West Entrance Pond

News Notes in Ballantrae ...

There is no regular schedule for the update of this column. We will only post updates (latest on top) if there is relevant information the board wishes to share with the Landowners and Residents of the Ballantrae Community between issues of the Communicator. So check us occasionally, but remember: sometimes, no news IS good news! For News Notes referring to CDD Board meetings, click here to access the minutes when they are posted.

Select the date of the headline below and it will take you to the full text of that News Note
(Bolded headlines are less than 2 weeks old)

2/15/18 Ballantrae CDD seeks public input on 2018-19 budget
The Ballantrae CDD is seeking public input as it starts work on the 2018-19 district budget, according to a story in the March-April edition of The Ballantrae Communicator that is posted online here. Other stories include a tour of the nearby emergency room opened Jan. 29 by Florida Hospital in Wesley Chapel. Stories also detail the CDD’s work to recover federal aid for damages caused to community property by hurricane Irma. The district clubhouse will again serve as the voting booth in 2018 for Precinct 31 Primary and General election day balloting under an agreement with the Pasco Supervisor of Elections. The district is also looking for the best way to provide shade cover for those using Ballantrae Park and its pool.

12/18/17 Newsletter shows off Ballantrae's holiday appearance
Ballantrae’s January-February 2018 bimonthly newsletter available here displays the taste and class with which the community property and our homes are decorated each holiday season. To accommodate visitors, this edition also details who can get street parking permits, and how to get them from the county. A new feature lists home sales within Ballantrae, giving residents an idea of the number of local sales and selling prices. A state trooper explains why he enjoys working off-hours for the CDD Board, providing safety and security for community residents. There's also a photo montage looking at October’s community garage sale.

10/16/17 Ballantrae newsletter highlights community issues
The November-December edition of Ballantrae’s Communicator newsletter is available here. The latest issue discusses the availability of county no-interest loans to help stormproof Pasco homes in light of hurricane Irma -- which thankfully caused no personal injuries and only minimal damage in the Ballantrae community. As stormwaters recede, the CDD is monitoring for any landscape or pond damage that could lead to costly erosion repairs. Even after a hurricane, the CDD reminds residents of the rules regarding one-day-a-week irrigation of lawns and landscaping. The newsletter also documents annual increases in CDD voter registration and improvements in county voting procedures. It also advises residents that the county offers a low-cost vaccination and micro-chip clinic each Wednesday at its pet adoption center in Land O' Lakes. Anyone needing a personal ID swipe card to access community amenities will find the process to get one outlined in this edition. Need to contact your elected representatives from Washington, DC to Dade City? We tell you how in this issue.

8/17/17 Ballantrae CDD adopts ‘no increase’ budget for FY 2017-18
The September-October Ballantrae Communicator newsletter available here highlights the FY 2017-18 CDD budget that maintains assessment rates first set in 2007-08. This edition also details the CDD Board’s efforts to work with the state in ensuring the proper maintenance of ponds abutting and co-owned by the developing Shoppes of Ballantrae project. The Bexley Elementary School principal offers ideas to parents as the school opens next to Ballantrae for its inaugural year. The CDD Board approves dates for its regular monthly meetings for the upcoming fiscal year. Residents are reminded of the process to obtain individual ID cards to gain access to gated amenities. See how to contact elected representatives in Washington, Tallahassee and here in Pasco County. A photo montage looks at some of the avian residents with whom we share our community. Prefer to get the Communicator online rather than on paper? Our story explains how to make the switch.

6/13/17 Ballantrae CDD avoids assessment hike for 10th year in a row
The Ballantrae Communicator July-August edition linked online here presents the CDD’s FY 2017-18 proposed budget, the tenth in a row without an assessment increase. Other stories describe the county’s plan to have an ambulance and crew stationed by early fall at nearby Fire Rescue 37, while the Pasco School District prepares for the August opening of the nearby Bexley Elementary School. The CDD Board adopts a plan with no costs to try to avoid erosion we must pay to repair -- while the county plans to increase the storm water system district fees that we pay to prevent flooding and erosion in other communities. Pasco officials tell residents in another story how to prepare for hurricane season while the state imposes drought restrictions. Other stories explain how to get personal ID cards to access CDD amenity gates, county recycling rules and pick up, when to irrigate lawns and how to report street light outages to Duke Energy. And a trapper nabs another gator in one of our ponds.

4/31/17 Ballantrae gets first look at draft CDD budget for 2017-18
The Ballantrae community gets a look at a draft proposal of a zero-based CDD budget for next year in the May-June edition of the Ballantrae Communicator posted online here. Bexley Elementary School Principal Vicki Wolin also offers her views on education and the new school in this edition. The Ballantrae HOA Board urges residents to follow some basic rules to maintain their lawns and keep them looking their best. The CDD Board thanks residents for their contribution to the care and maintenance of the district’s 37 community storm water ponds. The CDD Board also details its efforts with state and county officials to ensure its irrigation of common lawns and landscaping is being accomplished in the most effective and efficient manner possible.

2/25/17 Ballantrae CDD Board seeks residents’ budget ideas
Ballantrae residents are invited by the CDD Board to provide their input on the budget for the fiscal year that begins Oct 1, according to the lead story in the March-April edition of the Ballantrae Communicator now available here online. Other stories include the Shoppes of Ballantrae developer working to locate both an emergency medical care unit and a child care facility at the site. The CDD Board decided to set aside plans to build a crosswalk across Ballantrae Blvd. at Straiton Place. Meanwhile, Spring is coming -- so the Ballantrae HOA is planning an April 1 community garage sale while the Straiton HOA asks residents to help clean up their properties.

12/29/16 Ballantrae newsletter updates new school, reduced traffic
You can click here for an electronic copy of the January-February 2017 issue of Ballantrae’s Communicator newsletter. Stories in this edition include an update on the new Bexley Elementary School and Newland Properties’ plans to take more Bexley construction traffic off our streets. The Ballantrae HOA discusses recent auto burglaries, and invites landowners to attend its meetings and join its committees. The hog infestation now damaging Castleway and Braemar property is presented as well. A look at November election results shows our Precinct 13 turned out to cast ballots in a greater percentage than Pasco voters overall. There are also photo essays showing our beautiful outdoor community lighting and showing various projects undertaken by your CDD. There’s also a feature story on “urban coyotes,” who are just heard as often as they are actually seen!

10/28/16 County agrees to reduce construction vehicles on Ballantrae Blvd., slow speeders
The November-December issue of the Ballantrae Communicator posted here includes a story on County Code Compliance agreeing with the CDD Board to install two signs advising truckers they face fines if construction vehicles headed to the Bexley property use Ballantrae Blvd. (After the Communicator went to press, the CDD Board worked with the Pasco sheriff to have a speed monitor trailer placed on Ballantrae Blvd. to try and reduce incidents of speeding.) The Communicator also has a story highlighting the Ballantrae HOA’s upcoming Budget and Annual Meeting. The sheriff’s department tells residents the best ways to reduce crime in our community. Another story advises landowners the CDD Board is again being asked to spend community funds on private property, and again seeks resident input on the issue. The school district explains its upcoming meetings to discuss the new Bexley school and the plan to reassign our K-5 children there from Oakstead. As the Bexley school is built, questions arise as to the best way to get K-5 graders to their new school beginning next fall. Nov. 8 General Election balloting by Ballantrae voters will be at the clubhouse (and we publish a copy of the ballot.) There is also an update on progress at the Shoppes of Ballantrae. We take a pictorial look at the recent community garage sale.

