During the July CDD meeting, the Board began discussing next steps in preparing for Field Manager Doug Mays’ pending retirement.
Chairman Matt Lewis began the meeting by opening the floor to the audience. Mr. Anderson of the Shires explained that some neighbors had asked about the possibility of attending the budget public hearing on Aug. 8 by Zoom. District Manager Andrew Mendenhall explained that while there is a possibility of setting this up, it is easier to manage residents’ queries in person, especially with a community as large as Westchase. He explained later in the meeting that a letter will be going out to all residents with detailed updates on the budget and he would encourage residents to email questions to him directly ahead of the meeting. Supervisor Chris Barrett went on to explain that the CDD budget process was very straightforward and very seldom would any changes be made in the meeting. With no objections from the Board, Lewis made the decision to keep the meeting solely in person.
Mr. Anderson also enquired when Virtex would be starting construction of the cell tower. District Counsel Erin McCormick confirmed they had received a draft license from the county for the right of way and expected final approval on July 13. She expected work to commence in the next week or so and once construction starts, they have four months to complete the project.
Engineer Robert Dvorak updated the board on the Greens traffic calming project. He had received the required ADA compliance survey but needed more data; once that is collected, a construction plan will be formed. Field Manager Doug Mays added that he had begun working on quotes for the crosswalk striping and confirmed that the vegetation restricting line of site in the area had already been removed.
Following on from last month’s meeting, Dvorak suggested that it might be a good idea for him to attend, at no charge, the CDD workshops which covered long-term strategic planning. Dvorak was confident he and his team would be able to help facilitate future changes and developments. Lewis agreed that the knowledge Dvorak brings from the other communities he has worked with would be invaluable.
Office Manager Sonny Whyte informed the board that she had completed a walk through with the insurance adjuster and they had provided her with a list of recommendations. The only two areas of note were potential trip hazards at the basketball courts and sidewalks in the Village Greens area, both of which have proposals pending. The insurance company shared that they were impressed with how the property was run and had no major concerns. In fact, the field team handled the majority of recommendations the very next day.
Mays reminded the board that there were “nine more meetings” (referring to the monthly board meetings) before he retires and encouraged them to start thinking about how they wanted to move forward with a replacement. He added that in his experience it would be very beneficial to have a few months crossover and Supervisor Reggie Gillis went as far as to recommend a 3-to-6-month period of training. Barrett requested the topic be kept on the agenda and asked Mendenhall to prepare an advertisement for the position ahead of the next meeting.
Whyte did not have a significant update on the Bell Tower refurbishment but confirmed that the architects had sent out permit requests to the county and they were 90% prepared to put the work out to bid. There was still some uncertainty as to how the bids would be separated but Lewis suggested he, McCormick and Mays hold a separate meeting to discuss next steps. Lewis was confident that the project could be completed before Mays’ retirement.
The meeting finished with Supervisor requests and Lewis was keen to set out a plan for future workshops to cover the Bell Tower development, tree policy and long-term planning. Barrett requested that ahead of the transition to the new landscaping company, Davey review certain areas to mitigate potential upfront costs the new landscaper might identify.
Residents should look out for letters regarding the budget ahead of the public hearing on August 8 at 4 p.m. Questions/concerns can be directed to Andrew Mendenhall at email@example.com.