Lakewood Ranch Herald

Public hearing scheduled July 16 to formally adopt Lakewood Ranch Inter-District Authority budget

LAKEWOOD RANCH -- Following three months of budget workshops, the Lakewood Ranch Inter-District Authority (IDA) has approved the district's proposed operating budget for fiscal year 2016. The motion was passed during the IDA's monthly board meeting held Thursday.

In addition to approving the budget proposal, the IDA also adopted a resolution setting a public hearing to adopt the fiscal 2016 budget on Thursday, July 16, at 10 a.m. at Lakewood Ranch Town Hall, 8175 Lakewood Ranch Blvd.

Overall 2016 budget appropriation increases for the district, which comprises five Community Development Districts, amount to 9.7 percent, according to Steven Zielinski, IDA chief operating officer.

Anticipated revenue increases by department include: two additional position requests with related salary and wage adjustments of 4.8 percent, a 1 percent increase for community-wide operations and other expenses, an Interlocal Gatehouse Cost Sharing agreement among CDD2, CDD5, and CDD6 which amounts to a 0.6 percent increase, and a 4.2 percent increase for Town Hall administrative expenses, including IT system conversion and improvements.

There is a 0.8 percent reduction in Town Hall operations expenditures, along with a 0.1 percent decrease for community-wide administration.

The annual budgets of the IDA and CDDs determine the quality and quantity of governmental services. In addition to being a financial plan, the budgets also establish a level of accountability, control, and usage of public resources.

Each of the Lakewood Ranch Community Development Districts assess homeowners for the operation and maintenance expenses of the district. For all districts, this includes common area landscaping and irrigation, residential irrigation water, district parks, neighborhood entry monuments, district signs, and general infrastructure maintenance. For Districts 2, 5 and 6, the maintenance assessment also includes gatehouse operations and maintenance, roadway paving and rehabilitation, and sidewalk maintenance.

CDD budgets will be adopted in August.

Kathryn Moschella, Lakewood Ranch reporter can be reached at 941-745-7010. Follow her on Twitter@MoschellaHerald.