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Sarasota News Leader October 4, 2013 Page 50 The CCNA has served for years as an unofficial "leadership academy," with several of its members and officers running for, and sometimes winning, elective office. FRUITVILLE INITIATIVE Sarasota County will hold a public meeting on the Fruitville Initiative on Tuesday, Oct. 8, at 6 p.m. at the Sarasota County Operations Center, 1001 Sarasota Center Blvd. in Sarasota. During that session, staff will talk about the history and the status of the project and how the public can participate in future planning efforts. The Fruitville Initiative is a public-private partnership seeking to form a development strategy for 300 acres of vacant property located east of Interstate 75 on and near Fruitville Road. A county meeting on Oct. 8 will invite public comments on development of 300 acres on or near Fruitville Road on the outskirts of Sarasota. Photo by Roger Drouin County commissioners have pushed for the The second change involves parking. After effort to get under way in earnest, citing the City Commission's on-again, off-again Fruitville Road's import as a gateway to the "romance" with parking meters soured for community. good and the offending machines were plucked out of local sidewalks, a half-milFISCAL YEAR CHANGES lion-dollar hole was left in the parking budget. While area residents have the aforementioned The City Commission decided to help plug opportunities to influence upcoming initiathat hole by charging people to park in the tives, they will have to deal with changes that city's public garages. The exact plan has not have taken place concurrent with the start of been worked out yet, so for now, the parking the new fiscal year, Oct. 1. is still free. At least two fee modifications face Sarasota city residents. The first is a 4-percent jump in their bills for water, sewer and garbage service. That will help fund $16 million in capital improvements, including water main upgrades. And if you have not heard, Florida law now bans texting while driving, becoming the 41st state to outlaw the practice. The new law is not the strongest by far. In Florida, it remains legal to text while at a stoplight. (For more details, see the News Briefs.) %

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