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Sarasota News Leader September 6, 2013 — the nonprofit organization that manages events at the park — and USRowing. "The commitment by Sarasota and Manatee counties, SANCA and the support of USRowing convinced FISA's world congress that returning to the United States for the World Championship was the correct vote," the county news release said. "More than $40 million in public and private sector funds have been committed to help transform a former borrow pit into Nathan Benderson Park," the release adds. Sarasota County's investment of $19.5 million comes from Tourist Development Tax (TDT) revenue. Those funds have paid for Phase I (dredge and fill) and Phase II (installation of park amenities, hardscaping and landscaping). Phase III of the project — construction of a state-of-the- Page 44 art boathouse, timing towers, grandstands and other amenities — will be funded by SANCA and corporate support, the release points out. In a Sept. 3 email to Reid and her colleagues on the Sarasota County Commission, Commissioner Nora Patterson wrote, "I too offer congratulations and huge thanks to all who have worked so very hard on this. The list is long. In addition we need to say thank you to the taxpayers who have supported the venture knowing that local dollars as well as state money have [created] this great opportunity." The Legislature has committed $10 million to the rowing venue over the past several years. Gov. Rick Scott was a guest at the facility during the USRowing Masters National Championships last month. Commissioner Nora Patterson and Randy Benderson, president of Benderson Development, celebrate at the reception on Sept. 4. Photo by Norman Schimmel

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