8/24/16 CDD Board votes to go nine years without assessment increzse
Ballantrae landowners will see a ninth year without CDD assessment increases under the 2016-17 budget adopted by the CDD Board in August, according to an article in the latest edition of The Communicator linked here. The CDD also approves allowing nonresident child caregivers access to our pools. The CDD Board votes to measure irrigation on community property to ensure a cost-effective system. The Board votes against imposing the sheriff’s curfew in the park, aong other locations, because it would be too restrictive of residents’ use of community property. This edition also details where Pasco schools stand in planning the elementary school under construction in Bexley and involving local residents in its planning.

6/26/16 Ballantrae newsletter highlights budget talks, pond plants, recent elections
The July-August Ballantrae Communicator newsletter available here highlights the CDD’s eighth consecutive annual preliminary budget proposal without an increase in landowner assessments. The newsletter details the upcoming Aug. 30 primary election and reminds voters balloting will,take place at our clubhouse. Pasco Cooperative Extension describes "Petscaping," and presents ways to safeguard your dog and other pets. That information and move is available in the latest edition of the Community Development District newsletter.

4/16/16 Ballantrae newsletter highlights budget talks, pond plants, recent elections
The May-June Ballantrae Communicator linked here highlights the CDD Board’s plans to get a new clubhouse built and the existing structure converted into a fitness center in the next few years. It also discusses the Pasco Supervisor of Elections’ first use of our clubhouse as a polling site. Two Florida-friendly landscape coordinators help landowners understand how they can best assist the CDD in maintaining our community ponds, thereby reducing the landowners’ cost to keep them healthy and clean. This issue introduces the CDD’s new district management company. Board members also discuss a host of 2016-17 budget issues, including the cost of pond plants: do we go for aesthetic or cost-efficient maintenance of our 36 ponds? The Ballantrae HOA Board seeks a new board member, needs volunteers to serve on the Fining Appeals Board and will ask sheriff’s deputies to write tickets for illegal parking because just issuing warnings isn’t curing the violations, and complaints are increasing.

2/26/16 Ballantrae newsletter highlights Vision 54/56, more local news
The March-April edition of the Ballantrae community’s Communicator newsletter available online here updates the status of Pasco County’s planning for the handling of traffic along SR 54/56. Meanwhile, the CDD Board seeks landowner ideas as it starts work on the 2016-17 budget. Another story describes the beginning of construction for Ballantrae Village Shoppes. Ballantrae’s registered voters are reminded our clubhouse is now their polling place, beginning with the Presidential Preference Primary on March 15. Pasco’s fire chief explains his desire to add an ambulance and crew at the nearby Fire Station 37. Pasco County adds a crosswalk long sought by residents across Ballantrae Blvd. Duke Energy seeks an easement for electrical lines to power the elementary school to be built north of Castleway. The CDD Board turns down a $175,000 request to build a wall behind 14 homes in Castleway. An arborist explains the importance of knowing the age of the trees in your yard.

12/17/15 Newsletter articles cover a range of Ballantrae issues
The January-February 2016 edition of The Ballantrae Communicator linked here begins with a detailed look at the Shoppes of Ballantrae that begins construction soon. Ballantrae voters won’t have as far to travel when our clubhouse becomes our polling place for elections beginning in 2016. Another article explains the county’s decision to demolish an Ayrshire home after negotiations failed to rebuild the burned-out structure. Straiton Townhomes’ HOA unveils its new website, and reminds residents that it is now enforcing parking rules. This edition also takes a look at the Country Village Preschool, now under new management and standards. The CDD Board lists a number of its decisions on community issues in recent months.

12/16/15 Register here to attend Feb. 11 Ballantrae pond care seminar
The University of Florida/IFAS Pasco Extension Office is offering a free educational seminar about storm water ponds in Ballantrae, and how they work to protect your home from the heavy rains of this past summer and will keep protecting you during the wet El Niño forecast for this winter. Landowners and the CDD Board should continue to work together to maintain the health and the appearance of our three dozen ponds. The seminar begins at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 11, at the clubhouse. Seating is limited, so please reserve your seat by going to this link https://www.eventbrite.com/e/ballantrae-resident-pond-seminar-tickets-19618757231 and entering Ballantraeponds for the password. Please print and bring your ticket to the event in order to claim your seat.

9/16/15 Ballantrae newsletter covers array of issues
Plans for the Bexley development and its potential impact on Ballantrae highlight the October-December edition of the Ballantrae CDD Board’s Communicator newsletter. This edition also includes the CDD Board’s line item budget for the 2015-16 fiscal year, approved following a public hearing with no assessment increase for the seventh consecutive year. We highlight a landowner who has taken his residential electrical needs “off the grid” and, in a separate environmentally-related article, Pasco County advises residents not to use plastic bags anymore for recycling bottles and cans. Despite summer rains that flooded parts of Pasco County, the Communicator explains how Ballantrae residents work together to prevent flooding in our community. The CDD Board is seeking landowner input on a couple of outstanding issues that will help determine our community’s future. And a Pasco Cooperative Extension expert explains the best ways to maintain and grow our residential lawns.

12/20/14 Ballantrae newsletter covers array of issues
Articles in the January-March edition linked here include a local review of the November elections, Rich Levy’s election as CDD Board chairman and highlights of recent CDD activities to improve the appearance of our community. The Ballantrae HOA Board reports on efforts to earn residents compliance with declarations, while the Straiton HOA Board thanks residents for their efforts to maintain the appearance of their neighborhood. The Pasco Citizens’ Academy is profiled in another article, while residents can learn from an additional story how to differentiate between some venomous and nonvenomous snakes. Outgoing District #2 County Commissioner Pat Mulieri says goodbye to her former constituents in one guest column, while our new District #4 Commissioner, Mike Wells, says hello to his Ballantrae constituents in another.

09/17/14 Communicator reports Shoppes of Ballantrae ground-breaking in 2015
The October-December edition of the Ballantrae Communicator updates Dunphy Properties‘ plans for the Shoppes of Ballantrae. Other stories include educating residents on options for voting on or before Election Day. The CDD Board reports to residents on some projects it completed this summer, while also providing its approved O&M budget for the coming fiscal year. The HOA Board advises landowners to be careful in how they report rental income. The Straiton HOA Board summarizes several news items for residents of the townhomes. County Commissioner Pat Mulieri urges residents to consider adopting pets from Pasco County Animal Services. Lastly, a unique way of looking at the schools serving Ballantrae.

