Pier rehab underwayRehabilitation of the Venice Municipal Fishing Pier began Monday.

The project includes removing and replacing all the deck and railing material with longer-lasting IPE wood; replacing the pole lighting fixtures with sea turtle-friendly under-handrail lights; and related improvements.

Work starts with demolition seaward from the bait shop. During the initial phase, public access will be limited to the part of the pier between the entrance and the bait shop.

Once demolition is complete in the initial phase, the remainder of the pier will be closed completely until reconstruction is complete.

Work will be conducted Monday through Saturday from approximately 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. for an estimated 90 days.

For more information, contact City Engineer Kathleen Weeden at 941-882-7409 or kweeden@venicegov.com.

East Gate shelter to be replacedBeginning Wednesday, May 15, the city Parks Division will be removing the old steel shade structure at East Gate Park, 1221 Poplar Ave. On May 21, a contractor will begin installing a new, fully aluminum shade structure within the park.

The project is expected to be completed by Wednesday, May 22. The playground area will remain open and accessible during the project, which is part of the Parks Capital Improvement Plan for 2019.

Groundbreaking for public safety facilityThe Venice Police Department and Ajax/Tandem Construction invite the public to a groundbreaking event for the city’s new public safety facility, at 9 a.m. Friday, May 17, at the site, 1575 E. Venice Ave.

Parking will be to the west at Venice Church of the Nazarene at Ramsey Road and East Venice Avenue. Look for the signs.

There will be covered seating. Appropriate footwear is advised. Light refreshments will be provided.

The site is 10 acres along East Venice Avenue. The project, currently budgeted at $17.6 million, is mostly funded through a $16 million public safety bond approved by city voters in November 2016.

The facility will be 31,421 square feet and hardened to withstand a Category 5 hurricane with winds in excess of 157 mph. In the event of a hurricane, it will turn into the Emergency Operations Center for City staff.

Expected completion is August 2020.

Venice Museums Day is May 18In honor of International Museum Day, three historic Venice sites invite families to explore the rich resources they provide to the community.

In keeping with this year’s theme, “Museums as Cultural Hubs: The Future of Tradition,” the Venice Museum & Archives (Triangle Inn), Lord-Higel House and Historic Venice Train Depot invite the public to discover these hubs of culture in the city.

This free event takes place Saturday, May 18, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Each site will be open and offer activities for the whole family.

A free trolley will run continuously among the three sites, allowing visitors to start at any site and get on and off to visit each museum.

The Venice Museum & Archives will offer mini golf, crafts, photo opportunities and a shark rodeo.

Venice Heritage Inc. will give tours of and provide information on the Lord-Higel House and have period games and toys for kids to play with.

The Venice Area Historical Society will unveil its new circus arena model and offer a scavenger hunt, model trains and tours of the depot.

Museum to close for renovationsThe Venice Museum & Archives, 351 S. Nassau St., will be closing on May 20 for the installation of new doors and windows in the 1927 Triangle Inn building.

Magnum Builders and its subcontractors will be removing and replacing the doors and windows on all but the south side of the building; those were replaced in 2017.

This project will require the deinstallation of several exhibits. Due to the need to relocate exhibits and the nature of the construction work, the museum will be closed to the public while it is a construction site.

Work is expected to take two weeks, then staff will reinstall the exhibits. June 17 is the estimated reopening date.

The public will still be able to reach staff members by phone or email. The last day the museum will be open is May 18 for Venice Museums Day.

For more information, call 941-486-2487.

Take a ride with the mayor

The annual Bike Ride with Venice Mayor John Holic is set for Wednesday, May 22, at 10 a.m. from Sharky’s on the Pier, 1600 South Harbor Drive.

This short, casual ride will be followed by refreshments and a discussion session with Holic. The public is welcome to attend. Bring a bicycle and a helmet.

For more information, contact City Bicycle Pedestrian Coordinator Darlene Culpepper at dculpepper@venicegov.com or 941-882-7448.

Money available for property improvements

Property owners interested in making energy- or storm-related improvements are invited to learn more about financing available through the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program in Sarasota County.

County staff will host free public workshops to highlight elements of PACE, including what to consider when evaluating the various financing tools for projects.

