Affordable housing committee needs members

The Charlotte County Affordable Housing Advisory Committee is searching for one citizen-at-large and one citizen to serve in any of the following capacities:

1. Who is actively engaged in the residential home building industry;

2. Who is actively engaged in the banking or mortgage banking industry;

3. Who is a representative of those areas of labor actively engaged in home building;

4. Who is actively engaged as an advocate for low-income persons;

5. Who is actively engaged as a for-profit provider of affordable housing;

6. Who is actively engaged as a not-for-profit provider of affordable housing;

7. Who represents employers within the jurisdiction; or

8. Who represents essential services personnel, as defined in the local housing assistance plan.

Please contact Colleen.Turner@charlottecountyfl.gov or Doreen.Stoquert@charlottecountyfl.gov or call 941-205-2161.

Pier parking lot to closeThe pier parking lot at Bayshore Live Oak Park, 23157 Bayshore Road in Port Charlotte, will be closed for construction July 27-Aug. 9. Patrons are encouraged to use other areas of the park until construction is complete.

Library to close for votingThe Mid-County Regional Library will be closed July 30-Aug. 21 to be used as an early voting and primary election site. The library will resume its limited service hours on Aug. 22. Curbside holds pickup will continue at the Mid-County Regional Library and all other library branches from 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. For information, contact Tracy Herman at 941-613-3188 or Tracy.Herman@CharlotteCountyFl.gov.

Farmers to Families Food Box programFarmers to Families Food Box program will be in Charlotte County 9:30 a.m.-noon Friday at Franz Ross Park while supplies last. Fresh produce, dairy and meats will be available free to the community. Franz Ross Park is located at 19333 Quesada Ave. in Port Charlotte. For information, call 211 (or 941-205-2161 for TTY users and residents of Englewood and other areas).

Traffic switch on Cape Haze DriveA traffic switch will occur on Cape Haze Dive between Links Lane and Kendall Road on Monday. Crews will be preparing the roadway for shifting traffic to the northbound lanes of Cape Haze Drive. Travelers may experience intermittent, slow moving traffic and/or temporary delays within the project limits and should allow extra time when planning to travel through this area. The Utilities Department reminds motorists to remain alert at all times and to exercise caution when traveling in the vicinity of construction zones.

COVID-19 testing in DeSotoA DeSoto County community COVID-19 testing site will be available on a more regular basis in Arcadia through Aug. 20. Testing is free and available to anyone regardless of symptoms. No prescription is required. Pre-registration, however, is encouraged by calling 863-993-4601, ext. 1.

The testing site will be held from 8 a.m.-10 a.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and from 4 p.m.-6 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Turner Center, 2250 N.E. Roan St., Arcadia.

The test used will be a nasal swab. Once samples are collected they will be sent to a commercial lab for testing and results will be provided as soon as they are available. For more information, visit http://desotobocc.com/covid-19-information-and-resources.

Cultural Center Putting Contest

On Saturday Aug. 22, the Cultural Center of Charlotte County will be hosting the First Putting Contest at Riverwood Golf and Country Club. Tickets are $50 and will be used to support the Cultural Center, which has suffered financially due to COVID-19. With the purchase of a ticket, you will be assigned a time slot in order to maintain social distancing. Players will first shoot one 10-foot putt. All players who make that putt will then move on to shoot one 30-foot putt. All players who make the 30-foot putt with then have one attempt at a 50-foot putt. In the event that more than one player make all three putts, those players will participate in a 50-foot putt shootout for $10,000. For more information on participation or sponsorship, please contact Emily Lytle at 941-625-4175.

Library to close for voting

The Mid-County Regional Library will be closed July 30-Aug. 21 to be used as an early voting and primary election site. The library will resume its limited service hours on Aug. 22. Curbside holds pickup will continue at the Mid-County Regional Library and all other library branches from 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. For information, contact Tracy Herman at 941-613-3188 or Tracy.Herman@CharlotteCountyFl.gov.

Free guided walk at Tippecanoe II

The Charlotte Harbor Environmental Center and the Charlotte County Natural Resource Department will be offering free programs this summer. Join CHEC on a free guided walk at 8 a.m. Aug. 4 through Tippecanoe II Mitigation Park in Port Charlotte. This 150-acre preserve is home to several families of the threatened Florida scrub jay. Be prepared with drinking water, insect repellent and appropriate footwear (trails may be flooded). You must register to participate. For more information/directions and to register, please call 941-475-0769. All programs cam be found at www.ChecFlorida.org.

