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Within about three weeks, the swimming area of Warm Mineral Springs should reopen, thanks to votes this week by the North Port City Commission and the Sarasota County Commission. In separate action at meetings over the past week, the boards also authorized the adver- tisement of a long-term solicitation designed to bring in creative ideas for the entire 81-acre site to keep it open well beyond the Aug. 31 expiration of the short-term contract. The two local governments purchased the property jointly in December 2010. That advertisement was going out on March 26, Sarasota County Parks and Recreation Director Carolyn Brown told her board. It will be sent to more than 200 companies and service providers, both in the United States and abroad, Brown explained on March 25. The marketing expense will be about $25,000, split evenly between the county and the City of North Port. Swimmers enjoy the warm water of the Springs shortly before the facility closed on June 30, 2013. Photo by Stan Zimmerman A SHORT-TERM OPERATOR AND A LONG-TERM SOLICITATION PROCESS FOR WARM MINERAL SPRINGS WIN APPROVAL REOPENING SOON By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor [The short-term contract] is the leverage that puts North Port on notice to either get this done or [the Springs] closes again, and all the pressure falls on them for allowing that to happen. Charles Hines Chairman Sarasota County Commission

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