The PACE program, a joint undertaking between special districts and private companies, allows property owners to finance improvement projects through specially levied property taxes. Financing can only be used for projects related to renewable energy, energy efficiency and hurricane hardening.

PACE has inherent risks and property owners need to fully understand the terms, risks, and other options before entering into any agreement.

Each “Financing Energy and Hurricane Improvements in Your Home: PACE and Beyond” workshop will focus on explaining the basics of PACE, how the program works and the financial benefits and risks associated with it.

In-person workshops are scheduled for Wednesday, May 29, 5-7 p.m., at the Robert L. Taylor Community Complex, 1845 34th St., Sarasota; and Tuesday, June 11, 5-7 p.m., at the Venice Community Center, 326 S. Nokomis Ave., Venice.

Learn more and register at: bit.ly/paceworkshops.

An online webinar will be held Wednesday, June 12, noon to 1 p.m. Register at UFL.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_-nHs6RgqTqqxOPYHGrX8nw.

After June 12, the webinar will be available on demand — find at SCGov.net/government/uf-ifas-extension-and-sustainability/pace

To learn more about PACE in Sarasota County, visit SCGov.net/government/uf-ifas-extension-and-sustainability/pace or contact Lee Hayes Byron, Sarasota County Extension director, at 941-861-9808 or lhbyron@scgov.net.

To receive updates on PACE and upcoming classes, or if you have questions, call 941-861-5000 or email sustainablesarasota@scgov.net.

Shamrock Park garden tour

Join master gardener volunteers on the first Thursday of every month for a free tour of the demonstration garden at Shamrock Park and Nature Center, in Venice.

Learn how the garden integrates seamlessly into the natural environment, using Florida-Friendly Landscaping techniques that you can adopt for your home or business landscape.

The next tour is Thursday, June 6, from 9 to 11 a.m. at Shamrock Park and Nature Center, 3900 Shamrock Drive.

Register through UFSarasotaExt.eventbrite.com to reserve your spot and receive notice of any changes.

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

Water Summit on June 5

Sarasota County hosts a free Water Quality Summit from 1 to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 5, in the Riverview High School auditorium, 1 Ram Way, Sarasota. It’s open to the public.

The summit is an effort to bring the community together with organizations working to protect area watersheds and to learn about science and actions occurring locally.

The summit’s goal is to enhance the community’s understanding of local and state efforts to address water quality issues. The summit will focus on the science of water quality and current local and state government programs and policies. It will also address ways the community can make a difference with suggestions for individuals, business and neighborhoods.

Downtown update

West Miami Avenue is open from U.S. 41 Business to Harbor Drive and Nokomis Avenue is open from Tampa Avenue to West Venice Avenue.

Nokomis Avenue remains closed from West Venice Avenue to West Miami Avenue and from West Miami Avenue to Pensacola Street. The alley between West Venice Avenue and West Miami Avenue is accessible from Nassau Street and Miami Avenue.

Motorists should continue to expect lane closures for work throughout downtown for activities including installation of in-pavement crosswalk lighting and ADA crosswalk features.

Crews are working on the sidewalk on the east side of Nokomis Avenue between West Miami Avenue and Pensacola Street. Next week’s scheduled activities include sidewalk installation on the west side of this block of Nokomis Avenue.

Over the next couple of weeks crews will complete sidewalk removal and replacement between West Venice and Miami avenues.

The contractor has completed the majority of the underground storm drainage throughout the project. Over the next couple of weeks, the contractor will be completing roadway work, curb and gutter and driveway replacement along Nokomis Avenue.

Nokomis Avenue work includes underground drainage installation, roadway reconstruction, sidewalk and curb and gutter replacement and utility work. Phase II is estimated to be complete in July 2019.

City wants input on special events

The city of Venice has created a survey to get your opinion on some of the special events that take place throughout the year.

You can access the survey at Surveymonkey.com/r/VeniceSpecialEvents2019.

The survey asks about the value of the event and your enjoyment of it; its location; and the time of year it occurs.

Input will assist in an overall assessment of the community perspective of special events in Venice.

The deadline to take the survey is Friday, June 7.

Compiled by Senior Writer Bob Mudge

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