Guardian Ad Litem information session

The Florida Guardian Ad Litem program needs community volunteers to advocate for the best interests of children who have been abused, neglected or abandoned by the adults in their life. Throughout this ordeal, GAL advocates are a consistent factor in these children’s lives. Your training helps ensure they have the needed services and support to find a safe permanent home. If you are interested in being a champion for the children in your community, attend a one-hour online informational sessions via Zoom. The August sessions will be held from noon to 1 p.m. Aug. 5 and Aug. 19. Open to all full-time residents at least 21 years of age with eight to 10 hours monthly to volunteer with staff support and free training provided. For more information or to sign up for one of the August sessions, call 941-467-4663 or email Rick.Sloan@gal.fl.gov. Other dates and session times available.

Free guided walk at Oyster Creek

The Charlotte Harbor Environmental Center and the Charlotte County Natural Resource Department will be offering free programs this summer. Join CHEC on a free guided walk at 8 a.m. Aug. 13 through the old growth pine flatwoods and mangrove fringe of 125-acre Oyster Creek/Ann Dever Regional Park in Englewood. Be prepared with drinking water, insect repellent and appropriate footwear (trails may be flooded). You must register to participate. For more information/directions and to register, please call 941-475-0769. All programs cam be found at www.ChecFlorida.org.

Rain barrel class, kit offered

Sarasota County has updated its Rain Barrel Program to allow individuals to attend an online workshop, rather than in-person, to learn the myriad benefits of using rain barrels at home or around your business. Participants also will learn about basic setup and operation. Anyone interested in purchasing one (or more) of the bright-blue barrels can order and pay online, and then choose from a range of convenient days, times and locations to pick up the equipment.

Sarasota County launched the Rain Barrel Program in 2009, with the aim of helping participants conserve water and save money while reducing stormwater runoff and protecting the natural environment. Since then, residents and business owners have bought more than 3,300 barrels, or enough to collect 18 million gallons of our area’s annual rainfall.

Upcoming online Rain Barrel Workshops are set for Aug. 15 and Sept. 19. Learn more and register early (to save your spot) at tiny.cc/ufsaraext_rainbarrel.

Order and pay for rain barrels online through the same workshop registration page. During the registration process, simply select the number of barrels you’d like to purchase, and the date and location convenient for you to pick up the barrel(s)and equipment. Complete kits cost $37, plus fees, and include a barrel and basic connection plumbing.

Sarasota County Extension also is offering an online option to purchase starter composting kits, featuring the popular GEOBIN system. Online composting workshops already provide a wealth of information on the need for and benefits of composting, and the basics of setting up and maintain a thriving compost system. Find a convenient workshop at tiny.cc/ufsaraext_blackgold.

For more information, call 941-861-5000 or email sarasota@ifas.ufl.edu.

Sarasota County hiring poll workers

Sarasota County Supervisor of Elections Ron Turner is urging Sarasota County voters to consider working as poll workers for the Aug. 18 Primary Election and Nov. 3 General Election.

“Sarasota County is facing a shortage of poll workers for coming elections, which are only months away,” Turner said. “Recruiting poll workers is always challenging but recruiting during the current health crisis makes it especially difficult to ensure adequate staffing levels at the polls,” he added.

Poll workers are paid for training and for working at the polls. The total compensation ranges from $160 to $275, depending on the position worked. Turner noted that, for the coming elections, his office is also recruiting bilingual (English-Spanish) workers, as well as high school and college students, who meet the criteria listed.

To be a poll worker, one must:

• Be a registered voter of Sarasota County (or be at least 16 years of age and pre-registered to vote);

• Be able to read, write and speak English,

• Complete state-mandated training prior to each election, and

• Be willing to work a minimum of 14 hours on Election Day, from 6 a.m. until after the polls have closed (7 p.m.) and all tasks have been completed.

If you are interested in becoming a poll worker, visit SarasotaVotes.com. You can complete and submit your application online in just a few minutes. For more information, call 941-861-8640.

Free guided walk at Amberjack

The Charlotte Harbor Environmental Center and the Charlotte County Natural Resource Department will be offering free programs this summer. Join Mike Weisensee at 8 a.m. Aug. 19 on a free guided bird walk through the scrub and pine flatwoods of 217-acre Amberjack Environmental Park in Rotonda. Be prepared with drinking water, insect repellent and appropriate footwear (trails may be flooded). You must register to participate. For more information/directions and to register, call 941-475-0769. All programs cam be found at www.ChecFlorida.org.

Free guided walks at Tippecanoe

The Charlotte Harbor Environmental Center and the Charlotte County Natural Resource Department will be offering free programs this summer. Join CHEC at 8 a.m. Aug. 26 or Sept. 3 on a free guided walk through 308-acre Tippecanoe Environmental Park. This Charlotte County park includes habitats such as scrub, pine flatwoods, marsh and wetlands. Be prepared with drinking water, insect repellent and appropriate footwear (trails may be flooded). You must register to participate. For more information/directions and to register, call 941-475-0769. All programs cam be found at www.ChecFlorida.org.

