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The Ave Herald

Serving the community of Ave Maria, Florida


AMSCD Hears Updates on Golf Carts, Bond Offering, Other Matters

 If most of the matters before the Ave Maria Stewardship Community District board seemed familiar at the board's monthly meeting, it's because they were -- almost all have been on agendas before.

Progress, however, was reported.

The first update was on the effort, which has been going on for years, to reach agreement with Collier County that would permit enforcement of golf cart regulations on district roads that are the major thoroughfares in town. The district's attorney, Jonathan Johnson, said that discussions with the county have finally reached the stage where a public petition to the Collier County Commissioners can be prepared and presented for their feedback. Part of the delay in dealing with the county, Mr. Johnson reported, was the insistence by the county attorney's office that the district prove its ownership of the roads, proof that the county has just accepted. "I'm so glad that the county agrees we own these roads after, what nine years?" Commissioner Liesa Priddy commented wryly.

District Manager Todd Woddraska said that a new $2.37-million bond offering to finance infrastructure in part of the Maple Ridge neighborhood was running about a month behind schedule, but that he expected it to be priced and marketed by mid-February with final approval coming at the board's March 3 meeting.

The bonds will add about $430 a year in costs for buyers of about 400 homes that will be built in Maple Ridge Phase 3, Coquina, and Maple Ridge Estates, a new area of larger lots on which buyers can build custom-designed homes. Costs of this financing will not be borne by Ave Maria residents in any other areas of town, nor will the new bonds affect the first 152 homes built in Phases 1 and 2 of the main area of Maple Ridge.

In another item in the works for a while, the board approved a recommendation from an engineering committee to approve a list of four contractors that are authorized to provide engineering services to the district. The first request for proposal that will go to the firms will cover a number of pending items, including five "high-tech" lighted crosswalks in the town center, signage and other work to make the intersection of Pope John Paul II Blvd and Colby a four-way stop, and new road striping and signage at the entrance to the Del Webb neighborhood.

Mr. Woddraska also updated the board members on the theft of letters from entry signs for Ave Maria and that there would be further discussions among the district, the Ave Maria Master Association, AMU and the Collier County Sheriff's Office. Four AMU students were arrested relating to thefts of letters that occured in December, and there was another theft the evening of the first day of classes of the spring term.



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