The Legacy Trail
Sarasota County, Florida


Sunset Behind Dona Bay Bridge
Photo: Megan Donoghue
(click to enlarge)

Rainbow from the Trail
Photo: Darryl Lang

Start of 2017 Tour de Parks

Sunset From Dona Bay Bridge
Photo: Darryl Lang
Click to Enlarge

Birthday Celebration for US 41 Bridge - 5 Years Old!

Farmers Market Director Phil Pagano (left) and Sarasota City
Commissioner Suzanne Atwel (in pink) visit the FLT
tent at the Downtown Sarasota Farmers Market

It's a Gator on
The Trail!

Build It and They Will Come

A Video About The Legacy Trail Extension
by Joel Calabrese

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 LT Extension: On Track to Acquire Phase 1 to Ashton Road

by Roger Normand

Undeterred by the glancing wrath and ongoing recovery efforts from Hurricane Irma, progress continues to acquire the nearly 3 mile long (including a spur that bisects McIntosh Road) unused rail corridor to extend The Legacy Trail to Ashton Road.

The County and Trust for Public Land (TPL) have now initiated all aspects of their due diligence review of the property: a boundary survey; a title review; and concurrent Phase 1 and Phase 2 environmental assessments. The former consists of a review of historical transportation records, reported spills, and adjacent land usage for potential contaminants. The latter consists of a visual inspection of the corridor for evidence of distressed soil or vegetation along with prescribed soil sampling for common rail corridor contaminants. The contract specifies that all inspections must be completed by November 30, 2017. Costs for the due diligence review will be shared between the County and TPL.

The parties must also come to terms on what action to take on some 50 leases, licenses, contracts, or agreements which may encumber the property.

Settlement for Phase 1 is scheduled for December 20, 2017, subject to final approval and appropriation of funds by the Sarasota County Board of County Commissioners.

The TPL partnered with Sarasota County to renegotiate the purchase terms with corridor owner CSX Railroad and their lessee Seminole Gulf Railway, consistent with available county funds: $7.9 million for Phase 1 to Ashton Road, due by December 2017; $30.1 million for Phase 2 to Payne Park and Fruitville Road in the City of Sarasota, due in May 2019. Funds for Phase 2 are contingent on voter approval of a planned referendum in November 2018. The Board of County Commissioners unanimously approved proceeding with the two phased approach on 29 August, 2017.

Stay tuned for further details as FLT gears up to celebrate acquisition of Phase 1 corridor, initiates a multi-phase fund raising campaign to help build the trail, and prepares to support the referendum. Reply here if you’d like to volunteer to support any of these efforts.


LT Extension Supporters Celebrate Progress To Payne Park

by Roger Normand

Legacy Trail supporters celebrated a major step forward to extend the trail to Payne Park in downtown Sarasota. On August 29th the Board of County Commissioners unanimously endorsed twin resolutions for a two-phased approach to acquire the approximate 7.5 mile unused rail corridor from CSX Railroad and to construct the trail. The resolutions authorize the County Administrator to proceed with the acquisition of the rail corridor.

The resolutions come on the heels of the Trust for Public Land renegotiating the terms of an existing sale contract consistent with available County funds. Deputy County Administrator Jonathan Lewis, who will become County Administrator in January 2018 when current County Administrator Harmer departs to become city manager of Longboat Key, was a key participant in the final negotiations. The new contract retains nearly all the same terms, including a 14 percent discount to the appraised value of the corridor, but divides the cost with $7.9 million for Phase 1 due by December 2017 to purchase the 1.7 mile corridor to Ashton Road, and $30.1 million for Phase 2 due in 2019 for the remaining approximate 6 miles to Payne Park and Fruitville Road. The County had previously identified up to $8.6 million in its budget for Phase 1, with plans for a voter referendum in November 2018 to identify funds to pay for Phase 2.

It was not without some drama. Commissioner Detert asked to pull the two Legacy Trail extension proposals from the 40 items included on the Consent Agenda expected to be endorsed in a single motion without further discussion. She then suggested delaying the extension decision until the 2018 budget and revenue expectations are finalized in September. Commissioner Maio countered that “I want to see the Legacy Trail extension done” and could not foresee the September budget meeting undoing that effort. Commissioner Hines agreed, adding that the extension will provide “significant economic value.” “I don’t want to to lose momentum.”  Commissioner Moran noted that the agreement already provides the County an escape clause through November while they and TPL conduct the due diligence review (title search, survey, environmental assessment) on the property. The Commissioners asked for staff reports on the status on FL SUN Trail funding and a list of all federal and state grants that are available and which the County has pursued. Commissioner Hines concluded the discussion noting this is a huge financial undertaking for the County.  “The public needs to support this with more than just with tax dollars.”

