Sarasota News Leader

06/27/2014

Issue link: http://newsleader.uberflip.com/i/336863

Contents of this Issue

Navigation

Page 56 of 102

downtown businesses want more frequent cleanings, the DID will have to come up with the money. Ditto for a plan to hang flower baskets on the light poles downtown. Moran says it might cost $25,000 to buy baskets and another $25,000 for maintenance and plant replacement. Another project Moran is chasing is a circula- tor to move pedestrians around the downtown area. The latest thinking is to use an "interior circulator" within the downtown core. The city has tested all-electric vehicles with some success, but to be useful, the vehicles must run frequently, and the best cost estimate at this point — using a variety of creative finan- cial schemes — is about $400,000 per year. To take people to and from downtown shops, restaurants, hotels and attractions (including St. Armands and the beach) would require an "exterior circulator," and that is estimated to cost $900,000 annually. Moran said he has been in touch with a company that provides on-demand service instead of running a reg- ular route. He referred the DID members to a website, thegotchagroup.com, for more details. Another project on the DID's unfunded pro- gram list is increased downtown security, specifically, hiring private guards for foot patrols. Moran reported that the cost would be $13.95 per hour for an armed guard. "You can decide how much [security] you want to purchase," he said. The financial squeeze was not unforeseen. The board members at one point realized they would have only $54,000 left to spend each year while they were paying off debt. Moran has been able to push that to $90,000. But flower baskets, armed guards and extra sidewalk cleaning will eat that up fast. As for those circulators … % Downtown business owners say outdoor dining contributes significantly to dirt on the sidewalks. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader June 27, 2014 Page 57

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Sarasota News Leader - 06/27/2014