Public input sought regarding paddle board rentals on beaches

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SARASOTA, Fla. -- A public meeting will be held Tuesday on whether or not the county should allow public vendors to rent paddle boards on Siesta Key.

A proposal on the subject was submitted to the county in February. Currently watercrafts of any kind are prohibited on beaches that have lifeguards.

Local business owners say it would bring in revenue, but those opposed say there are safety concerns.

Sarasota County has 35 miles of coastline with only six miles of county-owned beaches that are patrolled by lifeguards.  "Right now anyone can launch a kayak or stand-up paddleboard in hundreds of places around Sarasota County, we just want to know what people think about reducing a small portion of designated swim zones for this use," says Tricia Wisner, business development coordinator for Sarasota County Parks and Recreation.

The public meeting will be held from 4pm to 6:30pm at the Nokomis County Center on East Nippino Trail.

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