Report April 20, 2020

During the past woo months we attended the 2045 Transportation Plan - Vision 2070 Plan for Manatee / Sarasota MPO. We wrote comments on the plan, with an emphasis on the Economic Development portions of the plan. We made those comments to the MPO and to the County Board Commissions. Our review and comments are listed below and on this site: http://sarasotamanatee.blogspot.com/

An Nicely Presented Plan


The MPO and consultants presented four alternative versions for the Vision 2070 Plan. Participants voted with their cell phones on components of the plan.

The plans were well developed with excellent presentations. The plans noted that transportation, land use, and economic development all needed to be coordinated.

The region is growing by 10,000 people each year and that growth is projected to continue. The MPO has about 800,000 people now with 500,000 more people projected by 2070. If that rate continues the metro population will double to 1,600,000 by 2100.


My Recommendations
1. Add a north south road. The plan as shown does not add a major north south road during the next 50 years. This means that future growth must be accommodated by the existing Rt 41, Rt 301, and I-75. This would result in very bad congestion.

The plan should include a new major north south road east of I-75. The right of way should be identified and slowly acquired. The road right of way should be very wide - enough to permit a major road with substantial natural landscaped side and center medians. It should have room for possible rail and utilities including power lines, sewer, water, and gas.  The road right of way should also be wide enough to provide substanail open space and environmental corridors, connecting to our major natural areas. 

This effort should be a Statewide effort, essentially planning for a major corridor paralleling and to the east of I-75. The lowest cost and least politically difficult time to plan for and acquire the right of way when the land is distant from sewer and water and is still valued as farmland. It is much more expensive if we wait until development requires the acquistion and development of the new road and it has to be acquired close to developed areas.


2. Add a road connecting the islands to the mainland. Congestion on the three roads connecting the barrier islands to the mainland is increasing. The MPO should study a potential fourth connection on the University Parkway alignment. This connects the barrier islands to a major road with connections to the Airport and I-75. The road should be a parkway with wetland and park space on both sides of the road connection, providing a beautiful waterfront drive connecting our most important amenity to the rest of the region.

3. Develop a grid road extension plan. The plan does not identify section line roads to be connected, extended and realigned. This is critical. The MPO, the Counties, and the municipalities should work together to create a detailed map showing all proposed new completions of the grid and all realignments. 

The connections do not have to be built until they are needed but they should be incorporated into all municipal and county comprehensive plan maps so that they can be created when the area is developed. And of course putting them on transportation and land use maps help ensure that developers understand what is planned and helps local governments to not forget to get the right of way when the area is developed.




Sarasota Sister Cities Sites

The following addresses are used by Sarasota Sister Cities
Web...............sarasotasistercities.org 
Email........... sarasotasistercities@gmail.com

The following blogs were used by Sarasota Sister Cities. Some of them 
are still in use today, others are of value for the history of the organization.
Sister City Blogs

Sustainable Economic Development


Newsletters

bridgestotheworldssc.blogspot.com

Photos

Communication / Social Media videossarasotasistercities.blogspot.com

Miscellaneous

Report Jan 19, 2020

Sarasota Sister Cities is engaged in a variety of Sustainable Economic Development efforts to improve Sarasota and our Sister Cities. One of those efforts is to try to improve trade and tourism transportation links between Sarasota and our Sister City of Merida, Mexico.

Over the past 45 days we have met with Merida officials and Economic Development professionals from Sarasota. We are working on improving economic development for our two cities by improving air and sea service, and examining the possible development of a tour to the Merida and the Yucatan Peninsula. Our thought is that we may be able to develop a tour aimed at the Sister Cities of Yucatan and the world.




Mike Fehily, City Director of Merida, and Phillip Gordon, City Director of Busseto and retired CEO of the North American Division of Globus have contributed substantially to our efforts. And Steve Stancel and Susan Dodd of the Sarasota Redevelopment Office have been working with us.


We are also looking into getting better cruise ship service to Merida. Cruises visit Merida from Miami and Galveston, but not Miami. But the ships only stop for one day in Merida. We will investigate to see if the companies would let passengers visit Merida on one cruise, get off and spend some time in Yucatan, and then come back to the US on the next ship.

More info at:  sarasotameridaeconomicdevelopment.blogspot.com 

Economic Development Information:  Sarasotasistercities.com


Background


Merida is on the Yucatan Peninsula with the amazing Mayan pyramids and temples, the sun vacations cities of Cancun and Cozumel, and the colonial architecture and charm of Merida. It is a charming lovely safe country just across the Gulf of Mexico.




Despite its proximity, however, it is not easy to get to from Sarasota. You can fly from SRQ to Merida but it is a long trip with intervening stops. You can also drive to Miami and then fly to Merida, or fly to Cozumel from Tampa and drive five hours to Merida. Further on in this blog are maps of connecting flights.


