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Eda Clare Smith
East County Wednesday, Mar. 27, 2013 4 years ago

Auditors report 'clean' audit for Ranch CDDs

by: Pam Eubanks Senior Editor

LAKEWOOD RANCH — Lakewood Ranch Town Hall’s accounting system came back with solid reviews, with auditor Grau & Associates reporting no findings for any of the Ranch’s districts.

“The books were in the best shape we’ve seen since (we started auditing the districts in 2004),” said Tony Grau, of Grau & Associates. “We had no issues with any of the districts.

“We don’t have any weaknesses on internal controls or management-letter comments,” he said. “That’s what you want.”

Auditors issued clean opinions for Lakewood Ranch Community Development Districts 1, 2, 4, 5 and the Inter-District Authority board, and said previous recommendations for financial reporting had been implemented.

“It’s early. It’s accurate. There are no findings,” CDD 4 Chairman Michael Griffin said. “ What else do we want?”

After approving the auditor’s report, supervisors from the CDDs voted March 21 to form an auditor-selection committee and move forward with the auditor-selection procedures.

Town Hall Executive Director Eva Rey said the process of selecting an auditor has not been done since it hired Grau & Associates nearly a decade ago.

Contact Pam Eubanks at [email protected].

+ Community Activities Corp. introduces new employee
Lakewood Ranch Community Activities Corp. Director Lori Basilone welcomed the organization’s newest member, Eda Clare Smith, at Lakewood Ranch CDD meetings March 21.

Smith, a Lakewood Ranch resident, started work with the organization in November and is helping to organize community events.

Basilone said she hopes to have Smith on staff full time by January 2014.

Other business:
CDD 1:

• Operations Director Ryan Heise said he is getting cost estimates for paving the parking area at Summerfield Lake.

• Heise said work on the Summerfield Park tennis courts should start within three weeks.

CDD 2:
• Supervisors agreed to modifications for the scope and specifications of services for the district’s landscaping services. Staff is awaiting results from a request for proposals to prospective vendors. Supervisors will review RFP proposals at their May meeting.

• The next CDD 2 budget workshop is scheduled for 3 p.m. March 18, at Lakewood Ranch Town Hall.

• A representative of the Country Club/Edgewater Village Association reported a new ad hoc committee has formed to gather information on options for replacing street palm trees as they die. Previous recommendations on the issue have been “put aside,” for now.

• CDD 2 supervisors expressed safety concerns about the University Parkway entrance into Edgewater, as well as variances in speed limits at the Masters Avenue and Legacy Boulevard.

CDD 4:
• The district will host its next budget workshop at 7 p.m. April 23, at Lakewood Ranch Town Hall.

• Heise said he is working to update cameras at Greenbrook Adventure Park to make the cameras more vandal-proof. Costs for upgrades should be less than $1,000.

CDD 5:
• Supervisor Alan Silverglat said if CDD 6 plans to change to a transponder-only access at the Balmoral Woods Boulevard gate, CDDs 2, 5 and 6 should discuss changes of how costs for the main entrance off University Parkway are allocated.

CDD 6:
• District Engineer Mike Kennedy advised the board against the removal of stop signs in Edenmore by the mail kiosk.

Instead, supervisors voted to install another stop sign in the island near the mailbox to provide safer ingress and egress to the mailbox area.

• The district’s next budget workshop is scheduled for 10 a.m. April 3.

• CDD 6 Chairman Bob Burstein said supervisors were considering the issue of making the Balmoral Woods Boulevard entrance into the Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club transponder only, but are not making any decisions at this time.

“We will proceed very cautiously,” he said. “I don’t know how far we’ll get.”

Staff presented a feasibility report on the issue. It stated costs to remove the barrier arm of the gate and install metal swing gates would total $74,860. Cancellation of the gate’s security service would save about $70,000 annually.

Supervisors are expected to discuss the issue at their April agenda review workshop.

• Town Hall Executive Director Eva Rey said a new resident orientation is scheduled for 4 p.m. April 29.

• Rey said Lakewood Ranch Town Hall will host another “Shred Day” for residents from 9 a.m. to noon May 4.

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