the material to make it more palatable. OPINION

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