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The Villages
Thursday, June 30, 2022

Supervisors take aim at windmill and water tower as residents face tough times

Community Development District 8 supervisors contend that in tough times, the Project Wide Advisory Committee had better be prepared to rein in expenditures.

Inflation, gas prices and skyrocketing insurance rates are worrying residents of The Villages, many of whom are on fixed incomes.

In recent weeks, the rotted wood of the now-removed windmill and water tower at Brownwood Paddock Square has become the poster child for need vs. want.

“How are my constituents really benefitting from the windmill or water tower or the construction of a new one?” asked Supervisor Sal Torname at CDD 8’s budget workshop Wednesday at SeaBreeze Recreation Center.

He and other supervisors are concerned that the bulk of CDD 8’s 2022-23 budget will be consumed by its commitment to PWAC, which oversees infrastructure south of County Road 466. CDD 8 is expected to contribute $1.65 million to PWAC next year. The money comes from maintenance assessment fees paid by residents of CDD 8 which includes Buttonwood, Bridgeport at Creekside Landing, Bridgeport at Laurel Valley, Pennecamp, St. Charles, St. James and Tamarind Grove.

“I am hearing all sorts of angst about those two items in Brownwood,” said Supervisor Duane Johnson. “PWAC had better take a very close look at the numbers this time around. They had better cut back.”

Criticism about the windmill and water tower fiasco has apparently been an eyeopener for some elected officials.

“As the Developer moves out and the residents take over, they are stuck paying for the maintenance scheme the Developer’s appointed supervisors agreed to,” said CDD 8 Chairman Larry McMurry.

Dennis Hayes, who represents CDD 8 on PWAC, reminded his fellow supervisors that the windmill and water tower, which are purely ornamental and have no function, must be replaced at Brownwood.

“We are contractually responsible for the replacement of the windmill and water tower,” Hayes said.

Initially, PWAC was informed that the removal and replacement of the windmill and water tower would cost $225,000. However, PWAC wants to look at sturdier materials for their replacement, which would be more costly.

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