Sarasota News Leader

06/27/2014

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The reality has been approaching for months, but it arrived Tuesday morning, June 24, when the Downtown Improvement District (DID) board members learned there is no money in their budget to do more than just maintain what they have. They were scheduled to take a look at under- taking more streetscape improvements on lower Main Street, the so-called Segments T h r e e a n d F o u r . "Most of the projects require more finan- cial resources than you have right now," said DID Operations Manager John Moran. In the past, the organization has utilized an "internal borrow" of city reserve funds, pay- ing a slightly higher rate of interest than the city usually earns but a far lower rate than that for a commercial borrow or bond. But that tool is not available now. Moran told the board he had spoken about it with city Finance Director John Lege. "He said [that money] is devoted to the State Street [park- ing] garage," noted Moran. "After they fin- ish State Street, the money will be replen- ished." But that is about two years away. The Downtown Improvement District paid for streetscape upgrades last year. Photo by Norman Schimmel A DRY WELL THE DOWNTOWN IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT BOARD FINDS ITS FINANCES WILL LIMIT IT FOR THE TIME BEING TO MAINTAINING THE WORK IT HAS UNDERTAKEN IN SARASOTA Most of the [new] projects require more financial resources than you have right now. John Moran Operations Manager Downtown Improvement District By Stan Zimmerman City Editor

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