Edgewater Park Small Dog Park closed

The Edgewater Park small dog park at 22410 Glass Lane, Charlotte Harbor will be closed through Sept. 7 for sod replacement. Dog owners are encouraged to share the large dog area and be considerate of one another. For information, contact Michelle Long at 941-639-5828 or Michelle.Long@CharlotteCountyFL.gov.

Free guided walk at Charlotte Flatwoods

The Charlotte Harbor Environmental Center and the Charlotte County Natural Resource Department will be offering free programs this summer. Join CHEC at 8 a.m. Sept. 8 or Sept. 22 on a free one-hour guided walk through Charlotte Flatwoods Environmental Park of mature pines, dry prairie, marsh wetlands and freshwater ponds. Its location adjoining state lands make it an important wildlife corridor. Be prepared with drinking water, insect repellent and appropriate footwear (trails may be flooded). You must register to participate. For more information/directions and to register, please call 941-475-0769. All programs cam be found at www.ChecFlorida.org.

Prescribed fires scheduled for Charlotte County

The Southwest Florida Water Management District will be conducting prescribed burns through September on Prairie/Shell Creek in Charlotte County. Setting prescribed fires in controlled settings can reduce the risk of wildfires burning out of control. Prairie/Shell Creek is located on the west side of U.S. 17, approximately 5 miles northeast of Punta Gorda. Prairie/Shell Creek lies between U.S. 17 and the Peace River. Approximately 260 acres will be burned in small, manageable units.

Free guided walk at Tippecanoe II

The Charlotte Harbor Environmental Center and the Charlotte County Natural Resource Department will be offering free programs this summer. Join CHEC at 8 a.m. Sept. 10 or Sept. 24 on a free guided walk through Tippecanoe II Mitigation Park in Port Charlotte. This 150-acre preserve is home to several families of the threatened Florida scrub jay. Be prepared with drinking water, insect repellent and appropriate footwear (trails may be flooded). You must register to participate. For more information/directions and to register, call 941-475-0769. All programs cam be found at www.ChecFlorida.org.

Free guided walk at Amberjack

The Charlotte Harbor Environmental Center and the Charlotte County Natural Resource Department will be offering free programs this summer. Join Mike Weisensee at 8 a.m. Sept. 16 on a free guided bird walk through the scrub and pine flatwoods of 217-acre Amberjack Environmental Park in Rotonda. Be prepared with drinking water, insect repellent and appropriate footwear (trails may be flooded). You must register to participate. For more information/directions and to register, call 941-475-0769. All programs cam be found at www.ChecFlorida.org.

Fertilizer restricted season returns

Sarasota County reminds the community to skip using nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizers on lawns and landscapes through Sept. 30, as part of an effort to keep the community’s waterways healthy.

Enacted in 2007, the fertilizer restriction ordinance reduces the nutrients in stormwater and helps to protect natural habitats in area waterways that receive runoff from our stormwater system.

According to Sarasota County Air and Water Quality Supervisor John Morgan, the frequency and amount of rain we experience during the summer months causes fertilizer to be washed away before it can be absorbed into the landscape. The nutrients found in fertilizer, particularly nitrogen and phosphorus, add to what is already a nutrient-rich environment which leads to algae blooms, diminishes water quality and threatens aquatic life.

Sarasota County offers the following summertime yard tips:

• Use only fertilizers with zero nitrogen and zero phosphorous.

• Apply iron, found at most garden centers, as an effective and environmentally friendly alternative to keep lawns green during the summer.

• Use compost to enrich the soil.

• Buy plants adapted to Florida’s hot and humid climate.

• Mow higher to encourage deep roots that resist fungus and pests.

• Make sure grass clippings are swept or blown back into the yard, or recycled in a compost pile. Do not allow grass clippings to be washed into storm drains.

• Adhere to watering restrictions; even-numbered addresses water only on Tuesday and odd-numbered addresses water only on Thursdays. Remember irrigation is prohibited between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. daily.

Portion of Loveland Boulevard closed

Loveland Boulevard from Midas Court to Old Landfill Road and Olean Boulevard from Swanee Road to Loveland Boulevard in Port Charlotte will be closed until Oct. 2. Olean Boulevard is only open to local traffic traveling to Old Landfill Road. The Utilities Department reminds motorists to remain alert at all times and to exercise caution. For information, contact Dean Campbell at 941-764-4364 or Dean.Campbell@CharlotteCountyFL.gov.

Spinnaker, Sunnybrook sidewalks underway

Construction of the Spinnaker and Sunnybrook Boulevard sidewalk project has begun and will continue through mid-November. This project will construct sidewalks on Spinnaker and Sunnybrook boulevards from the North Access Road to Wilmington Boulevard. Travelers may experience lane closures, slow moving traffic and/or temporary delays within the project limits and should allow extra time when planning to travel through this area. For information on this project, visit www.charlottecountyfl.gov.

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