03/27/14 Newsletter highlights HOA, CDD boards’ efforts to improve Ballantrae
From stories on the Ballantrae HOA’s new cable TV bulk contract to a proposal to change state law to limit access to CDD surveillance video, the April-June newsletter posted here online has many stories of interest to our residents. Other stories discuss CDD construction nearing completion in the park for a splash pool, a shade going up over the play area and an expansion of the parking lot. The Straiton HOA has completed landscaping improvements and is looking for assistance in maintaining it. The Ballantrae HOA discusses its purchase of a residence once owned by people who did not pay their dues. The CDD plans to do a better job this summer of enforcing its near-ban on alcohol from community property. Pasco sheriff’s numbers show that “quality of life” issues topped calls from our residents for deputy assistance in 2013.

12/17/13 Newsletter highlights actions of CDD Board, Ballantrae & Straiton HOAs
The January-March 2014 edition of the Ballantrae Communicator linked here contains stories of interest to all residents. They include the trash vendor no longer banging cans and making other pre-dawn noises, while both the CDD and Straiton boards work to gain parking compliance. The county sheriff’s office discusses how to maintain our low crime rate, while county public works describes how street re-paving, when needed, will be financed. The CDD is once again battling feral hogs from Bexley Ranch. The Ballantrae HOA reports that more aggressive enforcement has led to increased payment of association fees. Straiton HOA has completed its facelift by refurbishing community landscaping the year after it painted the townhomes.

09/18/13 CDD OK's 2013-14 budget with assessments unchanged since 2008-09
The headline above is reported in the October-December edition of The Ballantrae Comunicator now available online. Stories in this edition also highlight that the CDD Board voted to build a “splash pool” in Ballantrae Park and to expand its parking lot. The Ballantrae HOA Board announces it is seeking landowner input as its contract with Brighthouse to provide basic cable to all 969 homes is set to expire in 2014. The Straiton HOA Board continues to wrestle with parking issues, while moving ahead with its plans to beautify community property surrounding the townhomes. Meanwhile, Pasco Sheriff Nocco reports on annual calls to his office from Ballantrae residents, as the Pasco school district’s medium-range plans call for an elementary school to be built across SR 54 from our Ballantrae Blvd. entrance.

08/06/13 ‘No increase’ budget adds ‘splash pool,’ expands parking, other projects
The CDD Board of Supervisors last night adopted a $1.7 million budget for the 2013−14 fiscal year that starts on Oct. 1. The budget maintains the same landowner assessments that have been in place since 2008. The budget includes paying for three park projects requested by residents. Those projects are a “splash pool” with water sprays and other features, designed for children and the handicapped; an expansion of the often−overflowing parking lot at the clubhouse, and a tent−like covering above the children’s play area. Their $250,000 combined cost will be paid from reserves set aside over the years for park development. Details on the budget will be included in the next edition of our quarterly Communicator newsletter.

06/22/13 CDD proposes sixth ‘no increase’ annual budget
The Ballantrae CDD Board has proposed its sixth “no increase” budget in a row, according to a story in the July-September edition of the Communicator newsletter now posted here on line. This edition also details the CDD’s progress in improving the health and appearance of the community’s 36 ponds. Another story focuses on the role of state troopers who now patrol community property. The Straiton HOA notes its election of board members, and updates its plans to improve landscaping and enforce parking rules in the townhomes. The Ballantrae HOA focuses on community events that it is planning: from a “family fun day” in the park on July 13, Saturday afternoon DJs this summer at the pool deck and “adult-only” get-togethers planned on the pool deck from 8 p.m.-midnight on July 20 and, possibly, Aug. 17.

03/21/13 Ponds and landscaping among top issues in latest Communicator
The April-June edition posted here. includes news from the CDD Board plus the Boards of both the Ballantrae master and Straiton townhomes HOAs. The CDD Board is progressing on its pond management plan and a host of other issues -- including battling wild pigs tearing up pond banks. The Ballantrae HOA Board reports on a presentation at a recent meeting by the Pasco Sheriff’s Office, while also hiring a new law firm to collect overdue landowner dues. The townhomes’ Board hears a report on a major landscaping effort on community lands, and seeks resident input and cooperation on it and other important matters. There is also a feature story with photos on the nearby Suncoast Trail.

12/15/12 Assessments, parking among the top stories in latest Communicator
Collection of assessment arrears by the Ballantrae HOA and enforcement of parking restrictions by the Straiton HOA are among the stories in the January-March edition of the Communicator now available online by clicking here. Other stories include the Scottish origin and history of our community, village and street names. Another story discusses the CDD Board's review of the management of all 37 ponds in our community, asking residents to email their input. The CDD Board cites its financial security in another article, noting it collected more in assessments in 2011-12 than its budget total for the year. For the statisticians out there, this edition compares votes cast in the November elections in our election district to county totals.

9/19/12 Ballantrae newsletter notes voting change, passage of 'no increase' budget
Click here for the October-December edition of The Communicator, which offers a host of interesting articles for residents. All residents should know our polling place has changed and that we are not affected by the relaxation of drought restrictions on lawn watering. The CDD Board has enacted a "no increase" budget while turning down a suggestion that it construct a reclaimed water system that could increase landowner debt by more than $5 million. The sheriff reports “quality of life”" issues still top calls from Ballantrae residents, and deputies will keep a closer eye on Ballantrae Park now that overnight parking there has been banned. Finally, a promise made is a promise being kept by the CDD Board to safeguard landowner money -- and protect the community’s future.

9/14/12 Residents urged to register and then vote on election day
Ballantrae residents are reminded that Tuesday, Nov. 6, is election day with polls open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Remember, Ballantrae’s polling place is now Rasmussen College at the corner of SR 54 and Sunlake Blvd. It is no longer Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Lutz. You have only until Oct. 9 to register to vote. Click here for a voter registration form. Eligible voters should consider casting their votes early, since all voting locations are expected to have long lines on election day. That's because (1) turnout is always heavy in presidential election years, and (2) there will be 11 amendments on the ballot. You can click here for information on ordering a mail ballot until Oct. 31 that will allow you to vote from the comfort of your home. If you click here, you can view the locations where early voting will take place from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 27, through Saturday, Nov. 3, inclusively. Let's all register and turn out to vote!

7/16/12 CDD sets Aug. 6 public hearing on 2012-13 budget starting Oct. 1
The hearing will begin at 6:30 p.m. at the clubhouse and continue until everyone present is heard. Details on the preliminary budget can be found here in the July-September edition of The Communicator. The bottom line is that landowner assessments will continue unchanged at the same rate as in each of the previous four fiscal years. This edition also highlights the Ballantrae HOA's Aug. 14 annual meeting, at which time landowners will vote on three key changes in our deed restrictions. Meanwhile, the new Straiton HOA Board discusses projects it has completed in the townhomes, and describes new issues it plans to address in coming months. This edition also discusses the thorny issue of residential parking, and how the Ballantrae HOA is going to enforce the existing rules -- at the request of many residents.

