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The Villages
Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Expenses from Hurricane Irma drive two Villages CDDs into the red

Villages officials remain optimistic the Federal Emergency Management Agency will provide reimbursement for expenses related to Hurricane Irma last Sept. 11.

FEMA often reimburses local governments for up to 95 percent of disaster-related costs, although the money may be slow in coming. A recent congressional budget deal allocated more money for disaster relief.

“We anticipate we will be receiving reimbursement,” District Manager Janet Tutt told Community Development District 2 supervisors on Friday.

In some cases, she said, reimbursement hasn’t come for years.

The Villages isn’t alone in awaiting FEMA checks.

“The system is stretched,” said Mark White of Purvis, Gray & Co., an accounting firm that recently completed CDD audits. “We’re seeing a lot of FEMA attention with our local government clients. We’re optimistic and hopeful things will happen by Sept. 30.”

Sept. 30 is the end of the fiscal year for local governments.

For at least two districts, hurricane expenses helped drive their 2016-17 budgets into the red.

CDD 3 ended the 2017 with $1.25 million in revenue, $1.4 million in expenses and a $146,000 deficit. Hurricane expenses were $78,879 for the last fiscal year.

In CDD 4, Hurricane Irma expenses of $369,455 contributed to a $296,000 deficit for 2016-17.

When The Villages eventually receives FEMA funds, the money will pay for capital projects to improve storm water management and protect pumping stations from potential damage, said Assistant District Manager Richard Bauer.

The network of ponds and golf courses in The Villages helped protect the community from Hurricane Irma damage. Although flooded golf courses were closed for up to several weeks, no homes were flooded.

The Villages is sponsoring a pair of workshops on storm water management. The workshops at 3 p.m. Feb. 26 and March 2 at the Savannah Center will provide information on how the community’s storm water systems work, the source of irrigation water and environmental stewardship.

Tickets for the free event are available at box office locations and on the Internet at TheVillagesEntertainment.com.


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A Villager wonders if motor-driven bicycles should be allowed on the multi-modal paths in The Villages. Read his Letter to the Editor.

A golf cart cut me off and I went over the handlebars

A Village of Fenney resident, in a Letter to the Editor, describes being cut off by a golf cart while riding his bicycle on the multi-modal path.

The multi-modal paths are open to everybody

A Village of Gilchrist woman, in a Letter to the Editor, says the multi-modal paths are to be shared by everyone and are not exclusively for golf carts.

I enjoy riding my bicycle on multi-modal paths in The Villages

A Village of Dunedin resident, who frequently rides a bicycle on the multi-modal paths in The Villages, responds to a Letter to the Editor from a resident of the Village of DeSoto.

Pedestrians are not always treated with respect on multi-modal paths

In a Letter to the Editor, a Village of Osceola Hills at Soaring Eagle resident says that pedestrians are not always treated with respect on the multi-modal paths.