Windermere Council mulls storm water credits

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  • | 11:56 p.m. May 12, 2015
Windermere Town Council approves dock relocation
Windermere Town Council approves dock relocation
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The Windermere Town Council addressed issues with storm water in Windermere during its regular meeting May 12 at Windermere Town Hall, primarily the availability to request a storm water credit.

Windermere's storm water ordinance mandates collected storm water fees for use to expand, improve or maintain town storm water system operations, Town Attorney Tom Wilkes said.

"The storm water system is defined as all natural and man-made elements that are used to convey storm water, including all pipes, ditches, retention bases, ponds and other storm water conveyance and treatment facilities that are either owned or controlled by the town," Wilkes said.

The parts of the storm water system owned by Windermere are in right-of-way, easements for storm water from property owners and plat-dedicated easements, he said.

For communities, the council could apply storm water credits to homeowners associations for maintaining storm water or take over while eliminating credits, Wilkes said. This would not apply to two recently approved subdivisions with agreements for private roads, which makes drainage private, he said.

Town Manager Robert Smith mentioned storm water problems for The Willows, with an assessment showing The Willows' storm water system failing. Smith said a grant to improve storm water would be tough to procure, based on a lack of blight, not being an urban area and the perceived wealth of the town.

Councilman Richard Gonzalez said he would be willing to do his part to make up for that deficiency in his taxes.

"The reason you have a government is to do collectively what people cannot do individually," Gonzalez said. "That's where I would like to see us be. However, we're not a big city. We have limitations."

Mayor Gary Bruhn said residents should see how helping with other residents' storm water issues would help them.

"Do you enjoy traveling through the roads that don't flood?" Bruhn asked rhetorically. "Do you enjoy parks? Do you enjoy the quality of or lakes? You are receiving a benefit."

A resident of Marina Bay mentioned a stipulation for his homeowners association to take care of storm water management, but that wording was never included in any covenant. Orange County code says any ungated community becomes the county's responsibility after one year of maintenance by the developer, and the county assumes no responsibility within gated communities, he said. He said he had problems with Marina Bay being responsible for upgrading its system, when Orange County was handling Marina Bay before its annexation into Windermere and had an agreement to continue handling it.

Gonzalez and Councilman Bob McKinley favored credits under certain conditions, but the rest of the council members opposed credits. Bruhn asked Smith and Wilkes to examine the matter further.


Windermere Police Chief Dave Ogden received approval for a five-year extension of his contract with the town. Ogden declined a pay raise and instead requested more family time via an increase of 15 vacation days to 20, 40 hours of compensatory time, an increase in severance pay of up to 20 weeks and the savings from his declined pay increase going to increased pay for other members of the police department.

"He's excelled at everything that we've ever asked him to do," Smith said. "His evaluation is probably the best I've ever provided somebody. He's completely changed that department -- not only the facility itself, but I think the mentality. I think he's established pride within that department. He's surrounded himself with experienced, well-trained officers -- ones that he recommended. The entire town has seen a change."

The town administered those rates through council approval of implementing a classification and compensation study. With other town staff, several Windermere Police Department officers received adjusted pay rates to make pay equitable, retroactive to May 1, Bruhn said. As a result, administrative assistant pay will meet the market minimum, finance and town clerks' pay will meet market averages, Sgt. Jayson Bonk becomes Sergeant 3, Sgt. William Eastwood becomes Sergeant 1, Detective John Allen will be paid the market average and Deputy Chief Jennifer Treadwell will make a minimum of $72,100, Smith said.

Smith received a satisfactory evaluation from the council, which mandates a 3% raise per his contract. Like Ogden, Smith declined additional pay for more family time. He received 40 added hours of compensatory time he must use and cannot take pay for instead.

"Bottom line, I think it's very apparent that he's had a very good performance," Bruhn said. "He's met or exceeded all expectations."


  • Councilwoman Molly Rose presented John Spears, a Development Review Board servant for about 12 years, with a plaque recognizing his time with the DRB.
  • Mayor Bruhn proclaimed May 11-15 Women's Lung Health Week and May 10-16 Police Week for Windermere.
  • Facade improvements to 505 Main Street, a variance request for more than 10% expansion of gross floor area of a non-conforming single-family home at 136 Down Court and a right-of-way use agreement for 209 Oakdale Street passed in the consent agenda.
  • First readings occurred for an ordinance related to fire assessment/MTSU fire services and fees and an ordinance regarding garage sales to add Windsong and Rosser Reserve as communities approving garage sales. The council unanimously supported an end to garage sales involving influxes of non-residents.
  • The council approved a South Florida Water Management District contract addendum and a $137,762 Barracuda Building Corp. bid for Second Avenue/Pine Street drainage improvements.
  • Rose asked Windermere Parks and Recreation staff to examine the possibility of a town dog park.
  • Smith mentioned the possibility of additional food trucks at no taxpayer cost for Food Truck Fridays.
  • The council reminded town businesses of an ordinance requiring "open" signs to be off while businesses are closed.

Contact Zak Kerr at [email protected].


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