The VHA’s quarterly Town Hall is a formum to answer questions sent in by The Villages Homeowners Advocates members. Several community leaders make up a panel who graciously answer resident questions and concerns in the areas of public safety, how to resolve deed compliance issues, what’s happening in the community, construction updates, the who-what-why-how-when types of curiosity inquiries, and the never ending and often implausible rumors that pop up.
In the past several years the format for publishing the Town Hall questions and answers has been through the monthly insert of The Voice in The Daily Sun, as well as on our website. Beginning in January of this year, we have changed the format of The Voice to a single page in The Daily Sun and are directing members and interested residents to “read more” by coming here to the website due to space restrictions on the printed page.
It is a vital resource for not just The VHA members, but Villages residents who are looking for programs, resources, and information that are useful for “Living the Dream”.
This month the Town Hall panel guests included: Dr. Gary Lester, The Villages Vice President of Community Relations; Captain Robert Seimer, Sumter County District Commander for The Villages; Major Pat Breeden, Sumter County Undersheriff; and Brittany Wilson, Assistant District Manager for The Villages Community Development Districts, and via email Deborah Snyder, Sumter County Dept. of Public Works.
Twenty-nine questions were vetted and approved for prior submission to the panel for them to research and address at the Town Hall meeting. Those attending the Town Hall, which is open only to The VHA officers and neighborhood representatives, had a meet-and-greet with the panel prior to the discussion, and were able to ask follow-up questions for clarification. Below is a brief summary:
- The Barnstorm Theater at Brownwood continues to be a topic of concern, but will not be reopening until, and unless, the movie industry recovers in light of the popularity of streaming services and the continued decreased attendance at The Old Mill in Sumter.
- When Will We Know: Groundbreaking dates are not available at this time for: CVS in Magnolia Plaza or the hospital in Lake County. Meggison Rd. at CR 470 will be opening soon, and the completion of the mail kiosk at the former Hacienda Hills Country Club site is slated for December.
- Rumors: The Villages is NOT buying Coleman Prison. Multiple TV carriers are available in The Villages; not just one.
If you hear something that sounds like a rumor, check with The VHA by contacting your neighborhood representative listed on our website, or your Area Vice President.
- Recycling: There is no plan to reinstitute recycling as part of the waste pick-up which is now going to Covanta for waste-to-energy.
- Low Pond Water Levels: The four-month drought plus maintenance has affected pond levels being unusually low.
- Indoor Pickleball Courts at Eastport will require a paid membership which is yet to be determined.
- Current Day Tee Times: A team IS working on adding the ability to login and select current-day tee times for champion and executive golf courses with date TBD.
- Maintenance For All Golf Courses will remain as scheduled.
- Traffic Questions: Regarding bicycles and sharing the roads: This is an on-going educational process with the need for courtesy and common sense. Visibility concerns are being addressed with some golf cart tunnels adding “lights-on” 24 hours a day. Contact Capt. Seimer with any speed enforcement concerns. Traffic patterns and associated traffic light controls are determined by traffic study data in conjunction with FDOT and the Lake Sumter Metropolitan Planning Organization’s Congestion Management Project. For more info: http://www.lakesumtermpo.com/
- Public Bus Transportation is not being considered in The Villages: There are multiple resources available for ride services, including some free ride services available through the counties. More info is in The Town Hall Report on The VHA website.
- Signage: There are no plans to increase signage in addition to what is already present for Newell, Lake County, or No Dogs on the Black Lake Walking Path. Beauty is often in what is NOT seen here, and signage is kept to a minimum.
- EV Charging Stations: A pilot program is under consideration.
- ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS/RESPONSES ON THE WEBSITE: The Villages TV station; How and When Amenities Fees are Increased; Sprinkler Maintenance Schedules in the historic section; Marion County street conditions; private property oak tree maintenance; pool/table use at pools; neighbors not complying with community standards.