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The Villages
Tuesday, January 31, 2023

PWAC members remain deeply divided on replacement of windmill and water tower

Project Wide Advisory Committee members remain deeply divided on the replacement of the windmill and water tower at Brownwood Paddock Square.

PWAC members on Monday debated an attorney’s opinion regarding the controversial replacement of the ornamental structures demolished earlier this year prior to Hurricane Season they were deemed a public safety hazard.

Attorney Kevin Stone, who represents the Sumter Landing Community Development District Board of Supervisors which is the parent board of PWAC, had released an opinion prior to Monday’s meeting which indicated residents’ money should be used to replace the rotted windmill and water tower. Stone had a death in the family and could not be at Monday’s PWAC meeting. Attorney Scott Gerken of Gerken & Stone filled in.

Gerken praised Stone’s memo on the windmill and water tower question. You can read the memo here: memo_maintenance_20220805

“You know how lawyers typically dodge answers, well this one is a ‘Yes,’” Gerken said. “We stand by the opinion.”

He said the memo clearly states that the community development districts that make up PWAC must pay for the “maintenance” of shared infrastructure such as the windmill and water tower.

PWAC member Jerry Vicenti, who serves as chairman of the Community Development District 7 Board of Supervisors, said his board’s independent counsel has a very different interpretation of the term “maintenance.” He indicated his board will not contribute to the replacement of the windmill and water tower. Vicenti added that he is offended that the Developer has not responded to CDD 7’s letter asking for financial help with the windmill and water tower demolition and replacement, initially estimated at $225,000.

Vicenti added that 85 percent of residents are against paying to rebuild the windmill and water tower.

PWAC member Steve Bova, representing CDD 10, agreed that residents are unhappy about the situation.

“It’s not so much about replacing the items, but who is paying for them. Residents are having a hard time understanding why we are using our funds to support a commercial district. That is what they are telling me,” Bova said.

However, he said he agrees with the attorney’s interpretation of the issue.

“We are still contractually obligated to fix it. That’s the bottom line,” Bova said.

PWAC Chairman Don Brozick, who also serves as chairman of the CDD 11 board, said ultimately there is a duty to the residents.

“We are trying to maintain the quality of The Villages,” Brozick said.

It is expected that next month, PWAC will have estimates to discuss on the price of the replacement of the windmill and water tower.

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