Sarasota News Leader


Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 45 of 111

Sarasota News Leader August 23, 2013 Page 46 Amanda Carr, 23, a Punta Gorda native and the world amateur BMX champion in 2005 and 2006, pointed out that because the only Super Cross track in the United States is in California — and it is very difficult for athletes from overseas to get training slots there — Sarasota would become a Mecca for those athletes if it invested in the improvements. When Barbetta proposed the county spend about $25,000 for a feasibility study to determine what would be necessary to create a proposed youth baseball academy at the Babe Ruth complex the county owns next to Robarts Arena on Fruitville Road, Robinson told him, "If we were using TDT [revenue] for it, I could be supportive of [it]." Todd Harper of Elite Trax Inc. in Ohio said his firm was looking at moving its home base to Sarasota, if Barbetta's BMX proposal won approval. The city would become a regular site for the sport's World Cup events, Harper pointed out, and his firm would host an invitational competition here every year, which is a major event for riders training for the Olympics. Hines concurred with her. Although Barbetta put his proposal for that study into the form of a motion, it died for lack of a second. It is very likely, he said, that TDT revenue could pay for the analysis. "I'm just trying to [propose] revenue-generating things in the community, coupled with benefiting the youth of our community," he said. "Those two things are a primary goal. … He cautioned that the County Commission's I'm not trying to spend money here that we're decision was time-sensitive, because two oth- not going to get a return on investment on." er Florida cities are looking at building BMX Finally, Chairwoman Carolyn Mason asked Super Cross tracks. him if he would be willing to wait on his proposals until the board hears the report on Nonetheless, Harper said, "Sarasota is the which Botelho is working. holy ground for BMX in the United States," as the city has the longest-operating track in Barbetta agreed to do that. the nation. Earlier, Patterson reminded him that the May Barbetta failed on the afternoon of Aug. 20 to vote on the reserve policy was 3-2. "Here's the even get a motion on the floor for the approxi- problem," she said: "Even if you agree the 90 mately $1 million in funding for the BMX track days should be cut back to 75, did you really mean to do that and spend all the difference improvements. at once?" First, other commissioners said they wanted to hear a report next week from County Ad- "No," Barbetta told her. ministrator Reid about how Tourist Develop- "One of the reasons I disagreed with [the policy ment Tax (TDT) revenue might be utilized for change] is because we will spend it all immedisome of Barbetta's proposals. Botelho said he ately," Patterson added, "[but] it could help the was working with the County Attorney's Of- people who are still on the board in 2016 who are trying to balance their budget." % fice on research for that report.

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Sarasota News Leader - 08/23/2013