Posts Tagged ‘sarasota county’

Saturday’s Cleanup at Red Bug Preserve

May 30, 2017

On Saturday May 27th John Ryan organized a clean up of  the park at Red Bug Slough.  Here’s his summary:

 

Beautiful Day at Red Bug Slough Preserve!

 

The Friends of Red Bug Slough Preserve gathered again last Saturday morning.  It was a perfect spring day – not too warm yet.  It was good to see the water levels back up after the prolonged drought we had just a few weeks ago.

 

Jack and Ronda

 

We shared some blueberry muffins before we took off and made our neighborhood nature preserve just a little bit better.  Scott made a special effort to root out air potatoes.  Ronda searched for fishing line in the lake.  And Chris dug up some concrete rubble that was dumped here decades ago.  Michele found a garden hose – makes you wonder doesn’t it?

old garden hose                                                                                                                                                         fishing tackle

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was a fun and easy day with friends.  Thanks to everyone who joined in… see you there next time.

 

John

 

 

Phillippi Creek Event Tomorrow May 20th at SGCA

May 19, 2017

May 2017 Project Update

May 12, 2017

 

(You can access this page from the County website here:  Phillippi Creek Septic System Replacement Program Area N3)

March 29, 2017 Budget Workshop

March 29, 2017

Message from our Neighborhood Committee Chairman

At today’s Budget Workshop the Sarasota County Commission unanimously approved a staff recommendation to advance the Septic System Replacement plan in Area N3. This vote was necessary because the county’s capital improvement plan is being reshuffled in order to cope with a shortall in surtax revenue, and some projects are being delayed. Today, our project survived.

I am pleased to report that Commissioner Alan Maio reached out to contact me soon after the commission voted and asked me let everyone know he had received our emails. He said he was glad that we did not overwhelm him with email, and more importantly, that none of us were insulting or rude or threatened to kick him out of office if he did not support our project. So to those of you who took the time to contact Commissioner Maio or any of the other commissioners, thank you for representing our neighborhood well.

I would also like to mention that Commissioner Hines responded promptly to the initial email I sent on behalf of the committee Monday evening, and it was he who introduced the motion today that kept our program in the capital improvement plan.

We owe thanks to all of the commissioners, and specifically to Mr. Hines and Mr. Maio, for voting to keep our sewer project going.

Thanks to those neighbors who took the time to email the commissioners, and thanks for being respectful.

Only one step remains: The county commission will be presented a construction contract for its approval, as soon as April. Then, at long last, we should see digging in the streets. I am sure there will be a lot of information in the coming months.

Best regards,
Peter Gentile
Chairman
N-3 Neighborhood Committee

 

 

worth noting

Charles Hines is the only sitting commissioner that was involved in the months of discussion concerning our project.  He met with us several times during the process and  has been very supportive of our efforts throughout.  Comm. Alan Maio is one of the “new guys”, but seems genuinely interested in connecting with us in the neighborhood.  He is the Commissioner for District 4 (our district).

 

Are we on the chopping block?

March 27, 2017

Current status

The December 20 post discussed the last official update of our sewer project: “The design is 100 percent complete with all required permits.  The project is currently advertised for construction bids.  Construction is expected to begin in Spring 2017 with an approximate 9-month construction duration.”  (Additional information can be found in the PCSSRP Monthly Status Report.)

Budget shortfall

Your N3 Committee has been closely following the progress of our neighborhood sewer project.  At the Feb 17 Budget Workshop county staff presented a Capital Improvement Project Prioritization to the Commissioners and the bottom line is there is not enough money for all projects.  So, which ones to cut?  When the PCSSRP was was discussed, Commissioner Maio asked for a report on “literature that has been provided and the expectations of owners.”

Budget Strategy Workshop March 29

This coming Wednesday Mar 29 the County Commission is holding another Budget Workshop.  The meeting starts at 9:00 AM and is open to the public.  Here is  page 85 from the presentation commissioners will see:

What should concerned residents do?

  • You can email commissioners at commissioners@scgov.net and ask them to approve Option 3.
  • Commissioner Maio asked what our expectations are: Let him know we expect to begin this Spring and be completed by December 2017
  • Attend the meeting on Wednesday and speak during either of the two the Open to the Public segments (click here for meeting agenda).
  • If you can’t attend the meeting you can view it by going to  scgov.net “Televised Meetings.”

Presentation for March 29 Budget Workshop

Here’s the full Presentation Package (Phillippi Creek Overview starts on pg. 71).

3-29 Presentation

 

Help! My septic tank is failing!

March 22, 2017

I have recently heard this from several N3 neighbors.  The next thing I’m asked is “when are we going to get our sewers?”  The answer is SOON (I hope!)  But what to do in the meantime?  Well, you gotta do what you gotta do.  The good news is that you may be able to get some help with your repair bills.

Will the County pay for my septic repairs?

Maybe… here’s a reimbursement schedule from the county website:

You can find the complete document here: Property Owner’s Guide  (scroll down to Credit for Septic system Repair)

Sewer installation… when is SOON?

I have not gotten any updates since the December 20, 2016 post.  Here’s an excerpt from that article:

Go to the PCSSRP Monthly Status Report and scroll down to Area N3. Under “Next Major Milestones” we’re told that construction will likely begin in March 2017.  We know that the construction contract bids are currently being reviewed, so this is probably an accurate forecast.

