Monthly Archives: September 2015

HISTORIC YEAR FOR BUILDING PERMITS; 8K PROCESSED FOR FIRST TIME EVER

 

 

For Immediate Release:  September 30, 2015
Contact:  Jan Thornburg, Sr. Communications Manager  941-954-2613
jan.thornburg@sarasotagov.com

Building Division

The Building Division. Back Row L to R: Brieana Duckett Graves, Marybeth Gripshover, Joyce Williams, Shelley Moore, Paula Mello; Front Row L to R: Robin Opalinsky, Debbie Lapenkas, Kathleen Kelley

Sarasota, FL: For the first time ever, the City of Sarasota Building Division processed over 8,000 building permits in one year, shattering last year’s record. The 2014-15 fiscal year concluded at the end of business today and the tally for building permit applications processed is 8,402 with a construction valuation of over $299 million, signaling a stronger local economy and continued interest in Sarasota.

“There definitely is a lot more construction going on and it’s across the board,” said Gretchen Schneider, Neighborhood and Development Services General Manager. “We’ve seen significant increases in permits for new homes, home improvements as well as larger developments including hotels and mixed use developments.”

Building permits are issued for all kinds of construction — everything from residential improvements (including new fences, roofs, air conditioning and plumbing) to new large scale commercial developments including hotels and multi-family complexes.

Each of the past two years has been a record breaking year for processing building permits in the City of Sarasota. The number issued this fiscal year is nearly a 50 percent jump from 2002, when the local economy was considered to be doing well. The number of permits processed recently by year:

2015: 8,402
2014: 7,200
2013: 6,300
2002: 5,800

“Experiencing another banner year for our Building Division is a testament that our natural beauty, combined with our world class cultural and performing arts attractions make for a great quality of life,” City Manager Tom Barwin said. “The Sarasota ‘magic’ attracts people of all ages as reflected in our building permit numbers including 3,000 condo, apartment and hotel rooms under development.”

Even as Building Division employees processed an historic number of applications, customer service remained exceptional with voluntary comment cards from contractors consistently complimenting staff for being friendly, professional and knowledgeable. 96 percent of those who completed a comment card rated their service as ‘excellent’.

“We continue to strive to be a business friendly city,” Mr. Barwin said. “We have exceptional employees with positive can-do attitudes in the Building Division. Congratulations to everyone involved with this significant achievement.”

For more information contact Gretchen Schneider, General Manager: 941-365-2200 ext. 4355.

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About the City of Sarasota: Distinguished by Google as a Digital Capital in the U.S., the City of Sarasota is a diverse community located on Florida’s Suncoast with 53,000 year round residents, several internationally recognized cultural arts venues, stunning sunsets along Lido Beach, a 45-hole municipal golf course at the historic Bobby Jones Golf Club, and Major League spring training baseball with the Baltimore Orioles. Learn more about us at www.SarasotaGov.com

 

ORANGE/MAIN INTERSECTION REOPENS ON SCHEDULE: 5 P.M. TODAY

 

 

For Immediate Release: September 30, 2015
Contact: Jan Thornburg, Sr. Communications Manager  941-954-2613
jan.thornburg@sarasotagov.com

Sarasota, FL: The Orange Avenue/Main Street intersection will partially reopen to traffic as a new, modern roundabout as scheduled this afternoon, Wednesday, September 30 at 5 p.m. 

As planned, all directions of the roundabout will be open except the north leg. Drivers are encouraged to continue to follow the detour signs.Roundabout - almost open

The intersection was closed at the end of July with the goal of partially reopening it by the end of September. Most of the closure time was necessary while crews worked beneath the intersection making significant utility improvements.

“We’re very pleased the intersection will partially reopen on schedule before seasonal residents and visitors return,” said Richard Winder, City of Sarasota Project Manager. “You never know what you could encounter when you’re working underground. The City’s contractor, Jon F. Swift Construction, was able to resolve some unexpected issues with stormwater and water lines underground and still remain on schedule even during many days of stormy weather. When the project is completed in mid-November, the intersection will be safer for vehicles and pedestrians and more efficient. We thank the downtown businesses for their patience and ask for everyone’s continued support as we head into the homestretch to make Orange and Main an attractive, fully functioning modern roundabout,” said Mr. Winder.

