CDD 4 supervisors take crucial vote on 20 percent increase in maintenance assessment

The Community Development District 4 Board of Supervisors on Friday approved a 20 percent increase in maintenance assessment rates despite a room full of residents urging them not to do it.

Residents packed the Savannah Center as CDD 4 supervisors were scheduled to vote on the 2018-19 fiscal year budget.

CDD 4 is facing some steep bills:

• About $190,000 has already been spent on sinkholes on McLawren Terrace in the Village of Calumet Grove with another $700,000 expected to be spent.

• $465,000 has been spent on Hurricane Irma expenses, with no reimbursement yet from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

• There are road projects on the schedule with oil prices on the rise.

Residents who crowded the Savannah Center were skeptical of the need for the increase and voiced their fears about the financial impact on their lives.

“When you talk about a 20 percent increase you wave a red cape in front of a bull. In a retirement community, you’re talking about survival,” said Jim Zurak, a resident of Royal Oak in the Village of Springdale.

Supervisor Don Deakin made a motion in support of the 20 percent increase.

“This board agonized over what we were facing,” Deakin said in his push for the 20 percent increase. “I know that I am probably laying my position on the line.”

The motion was seconded by Supervisor Jim Brockman.

The vote was 4-1, with CDD Chairman 4 Paul Kelly the lone dissenter.

The increase would mean an annual increase at the high end of $167 for premier homeowners and at the lower end, an annual increase of $47 for villa owners.