We’re fast approaching the end of March, so the construction start forecast is probably no longer accurate.  As soon as I get an update I’ll post it here.

 

How Can I Lower My Water Bill?

February 21, 2017

According to the EPA website “…landscape irrigation is estimated to account for nearly one-third of all residential water use…”,  so it would seem that a good place to start conserving water would be the lawn.  There are numerous articles on the topic; here’s one from the Huffington Post. And this Atlantic article says lawns “have now outlived their purpose.”  So, let’s find out…

How much am I spending to water my lawn?

 

Everyone’s usage is different, but if you use 4,000 gallons per month for lawn irrigation, today you will pay Pluris approximately $26 (you can calculate your personal water usage or use this estimator).  After we are connected to the sewer an additional $30 will be added for a monthly charge of $56 just for the lawn!  One of our N3 neighbors recently took this approach: get rid of the grass.

What is xeriscape?

Xeriscaping is landscaping that reduces or eliminates the need for water from irrigation.  This type of landscaping has become popular in drought-stricken western states in the last few years and while we haven’t gotten to a West Coast level of crisis (yet), you can see that water is becoming expensive. So, what to do?

img_0705

Allison Werner, our neighbor at 3340 Tanglewood Dr, recently had her yard professionally xeriscaped (click here): (1) removed all turf grass, (2) put down heavy-duty weed barrier, (3) covered with washed shell, (4) installed low maintenance, drought tolerant plants with drip irrigation. Drive by and take a look… a complete yard make-over may not be for everyone, but anything you can do will save you money on your water bill, not to mention fertilizer, pesticides, fungicides, gas and oil for lawnmowers, etc

Pluris south gate water rates

The monthly base charge is $7.18 plus $ per 1000 gallons:

  • 0 to 6,000 – $5.70
  • 6001 to 12,000 – $6.48
  • 12,000 and up – $7.52

( complete schedule of charges: pluris-water-rates)

 

 Informational links

Red Bug Slough Air Potato Roundup

February 28, 2016

Fun Day at Red Bug Slough!

A very fun day last Saturday at the Red Bug Slough Preserve!  Kids, dogs, hamburgers… what else could you ask for?  Darcy Young with Sarasota Bay Estuary Program and Jeff Weber of Sarasota County hosted a morning of cool fresh air and an unlimited supply of air potatoes!  We had a couple of hours of gathering the offending spuds and then the awards: largest potato, smallest potato, most unusual, and total pounds gathered.  There were couples, families, and kids groups from local schools and churches.  The roundup concluded with a cook out courtesy of Sarasota County (thanks for the veggie burgers, Jeff).

Dioscorea bulbifera (say what?)

image149

Lesson learned: Don’t put these things in your yard trash!  There have been times when I have filled an entire  trash can with air potatoes and vines and I always put them out with the yard trash.  Big mistake!  They get mulched and can spread back into the environment.  They should be placed in a black plastic bag and put out with regular garbage.

Future Events

There are more events coming up…  contact Darcy and get on the SBEP email list.

Darcy Young
Sarasota Bay Estuary Program
info@sarasotabay.org
941-955-8085

MEETING THIS MONTH

February 6, 2016

PCSSRP Status Report (link)

N3 Residents

Property owners within the boundaries of Area N3 will receive an invitation to attend a public meeting/open house scheduled for February 24, 2016. In the “open house” forum, property owners will be able to speak with county staff, one-on-one, about any site specific concerns relative to their individual properties. Opportunities to discuss funding options, septic tank decommissioning and other pertinent topics, with county staff, are available.

The project is anticipated to advertise for construction bids in the Spring of 2016. Construction is slated to begin in the Fall of 2016, reaching Final Completion approximately nine months later, or Summer of 2017. This is a fairly conservative schedule; construction completion could be achieved as much as six months sooner than the Summer of 2017.

D3 Residents

Some residents in D3 have been attending the N3 public meetings to keep abreast of the potential change in technology in providing central sewer service to the various neighborhoods. Any resident is welcome to attend county-sponsored events, however, residents within D3 will be invited to attend a separate public meeting, specifically addressing the needs of D3. Staff anticipates a public meeting for D3 to be held in the Summer/Fall of 2016. Property owners will receive an invitation for this meeting in the Summer of 2016.

January 2016 Project Update

January 13, 2016

Representatives of the N-3 neighborhood met January 7 with the Sarasota County Utilities Department for an update on the sewer installation project in our neighborhood.

​​We are happy to report that the design is far enough along that a public meeting has been scheduled at which the plans will be available for review. This meeting will be held the evening of Wednesday, Feb. 24, at the South Gate Community Center.

The meeting will be an open house rather than a presentation. ​You will have the opportunity to circulate and get information on various aspects of the project. ​County representatives will be available to discuss individual lot-specific issues. ​Detailed cost and financial information will be available. And Health Department representatives will be on hand to discuss issues related to septic tanks and their decommissioning.

The official notice of the meeting will be sent out this month to all affected residents. A separate notice will go out to residents of Mineola and River Ridge to hear ​about ​future plans for their areas.

We hope to see all of you at the Community Center on Feb. 24.

Best regards,
Peter Gentile, N-3 Neighborhood Committee