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Sarasota News Leader January 24, 2014 Page 32 pay for the facilities. During the Convocation of Governments last week, North Port Mayor James Blucher pointed out that city commissioners and staff already have talked with state Sen. Nancy Detert of Venice to seek her help in securing funding from the Legislature to help with the project. Strategic Plan for 2013-2018 points out one of that community's weaknesses is lack of a vocational or technical school, he added, "which really helped motivate us to proceed." Marsh explained to the local government leaders on Jan. 17 that White directed him and his staff about a year ago to start looking at potential sites for a new SCTI in North Port. The City of North Port's Economic Development Then, last spring, he continued, Kalajian phoned him to ask whether the district had any new plans for a school in North Port, so he told her about the SCTI proposal. "Light bulbs went off all over the place," Marsh Regarding the library: Marsh noted that in 2006, he and Sarabeth Kalajian, the county's director of libraries and historical resources, "What I heard loud and clear [on Jan. 17] was "were working on the very real possibility" 'Sooner rather than later'" for the proposal of putting a second county library within the to become a reality, Bowden told the School district's Woodland Middle School. However, Board this week. because of the recession, Marsh said, "That didn't happen, unfortunately." THE BACKGROUND (From left) North Port City Manager Jonathan Lewis, North Port Mayor James Blucher and School Board member Caroline Zucker listen to a presentation during the Jan. 17 Convocation of Governments. Photo by Rachel Hackney

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