The chairmen of Community Development District 6 and Community Development District 7 didn’t reach an agreement over the establishment of a second Project Wide Advisory Committee, but both sides agreed progress was made at a conflict resolution session on Friday morning at Savannah Center.
District 7 is the lone holdout on a plan to form a separate PWAC for the growing area of The Villages south of State Road 44. Currently, one PWAC unites all the CDDs (5 through 13) south of County Road 466 and is a mechanism for the districts to share infrastructure costs. PWAC members agree that due to the difference in multi-modal paths, nature trails and other elements south of State Road 44, forming PWAC II is a good idea.
While the other CDDs have signed off on the plan, District 7 argues the agreement makes the PWAC totally subservient to the Developer-appointed Sumter Landing Community Development District Board of Supervisors. Discussions have been heated at times, with CDD 7 Board Chairman Jerry Vicenti walking out a PWAC meeting in October 2021.
Friday’s discussion between Vicenti and CDD 6 Board Chairman John Calandro – and their districts’ attorneys – was civil and constructive. Calandro emphasized that CDD 6 is paying an additional $234,000 per year without PWAC 2, while Vicenti disputed that amount and proposed several changes in the language of the deal.
“We feel those figures are wrong,” Vicenti said. “District 7 is not against the PWAC. It’s a great idea. But we need changes in the language. We tried to negotiate with Sumter Landing, and they told is it was their way or the highway. But language is money, and not changing the language will cost us all money in the long run.”
Top areas of concern include the fees businesses at Lake Sumter Landing and Brownwood are paying compared to the amount residents are paying, and the differences between maintenance and replacement. The windmill and water tower at Brownwood were cited as an example.
Calandro and CDD 6 attorney Mark Brionez agreed there is room for compromise in most of the areas brought up by Vicenti and CDD 7 attorney Mike Eckert. Regarding the validity of the financial figures they presented, Calandro encouraged CDD 7 to do its own study and share the results.
“You don’t agree with these figures, but you haven’t provided any alternatives,” he said. “If you have numbers that show something different, we’ll be glad to look at them.”
The two sides agreed to look for common ground and meet again at a date to be determined.