Willie Crawford had a weighty proposal for the Venice City Council Tuesday.

Weighty as in 13 tons of brass bells.

Crawford lives in Sarasota but told the Council that Venice is the right place for a traveling carillon a couple in Ohio is willing to donate to the city.

They’ll even pay to transport it, he said, having it towed behind a truck. He just needs help finding a home for it that’s big enough for the carillon and other performers; is away from residences “because it’s really loud”; and is secure, given the value of bronze to thieves.

Oh, and it needs to be able to support 13 tons.

If the carillon comes to Venice, Crawford said he’ll perform concerts and teach others to play it, both for free.

It’s a keyboard instrument but the keys — called batons — are struck with fists. There’s also a foot keyboard.

The best-known carillons in Florida are at Bok Tower in Lake Wales and in Gainesville, in Century Tower on the University of Florida campus.

Crawford will be invited back to give the Council a more in-depth presentation.

Other business

Also on Tuesday, the Council:

• voted to rescind its decision last September take over mobility and park impact fees from the county.

• heard first reading of an ordinance that would allow the issuance of a silt fence permit, clearing and grubbing permit, grading permit or foundation permit prior to plan approval, provided the applicant has guaranteed payment of the cost of returning the property to its original condition.

• directed staff to research the city’s property interest in the center portion of the Post Office parking lot.

• direct staff and the city attorney to develop an informational fact sheet on the city’s ability to address development.

• heard first reading of two ordinances making changes to the city’s firefighters pension fund.

• heard first reading of an ordinance amending the Toscana Isles Planned Unit Development (PUD) to clarify standards for front and side yard setbacks and driveway locations.

• heard Finance Director Linda Senne’s quarterly report.

• heard City Engineer Kathleen Weeden’s quarterly report.

• approved a request from the city of North Port to adopt a resolution in support of child welfare reform.

• approved a resolution asking the governor to restart the statewide stormwater treatment rule-making process.

• approved the rankings for Phase 1 of water production well 8E; Phase 2 of aquifer storage and recovery well 19-3767 and East Gate Utilities Relocation Phases 2 and 3.

• voted down a license agreement with Golden Beach Associates Inc. for the placement of 29 street-sign toppers, with the request to be reconsidered after the Council considers a policy on sign toppers.

• recognized Police Service Aide Wilberto Acosta as 2018 Employee of the Year.

• appointed Roger Effron to the Citizens Oversight Committee for School Facility Planning.

• proclaimed the week of Feb. 17-23, 2019, as “Engineers Week.”

You can watch the video of the the meeting online, at VeniceGov.com under the “Meetings” header.


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