Sarasota County is suing the South Venice Beach Endowment Trust for breach of contract, in part because non-residents are charged more to ride the South Venice Beach Ferry than people who live in South Venice.

SOUTH VENICE – Sarasota County is suing the South Venice Beach Endowment Trust for breach of contract, made when the county acted as a pass-through in December 2017 for a $185,250 grant from the West Coast Inland Navigation District that was used for dredging. 

The suit, filed in circuit court Nov. 1, alleges the trust violated administrative rules in place when the grant was signed that called for all fares for passage on the ferry from the terminal at 4800 Lemon Bay Drive to a beach on the other side of the Intracoastal Waterway to be uniform. 

The suit includes recent posting on the https://www.soutvenicebeach.org web site that lists separate fees for residents of South Venice, non-residents and businesses. 

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The South Venice Beach Ferry takes two passengers over to the beach Monday afternoon.

The ferry came into existence after the 1965 dredging of the Intracoastal Waterway, which forced the removal of two footbridges over Lemon Bay to the parcel on the Gulf, which has about 175 feet of beach front.

Residents can pay $145 a year for an annual pass purchase monthly passes for $70 a month. Non-residents are charged $290 a year or $140 a month. Businesses are charged $350 a year or $175 a month.