3/29/12 Individual photo ID cards required to open Ballantrae gates
Residents are reminded that, as of last September, individual photo ID cards issued by the CDD are necessary to open the gates at the clubhouse, tennis and basketball courts plus the pool cabana in Straiton. There are no longer any "family" cards: each individual must have their own card. Pool monitors will ensure only those with cards gain access to our pools. The process for obtaining cards is detailed here.

10/27/11 Newsletter updates Ballantrae on park development, new commissioner & medical center
The November-December CDD Communicator posted here updates residents on a host of issues. We invite their input on park development plans while also introducing our new county commissioner and the medical center opening soon in Trinity. Other articles track resident calls to the Pasco Sheriff’s Office for assistance during 2010, while another invites residents to participate in the Sheriff’s free Citizens Academy. We also note the county met its responsibility to pay $31,697 for repairs to Sandgate Court in Lintower.

9/01/11 CDD newsletter highlights budgeting, redistrcting, crime fighting & Rasmussen
The September-October edition of the Ballantrae CDD Communicator is now available online here. This edition begins with a story on the CDD Board maintaining landowner assessments rates for the fourth year in a row. Another story highlights the Board's establishment of four funds designed to protect and improve our community’s future. It looks like Ballantrae and our neighbors will soon be represented by a different county commissioner and school board member. Sheriff Chris Nocco pleads with the public to help him fight crime in Pasco County, while he adds pages to his web site that allow citizens to track and report crime. Rasmussen College introduces itself as one of Ballantrae’s newest neighbors. And Ballantrae residents are reminded they need photo ID swipe cards to access our gated amenities after Labor Day weekend.

7/19/11 Seeds of savings: Ballantrae chooses spray over sod
The Laker reports this week that the project in Ballantrae is giving a whole new meaning to the expression “time is money.” Instead of laying square blocks of sod, the community is growing Bahai grass in some of its common areas. “Literally, watching the grass grow, is going to save residents $35,000,” said Jim Flateau, chairman of the Ballantrae Community Development District board.

7/14/11 Ballantrae hydroseeding may be instructive to all Pasco communities
The Ballantrae CDD is hydroseeding about 2.5 acres of community lawns with Argentine Bahai at a cost of 12 cents per square foot, versus re-sodding with the same grass which costs 50 cents per square foot. Even with the need to irrigate hydroseed for 30 days until it germinates and starts to grow, the CDD expects hydroseeding to save about $35,000 versus re-sodding. This cheaper approach to maintaining Florida-friendly landscaping has the strong support of the Pasco County Cooperative Extension Service, which was involved in its planning.

6/20/11 Communicator details preliminary CDD budget for 2011-12
The CDD Board seeks resident input on the preliminary budget for the fiscal year that begins on Oct. 1. This edition of the Communicator provides residents with a line-by-line look at expenditures, as well as details on all preliminary spending plans. The Board will hold a public hearing on Aug. 8 at 6:30 p.m. in the clubhouse for residents to comment on the plan, before the Board votes that same evening to adopt a final budget. Residents can attend the hearing to voice their comments or contact Board members with their thoughts before then.

4/28/11 Ballantrae CDD newsletter posted on line
Planning for the new fiscal year and watching the grass grow are the top stories in the May-June edition of the Ballantrae Communicator available here. Other stories include an expansion of the Ballantrae HOA’s efforts to enforce parking regulations in our community. As summer approaches, we remind all residents of the need to follow park and pool rules to increase everyone’s enjoyment of our facilities. We also detail a new photo ID “swipe card” system being installed at the Straiton pool. Lastly, we reprint an article on our CDD appearing in the current edition of the newsletter published by the Pasco Alliance of Community Associations.

12/21/10 CDD newsletter highlights elections, privacy wall paintings & sheriff’s calls
The January-February edition of The CDD Communicator posted here focuses on the results of the November community elections. It also explains how the Board intends to proceed with planning to paint the residential side of the CDD walls, now that painting of the community side and other structures is complete. The newsletter also compares major types of resident calls to the Pasco Sheriff’s Office in 2009 to the two prior years. It also discusses options for replacing community landscaping grasses that have seen better days. Scenes of Ballantrae pages show how creative our residents are with their seasonal decorations.

12/08/10 Goodwill to place pick-up bin in Ballantrae Park
The CDD Board voted on Monday to allow Goodwill Industries-Suncoast, Inc. to place a pick-up bin in the west end of Ballantrae Park near the dumpster. Goodwill is scheduled to place the bin tomorrow. Residents (and outside donors) will then have an on-site location to donate any time to Goodwill. The bin will be emptied daily and the site maintained by Goodwill staff. Goodwill will pay the CDD a rental fee of $100 per month to station the bin in the park.

11/12/10 Blame the housing market, not CDDs
A management company, in a St Pete Times article, cites the positive efforts of the CDDs in Seven Oaks and Ballantrae, while defending the long-term advantages of such special-purpose government boards in assisting in Florida's growth.

11/02/10 3 elected to four-year terms on CDD Board of Supervisors
Three landowners were elected this week to four-year terms on the five-member Board of Supervisors. On Monday, Nov. 1, Jenny Williams of Lintower was elected in landowner balloting at the clubhouse conducted by the Board. She received 68 votes, compared to 62 votes for Kelly Moseley of Castleway and six for Rob McIntyre of Cunningham. On Tuesday, Nov. 2, incumbents Steve White of Ayrshire and Rich Levy of Cunningham were declared winners of two other seats in the General Election for registered voters held at our Holy Trinity Lutheran Church polling place, conducted by the Pasco Elections Supervisor. Since they were unopposed, these two offices did not appear on the General Election ballot. Thanks to all the candidates who took the time and showed enough interest to run, and congratulations to those who won!

10/06/10 Newsletter highlights CDD initiatives, story on Ballantrae & election
The November-December edition of The CDD Communicator is posted here. It highlights the new CDD initiatives the Board has voted to get underway in the fiscal year that began on Oct. 1, as well as reprinting a very positive article on Ballantrae that appeared in the St. Petersburg Times. This edition also provides copies of the information, ballot and proxy that landowners need to vote in the Nov. 1 landowners' election to fill a seat on the CDD Board of Supervisors. Any questions on the election should be directed to district manager Scott Brizendine via email at sbrizendine@rizzetta.com.

10/01/10 Documents available for 11/1 CDD supervisor election
Landowners are urged to vote in the Nov. 1 election to choose a candidate to fill one, four-year seat on the five-member CDD Board of Supervisors. Posted here for downloading and printing are instructions for candidates and voters, as well as a ballot and a proxy. Paper copies of these documents are available at the clubhouse. Voting is simple: Landowners can cast one vote per street address, regardless of the number of property owners. To cast your vote, use the ballot. If you choose to allow someone else to cast your vote, use the proxy. You can deposit your ballot anytime in the "lock box" available at the clubhouse. Or you can bring your completed ballot to (or fill one out at) the CDD Annual Meeting at 6 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 1. That's when ballots will be counted. If you have any questions after reading these documents, please contact District Manager Scott Brizendine by email at sbrizendine@rizzetta.com.

