Those who have lived in Florida long enough to recognize the waxing and waning seasonal population will inevitably ask about the summer workload at Town Hall, the number of service requests we receive, and where I am going for my vacation this year. After my initial chuckle and the subsequent quizzical looks, I try to explain that, for local governmental agencies, summer is a very busy and important time.
As I discussed in my previous column, summer is the time when all of the Community Development District (CDD) Boards and the Inter-District Authority (IDA) work to present their budgets to residents for input and participation. Because the budget is the single most important policy-setting document an agency can have, the public input and approval process sets the tone and the workflow for the entire fiscal year. All CDD budgets were approved in August and the maintenance assessments set at the public hearings will be on your next tax bill.
One such project approved for the upcoming fiscal year (FY 2013) is the re-paving and repair of the main roads in Lakewood Ranch Country Club. The entire span of Masters Avenue will be repaved, as well as Legacy Boulevard from Masters Avenue up to the Clubhouse. Staff will be bidding out the project soon and hope to have a contractor selected in October.
This will allow us to complete all of the improvements before the holidays. When the project begins, there will be a Web page available on lakewoodranchgov.org with all of the project details so that you can be aware of any temporary detours and plan your travel route accordingly.
In a couple of weeks, Saturday, Sept. 22, Town Hall will team up with Grow Financial Federal Credit Union to offer Lakewood Ranch residents our very first free Community Shred Day. Residents can bring in personal documents, such as medical and financial records, credit card statements, canceled checks, insurance forms, receipts, and junk mail such as pre-approved offers of credit to be shredded 9 a.m. to noon. As many as 9 million Americans have their identities stolen each year; shredding your documents helps prevent thieves from stealing your personal information. Only paper documents will be accepted (no discs or tapes) and please limit your shredding to two boxes (24 inches by 12 inches by 12 inches). The north drop-off location will be the Grow Financial branch, at State Road 64 and Lakewood Ranch Boulevard. The south drop-off location will be Lakewood Ranch Town Hall.
One of the most exciting projects on the horizon is the construction of the new operations and maintenance facility. Currently, staff is working with Atkins North America, Inc. on the building design and we anticipate the start of construction this winter. We will also dedicate a project webpage on the Town Hall website with pertinent updates and progress photos, so make sure you check in often to stay up-to-date with the latest project information.
Finally, just a reminder that Town Hall provides a monthly resident orientation session for anyone who may be interested in learning more about how Lakewood Ranch operates.
So, if you are ready for a refresher, are new to the area, or simply want to understand the various entities that comprise Town Hall, please consider attending the 2-hour session. We discuss community development districts, homeowners’ associations, the Inter-District Authority, the operations department, the finance department, Community Activities Corporation and general governance information. The next orientation is 6 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 26. Please RSVP to 907-0202 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
Eva Rey is the executive director for Lakewood Ranch Town Hall.
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Food and fun
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A little “Ho! Ho! Ho!” can go a long way this holiday season.