Country Club considers change to its gate security.
The Country Club at Lakewood Ranch is considering a switch in its gate security.
After a four-month review process, supervisors representing the Country Club, Edgewater and Watercrest Condominiums are considering a $295,680 proposal by Allied Universal Technology Services for gatehouse services. The proposal includes surveillance cameras, an integrated license plate reader system and a visitor management system that uses kiosks and an automated virtual gate access.
The proposed change would move the district’s gatehouses at Legacy Boulevard (Country Club), Balmoral Woods Boulevard (Country Club) and Waterview Boulevard (Edgewater) forward to a mix of remote/virtual attendant technology and on-site gate attendants.
Currently, the Legacy gate is manned by a guard 24/7, while the Balmoral gate, which is closed to non-residents, has a guard from 10:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. The Edgewater entrance also is manned 24/7.
Country Club and Edgewater residents use transponders to gain entry.
Lakewood Ranch Inter-District Authority Executive Director Anne Ross said the proposed change would allow guests to enter during night time hours without the need to a guard.
“By using a kiosk with a remote guard during hours that guest entry is not at a high volume (such as overnight), it could save the districts money,” she said. “Added technology would also help move guests through the gatehouse more efficiently day or night.”
The committee is recommending make the change to a partially automated gate system starting Oct. 1, 2021.
Lakewood Ranch Inter-District Authority Finance Director Steve Zielinski said with the Allied Universal proposal he anticipates an annual savings of $139,000 across Lakewood Ranch Community Development Districts 2, 5 and 6 starting in fiscal year 2022.
However, he said implementing the technology sooner would create a budget deficit.
Selection committee member and Lakewood Ranch Inter-District Authority Operations Director Paul Chetlain said Allied is the preferred choice without consideration to cost.
Allied Universal’s proposal was submitted along with proposals from three other proposers — Prosegur, SecuriTeam and Envera Systems.
Envera Systems was the least expensive proposal at $182,141. SecuriTeam's cost was $261,640, while Prosegur’s cost was $321,654.
Chetlain said the committee wanted to find the best solution, not necessarily the cheapest one.
“The best overall solution weighed heavily on its recommendation to the board,” Chetlain said.
Chetlain said some of the “standout features” provided by Allied are its license plate recognition and data collection technologies, high quality cameras, guest kiosk and user-friendly software.
Zielinski, who also sat on the selection committee, said Allied does not use a proprietary system, so there would not be problems if the districts wanted to change to another security vendor at a later time.
During meetings April 14 and April 16, some supervisors asked for more details of why Allied’s proposal is worth the additional cost, as well as why the districts should purchase technology instead of lease it.
The selection committee plans to meet again over the coming month to review additional information provided by vendors and to address supervisors’ questions. It will submit a detailed, written recommendation for the boards’ May meetings, Ross said.
Join the Neighborhood! Our 100% local content helps strengthen our communities by delivering news and information that is relevant to our readers. Support independent local journalism by joining the Observer's new membership program — The Newsies — a group of like-minded community citizens, like you. Be a Newsie.