8/30/10 CDD newsletter provides details on final budget for 2010-11 fiscal year
The September-October edition of the CDD Communicator has been posted here. It provides a detailed narrative and chart breaking down the CDD’s Operation & Maintenance spending for the fiscal year beginning on Oct. 1. As previously reported, landowner CDD assessments will remain the same for the third year in a row. This edition also includes a story on CDD plans to improve landscaping this year at all six village entrance islands. Another story discusses CDD elections and the November vote to fill one Board of Supervisors’ seat. Ballantrae residents are reminded in another story that county law allows residential lawn and landscaping irrigation on only one authorized day each week, even though the Southwest Florida Water Management District has eased watering restrictions.

8/28/10 St. Petersburg Times provides Ballantrae with some (free) positive publicity
Today’s HomeLink section of the St. Petersburg Times offers a front-page article on Ballantrae. The “Neighborhood Profile” each week features a story on one of the region’s many communities. The newspaper article states Ballanatrae offers “Room to grow: A homey, neighborly atmosphere with lots of amenities and good schools nearby attracts young families -- and a few retirees, too.” (Note: The online version of this article does not include all the text and photos that appear in the print edition. While it is legal to post this link giving credit to the original source of the article, it would be a copyright infringement to “copy and paste” the print article directly into News Notes.)

6/21/10 Preliminary budget details, pool monitors top July-August newsletter
Details on the preliminary CDD budget are the top story in the latest edition of the CDD Communicator. The bottom line: the Board is proposing landowner assessments remain the same for the third year in a row. Other stories: a part-time monitor now oversees access and behavior at the park pool. The Board approves a few small improvements in community landscaping, but plans further review of a proposal to replace all plants and irrigation at the main entrance. The county provides statistics showing that defensive driving is more effective than the traffic light at Ballantrae-SR54 in reducing our accidents. At least one Ballantrae resident will participate this fall in the 60-mile Komen walk for a cure for breast cancer. Our county commissioner seeks your input on Pasco spending for next year.

6/11/10 CDD Board seeks zero-increase in budget for 2010-11
CDD assessments would remain the same next year under the preliminary 2010-11 budget proposed Monday night in a unanimous vote of the Board of Supervisors. The Board avoided any assessment increase by ensuring new spending is offset by decreases elsewhere. Residents will have the opportunity to comment on the preliminary budget at a public hearing scheduled for Aug. 9 at 6:30 p.m. at the clubhouse. The Board will then vote to enact a final budget for the fiscal year that begins on Oct. 1. Under state law, the Board’s final budget can maintain or reduce the assessment levels set in the preliminary budget, but it cannot increase them. That means 2010-11 will be the third year in a row without an increase in Ballantrae CDD fees. Details on the preliminary budget will appear in the upcoming July-August CDD Communicator newsletter.

4/15/10 FDOT OKs both ‘left-turn arrows’ sought at SR54 light by Ballantrae residents
The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) said today it has approved both “left-turn arrows” sought by residents at the intersection of Ballantrae Blvd. and SR54. A configuration will be added that stops westbound traffic, to allow motorists eastbound on SR54 to turn left into Ballantrae Blvd. A second configuation will stop eastbound traffic to allow westbound traffic to make U-turns in front of Ballantrae onto eastbound SR54. That is especially important to parents trying to reach the Imagine School to drop off or pick up children. Because SR54 is a state road, FDOT set the initial configuration of the traffic light and must document the need for any subsequent changes. As it promised, FDOT has been monitoring traffic levels since the light became active on March 18. FDOT said it would ask the county to proceed immediately to install the new turn signals. Pasco engineers had previously said they could install any additional light units “within a few weeks” of official word on their approval from FDOT.

4/12/10 CDD budget planning leads May-June newsletter
Planning for the 2010-11 Ballantrae CDD budget leads the May-June issue of the Ballantrae CDD Communicator newsletter now available here. Other stories update the process for adding “turn arrows” at the SR54 traffic light, plus the upcoming widening of SR54 at the Suncoast Parkway. The CDD Board votes to reduce district management fees by $16,000 a year, only a few months after lowering community landscaping costs by $40,000 annually. The CDD will plant “beneficial vegetation” around all ponds, while removing nuisance vegetation from three of them. The process is explained for electing three CDD Board members in November. The CDD also makes additions to its community website designed to keep residents informed while making Ballantrae even more attractive to home buyers.

4/08/10 Board to continue to discuss budget ideas at May 3 meeting
Items under discussion will include these that were proposed by Board members and/or residents at the April 5 meeting. Those include building a “kiddie pool” in the park, constructing a sidewalk from Cunningham’s entrance to Lintower’s, building fitness and/or nature trails, adding mulch beds beneath the swing sets in the park, building a dog park and offering “doggie comfort stations”, restoration of at least some seasonal lighting on community property and creating outdoor parking lots on community property to be available 24/7 for passenger and commercial vehicles used/owned by residents as well as for their boats and trailers. Residents are also welcome to contribute more ideas. At the May meeting, the Board will attach costs to the items suggested in April and begin setting priorities. A preliminary budget is expected to be adopted by the Board at the June 7 meeting and forwarded to the county as required by law. All meetings begin at 6:30 p.m. at the clubhouse. Board members agreed it was their intention to avoid any increase in assessments for the second year in a row. More details on CDD issues will be included in the May-June edition of The CDD Communicator coming out around the end of this month.

3/12/10 County looks to franchise trash haulers, reduce pickup days & noise
Tired of garbage trucks waking you up early virtually every morning in Ballantrae? The county is considering a fix for that. Today’s Tampa Tribune reports that the Pasco Board of County Commissioners is considering a plan to create trash hauling districts across the county. That means one company would be hauling in Ballantrae, instead of the two now collecting on different days. The proposal may also include rules to improve and mandate recycling. County Commissioner Pat Mulieri invites your email letting her know your opinion on this proposal and any ideas you have on this or any other subject.

3/09/10 County says traffic light will become active on March 18
County engineers said today that construction is just about complete on the traffic light at Ballantrae Blvd.-SR54. They say they plan to conduct tests of the signalization while acclimating motorists to the new lights. Their plan is to begin testing the lights on Tuesday, March 16. During the tests, the lights will “flash red” to traffic headed south on Ballantrae Blvd., and “flash yellow” to all traffic on SR54. If the lights pass all tests, engineers plan to activate the normal traffic control cycle on Thursday, March 18. Residents have asked the CDD Board about the single light head installed on the north side of SR54 facing Ballantrae Blvd. Engineers said it was added due to the distance between the southbound Ballantrae Blvd. “stop line” and the two controlling signal lights facing it on the south side of SR54. Engineers added the signal head on the north side of SR54 to reinforce the fact that traffic is now controlled by signalization. All three heads will display the same information. Engineers explained this configuration allows for the existing signalization to remain active with only minor realignment needed if Ballantrae Blvd. is extended to the south.