City staff and employees with Jon F. Swift Construction worked closely with merchants to lessen the construction impact as much as possible, including modifying the hours of construction, providing progress updates, and offering complimentary valet parking to the public.

“Over two weeks of rain provided a large obstacle for our team,” said Jason Swift president of Jon F. Swift Construction. “Despite these challenges, our team was still able to stay on schedule to meet our partial completion deadline and open a portion of the roundabout. We thank the community and surrounding businesses for their patience during construction.”

As part of the project, decorative bricks were installed around the roundabout and new concrete curbs and driveways poured. By the numbers:

  • 27,700 – Bricks installed
  • 10,000 square feet – Concrete poured
  • 1,500 linear feet – Curbs poured

While the roundabout is partially open, the project is expected to be completed by November 11.   During the next six weeks, crews will finalize many details including completion of the new sidewalks, landscaping, landscape irrigation system, and a decorative fence and bricks within the interior of the roundabout where a public art piece will be placed at a later date.

For more information contact:
Richard Winder, City of Sarasota Project Manager:  941-365-2200 ext. 6302
Emmalee Legler, Marketing Manager, Jon F. Swift Construction:  941-951-6100 or 727-385-7665 (cell)

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About Jon F. Swift Construction
Jon F. Swift Construction, Inc. is recognized as one of the area’s leading commercial contractors, serving Sarasota and Manatee County public and private sector clients for 35 years. The company has a proven history of providing high quality construction services for commercial, institutional and municipal projects and offers a wide array of services to meet their client’s needs including general contracting, construction management, design/build and estimating. In 2014, Jon F. Swift Construction celebrated 35 years in business. Continuously owned and operated by the Swift family, the company is now operated by Jon Swift’s son, Jason Swift. For more information, visit www.jonfswiftinc.com. 

About the City of Sarasota
Distinguished by Google as a Digital Capital in the U.S., the City of Sarasota is a diverse community located on Florida’s Suncoast with 53,000 year round residents, several internationally recognized cultural arts venues, stunning sunsets along Lido Beach, a 45-hole municipal golf course at the historic Bobby Jones Golf Club, and Major League spring training baseball with the Baltimore Orioles. Learn more about us at www.SarasotaGov.com

 

2ND ANNUAL WOMEN’S BETTER BALL OPEN TO BE HELD AT BOBBY JONES GOLF CLUB OCT. 10 AND 11

 

 

For Immediate Release: September 22, 2015
Contact: Jan Thornburg, Sr. Communications Manager  941-954-2613
jan.thornburg@sarasotagov.com

Sarasota, FL: Registration is open for the 2nd Annual Women’s Better Ball Open to be held at the City of Sarasota’s historic municipal golf course, Bobby Jones Golf Club, 1000 Circus Boulevard.   The competition will be played Saturday, October 10 and Sunday, October 11 with entry open to all women who have a verified handicap via GHIN number or USGA index.

The opening day of competition will take place on the American Course, Bobby Jones Logoand it is expected the tournament will wrap up the following day on the British Course. (Play on the British Course will be subject to the completion of new greens which currently are being installed.   The tournament will be the first opportunity for golfers and the public to view the new turf.)

The entry fee is $175 per team and includes: two rounds of golf with a riding cart, tee gifts, on-course non-alcoholic beverage each day, lunch at the conclusion of each player’s second round, and awards.

Entries and payment must be received by Monday, October 5, 2015 at 5 p.m. To download a registration form click here.

Approximately 60 women are expected to participate in the 2nd Annual Women’s Better Ball Open with a portion of the proceeds donated to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

Bobby Jones Golf Club is a 45-hole golf facility featuring two 18-hole courses and one executive 9-hole course. For details and to book a tee time, visit www.BobbyJonesGolfClub.com

For more information contact Sue Martin, Bobby Jones Golf Club Manager: 941-365-2200 ext. 5800.

