Sarasota News Leader


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Sarasota County is facing a potential bill more than three times higher than the late January estimate to renourish about 2 miles of south Siesta Key shoreline, including Turtle Beach, staff told the County Commission on June 30. Although Tourist Development Tax (TDT) funds earmarked for county projects total about $15 million, the south Siesta expense " i s n o w c l i m b i n g towards $18 million," Steve Botelho, act- ing assistant county a d m i n i s t r a t o r a n d t h e c o u n t y 's c h i e f financial planning officer, said during the board's budget workshop. "All of the [county beach renourishment] fund balance could potentially be used for that project." However, Laird Wreford, the county's man- ager of coastal resources — who had to leave the meeting before the discussion ensued — told The Sarasota News Leader the fol- lowing day that he is hopeful the county will receive lower bids when the solicitation package is advertised. Still, he said, "We want Turtle Beach on south Siesta Key is popular with many people because it generally has less activity than the larger public beach. File photo A JUMP IN THE EXPENSE THE RENOURISHMENT OF SOUTH SIESTA KEY'S BEACH COULD COST AS MUCH AS $18 MILLION, WELL ABOVE THE ORIGINAL ESTIMATE We want to make sure that we don't … blindside our commission. Laird Wreford Manager Coastal Resources Sarasota County By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor

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