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Siesta Key Island Chatter

Annual Andrew Monroe Memorial Scholarship 5K Walk/Run

In honor of the life of Andrew Monroe, the Annual Andrew Monroe Memorial Scholarship 5K Walk/Run was established for the benefit of senior soccer players at Riverview High School in Sarasota.  Senior girls and boys, soccer players, Track athletes and JROTC cadets have the opportunity to receive scholarships through an essay process.

The proceeds from the event also goes toward the Andrew Monroe Memorial Scholarship Fund through the Sarasota Community Foundation. The scholarship is open for all county soccer players through an essay submission process. 

The event over the last 6 years has generated $80,000, distributed 30 scholarships and has met the fund balance at the Sarasota Community Foundation.   The Andrew Monroe Memorial Scholarship Fund at the Community Foundation will have two $1000 scholarships in perpetuity.

This year the event will be on Sunday, January 5, at Siesta Key Beach with same day registration – 6am -8am. Chip timed 5K – 8:15am and the 1-mile fun walk – 8:20am. The cost after December 19 – $40 for everyone. Register: www.andrewmonroe.com/registration, Goodie bags to the first 400 entry’s.

Andrew had a heart for the unfortunate:  Please bring a can or two of food for Mayors Feed the Hungry.

Siesta Key Marina changes ownership

This past month Siesta Key Marina, located at 1265 Old Stickney Point Road, on Siesta Key was sold to Safe Harbor Marinas. According to their website, Safe Harbor Marinas is the largest owner and operator of marinas in the world. The corporate office is located out of Dallas, Texas. The new name of the marina is Safe Harbor Siesta Key. They currently operate eight marinas on Florida’s west coast.

On November 10, 2015 Andy Eggebrecht, Maurice Dentici and their families took over ownership of the marina, and considering their backgrounds, it came as no surprise with the acquisition. The Dentici family owns the five area Rico’s restaurants, while the Eggebrechts own Andros Boatworks, which designs and builds custom hybrid / bay and offshore fishing boats.

The two planned to open a restaurant on the property, Spearfish Grill. The restaurant has been a success. Eggebrect and Dentici will retain ownership of the restaurant.

MTV’s ‘Siesta Key’ returns

It’s back, “Siesta Key,” the reality TV show returns for a third season on MTV January 7. The first episode premiered in July of 2017. The show is centered around Alex Kompothecras, the son of Siesta Key resident Gary Kompothecras, founder of “1-800-ASKGARY”, who serves as an executive producer on the show. The reality series follows Alex and a group of friends every season dealing with their relationships and everyday life with the backdrop of Siesta Key.

Siesta Key Association meeting

The SKA normally holds it’s monthly meeting the first Thursday of the month. Due to it falling on January 2 the meeting date has been changed to Thursday January 9. The meeting is held at St. Boniface Church located at 5615 Midnight Pass Road at 4:30pm in the Parish Hall.

Will you need one or more new employees for season?

The Siesta Key Chamber is hosting a “mobile” island-wide Siesta Key Job Fair Tuesday, Jan. 14, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Job seekers will begin their job search by stopping in the Siesta Key Visitor Center to pick-up a list of participating Job Fair employers. Applicants will then walk, bike, drive or Trolley to the participating businesses where they wish to apply. Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce, 5114 Ocean Boulevard, Siesta Key, 941-349-3800

Ailing palms in the Village

In response to concerns expressed by a reader, SNL contacted county staff the second week of December to ask about an indication that Siesta Village has a number of “sick” palms.

Lisa Cece, special district coordinator for the county — who serves as the county liaison to the Siesta Key Village Maintenance Corp. — responded with the following information via email on Dec. 9: “Approximately forty-one palms are currently being treated in the Siesta Key Village for what is commonly known as ‘white fly’ infestation.”

During the last monthly inspection of the Village, she continued, it was noted that the fronds had developed spots and unusual coloring. Wilhelm Brothers, the landscape and irrigation maintenance contractor for the Village, scheduled treatment, which commenced last week, Cece noted.

“The palms that have orange ribbons are flagged for a second treatment. Once that is completed, the ribbons will be removed,” she wrote.

“This pest will not destroy the palms,” Cece pointed out, “but for the health and appearance of the palms treatments were necessary to eradicate [the infestation]. At the same time, a follow-up pruning is being conducted in the Village as per contract requirements.”

The Siesta Key Village Maintenance Corp., which directly oversees the manner in which district maintenance is performed, approved the treatment, along with the county district representative, Cece added.

The Maintenance Corp. represents the property owners who are assessed annually by the county to pay for the upkeep of the Village.

Siesta Key Condo Council meeting

Membership meeting notice, Tuesday, January 14, 3:00 PM at Siesta Key Chapel 4615 Gleason Ave. The main speaker is DAN LOBECK of Lobeck & Hanson, Law Offices. The subject matters discussed will be 2019 Legislation Affecting Condominiums, 2020 Legislative, Preview Are You ADA Compliant, Director Term Limits and Keeping Up With Technology followed by a question and answer session with audience.

The Corvette versus the Prius

During a Nov. 19 County Commission public hearing regarding a petition for a Coastal Setback Variance for the property at 680 Beach Road, a bit of a different debate arose.

