Sarasota News Leader


Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 11 of 131

Sarasota News Leader January 10, 2014 Page 12 TUG OF WAR? offices of the Sarasota County Tax Collector and Supervisor of Elections will also be "The whole thing is clear as mud," Patterson involved in the master planning for the area, said about the question of how to handle the Harmer noted. ownership of the old police department site. But one thing is clear: The two sides do not "It's planning for the future," Harmer said. see eye-to-eye on the issue. MORE ON THE ACCORD At the Jan. 6 meeting, the City Commission, by consensus, agreed with City Attorney Bob Only 11 years have elapsed since then Mayor Lou Ann Palmer reluctantly signed the MOU. Fournier. But most of the major players are gone from "My advice, to put it in a nutshell," Fournier the stage. It resurfaced in March 2013, promptsaid, "was that the City Commission is under ing City Manager Tom Barwin and former no legal obligation to convey that site based County Administrator Randall Reid to take a upon that MOU." stroll through downtown together, looking at Mayor Shannon Snyder asked his colleagues, ways to heal an old wound. "Does anybody want to sign off on that propThe MOU also assigned air rights to the erty? Raise your hand." city until 2018 for a parcel at the corner of The only response was laughter. Washington Boulevard and Main Street. Additionally, it put the city on the hook for Meanwhile, county commissioners and $4 million "to participate in financing shared county staff say they want the land so they can parking to support the expanded court facilibegin planning for expanded judicial and law ties, the City's Payne Park and vicinity needs, enforcement facilities on Ringling Boulevard. providing up to 300 additional spaces but not In the short term, the property could be used to exceed $4,000,000." for county parking for the current jail and judicial tower. In the future, it could be the On Oct. 29, when the MOU came up again site of a new parking deck, Interim County during a County Commission meeting, Administrator Tom Harmer told the News Barbetta said of the old SPD site, "Part of the deal was that we took that in trade, so techniLeader. cally, that's our parcel of land." County Commissioner Christine Robinson has suggested the parcel might be used for an County Attorney Stephen DeMarsh replied, expansion of the Silvertooth Judicial Center "It should be conveyed under the terms of the Memorandum of Understanding, in my opinjust west of it. ion. I'm not sure the city shares that view." County officials believe the property is an important piece of the puzzle as conceptual As is clear from the Jan. 6 discussion, the City planning for the entire Ringling Boulevard Commission does not; the next move lies with judicial and law enforcement area begins. The the County Commission. %

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Sarasota News Leader - 01/10/2014