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passed out there," she added. "Nobody seems to be talking about it." Sarasota Police Sgt. Lori Jaress told the DID board members that the Police Department is aware of the situation but can do little about it. "I go there every day," she said. "We have no law against congregating there. Right now our hands are tied. They are smoking spice, which is not illegal. We have to come up with solutions. Our hands are tied." That evening, the City Commission passed a resolution embracing a new county ordinance making the sale and possession of synthetic drugs such as "spice" a second-degree mis- demeanor. However, enforcement may take a while, as officers are trained on the nuances of the law. (See the related stories in this issue.) Getchell suggested installing a security cam- era to view the Mermaid Park area. Jaress said that would be a good idea. "I'm open to any solutions," Jaress added. Another kind of cleanup matter came before the DID Tuesday — sidewalk cleanup, espe- cially near outdoor cafés. This has become a Hercules and Augean Stables story, a peren- nial problem. Downtown merchants are proposing operating a scrubbing machine if the DID will buy it. DID Operations Manager John Moran suggests the city change the lan- guage in its ordinance to force café owners to clean up after themselves. The city is releas- ing a call for proposals for "deep cleaning" the sidewalks next month. Meanwhile, chewing gum, grease and food stains continue to multiply. The DID board resolved to send a pair of letters, one to the city engineer and the other to city commis- sioners, asking for help. Hercules, you may recall, diverted a river to wash the stables clean, but the owner refused to pay as he had agreed. Not a good augury for downtown's "stables." % Representatives of downtown Sarasota business organizations are pushing for the county to relocate the bus transfer station at Main Street and Lemon Avenue. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader February 21, 2014 Page 49

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