PWAC looking at possible 8 percent increase to be passed on to CDDs

The Project Wide Advisory Committee is looking at a possible 8 percent budget increase to be passed on to community development districts.

PWAC members on Monday morning reviewed the $13.188 million proposed budget for the 2019-2020 fiscal year and members appear to be prepared to bite the bullet.

The expenditures for the PWAC maintenance budget are projected to go down by 1 percent or $127,440. This budget includes maintenance for multi-modal paths, landscaping and shared infrastructure. The PWAC amenity budget is completely separate.

Although the budget is down from last year, there are increases, including an increase of $42,871 to be paid to The Villages Technology Solutions Group, a private vendor that provides internet access and other data services. PWAC’s annual bill from TSG is expected to climb from $45,240 this year to $88,111 in the coming fiscal year. That’s a 97 percent increase.

Last year, PWAC agreed to take $500,000 out of working capital to soften the budget blow, in what proved to be an expensive year.

For the coming year, PWAC has the option to take $346,750 out of working capital to help pay for expenditures, but most members appear reluctant to dip into those funds yet again.

“We have to pay the piper this year,” said PWAC member Dennis Hayes, a Community Development District 8 supervisor.

PWAC member Don Wiley, chairman of CDD 10, said he could not in good conscience reach back in and take more money out of working capital.

“The districts are going to have to pay this cost at some point,” he said.

PWAC Chairman Peter Moeller also expressed concern that the working capital budget is being “nibbled away at.”

PWAC member Patty Hoxie, a CDD 11 supervisor, was the lone voice in favor of dipping into working capital.

“It’s called working capital for a reason. I would rather have it working for us,” she said.

PWAC includes representation from CDDs 5 through 11 and the Brownwood Community Development District. PWAC’s budget is funded through maintenance assessment fees paid by residents in those districts.

Budget Director Barbara Kays is well known for conservatively budgeting on the “high side” when it comes to expenses. Up until final budget approval in the fall, she is known to re-examine the numbers and the final figure is historically lower when formally approved. Thus, an 8 percent increase might be much lower when it is time for final budget approval.

You can see her entire budget presentation at this link: 05.06.19 Recommended Budget Presentation – PW

Looming over the budget discussion is the rock revetment project at the embankment of the Morse Boulevard Bridge. PWAC has $2.1 million tucked away in general reserve for the anticipated revetment project.

PWAC member Jerry Vicenti, a CDD 7 supervisor, expressed his concern that as time passes, the cost of the work will continue to climb.

“I foresee a bigger bill,” Vicenti predicted.

District Manager Richard Baier revealed some “good news.” Recent information obtained at the site indicates there has no been no further degradation at the slope.