LAKEWOOD RANCH -- In with the old and in with the new, for the time being.
As of Oct. 1, Lakewood Ranch community development districts 2, 5, and 6 will phase in a higher-tech transponder for security gates as part of a new, more efficient database and access-control system to meet changing community needs.
The current transponders, which activate gates and other barriers in the communities, will remain in effect
The Inter-District Authority Board will vote on a new transponder system policy at its monthly board meeting Thursday at Lakewood
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Ranch Town Hall.
The new transponder stickers are about the size of a credit card, which can be placed on a car windshield or bumper if the card can't be read through the windshield. A transponder testing station outside Lakewood Ranch Town Hall will determine "readability."
"Using these stickers will cut down on administration since no batteries are needed and there are no moving parts," said IDA Executive Director Eva Rey at a Tuesday workshop. "But unlike the old transponders, these can't be refurbished or reissued, so there will be no credit back from the manufacturer."
New transponders cost $50 and replacements will also cost $50 since they can't be refurbished, Rey said.
"So, if someone gets a new car, they have to deactivate their old one and put in a new one and pay $50. We may have some customer-service issues at the front desk since people don't realize this has always been the policy that you get credit back from the manufacturer," said IDA Chairman and Community Development District 2 Supervisor Thomas Green.
Rey said have been no issues with the old transponders so she doesn't expect to have a run on them anytime soon at Town Hall.
The IDA will inventory new transponders for all affected districts.
In addition to the phase-in, a new transponder/remote policy will be instituted during the transfer of technologies.
Lakewood Ranch Town Hall will no longer manage transponders for condos in and around the master-planned community. The $20 return for old transponders will be eliminated because there is nothing to return or refurbish with new ones.
"They are under warranty but we're not finding any defects, according to the manufacturer, except that some people like to tamper with them," Rey said.
The new policy will have different language for a rental agreement, and the reference to Country Club West will change to Community Development District 6.
Proof of residency to receive new transponders will be added to avoid some reported issues, and the language for motorcycles and vehicles the transponder can't read through the windshield will be removed, since new transponder stickers can go on headlights or bumpers.
Kathryn Moschella, Lakewood Ranch reporter can be reached at 941-745-7010. Follow her on Twitter @MoschellaHerald.