She brought up the issue during the board members’ reports on July 12, calling it “one little burning issue.” Referring to a top official of the Suncoast Aquatic Nature Center Associates (SANCA), she told her colleagues, “There are some things that … I need to hear from that board president.”
SANCA manages the events at Nathan Benderson Park, the county-owned facility where the 2017 international event will be held Sept. 23-30.
. . .
The latest from Scerba
The June update from Scerba reported that the SANCA board had formally approved the World Rowing Championships budget of $9.7 million and that “meetings with prospective sponsors & local foundations are underway.”
In May, Scerba told the commission the revised budget was $9.3 million, but she emphasized that no additional money was expected from Sarasota County or Manatee County, with each already having committed $2.78 million from Tourist Development Tax revenue.
On Sept. 23, she continued, a ceremony at Nathan Benderson Park will feature the unveiling of public art “that will incorporate a Countdown Clock for the  event.” That artwork will be a permanent installation “as a legacy of the games.” After the event, the memo says, “the clock will be replaced with a plaque.”
The memo added that Harmer “will see the final design options before submission for approval.”
A local artist had been commissioned to do the work, the memo noted.
Furthermore, the update says that the World Rowing Championships co-chairs have been named. They are Rod Hershberger, chair and CEO of PGT Industries, representing Sarasota County; and Ed Chiles, CEO of The Chiles Group, for Manatee County.
The memo ended with the note: “Monthly Updates to the [County Commission] will begin in September.”
A contract amendment
In a related matter, the County Commission on July 12 unanimously approved increasing its annual reimbursement to SANCA from $200,000 to $254,500 for routine park maintenance.
That action came as part of the board’s approval of its Consent Agenda of routine business items.
A July 12 memo from Brown, the Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources Department director, explained that in March 2014, SANCA and the county entered into a licensing and operating agreement to give SANCA full authority to host events at Nathan Benderson Park and to maintain the facilities.
Since then, Brown continued in the memo, “maintenance of [the park] has proven to be more costly than anticipated” — especially in terms of dealing with invasive vegetation — so SANCA requested the increase. On July 14, 2015, the board voted to give SANCA an extra $54,500, the memo notes. The amendment before the board on July 12 “provides additional funding in the approved amount beginning October 1, 2015 and continuing through the term of the Agreement,” the memo says. The original agreement says the term will end on Sept. 30, 2019; however, it can be extended another 10 years beyond that date.
Finally, the amendment “includes language regarding employee and representative conduct” that is part of “various County agreements,” Brown notes in her July 12 memo.
The new section says, “SANCA agrees that all of its officers, employees and representatives shall conduct themselves in a professional manner and shall communicate with County employees and members of the public in a civil manner whenever in the Park or conducting Park business.”