A Community Development District 2 supervisor has suggested cutting back 10 percent on flowers to save residents’ money on maintenance assessment fees.
Supervisor Bart Zoellner raised the idea Friday at the CDD 2 board meeting at Savannah Center. The board was discussing a proposed $1.5 million operating budget for the 2021-2022 fiscal year. The budget includes an 8 percent increase in maintenance assessment fees paid by residents.
Zoellner said residents are faced with rising costs and government needs to do its part to hold the line. He lamented that the budget was not being put under a microscope.
“Costs are going up. Where can we save a dollar in this thing? Government has zero incentive to save money, because it’s other people’s money,” Zoellner said.
He pointed to the flowers in the roundabout right outside the Savannah Center.
“There are flowers behind plantings in the circle at Savannah Center. You tell me we can’t take 10 percent of those flowers out of there. Nobody would be able to tell the difference,” said the resident of Harmeswood at Belle Aire.
Flowers are changed out four times per year in The Villages.
Budget Director Barbara Kays said that $17,000 of the CDD 2 landscaping budget will be devoted to flowers in 2021-2022.
“We need to remember we went a very long time without raising maintenance assessment fees, until we had the problem with the Alhambra sinkhole,” said CDD 2 Chairman Bill Schikora.
He pointed out that residents of The Villages south of State Road 44 are complaining about the lack of flowers where they live.
“The reason I live in The Villages is because it is such a beautiful place. I would happily pay a few extra bucks to keep it that way,” Schikora said.
The proposed budget was approved by the board and is scheduled for final approval in September.
CDD 2 residents will receive letters in August informing them of the increase in maintenance assessment fees. The notification is required by state statute.