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East County Wednesday, Apr. 24, 2013 4 years ago

Balmoral access discussion continues

by: Pam Eubanks Senior Editor

LAKEWOOD RANCH — Supervisors on the Lakewood Ranch Community Development District 6 board will continue to evaluate options for restricting traffic into their community, including transponder-only access through the gatehouse at Balmoral Woods and Lakewood Ranch boulevards.

Supervisors, however, also will consider alternative proposals — ones that will address their budgetary and traffic concerns, while keeping the gate open for non-CDD 6 and non-Country Club residents.

Lakewood Ranch Town Hall Executive Director Eva Rey said supervisors from Lakewood Ranch CDDs 2 and 5, whose boundaries also fall within the Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club, have asked for a solution that will be more “palatable” to the community as a whole, rather than making the gate transponder only.

The gate issue will be an agenda item at the boards’ May meetings.

Supervisors voted 4-0 April 18, to have staff prepare and present a scope of work for converting the Balmoral Woods Boulevard gate to a full-time transponder status — similar to that of the gate at the Masters Avenue and Lakewood Ranch Bouelvard intersection.

The scope will include recommendations based on basic design, general operation, capacity, traffic-flow patterns, maintenance, signage, communications, timing and other information relevant to the “safe and reliable” operation of the new gate, commencing on or before Jan. 1, 2014.

“I see there are many facets (of this issue) that have to be considered,” said CDD 6 supervisor James Hill, who made the motion. “It takes a long time for decision making. There are savings from changing the configuration of our gate. In recognition of those potential savings, this motion is an attempt to study all the key issues of the facilities, themselves.”

Hill said whether the district actually will make the gate transponder only is a separate issue that will be discussed with other districts. However, the motion will give the CDD 6 the information needed to make a more informed decision on the matter.

Rey said representatives of CDDs 2 and 5 have said possible solutions could include sharing in costs for the gate’s operation, among others.

Discussions on the Balmoral Woods gate began earlier this year, because CDD 6 supervisors are hoping to reduce traffic — particularly of contractors entering the Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club — and improve safety within the district’s boundaries.

Last month, staff presented a feasibility report on making the gate transponder-only access. 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.

+ Lakewood Ranch Boulevard resurfacing
Engineer Mike Kennedy said Manatee County has committed to repaving the western-most lane heading south on Lakewood Ranch Boulevard, between River Club Boulevard and Lakewood Ranch Main Street, by the end of July.

The remainder of the road will remain as is.

Manatee County is working on a pavement management plan that will catalogue the condition of all of its roads and plan for repairs accordingly, Kennedy said.

Other Business:
• Supervisors voted 4-0 to cancel a $300,000 line of credit with Northern Trust Bank.
• Community Associations Services Director Gary Glass will send a survey to representatives of the Summerfield/Riverwalk Village Association about whether to continue observe-and-report security-patrol services for the community.

• Operations Director Ryan Heise reported bids for landscaping services are out, and a recommendation on proposals received will be brought to the board for consideration at its May meeting. CDD 2 currently contracts with Garden Leaders.

• Heise said the operations department has received new cameras and equipment for Greenbrook Adventure Park, after vandals damaged the old cameras.
The new equipment should be installed by April 26.
• The next Landscape Committee meeting is slated for 6:30 p.m. April 30, at Lakewood Ranch Town Hall.
• Resident Jack Westall said he did not believe the district needed the observe-and-report security-patrol services it was receiving for a cost of about $34,000 annually. Supervisor Keith Davey said he would add the item onto the agenda for the Safety Committee meeting at 7 p.m. July 1, at Lakewood Ranch Town Hall.

• Engineer Mike Kennedy reported bids for storm drain inlet restoration within the district came back over budget, and he will be reviewing documents to see if any modifications can be made to trim costs.
• Heise said the operations team is working on the installation of an arm gate at the district’s Lorraine Road/Players Drive entrance. The arm should be operational by early May.


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