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About the City of Sarasota: Distinguished by Google as a Digital Capital in the U.S., the City of Sarasota is a diverse community located on Florida’s Suncoast with 53,000 year round residents, several internationally recognized cultural arts venues, stunning sunsets along Lido Beach, a 45-hole municipal golf course at the historic Bobby Jones Golf Club, and Major League spring training baseball with the Baltimore Orioles. Learn more about us at www.SarasotaGov.com

 

PURCHASING DIVISION EARNS PRESTIGIOUS AWARD

 

 

For Immediate Release: September 14, 2015
Contact: Jan Thornburg, Sr. Communications Manager 941-954-2613
jan.thornburg@sarasotagov.com

Sarasota, FL:  The City of Sarasota Purchasing Division was awarded the 2015 Annual Achievement of Excellence in Procurement® Award from the National Procurement Institute recently. This professional achievement recognizes national best practices in the field of procurement.

The City of Sarasota is one of just 26 recipients in Florida and 206 in Purchasing Division - Group textthe United States to be honored with this accolade known to purchasing professionals as the ‘pinnacle of procurement’.

On average, every year the City’s Purchasing Division facilitates 90 formal solicitations (bids, requests for proposal, invitations to negotiation) and 3,500 purchase orders for everything from construction services to office supplies to professional services. Over 3,000 purchase card transactions also are processed. All this is accomplished by just seven employees.

“This award shines a light on the dedication and professional knowledge within the Purchasing Division,” said City Manager Tom Barwin. “From complex Requests for Proposal to bids to the sale of property, the Purchasing Division handles it all with the utmost integrity, ethical standards, and professionalism. The City’s ability to do business is as good as its Purchasing Division, and we are fortunate to have an excellent team led by Purchasing Manager Mary Tucker under the leadership of Finance Director John Lege. Congratulations and thank you for your continued diligence,” said Mr. Barwin.

For more information contact Purchasing Manager Mary Tucker: 941-365-2200 ext. 4528.

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About the City of Sarasota: Distinguished by Google as a Digital Capital in the U.S., the City of Sarasota is a diverse community located on Florida’s Suncoast with 53,000 year round residents, several internationally recognized cultural arts venues, stunning sunsets along Lido Beach, a 45-hole municipal golf course at the historic Bobby Jones Golf Club, and Major League spring training baseball with the Baltimore Orioles. Learn more about us at www.SarasotaGov.com

CITY OF SARASOTA 2016 LEGISLATIVE PRIORITIES

 

 

For Immediate Release:  September 10, 2015
Contact:  Pamela M. Nadalini, MBA, CMC, City Auditor and Clerk at 941-954-4160
Pamela.Nadalini@sarasotagov.com

Sarasota, FL:  The City Commission of the City of Sarasota announces that the City of Sarasota at its September 8, 2015, Regular Sarasota City Commission Meeting approved the following 2016 Legislative Priorities for presentation to the Sarasota County Legislative Delegation at a Hearing which is being chaired by The Honorable Jim Boyd, Florida House of Representatives, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon on Friday, October 2, 2015, in the Sarasota County Commission Chambers, 1660 Ringling Boulevard, Sarasota, FL, 34236.

The following are the major priorities, as approved by the City Commission:

  • Communications Services Tax and Local Business Tax Protection
  • Homelessness Programs/Mental Health Initiatives/Sober Homes
  • Pension Reform
  • Red Light Cameras
  • Transportation Funding

Mayor Willie Charles Shaw will be presenting the 2016 Legislative Priorities on behalf of the City of Sarasota to the Sarasota County Legislative Delegation.  “The Legislative Delegation Hearing is an excellent opportunity for local political and community leaders to meet with elected officials at the state level to share matters of concern and interest to their communities,” stated Mayor Shaw.  T Legislative Delegation Hearing is for elected officials from local municipalities to present any legislative items of interest and general presentations to be heard before the Sarasota County Legislative Delegation.

The City Commission identified other important priorities for the City of Sarasota and also took a position on a number of State Priorities and Federal Priorities.  “It is important for the City Commission to take time each year to establish Legislative Priorities which create a platform for the City to maintain effective dialogue with local, state, and federal legislators in preparation for the upcoming Legislative Sessions,” stated City Auditor and Clerk Pamela Nadalini.  For the list of local priorities and positions on State and Federal Initiatives, please reference the detailed document or the brochure, which will be presented to the Sarasota County Legislative Delegation.

For more information or to obtain hard copies of the City of Sarasota’s 2016 Legislative Priorities, please contact City Auditor and Clerk Pamela Nadalini at 954-4160.