LAKEWOOD RANCH — Lakewood Ranch Town Hall officials are exploring alternative hours for Lakewood Ranch’s community center but currently are recommending the existing schedule.
Community Manager Bob Fernandez presented five hour options to the Inter-District Authority board during their agenda review meeting March 16. Board members are slated to hear more details about each option, including pros and cons, at their next agenda review meeting April 13.
IDA Chairman Tom Green said board members would discuss the options and likely will vote on the issue at their April 15 meeting.
The five options formally to be considered include continuing with the existing workweek, with staff working 10-hour days Monday through Thursday. Town Hall would remain closed on Fridays but would still be available for use by residents on Fridays and over the weekend. The existing emergency line used for those days also would remain in place.
Fernandez said he favors the existing schedule because of accessibility to the public, benefits for operations staff and employee support, among other reasons.
“We think it’s working,” he said. “We think it’s a good balance of service (for) our residents. The system we have in place does work and can work.”
Other options include reverting back to the old Town Hall hours, which ran from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, or to increase hours offered by opening Town Hall on Fridays. Employee workdays would be staggered so no additional staff would be required.
“We wouldn’t have everyone here at the same time,” Fernandez said.
Other options would be to offer five 10-hour workdays with employee flexibility in scheduling or to expand staff to cover extended hours for Fridays and on weekends.
“If the logic is we need to have a presence because people are in the building, then we need to be here on Friday and Saturday,” Fernandez said.
Cynthia Wills, director of community associations, reported more than 2,400 residents have been served during Town Hall’s extended hours.
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IN OTHER NEWS
• The IDA board approved for Town Hall employees a classification system that includes pay grade allocation for employees, descriptions of each job, financial rewards for longevity of service and other details.
“It’s a pretty big step for us,” Fernandez said. “It’s something we’ve been working on for a long time.”
Because the changes include several pay increases, it likely will have to be implemented over a two-year period.
• Director of Operations Ryan Heise reported the remainder of new mailbox installations should begin by the end of the month.
• Supervisors authorized a contract for up to $33,000 with Frederick Derr Co. for storm drain box repairs.
• District engineer Mike Kennedy reported Schroeder-Manatee Ranch will finish paving the roads in Greenbrook East and install the “final lift of asphalt” after Easter.
• Supervisors authorized the changes to the amount paid to a contractor for repairs to four storm drain boxes within the district, amounting to an overall reduction of more than $7,000. Five more drains in the district are in major need of repairs.