LAKEWOOD RANCH -- Lakewood Ranch Town Hall, which opened in August of 2004, has finally been around long enough to start doing what virtually every other local governmental entity routinely does: salute its workers on milestones in their employment.
Eva Rey, who recently passed her first anniversary as only the second executive director in the community's history, introduced the idea to Lakewood Ranch district supervisors.
Monday, supervisors recognized three of its faithful workers.
Wil Brown, an irrigation technician, was recognized for 10 years service, meaning he was on the payroll before Town Hall was even built.
Or, as operations direc
tor Ryan Heise put it, even before a modern bridge replaced the rickety wooden one over the Braden River on Lorraine Road or Lakewood Ranch Medical Center was built.
Heise praised Brown for being the go-to guy for after-hour customer calls for help, and for his work with contractors, insisting on high standards of landscape maintenance.
Heise also introduced Nate Dickherber, a five-year general maintenance technician, to district supervisors.
"He is the most skilled tradesman on our staff," Heise said.
Also recognized Monday was five-year veteran Lynn Kuiken, an administrative assistant who residents often see at the lobby front desk.
Kuiken said she started at Town Hall working with room reservations and distributing transponders for residents in gated neighborhoods, and moved to the front desk when there was an opening.
"I like the people," she said of those who pass through Town Hall. "There are always surprises. We get a lot of interesting questions from the homeowners."
Previously, supervisors had recognized fiscal technician Debbie Goss in July and Ryan Heise in August, both on their five-year anniversaries.
In other business at the Inter-District Authority meeting, attorney Scott Rudacille told supervisors that the district engineer is responding to questions from Manatee County Building officials about a proposed maintenance facility.
Supervisors are planning to build the facility near the intersection of Lorraine Road and State Road 70.
The district is also seeking financing for the $2.4 million facility, but the bank won't close on the loan until the county issues a building permit.
"That's understandable," said District Chairman Tom Green.
Rudacille said the best estimate on issuance of the permit is in about two weeks, but it could take longer, depending on answering all county concerns.
James A. Jones Jr., East Manatee editor, can be contacted at 941-745-7021 or tweet @jajones1