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CDD Parks Work Runs into Additional Delay

The brief Dec. 1 meeting of the Westchase CDD put off bid selection for the district’s $1.5 million parks improvement project for another month. In the meantime, residents are still asked to contact the district to share their views on different play equipment proposed for Westchase parks.

At their Nov. 3 meeting, Community Development District (CDD) supervisors directed staff to have bids to rehab Baybridge and Glencliff Parks and the West Park Village splash fountain ready for the Dec. 1 meeting. Addressing the inability to move the project forward, Field Manager Doug Mays and Officer Manager Sonny Whyte stated they were finding it difficult to find contractors willing to bid the projects.

The result?

A 45-minute meeting largely tended to housekeeping details.

Citing the past difficulty with finding multiple bids under $200,000 for the new splash pad, CDD Supervisor Greg Chesney made a motion to accept the solitary bid staff had for that project – which pegged costs at $164,890. Addressing the matter, Whyte stated she had another contractor visit the site two weeks prior to the session but that company had not submitted a bid in time for the meeting. Whyte also stated a third vendor she had contacted didn’t return her call.

Supervisors ultimately voted 2-3, with the majority opposed, killing Chesney’s motion and putting off that bid award. Staff was asked to pursue additional bids and return in January along with the park plan designer, Neale Stralow, to award the major contracts for the park work.

CDD Chair Mark Ragusa also inquired with WOW regarding the possibility of running images of all bids’ proposed playground equipment so that residents could weigh in with their preferences. At deadline for January’s WOW, however, all bids and their artists’ renderings still had not been received by the district. Residents interested in reviewing the different playground equipment options, however, can contact CDD staff at cdd@westchasecdd.com. They will make them available for resident review.

At the December meeting, supervisors also reviewed a bid to rework the district’s assessment methodology, triggered by a potential change of West Park Village land from commercial to residential and the addition of a tract of land that was incorrectly left out of assessments previously. The company that created the existing methodology, Fishkind and Associates, bid $20,000 to completely review and redo the methodology. Supervisors, however, asked District Manager Andy Mendenhall to request a bid from Fishkind simply to address the two changes – as well as bids from Mendenhall’s company, Severn Trent, for the same work.

In other actions:

Supervisors learned that pond bank repair work to the large retention pond in The Bridges would commence in January.

Supervisors approved the expenditure of $3,431 for a bond for the completed repaving work in The Vineyards.

CDD Manager Andy Mendenhall stated that further study of CDD-owned lands within the defunct Westchase Commercial Association showed that the district owned less acreage than previously believed, thus reducing its votes in the commercial association. David Weekley Homes has approached the district for its support in disbanding the defunct organization, whose rules bind the West Park Village land upon which David Weekley would like to build residential townhomes. The district, however, declined to support the vote to disband that association. That commercial association is a different entity than the residential Westchase Community Association, which enforces rules on residents’ homes.

By Chris Barrett, Publisher

Posted 12 December 2015

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