CCDs 2, 5 cut budgets but still pursue options for keeping Balmoral gate house accessible

dgraham@bradenton.comMay 24, 2013 

LAKEWOOD RANCH -- The chairs of three Community Development Districts may be meeting soon to work out a compromise over the planned closing of Balmoral Gate.

Also, during workshops Thursday, District 5, serving Country Club, reworked items to cut $50,000 from its 2014 proposed budget, while District 2, serving Country Club and Edgewater, managed to pare $111,000 from its budget.

The decision to discontinue staffing the gate in January was made by District 6, serving Country Club West, in an effort to reduce traffic and increase security in the neighborhood. Residents, with transponders, would be able to use the gate, but ven

dors, such as repair trucks and lawn maintenance trucks would not.

The neighboring communities are concerned that the traffic that now goes through the Balmoral Gate will have to use their streets.

"Just so I understand, if it goes the way it sounds like its going to go, if they close their gate ... and everything above that comes through our exit, we have no ability of making them pay for anything else?" asked District 2 supervisor Michael Finney during their workshop.

"Other than making that a legal conversation, no," said executive director Eva Rey. "I think this is a good faith effort to start a conversation within the districts."

Rey presented a list of options to each board at their respective meetings of ways to negotiate or make offers to District 6 to encourage alternatives to closing the Balmoral gate house completely.

They included combining the operating costs. There were four options of what those operating costs might include, gate operations only, operations and capital, operations and landscape maintenance, or landscape, maintenance and capital.

"We've got to see how we can address their needs and see what we can do to hopefully to remedy this thing," said District 2 chairman Peter Bokach.

Having the same discussion during the District 5 workshop, supervisor Alan Silverglat said, "We present a substantially weakened position if we go begging to District 6. I think that we should have a (chairmen's) conversation where we work out a proposal amongst the three of you."

"It would certainly create some relationship building consensus," Rey said. "I tend to agree with Alan a little bit on this. There should be some sitting down and talking together as three boards that all have a vested interest."

No specific meeting has been announced, although the three chairmen can meet without needing to satisfy Sunshine Law requirements since they serve on different boards.

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