Siesta Key Association Meeting Notes

| January 1, 2016

By Diana Colson

Michael Shay called the meeting to order.  November Minutes were approved. 

Community Reports – Sheriff’s Office

  • Sgt. Jason Mruczek said it has been a quiet month with not much happening. A lady in the audience asked for clarification of the law governing excessive noise. She said vacationing neighbors had been causing considerable commotion in the wee hours of the morning, and threatened her when she asked that they quiet down.  Sgt. Mruczek told her to call 316-1201, the non-emergency number.
  • Michael Shay thanked the Sheriff’s Office for helping push SKA’s float—a  1972 fire truck—off the road when it broke down during the Light Up the Village Parade.
  •  Joe Volpe presented Lt. Casper with check for $250 from the SKA for the Sheriff’s fund for needy families. The Sheriff's Office provides a Christmas tree with all the lights and decorations to a needy family that they have vetted.

MAIN SPEAKER —  Ben Quartermaine, P.E., Sarasota Couty Public Utilities Stormwater Engineer  His subject was the Stormwater Drainage Project at Ocean/Higel.

  • Commissioner Mayo introduced the speaker. Using maps, Ben Quartermaine explained that the system originally drained into the lake and then out to the Gulf. However, shifting sands have shut off that drainage. There is no public access to the Gulf via this route.
  • Sarasota County Public Utilities (SCPU) wants to reroute some of the drainage into the Grand Canal. They would like to pipe the ditch along Ocean Blvd and also along Higel so that more storm water drains into the Grand Canal.
  • The project is currently in the design and permitting stage. In order for the permit to go forward, SCPU must address water quality being dumped into the Grand Canal.
  • Traffic is a big issue. When and how to do the work without obstructing traffic. SCPU would only be allowed to work during specific times of the day so as not to conflict with school pick-up schedule at ODA. There is no chance this will happen before next summer. The contingency plan is to have a pump system if needed.
  • The East side of Higel is designed to drain into the Grand Canal. The West side of Higel and Ocean was not originally designed to drain into the Grand Canal.
  • A resident expressed concern about the current drainage pattern, citing flooding on his street. Quartermaine offered to work with that resident to investigate the situation.



Membership Drive:

  • Beverly Arias said the Drive had started for 2016. Deet Jonker reminded everyone that it saves time and money if members join on-line instead of by mail. Go to to join.  The fee is $30. The more members SKA has, the more attention they will get from local government.

Nominating/New Director:

  • Joyce Kouba introduced Daniel Lundy, the new SKA Director.

Environmental – Big Pass:

  • Catherine Luckner said at this point in time there is nothing scheduled. The Army Corps of Engineers and the DEP are still studying the Atkins Report. It will be at least 2017 before Army Corps can take any action. Commissioner Mayo restated that he would not vote for anything harmful to Siesta Key, but would, however,  work to get some sand for Lido.


  • Siesta Key Focus Group: Michael Shay was delighted with the group’s first meeting. There were 10 participants, 6 of whom were SKA members. They brainstormed for two hours, and will share their recommendations at a later date.

Beach Garbage Bag Project:

  • Michael Shay said SKA has permission from the County for a pilot program to provide a dispenser with bags at one of the beach entrances. The idea is to remove trash from the beach. The motto is: ENJOY IT/REMOVE IT. A poster has been designed depicting a picnic basket under the words ENJOY IT, and a garbage bag under the words REMOVE IT.  
  • Roundabout Proposal at Beach Rd. & Midnight Pass:  it appears this project has been shelved. All changes requested by SKA have been incorporated.



  • The public is urged to attend the Parks and Recreation Master Plan meetings where the group decides how they are going to spend your money.
  • The Annual SKA Breakfast will be held on Saturday, March 5, 2016.


Next SKA monthly meeting is Thursday, 1/7/2016 at 4:30 pm.





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