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The Villages
Friday, July 12, 2024

Bottled water and severed internet left in wake of disastrous work

Elizabeth Gualfetti of the Seneca Villas was living on bottled water and had a severed internet line in the wake of disastrous work in her neighborhood.

Gualfetti spoke out Thursday morning before the Community Development District 7 Board of Supervisors detailing the upheaval of her life which began May 7 when Quantum Fiber (also known as Lumen and formerly known as CenturyLink) began digging up her neighborhood.

Among the major inconveniences suffered by Gualfetti and her neighbors were a broken water line forcing them to boil water or use bottled water, destroyed sprinkler systems, sliced internet lines and damaged driveways.

“I have been manually watering my plants for 31 days,” Gualfetti said.

After her internet line was severed, her temporary line for internet through Xfinity has been unreliable.

The upheaval has also included crews digging up streets late into the night.

The crew laying the fiber has been working late into the night
The crew laying the fiber has been working late into the night.

She detailed the numerous calls she has made to Quantum and getting the runaround – on the few occasions she could get a live human being on the phone.

Gualfetti, a retired paralegal, asked the board the burning question, which has yet to be answered.

“Who is the responsible party? Who is accountable?” she asked.

Fingerprints have been disappearing since Quantum began digging in the Allandale Villas and Seneca Villas, turning those neighborhoods into “war zones.”

It’s unclear exactly what role/responsibility the District, Sumter County and the Developer/The Villages has had in allowing this fiasco to unfold.

Sumter County has indicated it provided the permit for the work, but said Quantum did not clearly communicate when the work would begin. The District Office has acknowledged it allowed Quantum to place door hangers at residents’ homes alerting them to the upcoming work.

The smoking gun is apparently an email that has been unearthed showing there was communication in December between Quantum and The Villages, allowing the work to begin.

“Nothing happens in The Villages without the Developer’s approval,” said CDD 7 Supervisor Steve Lapp.

The blame game continued when representatives of Quantum were called to the podium. They complained about “mismarked lines” and a lack of communication from rival Comcast. They also claimed they ran a legal notice in The Villages Daily Sun, aimed informing the public of the upcoming work.

“I am a little worried about (you) passing the buck,” CDD 7 Board Chairman Jerry Vicenti told the Quantum representatives. “It’s been six weeks. The person with the contract is the person who is responsible.”

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