Monday, August 20, 2007

County home appraisals in Lake Sarasota


Some Lake Sarasota residents are reporting that the January 2007 county appraisals on their homes actually rose over January 2006, and are wondering how this came about, given the falling real estate market for the entire region. Below you'll find information on how to see the valuations for 2006/2007 on your home as well as for your immediate neighborhood, along with some background info:

This might be a useful tool for checking how the Appraiser handled property valuations this year. Enter your address -- your street pops up, so you can handily see what the values are for 2007 as compared with 2006 for your home those around you.

Here, for example, is a section of Mauna Loa. We've clicked around on many homes, and have yet to find one whose value went down from 2006 to 2007.

Also:

You can pull up your property record here, and see what info the county uses for its appraisal. Some homeowners are finding inaccurate square footage or other data.

More background on what seem some very questionable county appraisals:

A story about what individual owners can do.

The Sarasota Property Appraiser Site.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

First-timers welcome to join Beautification group

We will be holding a beautification committee meeting tentatively on
Tuesday August 21, 2007 at 7 p.m. at George's House. For more info.
please call Dawn at 941-377-4710 or e-mail drsteele3@gmail.com.

We will be discussing maintenance at Mauna Loa Entrance and re-doing Westminster Landscape. It really needs some help.

Anyone wishing to join the Beautification Committee, again please contact Dawn at above number. We always need volunteers.

Your Friend and Neighbor
Dawn Steele

Water line update

An update on the water line project for the Jarvis/Lago area in Lake Sarasota from the county utilities coordinator:
On August 24 [the Lake Sarasota water line project] will be advertised for bids. One month is allowed for responses so there will be a bid opening near the end of September.

The bids will be reviewed and the qualified bidder selected. Then the contact goes to the Sarasota Board of County Commissioners in order to be signed.

It is anticipated that by the end of November the contract will be awarded and then the contractor has 120 days to complete the project so it should be done by the end of March.

We have been working on this project and trying to coordinate it with sidewalks. We realize that you have been waiting a long time and we appreciate your continued patience.

Please feel free to contact me if you have further questions.

Linda Seashore Larsen
Administrative Assistant IV
Community Outreach Coordinator
Program Management
llarsen@scgov.net
941-861-0662

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Trees coming soon to a median near you

The Mauna Loa median will soon be offering more shade from some very sensibly chosen trees, thanks to some hard work by LSCG members along with the dedicated expertise of county liason Debbie Marks and county forester Dimetra McBride.

At the August Lake Sarasota Community Group meeting, those attending voted in favor of installing two species of low-maintenance trees to adorn the central boulevard: One will be an evergreen, podocarpus nagi. The other will be a deciduous but water friendly cypress cultivar.

Several factors had to be taken into account in choosing suitable trees: resistance to old and new bugs and pathogens (including the brand new and 100% lethal Texas Phoenix that blights palms), ability to deal with standing water, suitable shape to not interfere with power lines, color and general survivability.

The Podocarpus Nagi is a hardy evergreen:



The cypress clone will offer varied colors through the seasons, and is bred to resist the usual ills:



Both trees, being native species, will require less maintenance than other possible choices, said McBride.

The trees currently in the median will mostly be removed, with the wood possibly going for use in a county park. Four pineapple palms near the front entrance will remain, thanks to the vociferous plea of several LSCG members.

See more trees and learn more about Sarasota forestry at the County's Forestry web page.

In other action, the attending members voted to incorporate as a group, solely with the view of being able to have a bank account and independent mailbox (the current PO Box is not in working order at the moment). In asking for the vote, members made clear that incorporation will not mean any change in the nature of the organization, which is voluntary, without dues or bylaws, and solely operated by the goodwill and contributions of Lake Sarasota residents. Speaking of contributions, the treasury of the group currently has $254.76.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

A few notes from the newsletter

We will vote on this at August 14th meeting @ 7 p.m., so be sure to attend:

Median Beautification

During a prior meeting, we voted that trees would be most suitable for our medians. Dimetra McBride from the Forestry division discussed at our last meeting how trees would be low maintenance, and environmentally friendly. We can get trees planted and irrigated by the county once we decide on what type of trees and exactly where to plant them. She will be presenting 3 options at our August meeting that could include removing some existing palms.


FLAG UPDATE


Good news! Geico is settling a claim for replacement of the flagpole and bushes damaged beyond repair in an accident at our Mauna Loa entrance. Since the Bee Ridge Rd widening project has been pushed back to 2014, we won’t be losing the front median anytime soon. We had voted to replace the flag in the second median, but with the Bee Ridge news, the votes are now leaning toward putting it back in the center of the first median.

DONATIONS

NEEDED:

Can you provide a gift certificate for a service or product? How about a potted plant or baked brownies? We need items for our welcome baskets to new residents and for our Yard of the Month winners.

(We need the baskets, too!)

Call Laura Mathis if you can donate or have a great idea for these projects.

379-0465