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Greens and Stonebridge Roads Slated for Resurfacing in 2014

Outside of an informal decision to resurface two gated neighborhoods’ roads, the 45 minute meeting of the Westchase CDD saw supervisors largely following up on old agenda items.

Westchase Community Development District (CDD) Engineer Tonja Stewart opened the Feb. 4 meeting by stating she had recently visited both The Greens and Stonebridge, two gated communities whose roads are slated for resurfacing this year. “It does appear they can be milled and surfaced this year,” she said, suggesting that their current condition warranted the work.

The CDD generally owns and maintains roads in gated communities as well as West Park Village alleys. Homeowners in those neighborhoods are assessed for the work and funds are reserved annually to enable the district to complete the work.

District staff will now likely seek bids. The CDD has, however, yet announced a date for the project.

CDD Attorney Erin McCormick then turned to another project – the resurfacing of Saville Rowe’s roads and drainage work in that neighborhood. McCormick announced she had discovered that the drainage work will occur on both Saville Rowe-association-owned lands but also on private property belonging to two unit owners. “This has put the brakes on moving forward with the project,” she stated. She added that the work will commence once the landowners sign a temporary licensing agreement permitting the work on their properties. Supervisors unanimously approved McCormick’s prepared agreements.

Addressing the draft audit of the district for 2013, District Manager Andy Mendenhall remarked, “These are the audits I like seeing.” Mendenhall briefed supervisors on the auditor’s clean report, which stated that no instances of illegal or improper financial issues were discovered. Supervisors then voted unanimously to accept the audit.

Field Supervisor Doug Mays announced that a small fence had been installed across the potentially unsafe bank of a Castleford pond to keep people from using the pond bank as a short cut through two Castleford homeowners’ yards. One of the homeowners, who opposed the fence, has requested the minutes of meetings at which supervisors discussed the matter. Mays stated that the resident, who had also committed to cutting back yard landscaping that had encroached on the district-owned pond bank, had not yet done so. Supervisors asked McCormick to send the resident a courtesy reminder letting him know the district will undertake the work if not completed within 15 days.

Supervisors approved an increase in the amount paid to Securitas, the company that staffs The Greens gatehouse. Mays stated it was the first increase in four years and totaled $1,343 for the entire year. The change represents a 15 cent hourly increase to guard compensation.

Closing the session, Attorney McCormick stated she had researched whether Supervisor Brian Ross could sell the district surplus street lamps from the former Westchase Welcome Center, which he now owns. In the past the CDD has explored acquisition of the lamps for use as replacements for damaged ones within Harbor Links/The Estates. McCormick, however, stated that Florida law prohibits either district staff or supervisors from benefitting directly or indirectly from any business activity or exchange with their district. Ross had asked McCormick to offer her opinion on the propriety of a potential sale at the district’s January meeting.

At the meeting’s close, CDD Chair Ragusa also requested staff have Engineer Stewart review a newly acquired piece of property between Stonebridge and The Vineyards to determine potential uses, access and needed fencing.

In other actions:

District Manager Mendenhall inquired whether CDD Chair Ragusa had heard anything from Harbor Links/The Estates regarding the village’s preferred repayment period for the conversion of their gas street lights to LED lamps. Supervisors are waiting to hear whether the neighborhood prefers to repay the district for the work over three, four or five years. That decision will have to be incorporated into the district’s budget, which is worked on by supervisors over the summer.

Supervisors approved McCormick’s request for authorization to notify the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office of the CDD’s intent to renew agreements enabling deputies to enforce traffic laws behind the gates of Harbor Links/The Estates and The Greens.

Supervisors voted 4-1, with Supervisor Bob Argus opposed, to approve a request from the YMCA to erect a bounce house in Baybridge Park on one Saturday each month for the community’s use. 

Supervisors adjourned at 4:48 p.m.

By Chris Barrett, Publisher

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