It would improve tourism and economic development for both regions if we had better air and sea service. Our committee will research possibilities of improvements.

As the map illustrates Yucatan has a wealth of interesting places to visit. The pyramids and temples of the Maya, the sun resorts of Cancun and Cozumel, and the colonial architecture and charm of Merida are fascinating.

Report November 15, 2019


Economic Development Report
Sarasota Sister Cities
November 15, 2019

Reports: economicdevelopmentreports.blogspot.com
Economic Development Information: Sarasotasistercities.com


We conducted our Economic Development Presentation on November 7, 2019 at the Selby Library. The City, County, and Sylva Kanderal made excellent presentations.

The purpose of the presentations was to inform our Members about Economic Development in the City and County of Sarasota and how to make a business investment to secure a Visa Green Card. The presentations can be found on our Economic Development blog at sarasotasistercities.com. The presenters were:

Presenters

Destin Wells 
VP of Business Development Services
Sarasota County

Steve Stancel 
GM Economic Development 
City of Sarasota 

Sylva Kanderal and Craig Hullinger 
Investments to secure a Visa Green Card EB-5

Moderator
Craig Hullinger
VP Economic Development
Sarasota Sister Cities

_____________________ 

We will work with Mike Fehily to try to find a carrier who would link our metro area to Merida. Our metro area including the Tampa Bay region has almost 4,000,000 people, while the State of Yucatan including Merida and Cancun has almost 2,000,000. A sea or air link would increase trade and tourism among the two regions. This is a long shot, but we will give it a try. 

Connections Merida and Sarasota
Sarasota has an established relationship with Merida, Yucatan, Mexico, directly across the Gulf of Mexico. The two cities have conducted numerous exchanges and desire to increase travel and economic links among the regions.

At present there is no direct air or sea connection between the two regions. A connecting flight to Houston or Miami is required and there is no sea connection.
A direct connection between Yucatan and the Sarasota / Manatee / Tampa / Clearwater metro area could be very successful. Yucatan including Merida and Cancun have over 2 million people. Tampa / Clearwater / Sarasota / Manatee metros have nearly 4 million people.

Population____Metro Area_

__
2,097,000____Yucatan including Merida


3,142,663___  Tampa Clearwater Metro
   821,473___  Sarasota Manatee Metro

3,964,136___  Sarasota / Manatee / Tampa / Clearwater 

Yucatán, the Mexican state, is known for its Gulf of Mexico beaches and Mayan ruins. Famed Chichén Itzá encompasses a massive pyramid, ball court and stone temples. Other Mayan sites include Ek Balam, noted for well preserved sculptures, and Uxmal, with its intricate carved facades. Yucatán’s capital and largest city, Mérida, has a Spanish colonial history reflected in buildings such as 16th-century Mérida Cathedral.

Population: 2.097 million (2015)

GDP: US$ 9,191,180.625

Sarasota metropolitan area is a metropolitan area located in Southwest Florida. The metropolitan area is defined by the Office of Management and Budget as the North Port–Sarasota–Bradenton metropolitan statistical area as a metropolitan statistical area (MSA) consisting of Manatee County and Sarasota County.[1] The largest cities in the MSA are North Port and Sarasota (both in Sarasota County) and Bradenton (in Manatee County). At the 2010 Census, the MSA had a population of 702,281. The Census Bureau estimates that its population was 821,573 in 2018.

Tampa–St. Petersburg–Clearwater Metropolitan Statistical AreaEdit

The population of the Tampa Bay MSA is estimated at 3,142,663 people as of 2018.

Action Plan



Sarasota Sister Cities Economic Development will contact air and sea providers in an effort to find a carrier who would establish service.


More info contact:   

Craig Hullinger  sarasotasistercities@gmail.com  309 634 5557


Economic Development Presentation Nov 7, 2019

Economic Development Presentation
Nov 7, 2019 4:00 pm
Selby Library at 5 Points
followed by a Meet and Greet

Sarasota Sister Cities will conduct a panel presentation on Economic
Development in Sarasota.  The presentation will be on November 7, 2019
at the Selby Library at 5 Points in Downtown Sarasota 4:00 pm followed
by a Meet and Greet at a location nearby.


Discussion Goal


Inform our Members about Economic Development in the City and County of
Sarasota and how to make a business investment to secure a Visa Green Card.


Presenters


Destin Wells 
VP of Business Development Services
Sarasota County


Steve Stancel 
GM Economic Development 
City of Sarasota 


Sylva Kanderal and Craig Hullinger 
Investments to secure a Visa Green Card EB-5


Moderator
Craig Hullinger
VP Economic Development
Sarasota Sister Cities

More info contact: 
Craig Hullinger sarasotasistercities@gmail.com  309 634 5557