New option proposed for Balmoral gatehouse

 

New option proposed for Balmoral gatehouse

 

Date: June 19, 2013
by: Pam Eubanks | Managing Editor

 
 

LAKEWOOD RANCH — Another option is on the table.

After months of debate on whether the northernmost public entrance to the Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club should be made transponder only, supervisors on Lakewood Ranch Community Development Districts 2 and 5 have suggested another idea: adding a third shift for security services and sharing equally in costs for all gates accessing the country club.

Supervisors on CDD 6, which owns and operates the Balmoral gate, made little comment on the concept during their June 13 board meeting, but said they liked the idea of working together as a united community.

Under the proposal from CDDs 2 and 5, however, those two districts would pay $15,000 apiece to fund a night shift for security services at the Balmoral entrance. Currently, the gate switches to transponder only after 10 p.m.

Funding would be contingent on the Balmoral gate remaining open to non-transponder traffic.

“We have nothing to lose (if we keep the gate open),” said CDD 6 Chairman Bob Burstein, who met with representatives of Districts 2 and 5 before the meeting. “This agreement gives us a good alternative.”

Adding a night shift would be the first step toward working together as a community on the issue of security for the country club. As part of the proposal, CDDs 2 and 5 also are recommending for the 2015 Fiscal Year budget, and beyond, that the three districts combine expenses for all the country club gates and allocate expenses on an equivalent dwelling unit basis for all districts.

Fellow CDD 6 supervisors said they agreed with the concept of making the discussion holistic for the country club by including Districts 2 and 5 in a larger community-safety conversation, but felt adding a third shift for security services was not warranted.

“I’m very comfortable with the gate without the guard,” Supervisor Richard Williams said. “My goal is to reduce the hours on the gate, not increase them.”

Williams also suggested forming a committee to explore options for improving safety in the community overall. The group would be comprised of CDD 2, 5 and 6 supervisors and residents.

Burstein said the issues would be taken up at the board’s July meeting, after attorney Andy Cohen has had a chance to talk with Manatee County attorneys about any concerns the county may have with limiting traffic through the Balmoral gate.

Contact Pam Eubanks at peubanks@yourobserver.com.

 

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