LAKEWOOD RANCH -- Lakewood Ranch Community Development District 6, which serves Country Club West, will request the Lakewood Ranch Inter-District Authority become its district manager next week.
The request is an agenda item for the district's board meeting at 11 a.m. Oct. 9 at Lakewood Ranch Town Hall, 8175 Lakewood Ranch Blvd.
Upon approval, the IDA will become the district's manager effective Jan. 1.
"I think it will provide better customer service for residents of District 6," said Eva Rey, executive director of the IDA.
The development was created by Neal Communities, owned by former state Sen. Pat Neal. In 2002, Neal Communities bought the 326-acre property for $9 million. The majority of the property, planned for 446 single-family homes, has been developed.
Designating the property a community development district allowed Neal to sell $15 million in bonds to finance road, utility and recreation infrastructure, the Herald previously reported.
Richard Williams and Bob Burstein are the only residents on the District 6 board of supervisors, but in November, June Bruyer, who qualified unopposed for election to the board, will join Williams and Burstein. Two district seats will be vacated by the developer-appointed supervisors as well, shifting total control to residents.
Because District 6 already contributes to the Lakewood Ranch inter-local agreement, which covers landscaping services and maintenance for all districts the IDA manages, the district will not have to pay additional fees to the IDA. The district pays a pro-rated share to lease Town Hall, and for operations and maintenance to the IDA totalling $170,270. The district also pays $77,000 for gatehouse security services through a contract negotiated by the IDA.
"When I was elected to CDD 6 two years ago, one of my goals was to look at the future of a district manager," Williams said.
District 6 supervisors recently adopted a $729,028 budget for fiscal 2013. The budget included $15,000 for services to its current district manager and consulting firm and $18,000 for property management. When the IDA becomes the district's manager, District 6 will see savings up to $3,000 per month for nine months by terminating those contracts and adopting the IDA as its manager.
"It became a pretty easy decision to fall under the IDA umbrella," Williams said.
The other districts managed by the IDA are District 1, serving Summerfield and Riverwalk, District 2, serving Country Club and Edgewater, District 4, serving Greenbrook, and District 5, serving Country Club.
"We'll start bringing them in and managing them like the other districts," Rey said.
In other Lakewood Ranch government news, District 1 supervisor Gary Berns resigned from his seat on Monday. Berns served the district for 10 years and was chairman of the organization opposed to making Lakewood Ranch a municipality.
District 1 supervisors are now accepting resumes to fill the seat. Applicants must be legal residents of Florida and District 1, over the age of 18 and registered voters in Manatee County. The deadline to submit applications is Nov. 5. Applications can be mailed to Town Hall.