September 29, 2023

Budgeting and sweetness are formally on a collision course as Villagers debate the worth of flowers in Florida’s Friendliest Hometown.

Group Growth District 4 Supervisor Cliff Wiener took on a sacred cow final week when he steered his district might save $55,000 per yr by eliminating one of many 4 flower plantings. He steered happening to a few plantings per yr.

The response from residents was quick and livid.

Many sided with the practicality of the concept.

“I’ve all the time mentioned, simply when the flowers are actually lovely, out they go. Altering to each 4 months as an alternative of three, makes extra sense. The cash saved might go to one thing that actually might use it,” mentioned Sandra Persson of the Village of Liberty Park.

Others agreed.

“I imagine the flowers ought to be changed twice a yr. With Florida’s climate there’s no cause to exchange them 4 instances a yr,” mentioned Camille DeRaimo, who resides in Group Growth District 5.

Kathleen Chester mentioned she has seen landscapers pulling up what look like wholesome flowers, solely to exchange them.

“It appears wasteful to tug out completely good flowers at their peak solely to exchange them with small undeveloped new crops. Figuring out a schedule to scale back flower modifications to a few instances a yr appears financially worthwhile and prudent,” Chester mentioned.

Nonetheless, there are many Villagers who imagine the flowers are an indelible a part of life in a ravishing neighborhood.

“Please, don’t attempt to economize by altering the flower schedule. It’s one of many prime 5 causes we moved to The Villages and selected to remain on this aspect,” mentioned Lisa Dyson of the Village of Winifred. “When you begin chipping away on the larger requirements supplied by residing on this fantastic neighborhood it’s going to turn out to be simpler to remove one other amenity within the title of financial savings and earlier than you realize it, The Villages gained’t be all that particular anymore.”

And it’s extra than simply concerning the residents.

“These quarterly flowers present employment, from the growers to landscapers, so altering the schedule may have an financial impact that reaches additional than simply the pocketbook of the resident who selected to name The Villages dwelling,” she added.

Fellow Villager Lori Fraser mentioned it’s a must to draw the road someplace.

“Understanding that changing flowers  from 4 to a few instances a yr may very well be a considerable financial savings, there are specific issues which are an instantaneous and fixed enchantment about shopping for and residing right here in The Villages. One in all them is attractive flowers all yr spherical and the upkeep that’s finished on the shrubs and palm timber. It makes residing right here really feel such as you’re residing the dream. Please don’t change that! Belief me, the flowers are appreciated by everybody,” Fraser mentioned.

Don Honest of the Village of St. Catherine mentioned the flowers are necessary to the picture of The Villages.

“This is likely one of the issues distinctive about The Villages. Why would anybody wish to change this? It’s a horrible thought!” he mentioned.