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AMSCD to Consider Budget, Determination of Number of Directly-Elected Seats

The budget for the Ave Maria Stewardship Community District's next fiscal year will be up for discussion when the district board meets Tuesday, Aug. 2, at 9 a.m. in the community room of the Master Association offices in the town center.

The budget for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1, 2016, has a total of $5,980,787 in expenses to cover operations and maintenance as well as debt service, the latter being the larger component. The overall number has changed little over the last few years, and the assessments on residents for their share of the budget also remain unchanged for the next fiscal year, as they have most years.

What has changed in the budget, however, is that the rise in home sales in Ave Maria mean that with more taxpayers in town, the developers' share of the budget has declined significantly for the first time. Historically, developers have paid about 75 percent of the budget. For the coming fiscal year that is down to 63 percent.

Following the budget portion of the meeting, the district engineer will present a map showing the percentage of "urban area" in the district, a number that will be used to determine how many seats on the board can be directly elected by residents. A move to that system was approved by residents in a referendum in June.

The district has a total of 10,805 acres and the map shows the amount of "urban area" as 1,011.7 acres for a percentage of 9.36 percent. "Urban area" is defined in the the act of the Florida legislature that created the district as " "a developed and inhabited urban area within the District within a minimum acreage resident population density of at least 1.5 persons per acre as defined by the latest official census, special census, or population estimate, a minimum density of one single-family home per 2.5 acres with access to improved roads, or a minimum density of one single-family home per 5 acres within a recorded plat subdivision."

The map, which can be seen in the meeting book (see link below) counts only residental areas themselves in the calculation and as a result, many areas of town that are developed -- such as the non-residential parts of the AMU campus, North Park, the water park, the Park of Commerce and Publix -- are apparently not included. The maps also do not show the maximum amount of "urban area" that can ever be developed in Ave Maria.

Town resident Robb Klucik, an attorney who spearheaded the effort to directly elect members of the board, said the map prepared by the district engineer prompts a number of questions. "The act creating Ave Maria defines 'urban area' in such a way that it seems open to interpretation," he said. "Could it be that the Publix supermarket, or the main buildings on the AMU campus are not part of such an area?"

The distinction is important, he said, because the way the maps are drawn up will determine how many seats residents can directly elect to the board, and when those seats will be elected. "Overarching all of this," he said, "is the question of whether the percentage of "urban area" will ever exceed the 50-per-cent level necessary for residents to elect a majority of the board. That's something that is far from clear at this point."

In the election criteria laid out in the act, If the "urban area" is less than 25 percent, residents elect one seat. If it is between 25 percent and 50 percent, two seats. If the "urban area" never gets above 50 percent, then residents will never control a majority of the board. A multi-part series in the Naples Daily News in 2009, alleged that it would never be possible to have more than 50 percent "urban area" in the district.

Any resident can contest the map within 30 days by sending written notice to the district's offices. 

The full meeting book, including the agenda, budget and election information (including the map) are at the district's website: http://avemariastewardshipcd.org/documents/


AGENDA

AVE MARIA STEWARDSHIP COMMUNITY DISTRICT

Ave Maria Master Association (office/fitness center)

5076 Annunciation Circle, Suite 103

Ave Maria, Florida 34142

REGULAR BOARD MEETING & PUBLIC HEARING

August 2, 2016

9:00 a.m.

A. Call to Order

B. Pledge of Allegiance

C. Proof of Publication

D. Establish Quorum

E. Additions or Deletions to Agenda

F. Comments from the Public for Items Not on the Agenda

G. Approval of Minutes

1. June 7, 2016 Regular Board Meeting Minutes

H. Public Hearing

1. Proof of Publication

2. Receive Public Comments Regarding Fiscal Year 2016/2017 Final Budget

3. Consider Resolution No. 2016-07 – Adopting a Fiscal Year 2016/2017 Final Budget

4. Consider Resolution No. 2016-08 – Adopting an Annual Assessment Resolution for Fiscal

Year 2015/2016

5. Consider Resolution No. 2016-09 – Adopting a Fiscal Year 2016/2017 Master Irrigation

Utility System Budget

I. Election Matters

1. Consider Resolution No. 2016-10 – Canvassing and Certifying the Results of the Referendum

 Audience Comment

2. Presentation of Urban Area Maps

 Audience Comment

3. Consider Resolution No. 2016-11 – Recognizing Presentation of Urban Area Maps

 Audience Comment

J. Old Business

K. New Business

1. Consider Resolution No. 2016-12 – Adopting a Fiscal Year 2016/2017 Meeting Schedule

 Audience Comment

2. Consider Approval of Auditor Renewal

 Audience Comment

L. Administrative Matters

1. Legal Report

2. Engineer Report

3. Manager's Report

a. Update Regarding Future Bond Issues

 Maple Ridge Phase 2 Bonds

 Anthem Parkway Bond Anticipation Notes

M. Board Members Comments

N. Adjourn

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