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East County Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2013 4 years ago

Heritage Harbour CDD wants staff to be more proactive

by: Josh Siegel Staff Writer

EAST COUNTY — As Heritage Harbour South Community Development District officials wait for assessments to trickle in to give them more financial flexibility, supervisors are hoping to become more proactive when issues arise.

Heritage Harbour supervisors directed their staff to make more frequent visits to inspect the district’s stormwater-management systems to ensure they function properly.

The Southwest Florida Water Management District requires CDDs to inspect their stormwater-management systems every few years.

The urgency comes after Supervisor Lee Bettes approached staff to review deficiencies at the “Wetland ZZZ Control Structure,” located south and west of Stone Harbour Loop.

District Engineer Rick Schappacher visited the structure, which is located on land owned by Lennar, Heritage Harbour’s developer, Oct. 14. Erosion has exposed two pipes that have holes 2 feet deep.

Lennar has said it will fill in the holes, so the issue won’t cost the CDD money. But the nature of how the issue came about — with Bettes reporting to staff — seemed backward to supervisors.

“The real problem is we need to be doing regular inspections,” Bettes said. “Right now, we only hear about things when something blows up or washes away.”

District Manager Greg Cox is determining how often the CDD’s systems have been inspected in the past. He says he will work with Schappacher on a method to visit the various structures over the course of a year.

Supervisors also directed staff to inspect curbs in nine cul-de-sacs after a resident, Bob Ural, reported blackened curbs outside his home at Beacon Manner Terrace.

Rather than address Ural’s problem specifically, the board preferred staff broadly visit curbs within the community as a way to anticipate issues before they come.

Although Cox vowed to follow the board’s wishes, he will tread carefully.

“A lot of these issues are cosmetic more than anything,” Cox said. “Litigations have stripped our funds, and assessments won’t begin coming in until November. The board has to make decisions about what’s smart to do, rather than what they want to do.”

In a move to become more focused and better share responsibilities, Joyce Sandy, Heritage Harbour South Community Development District chairwomen, designated board members to serve as liaisons for specific issues. Sandy will handle community relations, while Lee Bettes will be the go-to person on lakes and stormwater management.

Joe Jaudon will handle landscape issues. Richard Lane focuses on streets, roads and traffic. And, Michelle Patterson will manage security and gatehouse functions.

The new roles, with contact information for each, will be added to the CDD’s website.

Contact Josh Siegel at [email protected]


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