Florida water manager denies Bobby Jones water quality project


Sarasota's Bobby Jones Golf Course.

SARASOTA — Sarasota’s own representative on a state board that manages regional water resources recently voted against a $1.5 million grant targeted for a crucial wetland redevelopment project at Bobby Jones Golf Course.  

The denial was “highly unusual and something I never experienced in my 27 years of public service,” said Sarasota City Manager Marlon Brown in an email to city commissioners and staff informing them of the decision.  

In a 2-1 subcommittee vote last week, Southwest Florida Water Management District Governing Board Vice Chairman Joel Schleicher voted to deny the city’s request that the district contribute half of $3 million construction cost to build an 18-acre wetland treatment system adjacent to the municipal course.  

The regional project is meant to restore wetlands and improve water quality by filtering tons of impurities and nutrients before entering the Phillippi Creek and eventually Sarasota Bay. It was highly ranked by the state and supported by the city of Sarasota and Sarasota County.  

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