3/08/10 Website offers Public Safety page focusing on Ballantrae data
This web site now offers a Public Safety in Ballantrae page that can be accessed here or from the Public Safety link on the home page. The page serves two purposes. First, it provides residents with quick access to current and historical data on Pasco Sheriff’s Office calls in Ballantrae. In some cases, the CDD Board has extracted Ballantrae information from extensive countywide data to focus just on our community. Second, the page assists non-residents who might look at the site while considering buying here. It points out to them our low-crime history. It also shows Ballantrae’s proximity to the expanding police, fire and rescue plus hospital services available in ever-growing Pasco County. This site will be updated continuously with the sheriff’s latest data and any expansion of public safety facilities in our area.

3/01/10 CDD reduces management fees by 23 percent annually
The CDD Board voted today to accept a new, three-year district management contract. It will maintain current levels of service while reducing annual costs by 23 percent. Six proposals were received and considered to provide the service. One proposal was from Rizzetta & Co. It has had the CDD management contract since 2003. It was scheduled to receive $71,000 in the fiscal year that began Oct. 1, 2009. However, it submitted a proposal that would maintain current services at a new cost of $55,000 in each of the next three years. For details on how the CDD Board chose Rizzetta & Co., see the minutes of its Feb. 22 public workshop session here. For a synopsis of the duties performed by the district manager, click here.

2/19/10 Sheriff to monitor traffic speed on Ballantrae Blvd.
The Pasco Sheriff’s Office will operate a “speed trailer” along Ballantrae Blvd. later this month to monitor vehicle speed. The CDD Board requested the trailer. Off-duty deputies hired by the CDD Board have recently recorded many vehicle speeds upwards of 55 mph on the boulevard, despite its posted speed limit of 35 mph. The purpose of the speed trailer is to show motorists their speed in hopes they will observe the posted limit. If that does not result in a decrease in speeding vehicles, options include asking the sheriff’s office to increase its monitoring of the boulevard and to write more speeding tickets. Another option is asking the county to consider installing “speed bumps” on Ballantrae Blvd. Following the posted speed limit becomes even more important as vehicles approach the new traffic light at SR54 that becomes operational in early March. In any case, the CDD Board believes traffic must be slowed down to the posted limit for the safety of our residents.

2/18/10 Traffic light, parking & landscaping top issues in Communicator
The traffic light at Ballantrae Blvd. and SR54 will soon be operational. But traffic experts believe accidents will increase as motorists start getting used to it. Those are two of the stories to be found in the March-April edition of the Ballantrae CDD's Communicator newsletter posted here. Other stories in this edition include the new community landscaper's plans to improve the community and the CDD Board's plan to reduce certain fees for rental of the clubhouse. A photo-story essay describes the new St. Joseph's-North Hospital serving our community. The clock is ticking for any residents who want to seek county permission to allow parking on their streets. An engineering study commissioned by the CDD shows Ballantrae's infrastructure is in pretty good shape. And residents are reminded that, just as their help is needed to conserve water, their assistance is also needed in ensuring the lights stay on along our streets. Other stories include the county board of elections seeking applicants for three $1,200 collegiate scholarships while a picture page shows "Scenes of Ballantrae" in the park on a mid-winter's day.

2/10/10 CDD Board sets workshop to review management proposals
The CDD Board will hold a workshop session on Monday, Feb. 22, to review and discuss proposals received to provide the district with professional management services. The Board’s workshop will begin at 6:30 p.m. at the clubhouse. Residents will be offered the opportunity to comment upon the conclusion of the Board’s discussion. The agenda is posted here. The purpose of the workshop is for the Board to review and discuss the proposals; the Board will not vote or take any final action on proposals during this meeting. The Board intends to interview some of the potential vendors at a special Board meeting on Monday, March 15, at 6:30 p.m. at the clubhouse, after which the Board anticipates selecting a district manager.

2/04/10 County considers Shoppes of Ballantrae stormwater plan
The Pasco County Development Review Committee will hold a public hearing on Feb. 25 to consider issuance of a permit for the preliminary/construction site plan for stormwater management at the proposed Shoppes of Ballantrae Village. The hearing begins at 1:30 p.m. at the west Pasco government offices on Little Road. The Shoppes will be located on the north side of SR54 just south of the east pond at Ballantrae’s entrance. Shoppes developer James Dunphy says the approval is part of the normal process of gaining necessary permits for future work. There are no immediate plans for any construction work at the site. Having the permit in hand, he explained, will allow that phase of construction to proceed at a date yet to be determined.

12/07/09 Construction begins soon on Ballantrae-SR54 traffic light
With contractor bonds and insurance now in place, county officials say today is the first day of the contract period to install the long-awaited light. The first major project will be relocation of two storm drains at our entrance, and then moving a gas line and a sanitary sewer main. Once those projects are completed, concrete will be poured for the signal poles. County officials estimate the signalization will be completed in early March.

10/21/09 Newsletter highlights traffic light & school boundaries
The November-December edition of the bimonthly CDD Communicator is available here. It includes stories on the county awarding the bid to construct the long-awaited traffic light at Ballantrae Blvd-SR54, and another on what the term "county maintenance" of residential streets means to landowners. It also discusses Pasco school district plans to set new Oakstead elementary school boundaries following November hearings. Meanwhile, a Ballantrae residents leads an effort to assist homeless vets and schedules Veterans' Day events, while U.S. Rep Ginny Brown-Waite holds constituent outreach efforts to hear from local residents. Finally, the Ballantrae CDD receives a SWFWMD variance to increase irrigation to protect our community lawns and landscaping, while the Board also hires experts to re-write our specifications for the next community landscaping vendor contract.

10/06/09 County awards bid to install traffic light at Ballantrae Blvd.-SR54
The Pasco Board of County Commissioners voted unanimously today to award a contract for the construction of a traffic light at the intersection of Ballantrae Blvd. and SR54. Construction will begin this autumn and the light is expected to be operational in spring 2010. The contract was awarded to low bidder Florida Safety Contractors, Inc. of Thonotosassa. The bid was awarded at a total cost of $332,297. That includes the low bid price of $287,197 plus $100 in indemnification and $45,000 for allowance work, if necessary.

9/22/09 County calendars award of traffic signal bid for Oct. 6
County officials said today that they expect the Board of County Commissioners to award the bid at its Oct. 6 meeting for construction of the Ballantrae Blvd.-SR54 traffic light. Officials say actual construction will "most likely" get underway in about 30 days after the bid is awarded. The contract calls for construction to be completed within 180 days.

