Marion Residents Information Night: Our program on Wednesday, January 24th, was a sellout.  The Mulberry Grove Recreation combined Patriot and Spirit rooms and had 132 spectators.  Those attendees were able to hear from multiple Marion County programs and Constitutional Offices, The Villages® District Government, The Villages Health system, and CERT of The Villages.

Real Estate Fraud Alert: One county office that could not participate was the Clerk of County Court.  Fortunately, Jimmy Cowan, Jr., the Property Appraiser reminded me that the Clerk’s website has a very useful protection against real estate fraud called Property Alert.  It takes about 3 minutes, and it is time well spent.  Here’s the process to sign up:

  1. Browse to
  2. Click on “Log In” in the upper right if you have already done so.
  3. If this is your first visit, register your email address and create a password.
  4. Return to the Property Alert page, and follow the instructions there.
  5. You will need to enter your parcel number (check your tax bill or TRIM notice) and all names that might be associated with your property.  For example, my wife and I occasionally get mail addressed to Karl “APRS” rather than Arps, so I have entered that name as well as the correct spellings for my wife and me.

If anyone attempts to file a deed change with any of those registered names, you will receive an alert via email.  You can then call the Clerk’s office and tell them whether this is a legitimate activity.

Smoke Detector Battery Change: Here in CDD 4, we are blessed with two programs that offer to change the batteries in our smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.  Batteries should be changed twice a year.  I don’t know about you, but I don’t trust myself on a 17-foot ladder anymore to replace batteries on our vaulted living room ceiling.

  • VPSD – The Villages Public Safety Department will normally come out to change your batteries the same day that you call to request. They do not do advance bookings.  For most of us, especially permanent residents, this may be the best choice. Call 352-205-8280 to request the service.  Just make sure it’s a day when you will be home.
  • MCFR – Marion County Fire Rescue will set up an appointment, typically at least a few days ahead, and not the same day. This might be ideal for seasonal residents who call just before leaving their up-north home and schedule new batteries just before arrival.  Call 352-291-8000, press menu choice “4” and ask to schedule a battery replacement visit.

In both cases, you must have enough new 9-volt batteries for all the detectors in your home.  I buy mine from Amazon (go to, then type “9-volt batteries” in the search bar), but Ace Hardware near 466 and Southern Trace and the Walmart on 441 always have some on hand.  And remember, these are firefighters.  If there’s a big blaze somewhere, they may have to cancel and reschedule.

Karl Arps
VHA Assistant VP – North Rep