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14 MONTHS LATER … Sweet Sparkman Architects have been working with Kimley-Horn and Associates and Sarasota County staff on designs for the Siesta Public Beach improvements, including new walkways to the beach itself. Photo by Rachel Hackney COUNTY COMMISSION WAS TOLD IN SEPTEMBER 2011 THAT IT WOULD SEE A COMPLETED DESIGN FOR THE SIESTA PUBLIC BEACH IMPROVEMENTS BY FALL OF THIS YEAR By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor On Sept. 14, 2011, the Sarasota County Com- mission voted unanimously to ask staff to come back the following month with design and construction options for completing the Siesta Public Beach Park improvements on an accelerated schedule. The goal, Commissioner Joe Barbetta said, was to take advantage of low construction costs and interest rates. It appeared the project could get under way in the summer of 2013, according to the staff presentation, headed up by then-Project Man- ager Spencer Anderson. The commission also approved the staff goal of completing the design work in the fall of 2012. Staff did not come back to the board with those options in late October. PROJECT STATUS Fourteen months later, in the space of eight days, the commissioners have railed twice against rising cost estimates, questioned who has been making the decisions that have led to those cost hikes and demanded staff give them answers quickly.

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