8/27/09 Communicator newsletter posted; details spending, traffic light status
The Ballantrae CDD Board will hold 2009-10 landowner assessments at current 2008-09 levels, according to the top story in its bimonthly Communicator posted here. The line-by-line Operating & Maintenance budget is also published in its entirety. The edition also carries a story on the county receiving three bids to install a traffic light at the Ballantrae Blvd.-SR54 intersection. Other stories include a wrap-up of recent CDD Board actions plus features on a Castleway youth collecting donations to help fund colon cancer research, and a new Zumba exercise class being offered at the clubhouse. The "snail mail" version of the newsletter will be received in 10-14 days. Sign up here for email notification when the newsletter appears online!

8/26/09 CDD Board obtains irrigation variance to protect community lawns, landscaping
A CDD Board request for a variance to modify watering restrictions on community lawns and landscaping has been approved by the Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD). The CDD irrigation system consists of six zones, as shown here in the approved variance. The variance approves our request to expand watering to six days each week, beginning Aug. 26, 2009. Under the variance, each zone can be watered as necessary on a different specified day each week, each from midnight to 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. to midnight. Pre-existing rain sensors will remain active on all irrigation zone timing clocks to prevent activation in case rainfall allows for adequate coverage. Previously, the CDD had to minimize irrigation of each zone in order to complete the watering of all six on the same day each week (Friday). SWFWMD officials agreed that limiting the CDD to one-day-a-week irrigation did not provide adequate time to deliver the minimum water coverage necessary across six zones to sustain landscaping and lawns. Notification of the variance is posted at the clubhouse in accordance with SWFWMD rules.

8/25/09 SWFWMD eases restrictions for private lawn, landscaping irrigation
Ballantrae landowners can once again irrigate their lawns and landscaping weekly from midnight to 8 a.m. or 6 p.m. to midnight, but not both, the Southwest Florida Water Management District said today. Today's decision rescinds the midnight to 4 a.m. Phase IV weekly restriction that was imposed April 3 throughout SWFWMD. While irrigation hours were expanded, landowners can still only water on their one assigned day of the week. See SWFWMD's current Phase III rules here.

8/24/09 County receives 3 bids to install traffic light at SR54
The Pasco County purchasing department today opened three bids competing to install the much-needed traffic light at Ballantrae Blvd. and SR54. The bids ranged from a low of $287,197 to a high of $450,109. Purchasing officials will now review the documents to determine the lowest responsible bidder. Officials expect the Pasco Board of County Commissioners to vote as early as its Sept. 22 meeting to award the bid. That could allow construction to begin in October. Construction is expected to take six months to complete, county officials said. See the Florida Department of Transportation's letter and data supporting the light here , and Pasco County's study of intersection accidents here.

8/22/09 Board changes September meeting date, sets meetings for Fiscal 2009-10
The CDD Board has re-scheduled its Sept. 7 meeting for Sept. 14, to avoid a conflict with the Labor Day holiday. The new date is also posted on the Community Calendar and on the bulletin boards at the clubhouse and the entrance to each village. In addition, the Board voted at its Aug. 3 meeting to set the date, time and location for each regular monthly meeting for the fiscal year that begins on Oct. 1. That list is posted here and on the clubhouse bulletin board. Individual meetings will be listed in the Community Calendar and in the bulletin board at each village entrance.

8/20/09 Final CDD operating budget re-posted in new format
The 2009-10 CDD Operating & Maintenance budget is re-posted in final form here. All the descriptions of line items and financial amounts are the same as those posted earlier. This version, prepared by the CDD Board, groups expenditures by category. It also re-numbers the line items to be consecutive. It is designed to be more user-friendly by giving landowners a clearer understanding of expenses for the fiscal year that begins on Oct. 1. A description and comparison of annual assessments is also posted here. We welcome your feedback on this new format at ballantraecdd@verizon.net.

8/03/09 CDD 2009-10 budget maintains current assessments
The CDD Board of Supervisors tonight adopted a 2009-10 budget that maintains current assessment levels for all Ballantrae landowners in the fiscal year that begins on Oct. 1. The operating budget is shown here in two pages. The third page shows debt service and assessments by property type. CDD assessments are based upon the frontage of property, not the value of the residence. Landowners will receive a "Notice of Proposed Property Taxes" this month from the county tax collector showing their potential maximum tax liability. The CDD numbers therein are based upon the Board's preliminary budget passed in June. Those numbers are superceded by those shown here, which will be reflected in actual tax bills sent out in November.

8/01/09 Zumba exercise class underway at clubhouse
The CDD Board has authorized a Zumba exercise class to be offered beginning today at the clubhouse. One-hour classes begin at 10 a.m. on Tuesdays and 9 a.m. on Saturdays. For more information, contact Carina Wells at (813) 380-3389. Two weekday swim programs previously approved by the Board are also accepting new enrollees. For the Infant Swim Resource program, contact Amy Miranda at (813) 624-2526. For the Maureen's Swim Academy program, call Maureen Boucher at (813) 855-0491. All three programs offer discounted rates to Ballantrae residents. Each program also pays a fee to the CDD to offset its use of community facilities.

7/30/09 Pasco to seek bids to construct Ballantrae Blvd.-SR54 light
Pasco officials said today they will begin advertising for bids on Aug. 3 to construct a traffic signal at the Ballantrae Blvd.-SR54 intersection. Bids will be opened on Aug. 24 for the light, now scheduled to be operational early next year. The announcement comes two days after Ballantrae CDD Board Chair Jim Flateau addressed the July 28 regular meeting of the Pasco Board of County Commissioners. He noted the documented need for the light and the county's support for it. He said the project had not been scheduled for bidding in July as promised, presumably due to funding issues. He also quoted county staff as saying bidding might be pushed back to September, or even later. Mr. Flateau asked that the project be bid as soon as possible. In response, Commissioner Pat Mulieri reiterated her support for the light. County Administrator John Gallagher directed his staff to set an early date for bids, resulting in today's announcement by his staff. The CDD Board joins everyone traveling SR54 in thanking county officials, especially Ms. Mulieri plus Mr. Gallagher and his staff, for their work in support of this much-needed light.

7/24/09 Agenda posted for Aug. 3 Board meeting, budget public hearing
The agenda is posted here for the Board's upcoming meeting at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 3, at the clubhouse. Residents are reminded the Board will also convene a public hearing during the meeting to hear comment on its preliminary budget posted here for the upcoming fiscal year that begins on Oct. 1. Details on the budget are also discussed here in the July-August edition of the Ballantrae Communicator.

7/06/09 Auditors approve CDD bookkeeping, say it reflects fiscal status
The CDD Board receives and spends landowner funds in full compliance with generally-accepted accounting procedures. That's the overall conclusion in a 28-page outside audit of CDD finances for the most recently-completed fiscal year. It began Oct. 1, 2007 and ended on Sept.30, 2008. That annual independent review of CDD finances, required by state law, was conducted by Grau & Associates of Boca Raton. The Board voted today to accept the auditor's report. It is available here at the Meeting Minutes, CDD Budgets & Budget Audits tab, as are all previous annual audits of the CDD Board's finances.

