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The Villages
Monday, June 5, 2023

Shallow ponds south of State Road 44 cause concern about maintenance expense

The shallow ponds south of State Road 44 are causing concern about growing maintenance expenses.

There are now 750 basins in The Villages, which are key to controlling storm water retention.

The Project Wide Advisory Committee, in a budget review Wednesday morning, learned that the cost of aquatic weed control for the ponds has climbed by 79 percent. PWAC, which is funded by residents, shares infrastructure costs south of County Road 466.

The fact that the ponds south of State Road 44 are much shallower than the ponds in the north, has caused concern for PWAC member Steve Bova, who represents Community Development District 10.

He said the ponds south of State Road 44 are full of weeds.

“I am really seeing a lot of weeds and cattails. People who paid for views aren’t happy. This could become a huge expense,” Bova said.

The ponds south of State Road 44 are only about 2 feet deep and have bubblers, making them very different from the deeper ponds in the north. Ponds that are located in preserve areas south of State Road 44 also have limitations on spraying, making weed control more problematic.

Assistant District Manager Bruce Brown, who oversees District Property Management, said the aquatic weed control contract is driven by the costs of chemicals and labor.

Basin in Village of Fenney hit by 29 sinkholes

PWAC members were also warned during the budget review session to brace for the cost of repairs to a pond in the Village of Fenney. The pond has drawn numerous complaints from residents.

“Over 50 percent of the time we have no water,” said Gail Kelly, who spoke out earlier this month before the Community Development District 12 Board of Supervisors about the poor condition of the pond.

She bought her home on Caruthers Path in 2021 for $989,000.

Residents on Caruthers Path in the Village of Fenney are fed up with their dried out basin
Residents on Caruthers Path in the Village of Fenney are fed up with their dried out basin.

An engineering study is taking place to come up with a plan for repairing the pond, which has been hit with 29 sinkholes in its short life.

In 2020, PWAC took over financial responsibility for the ponds in Fenney.

Brown said some of the repair options were in the “multi-million dollar range,” but were rejected due to high costs.

He did not offer a financial guesstimate on the potential cost for the pond’s repair.

“I am afraid we are going to have sticker shock when we see the final budget,” said PWAC member Dennis Hayes, who represents Community Development District 8.

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