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Main St. is set for Tuesday, April 22, and foun- dation work is proceeding for the Aloft Hotel at Palm Avenue and Ringling Boulevard. Plus, the city will be doing a variety of utility proj- ects downtown. Meanwhile, city staffers are looking at a cal- endar for the next 12 months that is jammed with street closures for 37 civic events. The agenda item simply says, "Direct staff on how to proceed." VAGRANCY ISSUES PROLIFERATE When City Commissioner Suzanne Atwell complained on TV news last year that she was afraid to walk downtown because of all the vagrants, little did she realize her remarks would create a flashpoint of controversy that continues to burn. Four separate issues linked to vagrancy show up on the April 21 City Commission agenda. The first will appear in the afternoon after the commission finishes work on the consent agenda. Mayor Shannon Snyder has asked the city manager to provide a "homelessness status update" at every meeting. This will be City Manager Tom Barwin's debut report. There may be a lot to report. The environ- mental assessments of the two proposed shelter sites will be public by that time. (See the related story in this issue.) The following agenda item will help clear one of the two proposed sites in case it is selected to house the shelter. City staffers propose leasing property to provide staging and parking for the city's deep-well injection project on Osprey Avenue across 12th Street (From left) County Attorney Stephen DeMarsh and City Attorney Robert Fournier are at odds over the city's plan to 'reset' the base year for the Newtown Community Redevelopment Agency. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader April 18, 2014 Page 60

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