CDD 7 supervisors grow more intent on divorce from PWAC

Article Courtesy of The Villages-News
By Meta Minton   
Published May 24, 2020

  

The Community Development District 7 Board of Supervisors appears more determined to pursue a divorce from the Project Wide Advisory Committee.
   

The CDD 7 Board debated the possibility with its attorney and District officials during a budget hearing this week at Savannah Center.

At issue is the $1.292 million that CDD 7 is expected to contribute in 2020-21 to PWAC, which includes community development districts south of County Road 466. The objective of PWAC is to spread out the costs of shared infrastructure. Headline-grabbing PWAC expenses have included repairs at the embankment at the Morse Boulevard Bridge and the replacement of rotting wood at Brownwood Paddock Square.

CDD 7 supervisors have chafed at the heavy presence of PWAC, which in the coming fiscal year is due to absorb nearly half of the budget, which is funded by maintenance assessment fees paid by residents.

 

A CDD 7 budget hearing this week turned into an edition of “Can This Marriage Be Saved,” and as in any acrimonious breakup, much of it centered on money.

CDD 7 Supervisor Jerry Vicenti, who sits on the PWAC board, wanted to explore the possibility of cutting off funding to PWAC.

However, board counsel Mark Brionez said that may not be possible due to an agreement the CDD 7 board has signed onto with PWAC. He suggested that the agreement seems to indicate that CDD 7 has no authority not to fund its obligation to PWAC.

Vicenti claimed the board had been duped into a one-way marriage.

“Shame on us. Shame on this board. (They) pulled the wool over our eyes,” Vicenti said.

However, District Manager Richard Baier disputed the notion that it had been a rigged arrangement.

“There is no bait and switch here. All of this was done in public session. All of this was discussed. All of this was posted in advance. The inference that the board was somehow ‘hoodwinked,’ Mr. Vicenti, is very insulting,” Baier said.

Supervisor Ron Ruggeri has repeatedly raised concerns about the potential ballooning of PWAC expenses as the Developer is planning to build another 60,000 homes in the aggressive southern expansion of Florida’s Friendliest Hometown.

“It all changed when he started building south of 44,” Ruggeri said.

Supervisor William Vondohlen, who in the past has raised serious concerns about CDD 7’s relationship with PWAC, said the only recourse may be sought through the courts.

“But I don’t give it much of a chance,” he said.

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