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Bob's Boathouse on South Tamiami Trail in Sarasota is under investigation for a new issue, The Sarasota News Leader learned this week: transforming the area for a fountain into a public pool. Tom Higginbotham, environmental health administrator of the Florida Department of Health in Sarasota County, told the News Leader on May 13 that staff from the department's Office o f E n v i r o n m e n t a l Health had visited the restaurant on May 7 in response to a complaint about an area near the bar where patrons are invited to sit or stand with their feet in water. The shallow area was permitted by Sarasota County Building Department staff "as a foun- tain" prior to the opening of the business last fall at 5515 S. Tamiami Trail, Higginbotham said. "When you start letting people into that section to swim or wade," he continued, that is a violation of Florida State Statute A sign at the front door of Bob's Boathouse indicates the hours. Photo by Rachel Hackney NOT A PUBLIC POOL B O B ' S B O AT H O U S E I S FA C I N G R A M I F I C AT I O N S F R O M T H E HEALTH DEPARTMENT FOR ITS USE OF AN AREA COUNTY STAFF APPROVED AS A FOUNTAIN It looks like [the restaurant owners are] offering it to [their] patrons as an interactive water attraction. Tom Higginbotham Environmental Health Administrator Florida Department of Health Sarasota County By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor NEWS

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