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A SURPRISE OFFER It's great news. Christine Robinson Commissioner Sarasota County Artifacts more than 12,000 years old have been located in Little Salt Spring. Contributed photo by Curt Bowen THE UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI HAS SAID IT WILL DONATE LITTLE SALT SPRING TO SARASOTA COUNTY, BUT ONE COMMISSIONER SAYS THE OFFER IS THE FIRST STEP IN A LONGER PROCESS By Roger Drouin County Editor The University of Miami (UM) has offered to donate Little Salt Spring — a site where artifacts dating back about 12,500 years have been found — to Sarasota County. Maria Gralia conveyed exactly that message: "I am pleased to announce that the Board of Trustees of the University of Miami has approved the donation of the property known as Little Salt Spring located in the The announcement came in the new year as a City of North Port, Sarasota County, Florida bright surprise to supporters who have been to Sarasota County for inclusion in the hoping the county would take ownership of Environmentally Sensitive Land Acquisition the 112-acre site. Programs." "I didn't really anticipate UM saying, 'We will The Dec. 20 letter was marked as received donate it,'" said Lawry Reid, president of the by county officials on Dec. 30. The Friends Friends of Little Salt Spring. of Little Salt Spring's president learned the But in a letter forwarded to the county com- news on Jan. 6 when Commissioner Christine missioners this week, UM General Counsel Robinson emailed him a copy of the letter.

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