LAKEWOOD RANCH — Supervisors on Lakewood Ranch Community Development District 6 have fine-tuned their vision for the district’s gated entrance off Lakewood Ranch Boulevard.
Supervisors are moving forward, conceptually, with plans to make the gate at Balmoral Woods and Lakewood Ranch boulevards transponder-only access and egress for residents of District 6, as well as residents of Lakewood Ranch Community Development Districts 2 and 5, whose boundaries also fall within the Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club.
The board also will consider options to allow friends and family of district residents access into the community, although the means, currently dubbed “a gizmo,” may not be a transponder, CDD 6 Chairman Bob Burstein said. Options will be reviewed in the coming months.
As proposed, the gate would be similar to the gate at Masters Avenue and Lakewood Ranch Boulevard. A bar gate that raises up and down for vehicles would sit immediately in front of a tall metal swing gate.
Transponders would trigger the gates to open for residents, as they do at other gated accesses within the Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club.
Supervisors said they intend to keep the metal swing gate open during the day, to allow for faster pass-through of traffic, and to have them open and close for each vehicle at night.
“I believe the discussion this week has clarified the path forward,” said Supervisor James Hill, who will work on design concepts with Town Hall staff.
The board likely will review design options and other information at its June meeting.
Supervisors also said they remain committed to working with Lakewood Ranch CDDs 2 and 5 to resolve any outstanding concerns.
“It’s been one of my guiding principles that if we close the gate, we do not (have a negative impact on the community),” Supervisor Richard Williams said. “We are one. We all use each other’s gates.”
Town Hall Operations Director Ryan Heise said relocating the gate and making the board’s recommended changes likely would cost more than $100,000.
The costs, however, would be offset by the reduction of staffing at the current gatehouse, which would no longer require onsite security personnel. Supervisors say the change will have a positive long-term financial impact.
Contact Pam Eubanks at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In Other Business:
• District 1 Chairwoman June Stroup said the board will consider adding lights to the basketball courts at Summerfield Park, if the district has surplus dollars in its budget when the fiscal year closes in June.
• CDD 2 supervisors accepted a proposal by Dana Site Development and Paving and authorized the execution of a contract not to exceed $92,000 for road infrastructure repairs.
• CDD 2 supervisors delayed action on proposals for landscaping services until the board’s June meeting.
• CDD 2 Supervisor Dick Moran reported the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office issued 148 tickets and 473 warnings for driving and other violations, since CDDs 2 and 5 contracted with the agency for additional patrols one year ago.
• CDD 5 supervisors awarded a contract for storm drain repairs to Woodruff and Sons at a cost of about $124,000.
• Approved the renewal of a contract with U.S. Security Associates to continue roving patrol services within the district.
IDA sets 2013-14 budget
Supervisors on the Lakewood Ranch Inter-District Authority Board approved the IDA’s preliminary 2014 fiscal year budget of $3.2 million.
Because the IDA is not a taxing authority, it derives its revenue through Lakewood Ranch’s other CDDs, which share in the costs proportionately. The other CDDs now will use the IDA’s preliminary budget to finalize their own budget documents.
The IDA’s 2014 fiscal year budget reflects an overall decrease of 1.3% compared to last year’s budget.
District contributions, however, will increase by 9.8% due to a reduction in surplus utilization, which dropped from $150,000 to $100,000.
Personnel and services improvements, including 3% performance-based salary adjustments and increased personnel participation in the 457 Deferred Compensation Plan, among other factors, resulted in a 6.5% increase in district contributions. Other budgetary impacts included software and hardware technology improvements, Town Hall repairs and the purchase of replacement fleet equipment.
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Food and fun
The Lakewood Ranch Business Alliance and its Young Leaders Alliance have something to talk about: the organizations collected 764 pounds of nonperishable food and $1,295 cash to benefit The Food Bank of Manatee/Meals on Wheels PLUS.
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A little “Ho! Ho! Ho!” can go a long way this holiday season.