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The Villages
Wednesday, October 5, 2022

CDD 7 chair threatens conflict resolution over windmill and water tower

The chairman of the Community Development District 7 Board of Supervisors has threatened invoking the conflict resolution process over the possibility of using residents’ money to replace the rotted windmill and water tower at Brownwood Paddock Square.

Chairman Jerry Vicenti at Thursday’s board of supervisors’ meeting raised the possibility of taking action under Florida Statute Chapter 164 regarding governmental disputes. The target of the action would be the Sumter Landing Community Development District Board of Supervisors, which is the parent board of the Project Wide Advisory Committee.

Vicenti said 80 percent of the residents of The Villages are opposed to the idea of using residents’ money to replace the decorative windmill and water tower which had to be removed prior to the start of Hurricane Season because the withering structures had been deemed a public safety hazard. The original estimate for removal and replacement of the windmill and water tower was $225,000. PWAC is awaiting additional pricing on the replacement of the structures.

SLCDD attorney Kevin Stone recently issued a memo indicating that it is his interpretation of the existing PWAC agreement  that the “replacement” of the windmill and water tower is required and must be paid for with residents’ money.

CDD 7’s independent legal counsel Michael Eckert has a different interpretation. He said that “maintenance” of infrastructure is not the same as replacement.

“Resident money should not be used,” Eckert said. “If Brownwood or the Developer wants to pay for it, that’s fine.”

Community Development District 6 supervisors launched the conflict resolution process earlier this year. They were largely motivated by the extra money being expended by CDD 6 because CDD 7 had failed to sign onto the creation of a second PWAC for CDDs south of State Road 44.

The first conflict resolution session was held July 1. Vicenti and others initially described that meeting as productive. However, an Aug. 11 meeting was quite contentious.

Vicenti said the same Florida Statute 164 process could be used by CDD 7 to try to get the Sumter Landing board to take responsibility for the windmill and water tower.

“What goes around comes around. I told them they were opening up pandora’s box,” Vicenti said.

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