City recreational facilities to close this week; Public meetings scaled back
Contact: Jason Bartolone, Communications Specialist 941-928-3988; email@example.com
Sarasota, FL: The City of Sarasota on Monday announced the suspension of organized events and activities at the City’s recreational facilities and a scaling back of upcoming public meetings to help slow the spread of COVID-19 in our community.
The following City facilities will be closed to the public beginning Wednesday, March 18, through at least the end of the month:
- Arlington Park and Aquatic Complex
- Bobby Jones Golf Club
- Lido Beach Pool
- Payne Park Skate Park
- Payne Park Tennis Center
- Robert L. Taylor Community Center
- Steigerwaldt-Jockey Children's Fountain
- Sarasota Municipal Auditorium
- Bayfront Community Center
- Payne Park Auditorium
The City’s parks and beaches will remain open to the public, but citizens are strongly advised to follow the advice of health officials regarding social distancing and limits on public gatherings.
The City Commission’s next regular meeting scheduled for April 6 has been canceled. All scheduled City advisory board meetings, including the Planning Board and Development Review Committee, will also be suspended for the next 30 days.
The actions are in accordance with the latest public health guidelines and recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Governor’s Office and the Florida Department of Health in Sarasota County, City Manager Tom Barwin said.
Public health emergency
Barwin, in consultation with Mayor Jen Ahearn-Koch, declared a local citywide public health emergency Friday. The declaration will be reviewed weekly, as outlined by the City Charter.
All gatherings within the city limits scheduled to occur on or before March 20, 2020, likely to attract more than 250 persons are strongly advised to cancel. This includes all gatherings managed, permitted or supported by City staff. New special events will not be permitted by the City until further notice.
The Sarasota Police Department and other City departments will continue to provide vital services to our residents. Department heads are following best practices from health officials to limit employees’ exposure and transmission of COVID-19 while still meeting the needs of the community.
Solid waste, recycling and yard waste collection schedules will continue as planned.
In the interest of public health, residents and customers are advised to conduct business with the City whenever possible either online via the City’s website, www.SarasotaFL.gov, or by phone at 941-263-6000.
The Utilities Billing Office, 1761 12th St., is closed, but utility bills can continue to be paid online or at the bill pay drop-off box outside the building. The office can be reached at 941-263-6260 or 941-263-6261 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The City’s Utilities Department will not be conducting any water shut-offs for the next 30 days.
The Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, owned and operated by the City of Sarasota, will suspend and reschedule performances through March 31. The Box Office, 777 N. Tamiami Trail, will remain open: Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Online ticket sales are available as well.
A Sarasota-specific call center for questions and concerns about COVID-19 is now available through the Florida Department of Health in Sarasota County: 941-861-2873. Subject matter experts are available Monday – Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The most current, official information on COVID-19 in Florida can be found at www.FloridaHealth.gov/COVID-19. A 24/7 hotline is also available: 1-866-779-6121.
For more information about City of Sarasota closures, contact Jason Bartolone, Communications Specialist: 941-928-3988.