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Heritage Harbour South approves 2013 budget

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  • | 4:00 a.m. June 13, 2012
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HERITAGE HARBOUR — Supervisors on the Heritage Harbour South Community Development District Board further crunched the preliminary budget for fiscal year 2013, ending the Thursday, June 7 meeting with figures that should decrease resident annual assessments an average of $25.

A final adoption hearing for the $457,730 budget, which includes the general fund and an emergency fund, has been set for Sept. 6. An additional $814,227 is budgeted for debt service for Stoneybrook and Lighthouse Cove.

“I think it’s critical we have the funds necessary to maintain what we have here without burdening the residents beyond their ability to pay,” Supervisor Richard Lane said. “I think this budget accomplishes that.”

At last week’s meeting, supervisors reduced wetland maintenance incidents from eight to six events annually, a savings of nearly $10,000 annually, and cut back lake bank plantings and chord grass installation plans by 25%, a savings of about $2,300 combined.

However, the approved budget includes an annual increase of $38,000 to cover the costs of insurance on common area district assets such as Central Park, streetlights, roads and other infrastructure. Initial insurance estimates were set at $25,000.

District Manager Jim Ward said the insurance carrier for the Heritage Harbour Master Association and Stoneybrook at Heritage Harbour Community Association, the entities that maintain those assets on behalf of the district, said it was no longer able to provide coverage for assets not owned by the associations. The CDD now must provide property insurance, general and automobile liability insurance for its assets.

Even with the increase, residents will see reductions in assessments. Under the proposed budget, only two commercial properties will see increases, including the Stoneybrook Golf Club, which will see an increase of about $2,100 annually, Ward said.

The budget also sets aside $60,000 for ongoing litigation between the CDD and the Lighthouse Cove Homeowners Association and Stoneybrook Investors, owner of the Stoneybrook Golf, both of which have challenged assessments imposed on them by the CDD last year.

CDD Chairman Lee Bettes said discussions from last year’s budgeting process helped make this year’s budget meetings to go more smoothly.

To view budget documents, visit

Contact Pam Eubanks at [email protected].

In other business
• To address Supervisor Joseph Jaudon’s concerns on how payment to the district’s asset management contractor, Morris Riley, is displayed on public budget documents, supervisors agreed to have staff add a notation stating the company is paid a flat fee of $65,000 annually for its services.

Morris Riley’s contract expires Sept. 30. Supervisors also agreed to move forward with re-bidding for asset management services. The district will need to hire an outside vendor to handle contract specifications, advertisement and other details, said District Manager Jim Ward.

• District Attorney Kenza vanAssenderp said he is talking with the attorney for the Lighthouse Cove Homeowners Association about possible settlement ideas. Lighthouse Cove sued the district in December, alleging the CDD’s new assessment methodology is unfair.

• Supervisors directed staff to provide a monthly report on the status of budgeted work items, such as plant installations, pressure washing and repairs.  


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