Attorney John Patterson, a long-time Siesta Key resident, was representing a homeowner several doors down from petitioners’ property. In explaining his client’s position on the planned siting of a new home at 680 Beach Road, Patterson showed the commissioners a number of photos.

With one image up on the “Wolf” — the overhead projector that enables the board members and the public to see slides and other documents during a presentation — Patterson paused. “That’s my Corvette, by the way,” he said, referring to the blue vehicle in his client’s driveway.

Later, when the attorney for the petitioners — Charles D. Bailey III of the Williams Parker firm — stepped up to the podium for his rebuttal, Bailey said, “I have a white Prius. When I am of Mr. Patterson’s stature, I will drive a Corvette,” Bailey added with a laugh.

After Commissioner Alan Maio made the motion to approve the petition, he offered comments on that exchange before addressing the petition.

“Mr. Bailey, Mr. Patterson’s previous ride was much sexier, more aggressive than a Prius,” Maio said, generating more laughter. “I’m going to stop there,” Maio added, “because right now I’ve gotten myself 12 emails from Prius owners.”

A clarification

In the November Island Chatter column, we reported that a Lido Key resident had told the County Commission that when the South Siesta Renourishment Project was underway in 2016, equipment was staged in Ted Sperling Park on South Lido Key. In response to a request for confirmation of that, county Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources (PRNR) staff said no such staging occurred.

However, after further research, PRNR staff contacted us through county Media Relations Officer Brianne Grant to provide a clarification.

Grant reported, “Although there was no staging of equipment or materials on the grounds within Ted Sperling at South Lido Beach Park, there was staging in the waters just off the bayside beach with some piping along that eastern boundary of that park.”

Temporary Tide Station

A temporary Tide Station was installed by contractor JOA Surveys, LLC for  National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration (NOAA) to collect new or update historic tide data at  the Siesta Public Access at Givens Street on Monday, December 16. The GPS receiver on the yellow tripod was just there for the day measuring the bench mark that was installed in the seawall.

Staying pretty much on schedule

Regular readers will recall that in September, Siesta Key Association members heard a presentation about plans for county demolition of structures that made up the Siesta Key Water Reclamation Facility near Glebe Park and Siesta Isles.

During his Sept. 5 remark, John Saputo IV, construction project manager for the Capital Projects Division of Sarasota County’s Public Works Department, told SKA members that the tentative timeline called for the advertisement of the contract for the work to be published before the end of December.

SKA Director Robert Luckner recently contacted Saputo, Luckner reported after the Dec. 5 SKA meeting, to ask for an update.

In a Dec. 5 email that Luckner shared, Saputo reported that the design of the project was at the 100% mark. “[W]e should have the specifications completed next week,” Saputo added.

The package would go to the county’s Procurement Department for review, Saputo continued, “and we should … see an advertisement for the bids go out in the January/February time frame.”

In September, Saputo told SKA members that the tentative schedule called for the demolition to begin in May 2020, with completion in October 2020, barring any unexpected developments.

Through a county project, the water reclamation facility was transformed into a master pump station. Since April 2018, all the wastewater has been sent off the island for treatment at one of two county water reclamation plants on the mainland.

The master pump station is located at 5200 Oakmont Place.

Another demolition

As plans remain underway for his proposed hotel on Old Stickney Point Road, Dr. Gary Kompothecras — of 1-800-ASK-GARY fame — told Siesta Sand last month that he would be tearing down the building he owns that formerly housed a storage business. It stands at 1260 Old Stickney Point Road.

That structure is adjacent to the site of the former Fandango Café, which Kompothecras demolished in the spring.

A check of county permitting records found that Kompothecras received the demolition permit on Aug. 13, and it is good through May 19, 2020.

The notation on the online permitting form says, “Demo Mini Storage Warehouse.”

The fee for the permit was $397.14.

Sarasota County Property Appraiser Office records show that a company Kompothecras established called 1260 Inc. bought the storage building property for $400,000 in early December 2011. The parcel, which is already zoned Commercial General, comprises 14,950 square feet — slightly more than one-third of an acre.

This year, the property has a taxable value of $518,700, but most of that rests with the land itself: $442,400. The building dates to 1980, the tax records show.

The former Fandango site, the Property Appraiser’s Office records say, has a taxable value this year of $1,053,500. It comprises slightly more than eight-tenths of an acre.

As of Dec. 11, county staff reported, Kompothecras had yet to file an application with county staff for the hotel project.

St. Michael’s reports on building project

In a recent email to parishioners the parish said: We are pleased to report that the Capital Campaign will officially kick-off the weekend of January 17 and 18. Our planning has proven to us, that we are a Parish who depends on our Seasonal Parishioners and Visitors to supplement our year-round members.

Father will be talking about our Campaign every month during “season”, we’ll be sending out mailings and attachments to Flocknotes next month. It is our intent to overcommunicate now and going forward because our congregation changes nearly every week from now through Easter.

We hope to see you all in the coming weeks and months. Thank you for being with us. May God bless you all at this special time of the year. Your Saint Michael the Archangel family.