The Venice Performing Arts Center, on the campus of Venice High School, could be just the spot for a donated carillon musical instrument.
That was the conclusion drawn Tuesday by the Venice City Council, who were offered the instrument.
Public Works director James Clinch came up with two other possible locations, including the Venice Municipal Airport and Legacy Trail Park near the Historic Venice Train Depot.
Council members were cool to Legacy Park as a potential spot. Council Member Bob Daniels reminded the board that when Legacy Park was first envisioned, it included an amphitheater for musical bands and symphonies, but neighbors strongly objected and any form of band stand was eventually withdrawn from the plan.
Besides, members said, the city is in the midst of negotiating a new agreement to handle the maintenance of city parks and taking on any additional park expenditures now wouldn’t be prudent.
Daniels also warned that getting Federal Aviation Administration approval to place the musical instrument on airport grounds would also likely be a lengthy process.
Council members said the Performing Arts Center location was the perfect venue for the historic bell ringing concoction.
Wylie Crawford, who proposed to have a carillon donated to the city, agreed. Typically, the instrument is housed in a church or town hall bell tower, but this one is situated on a mobile truck bed.
Crawford, a certified carilloneur and past president of the World Carillon Federation, wants to arrange the loan of a portable 48-bell carillon located in Ohio. He committed to playing concerts and teaching others to play it, both for free, and said he looked forward to working with students and concert partners should the school district prove amenable to the carillon.
Crawford will need to approach the Sarasota County School District next, which has authority over all school property, thus taking City Council out of the equation.
It’s endorsement for the Performing Arts Center location, Crawford said, would be helpful.
Crawford is looking to find a secure “semi-permanent” location for the 13-ton instrument; insure it; and publicize the concerts.
It would need an area about the size of a tennis court with seating for an audience and a fence to protect it, according to his proposal.
Other businessAlso on Tuesday the Council took the following action:
• authorized a change order to Quality Enterprises USA Inc. for either $874,116.75 or $886,616.75 for Nokomis Avenue drainage facilities work. The higher price reflects an additional mobilization cost if the work is delayed a month, until after Easter. Council members said they didn’t want to get in the way of progress or cause any further delays in the downtown revitalization project and unanimously authorized the additional expenditure.
• approved a $2.3 million contract with Ajax/Tandem Construction for site work for the new public safety facility.
• approved a work assignment by King Engineering Associates Inc. for a water main replacement on West Venice Avenue.
• amended the Venice Police Department’s mutual aid agreement to include the Sarasota County Schools Police Department
• approved a grant agreement for the City Hall generator.
• authorized the purchase of a generator for the city’s booster station.
• held a private attorney/client meeting regarding City of Venice v. Neal Communities of SW FL LLC.
• approved Venice Museum and Archives as a Sarasota Centennial 2021 Partner.
• presented a 20-year Service Award to Thomas Davis, Solid Waste equipment operator.
• proclaimed the Week of March 17-23, 2019, as Florida Surveyors and Mappers Week.