Longboat contributes to Marbut fee, but a reduced amount

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LONGBOAT KEY, Fla. - The town of Longboat Key has decided to invest in Dr. Robert Marbut, the man hired to tackle Sarasota's homeless issue.

Longboat's town commission has voted to contribute $1,000 to Marbut's $40,000 fee to tackle homelessness in Sarasota County. But officials in the City of Sarasota and Sarasota County were hoping the municipality would pay closer to $8,000.

The key's town manager, Dave Bullock, says the commission didn't feel it was necessary to fork over that amount of money, since Longboat doesn’t have a big homeless problem. “Even if we don't have a homeless problem here, it's evident driving back and forth to the airport; if you come to Longboat Key and you fly in, you see the results of the issue. And sometimes that has an impact on the image that people have of the community.”

The City of Venice has agreed to contribute $8,000 for Marbut's pay. Sarasota County officials are still waiting to hear from North Port.