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The St. Armands Business Improvement District (BID) is suspending extra trash pickups and "enhanced maintenance" to pay its legal bills. Since the beginning of the new fiscal year on Oct. 1, 2013, the BID has paid $32,656.05 to law firms in Sarasota and Orlando. During its meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 11, the group voted to ask the City of Sarasota to pay its legal expenses or make a claim against the city's insurance policy for directors and officers. "We'll send a letter to the city," said BID Chairman Marty Rappaport. "If the city denies that, then we expect them to put it through their … insurance." The BID has paid for legal representation on three separate issues. One is a public records lawsuit filed when the discovery was made that board members were using private email accounts for city business. A sec- ond legal matter arose The St. Armands Business Improvement District's property owners pay a special tax to cover enhanced amenities for the shopping area. Photo by Norman Schimmel ST. ARMANDS' BUSINESS IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT ENCOUNTERS A CASH-FLOW CRISIS FEED THE LAWYERS FIRST I do not feel it is proper, ethically, that the landlords [should] assess themselves to defend us. Marty Rappaport Chairman St. Armands Business Improvement District By Stan Zimmerman City Editor

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