The Friends of the Legacy Trail thank the Commissioners for their continued unanimous support for the extension. We emphatically agree to the need to seek state, federal and private funds, and have been directly involved with past County efforts to do so.  We have also been working with local private foundations, and have developed our own extension campaign to raise private funds. We and our partners will be ready to launch a broad fund raising campaign to support the extension once the county completes acquisition of Phase 1 in December. We are committed to help marshal public support for the November voter referendum.

In the meantime, all Legacy Trail enthusiasts can savor another victory in the goal to extend the Legacy Trail to downtown Sarasota.

Click here for the Herald Tribune editorial supporting the actions of the County Commissioners


The Legacy Trail – Laurel Road
Utility Relocation Begins

Artists rendering of future bridge over Laurel Road

The county started work on August 2 to relocate utilities where The Legacy Trail crosses Laurel Road.  This work is being done in preparation for building a Legacy Trail bridge over Laurel Road.

The utility relocation work is expected to last approximately three months.

The Legacy Trail intersection crossing Laurel Road will be closed, and trail users will be detoured to cross East of The Legacy Trail at Mission Valley Estates.

For questions, call the Sarasota County Contact Center at (941) 861-5000.

Megan Donoghue


Osprey Junction Trailhead to Be
Closed for One Year for Road Construction

Bay Street, which extends from Tamiami Trail to The Legacy Trail Osprey Junction Trailhead (see map), is going to be extended east, across the trail, to Honore Avenue.  The Osprey Junction Trailhead will be closed for construction starting August 2, 2017 and lasting approximately 12 months.

The Legacy Trail will remain open for the entire length of project.

Starting approx. 8/1/17 the port-o-let will be removed from OJT/Legacy Trail intersection. In addition to this, all signs, picnic areas, kiosk and water fountain within the project corridor will be moved or removed and stored until end of construction.

Pedestrian access from the existing Bay St. to the Legacy Trail will remain open but watch for signage as a new temporary access trail will be opened to the north of the existing access trail during road construction.

For questions regarding the Bay St. Extension Project, please contact Ferdie Barnard at Ferdie.Barnard@stantec.com; 941.225.7600

For questions regarding The Legacy Trail/Osprey Junction Trailhead, contact Megan Donoghue at mdonoghue@scgov.net; 941-861-5126

More info …


Events

42nd Annual CYCLEFEST 2017 – Lakewood Ranch

When: Sunday November 5, 2017

Fees:
$50.00 Register by October 31st.
$55.00 Register November 1 – November 5
Register Now Cyclefest 2017

Where:
Main Street at Lakewood Ranch
8100 Lakewood Main St.
Lakewood Ranch, FL 34212
Map

Join riders from across the USA and enjoy NEW routes this year through beautiful Manatee County. Be part of Sarasota Manatee Bicycle Club’s premier SW Florida event. Sponsored in part by Ameriprise Financial Group, Crescent Wealth Partners.

This is a family event for cyclists of all abilities — not a race.

Includes:
· Fully supported routes: 100, 62, 35, or 20 miles
· Breakfast & lunch served by Polo Grill & Bar
· High quality Dri-fit shirts (first 650 registrants)
· 5 well-stocked rest stops
· Full SAG support
· Music
· Vendors on Main Street to enjoy.

Event limited to 700 riders — REGISTER NOW! Registration opens at 6:45AM. Routes close at 3:00PM.
HELMETS REQUIRED!!!!!!

More info at this link.

FREE Monthly Cycle Tours through the Everglades

Friends of the River of Grass Greenway (FROGG) has info available for on / off-road riding in the Everglades on your own or with organized group rides the second Sunday of each month.

First Ride: September 10 9:00 a.m. at McLeod Park in Everglades City. (Directions: proceed on SR 29 to US 41, continue along the Tamiami Trail through the Big Cypress National Preserve to H.P. Williams Roadside Park and return by the same route to Everglades City, for a total of 22 miles. For information: https://evergladesrogg.org/events.

New brochures are available for other Everglades rides and amenities / safety info along Tamiami Trail. Printed copies are available on request.  Contact Patricia Huff at   info@evergladesrogg.org


Speakers Bureau

FLT volunteers give many presentations throughout the year to schools, homeowner associations, churches, businesses, clubs and others who would like to know more about The Legacy Trail.  Our lively presentation typically covers trail amenities, history, and the latest news on  efforts to extend the trail to Payne Park in downtown Sarasota.  The presentation can also be tailored to the unique interest and time available.  We arrive “fully equipped” at your location with laptop and projector, or we can load our presentation on your A/V equipment.

We are enthusiastic supporters of The Legacy Trail, and want to share our passion for this multi-use, non-motorized trail.  Help us build the broad community support for the next critical decision point – finding and committing the money necessary to acquire and build the trail extension.

Contact us to schedule a free presentation to your group.

Friends of The Legacy Trail, Inc. is an all-volunteer 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

Sarasota County Department of Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources is not responsible for the content of hypertext links included in this web site.

Friends of The Legacy Trail