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Sarasota News Leader July 26, 2013 Page 9 would you pay to park in a garage when the THE CHALLENGE street spaces are free? About a year ago, Parking Director Mark LyMeanwhile, parking conditions continue to de- ons set up a committee to advise him. It has teriorate not just in downtown Sarasota but in a member from each of the city's high-use many other areas of the city, as is documented parking areas, including St. Armands, Hillview Street/Southside Village, Lido Beach and in a recently released $47,000 parking study. downtown. It has been working on a strategic The city's finance director says the $500,000 plan, but on Wednesday, July 24, its members Parking Division deficit will be plugged with were asked to think tactically when Lyons' money from the general fund. But the general boss showed up. fund this year is getting a $1 million infusion City Manager Tom Barwin asked them off the from the city's reserves, its "rainy-day fund." bat, "Have you set up an incentive to move So in reality, the City of Sarasota is paying for into a paid parking strategy?" parking from its last-ditch savings — this year Lyons chided his boss. "Paid parking is not and next year too. really our [e.g. the committee's] interest. Our The results of a new parking study commissioned by the City of Sarasota underscore the need for more parking spaces during the height of season on St. Armands. File photo

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