PWAC members come to consensus on future of amenity deferral rate

Project Wide Advisory Committee members came to a consensus Monday on the future of the amenity deferral rate for residents living south of County Road 466 in The Villages.

Budget Director Barbara Kays laid out three options for PWAC to consider:

• Remain at the current “cap” of $155. The downside of the idea is that by Fiscal Year 2022-2023, expenses will have begun to outpace revenue.

• Eliminate the deferral rate.

• Increase the deferred rate, and as an example, Kays offered the idea of setting it at $185.

She added that sticking with the $155 deferral rate could generate a loss of $50 million in revenue over the next 10 years.

You can see her entire presentation at this link: 4.8.19 PWAC Deferral Rate Discussion powerpoint presentation pdf

PWAC member and Community Development District 7 Supervisor Jerry Vicenti, who indicated this has been a “hot topic” generating plenty of email, asked whether all options had been considered.

He noted that the idea of putting more of the amenity burden on renters has been raised, but Vicenti pointed to the possibility of charging fees of guests.

“The only people getting a free ride are the guests,” Vicenti said.

He suggested charging $1 or $2 for guests.

“Residents need to know we exhausted all options before we decided to raise the cap,” Vicenti said.

However, his idea of charging guests was shot down.

“Charging visitors is a non-starter,” said PWAC Chairman Peter Moeller.

He noted he has guests right now and they look at The Villages as a wonderful “resort.”

PWAC member Patty Hoxie, a CDD 11 representative, agreed with Moeller.

“When people come to visit me I am ‘selling’ The Villages. I don’t want to charge people to swim in the pool. I am already paying my amenity fee. I think it makes us look cheap,” Hoxie said.

The idea of raising the cap also received a cold reception.

“If we raise the cap, we are kicking the can down the road. We do not go to Publix and demand they put a cap on the price of a loaf of bread,” said PWAC member Chuck Wildzunas, a CDD 5 supervisor.

PWAC member Don Wiley, representing CDD 10, agreed.

“Creating another deferral rate delays the decision. There is no point,” Wiley said.

There was no formal vote, but PWAC members came to the consensus that doing away with the cap was the best way to preserve the lifestyle Villagers have come to expect.

Next up, the Amenity Authority Committee, representing residents north of County Road 466, will take up the topic when it meets at 9 a.m. Wednesday at Savannah Center.

PWAC and the AAC will hold a joint meeting at 9 a.m. Monday, April 15 at Laurel Manor Recreation Center.