6/30/09 Governor signs bill allowing ‘Florida-friendly’ lawns
Gov. Crist today signed Senate Bill 2080, allowing homeowners to replace lawn sod with “Florida-friendly” plants. “Florida-friendly” planting grows from the concept of “xeriscaping.” That is a technique that needs minimal irrigation. Developed by the University of Florida, “Florida-friendly” lawns are intended to save money and resources by favoring plants that thrive with less water, fertilizer, pesticides and pruning than others or sod. Instead of listing all the plants fitting the “Florida-friendly” definition, the new law cites the University’s nine principles of Florida-friendly yards, which can be found here. Prior state law only allowed certain lawns established after October 2001 to be “xeriscaped” without the permission of HOAs. The new law extends the “Florida-friendly” prerogative to all lawns, overriding any HOA declarations or other local regulations that may have prohibited it.

6/30/09 Florida motorists, riders reminded to 'buckle-up' under new law
Ballantrae motorists are reminded that a mandatory seat-belt buckling law took effect today across Florida. All front-seat passengers and anyone under 18 must be properly buckled-up. If the unbuckled person is an adult riding in the front seat, that rider will receive the ticket rather than the driver. The new law allows police to stop motorists solely for seat belt use violations. The old law generally required police to have stopped motorists for another reason before they could issue tickets for seat belt violations. Details of the new law can be found here.

6/24/09 Ballantrae Communicator details preliminary budget, other stories
The July-August issue posted here details the additions and subtractions in the preliminary Ballantrae CDD budget. It also explains the confusing TRIM line, as well as the tax certificate sale program, both designed to protect landowners. Other stories highlight county efforts to deal with parking, sign and canine issues. It includes an update on bidding the SR54-Ballantrae Blvd. traffic light. There are also articles on the two swim programs operating at our pools. State Rep. Will Weatherford discusses landowner-related issues from the recently-completed legislative session in Tallahassee.

6/22/09 County to seek bids in July for SR54-Ballantrae Blvd. traffic light
The county will seek bidders beginning in early July to construct a traffic light at the intersection of SR54 and Ballantrae Blvd., Pasco officials told the CDD Board today. A contract and notice to proceed will be issued in September to the winning contractor so that work can then begin immediately, county engineering officials said. The project is then estimated to be completed within 180 days.

6/01/09 CDD Board sets Aug. 4 hearing on preliminary 2009-10 budget
The CDD Board voted today to convene a public hearing on the preliminary budget available here. The hearing will begin at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 3, in the clubhouse. After the hearing, the CDD Board will vote to adopt a final budget for the fiscal year beginning on Oct. 1. At the hearing, the Board will, among other things, make decisions on two key budget lines. The first is deciding how much of the TRIM at Line 163 should be retained in the operating budget, and how much should be deleted. The second key decision is deciding how much money can be rolled over into the operating budget for the new fiscal year at Line 166.

5/18/09 Board to vote June 1 on preliminary CDD budget
The Board is continuing to work on the CDD draft budget for the 2009-10 fiscal year that begins Oct. 1. It has cut $292,750 in spending recommended for next year that would have increased reserves beyond current levels, financed special events and began gating our village entrances. The Board expects to make more changes on June 1 before adopting the preliminary budget, which must then be submitted to the county. The Board will hold a public hearing to give landowners their fourth and final opportunity to comment before it adopts a final budget by the August deadline. Landowners are welcome to attend all Board meetings and offer their ideas during the Audience Comment period.

0/27/09 Budget, construction projects on agenda for CDD's May 4 meeting
The Board will continue to discuss items to be contained in next year's budget at its upcoming meeting. It will also receive updates on the on-going construction of water control facilities in Ayrshire as well as the planned construction of a sidewalk in Straiton from Girvan Drive to Mentmore Blvd. The preliminary agenda is posted on this website at the Board Meetings tab and in the CDD bulletin board outside the clubhouse meeting room.

4/22/09 May-June issue of the Communicator newsletter posted on-line
May-June edition stories include services offered to job seekers at Pasco libraries, county plans for a traffic light at Ballantrae Blvd.-SR54, progress on the CDD budget, a reminder of rules for use of community facilities and an update on the work performed by off-duty sheriff's deputies hired by the CDD. Residents are reminded they can opt to receive the newsletter on-line rather than on paper. See newsletter, details at the Communications tab.

4/06/09 Board begins consideration of spending for 2009-10 fiscal year
The CDD Board began its discussions at tonight’s meeting on initiatives to consider for inclusion in the budget year that begins Oct. 1. It is required by law to pass a preliminary budget by mid-June and a final spending plan in August. Budget discussions will continue at the May 4 meeting. While Board meetings begin at 6:30 p.m., residents are always welcome to arrive at any time and join the meeting in progress. Residents can offer their thoughts on any CDD issue during the Audience Comment portion of any meeting. More budget details in the upcoming May-June edition of the Communicator.

4/02/09 Work begins to rebuild two Ayrshire water outflow structures
Bio Mass Tech, Inc. began work today to renovate two water outflow structures on Ayrshire Blvd. One is being rebuilt at the corner of Cunningham Court, the other requires renovation a few hundred yards north of that location. The work is expected to be completed by the end of April. The project, including all design, engineering, construction, landscaping and associated costs, is expected to cost the CDD approximately $120,000. The CDD Board thanks landowners who live in the area of the two sites for their patience and understanding as this necessary project progresses to ensure proper drainage in the area.

3/31/09 Lawn irrigation limited to 4 hours on approved week day
Ballantrae residents are limited to using their irrigation system to water lawns from midnight to 4 a.m. on their one, approved watering day each week. That restriction is one of several approved today by the Southwest Florida Water Management District Board of Directors. They affect Pasco and neighboring counties. The new restrictions take effect on April 3. For full details, click here.

3/24/09 Pasco County raises fines for violating lawn watering restrictions
The Pasco Board of County Commissioners voted today to approve a 333 percent increase for first-time violations of lawn watering restrictions. The fine was raised from $30 to $130. Fines for second offenses were raised to $260 and subsequent violations will now cost $500 each. To learn when you should be watering, click here.

3/16/09 CDD Board authorizes lawsuit over Ayrshire structures
The CDD Board voted today to authorize a lawsuit over the condition of the water structures in Ayrshire. The Board approved an initial $10,000 in retainer to litigation counsel Michael Addison, who is also an engineer.

3/06/09 CDD Board votes $120,000 to repair Ayrshire water units
The CDD Board voted today to allocate up to $120,000 for repairs to the water structures in Ayrshire. The meeting at which the Board voted was held on-site at the intersection of Ayrshire Blvd. and Cunningham Court. The cost includes actual repairs as well as design and legal fees, landscape repair and other fees.

2/02/09 Board extends terms, OKs 2 swim instruction classes at pools
At the direction of County Election Supervisor Brian Corley, the Board voted to extend the terms of all five members to comply with state law requiring they end in odd-numbered years. The Board also voted to allow Maureen’s Swim Academy and the ISR swim program to offer services at the pool. Both were required to give Ballantrae residents a reduced rate and to pay $500 for use of the pool.

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