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The Villages
Saturday, May 28, 2022

Residents howl at notion of paying to replace rotted wood of windmill and water tower

Residents of The Villages are howling at the notion of using their money to pay for the replacement of the rotted wood of the windmill and water tower at Brownwood Paddock Square.

District Manager Kenny Blocker went into full damage-control mode with a front page story in Tuesday’s edition of The Villages Daily Sun. He laid out the District’s position in the quick removal of the 10-year-old windmill and water tower prior to the June 1 start of Hurricane Season.

In the Daily Sun piece, Blocker refuted the notion that pine wood had been used in the construction of the windmill and water tower. He said that “heartwood” had been used in the structures.

However, residents contend that rot is rot when it comes to the expensive replacement which will be funded with money from residents’ maintenance assessments.

“As a citizen, I do not want my fees used for this endeavor. The Developer uses these as marketing and could therefore use their funds. These do not benefit any citizen, but does benefit the Developer in that they are photographed and used to market,” said Debbie DeBiase of the Village of Tamarind Grove.  

The windmill and water tower were removed Wednesday night at Brownwood Paddock Square
The windmill and water tower were removed last week at Brownwood Paddock Square.

The initial figure provided for the demolition and replacement of the windmill and water tower was $225,000. However, that was based on using pressure treated wood. Project Wide Advisory Committee members are interested in using sturdier, longer-lasting materials for the rebuilding of the windmill and water tower. At least one PWAC member is fearful that the price could climb as high as $500,000.

However, residents are questioning whether the structures need to be replaced at Brownwood.

“Do not rebuild as neither is needed. Costs overruns would escalate and cost residents much more. If the Developer wants them, have him foot the bill,” said Villager Wayne Sapp.

Other residents agree that the Developer should pick up the tab if the windmill and water tower are to be replaced.

“We were already forced to pay the $20,000 to take it down and that is where it should end for the residents. It is not an amenity that any of us can physically use so let’s put our foot down on this one and refuse to pay. With hundreds of homes being built south of State Road 44 each month the Developer can certainly afford this bill,” said resident Terry Camlin.

With the cost of living climbing, many residents contend a fake windmill and water tower should not be high on the priority list.

“If a decision is made to replace these two structures it should be the responsibility of the Developer, period! It is unfair to expect the homeowners to fund this or share in the cost.  They didn’t ‘ask’ to have these structures built,” said Villager Kimberly Bohms.

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