SEBRING — Sun ‘n Lake of Sebring Improvement District Board of Supervisors discussed a strategic plan for the district extensively at its Friday, Sept. 28 meeting at the community center on Edgewater Drive.

Sun ‘n Lake hired Global Golf Advisors to develop a strategic plan for the district. This plan was discussed in-depth at the meeting.

The four components of the report included:

• a market and operational evaluation

• a governance report

• a marketing and communications plan

• a financial plan

According to Global Golf Advisors, the projected population growth through 2022 is expected to be 2.4 percent within a 30-minute radius. Supervisor Ray Brooks referred to this passage in the report and reminded constituents to keep in mind that the area was not expected to grow much in the next couple of years.

Global Advisors compared the Sun ‘n Lake district to other communities in the region and made recommendations. One of the most important recommendations was that the district explore funding options “to assist with the Capital Plan as a precautionary measure, such as new debt, homeowner assessment increase or sale of empty lots.”

Funding options are needed because “if current operational performance continues at status quo, the unassigned total balance fund is likely to draw close to zero by 2023,” the Global Golf Advisors report states. Over the past three years, capital outlays have averaged $1.5 million every year and the next six years the capital outlays are expected to average $2.5 million, according to the report.

Basically, Sun ‘n Lake may run out of money in five years if the current spending trend continues.

President of the Board of Supervisors Mark Camp said that Billy Casper Golf must make the golf operation self-sufficient. Currently, the golf operation has to be subsidized by the district.

The report suggested that Sun ‘n Lake focus on “pulling residents into the community.” Strategic relationships with real estate brokers and other referral sources were encouraged. In addition, the report encouraged Sun ‘n Lake to “pursue home builder alliances for the undeveloped property while the market is ‘hot.’”

An analysis of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to Sun ‘n Lake were examined. The marketing and communication strategy for reaching potential home buyers were seen as weaknesses. In addition, Sun ‘n Lake has a lack of new or young members. The restaurant’s kitchen is too small and the pool is over capacity at peak times.

A couple of the strengths included the excellent value for services for members and public customers and the hospital is located close to the district.

A major threat to the district is the increase in deferred capital maintenance due to limited funds.

Resident Bill Norcross agreed with Supervisor Dan Stegall that there were not a lot of surprises in the report and asked how much the analysis cost. Camp confirmed the cost was $38,000.

The board’s next meeting is set for 9 a.m. Friday at the Community Center, 3500 Edgewater Drive.

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