57.5 F
The Villages
Thursday, April 25, 2024

It’s not fair for existing residents to pay for fire facilities down south

Daniel Warren

Your five newly appointed Villages fire district (VPSDDD) commissioners are on the doorstep of approving a new system to collect fees and taxes to pay for our Villages fire and rescue services.

Millions of dollars will be required to fund many new fire stations and the new equipment that goes with that expansion. There is only one reason this expansion is occurring; new development.

The current method of funding these new facilities proposed by a consultant and your District Manager (Mr. Kenny Blocker) is to borrow and or lease. This means all existing residents in The Villages portion of Sumter County will be paying for these NEW facilities for the next 20 years as build-out occurs. It is not fair to the existing residents to fund these facilities which are caused by new development.

There is an alternative method to fund these new improvements through a FIRE IMPACT FEE. This Fire Board has the ability to request the Sumter County Board to institute a Fire Impact Fee on behalf of our fire district, on each NEW single family home and commercial residential equivalent. At The Villages Developers’ current pace of 11 new homes per day, a $2,000/unit Impact Fee would raise $8 million per year. This is more than enough to pay for the new fire infrastructure in CASH for the balance of the development without existing residents paying for these new facilities. By the way, Sumter County has for decades had a transportation impact fee in place to fund major roadway improvements caused by new development.

Most surrounding counties have fire impact fees on new development. In fact the Sumter County board is currently in the process of implementing a FIRE IMPACT FEE for their fire district serving those areas outside the Villages in Sumter County. Therefore, the odds of a Fire Impact Fee request to the County being successful, would be very high. There is no good reason to reject imposing a FIRE IMPACT FEE for our Villages fire district. Mr. Blocker needs to start representing the existing residents on this matter and advise our Fire District Board to petition the Sumter County Board to implement a FIRE IMPACT FEE on new properties in the Villages.

Sumter County Village residents need to be heard on this matter. You need to contact Mr. Blocker and your Fire District commissioners urging them to implement a Fire Impact Fee on new construction. If only minimal voices are heard, you may very well be paying for these new fire facilities for the next 20 years.

Dan Warren is a resident of the Village of  Gilchrist.

What’s the real story when it comes to golf courses in The Villages?

A Village of Hadley resident, in a Letter to the Editor, says he is trying to get to the bottom of the reason for the problems at golf courses in The Villages.

Why can’t The Villages get a Trader Joe’s?

A reader from Summerfield says that The Villages has done a great job of reeling in businesses, but can’t seem to land a Trader Joe’s.

Here’s the Secret Recipe when it comes to The Villages

Is there a Secret Recipe when it comes to The Villages? A Village of Fenney resident thinks so and he’s ready to offer his observations in a Letter to the Editor.

Vietnam veterans grateful for community support

An official with Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 1036 is grateful for community support. Read his Letter to the Editor.

Serious top-down management failure in The Villages

In a Letter to the Editor, a Village of Collier resident has been studying the golf course crisis in The Villages and has concluded there has been a serious top-down management failure.