The Villages District Office has issued a statement indicating it is not part of Gov. Ron DeSantis’ aim at dismantling the special district status enjoyed in Florida for many years by Walt Disney World.
DeSantis announced earlier this week that the Florida Legislature “will be considering termination of all independent special districts that were enacted in Florida prior to 1968, and that includes the Reedy Creek Improvement District.” Reedy Creek is the special district under which Disney falls. State Sen. Dennis Baxley, who represents The Villages, on Wednesday voted in support of the anti-Disney legislation.
“If passed, this dissolution would only affect Chapter 189 special districts enacted in Florida prior to 1968,” The Villages District Office said in its statement. “First established in the early 1990s, The Villages Community Development Districts were, and will continue to be, formed under Chapter 190 Florida Statutes, and therefore this has no impact on our community.”
Gary Moyer, for whom a recreation center is named in The Villages, was the driving force behind the development of Chapter 190. At one point his firm was handling 250 special districts in Florida. Moyer teamed up with H. Gary Morse in the early 1990s and was critical to the unparalleled success of The Villages. Moyer served as vice president of development for The Villages but cut ties with The Villages in 2019.
The Villages District Office points out that there are only five special districts that could potentially be dissolved by the action of the governor in tandem with the legislature. They are:
• Hamilton County Development Authority
• East Point Water and Sewer District (Franklin County)
• Bradford County Development Authority
• Reedy Creek Improvement District aka Disney (Orange and Osceola Counties)
• Sunshine Drainage District (Broward County)