Sarasota 2020: A year in review

Sarasota County releases it’s ‘annual review’ online this time around

Sarasota 2020: A year in review
Siesta Key Beach was named the No. 1 beach in the United States by TripAdvisor. (Source: visitflorida.com)

SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - The events that were strewn throughout the unpredictable infamy of year 2020 affected us one way or another. However, there is no time like the present to focus on the positive lessons of the past.

Sarasota County released their annual review of accomplishments achieved all throughout last year. The report is being released digitally so it’s more accessible.

“The women and men working at Sarasota County have truly excelled at providing the same world-class service the community has come to expect while faced with the challenges, and unknowns, of COVID-19,” said County Administrator Johnathan Lewis. “We will continue to find innovative solutions, such as this new electronic format, to highlight our successes.”

Here are some of the highlights from each month.

JANUARY: The Ashton Road and Honore Avenue roundabout completed, Winter Reading Challenge surpasses expectations, single-stream recycling begins.

FEBRUARY: Over 19 million dollars dedicated to protecting Orange Hammock Ranch nature reserve, TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice names Siesta Beach the No. 1 beach in the U.S

MARCH: Niche names Sarasota best county for retirees in Florida, American Public Works Association selects William H. Jervey, Jr. Venice Public Library as its Project of the Year.

APRIL: County authorizes over 4 million to Small Business Resiliency Loan program, beaches reopen under guidelines and social distancing.

MAY: Alert Sarasota County replaces CodeRED, Hurricane resistant fire station to replace the old Fire Station 13 on Siesta Key, temporary use licenses are approved in 24 hours.

JUNE: Siesta Key trolley resumes service, county parks reopen, partnership with University of Florida Innovation Station extended to 2027.

JULY: New downtown cooling plant approved, Siesta Key ranked 11 out of 25 on TripAdviser’s top beaches to visit in the world, 94-year-old bridge begins to be replaced on Bee Ridge Road.

AUGUST: Sarasota county recognized by Keep Florid Beautiful for its outstanding recycling efforts, coronavirus relief approval, portion of county’s coronavirus relief to go providing internet access to students in need.

SEPTEMBER: Coronavirus relief funds for rental assistance, Achievement of Excellence in Procurement Award.

OCTOBER: Sarasota best place in the United States to retire according to U.S. News & World Report, new Sherriff’s Support Services facility, Myrtle Street Improvement project finished.

NOVEMBER: Recycling Champions Communications and Education Award for transition to single-stream recycling, three properties for environmental protection acquired along the Myakka River, Mote Science Education Aquarium starts construction.

DECEMBER: Downtown cooling plant begins construction, by Dec. 9th the county approved or dispersed over 49 million dollars in coronavirus relief funds.

While only a few numbers of printed booklets will be available at county libraries, the full report can be found on the county’s website here.

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