Sarasota News Leader


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DEMAND FOR ACTION The historic pavilion at Siesta Public Beach is to undergo renovations as part of the improvements at the site. Photo by Norman Schimmel COUNTY COMMISSION, SIESTA ORGANIZATIONS ASKING FOR ANSWERS ON COSTS AND PHASING FOR THE PUBLIC BEACH IMPROVEMENTS AS SOON AS POSSIBLE By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor Adding his frustrations to those voiced just a couple of hours earlier at the monthly Sies- ta Key Village Association meeting, Sarasota County Commissioner Joe Barbetta demand- ed to know during his board's regular meeting on Nov. 6 why "everybody's frozen in place" on the Siesta Public Beach improvements project. Moreover, the county's chief engineer report- ed to the County Commission at that meeting in Venice that an open-house meeting on the project scheduled for Nov. 13 on Siesta Key might have to be postponed. Barbetta pointed out that when the board last saw the plans for the improvements, in June, the board had asked staff to move ahead expe- ditiously with completing the design work and proposing funding options, including use of bond revenue, because construction costs and interest rates were low and jobs were needed. "Time is of the essence," Barbetta said. "The economy's starting to come back. Interest rates are going to go up. Construction costs are going to go up, and we're losing the win- dow of opportunity." When Barbetta laid the blame for delays at the feet of county staff, the county Chief engineer

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