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ON THE HOOK A presentation to the County Commission this week included a recent aerial view of Benderson Park. Image courtesy Sarasota County SARASOTA COUNTY TAXPAYERS TO PONY UP $5 MILLION MORE IF THE BENDERSON ROWING PARK ECONOMIC IMPACT DOES NOT ADD UP By Cooper Levey-Baker Associate Editor The state of Florida wanted to make sure The Florida Legislature has approved a total that if its investment in the rowing facility of $10 million for the rowing project, in two at Nathan Benderson Park doesn't pan out, $5 million chunks. But the latest round of Sarasota County would pay it back. The money, approved after this spring's legislative county wanted no such thing. But the Board session by Gov. Rick Scott, comes with strings of County Commissioners this week went attached. Enterprise Florida, the public-private ahead anyway with a deal including just such entity that manages economic development a so-called "clawback" in the Sunshine State, pushed for a clause in provision, after an This is the state saying, 'We have its contract with the at-times-tense meeting faith in you, but you need to show county that requires with Paul Blackketter, Sarasota to pay back you performed.' its investment if the the head of the nonrowing facility doesn't Charles Hines profit created to raise generate $25 million in Vice Chairman money for and manSarasota County Commission state sales tax money age the park. by the end of 2018.

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