Services District’s board green-lights Utility Drive office plan

The St. Lucie West Services District’s Board of Supervisors gave the nod to reviving a plan to build a permanent, 7,000-square-foot office at 450 SW Utility Drive.

“The consensus among them is to move on with Plan A,” Dennis Pickle, the district’s manager and utilities director, said.

The board had its regular monthly business meeting on Tuesday.

The board revisited a $1.2 million plan to construct a new office. The board voted last year to build the permanent office and budgeted the money for it. The district has used a modular office for about a decade.

“We’re 90 percent finished with the plans already,” Pickle said before the monthly business meeting.

The board put the building plans on a shelf as it eyed the possibility of purchasing the St. Lucie Trail Golf Club’s 22,000-square-foot clubhouse for a customer-service and meeting office.

CGI St. Lucie recently purchased the golf club. It offered the district an opportunity to purchase the clubhouse and about five acres. The district offered CGI $1.1 million. However, CGI got another offer on the clubhouse, which it decided to pursue.

About 75 attended a special district board meeting in March to discuss the then-proposed purchase of the clubhouse. Many expressed concerns the district office being at the golf club would greatly increase heavy-vehicle traffic at Country Club Estates. Pickle said that wouldn’t have been the case — the district was going to continue using the Utility Drive location for work vehicles.

However, that meeting revealed that there was a widespread community wish for the district to have a large enough meeting room to accommodate homeowner association meetings. Pickle said as the district moves forward with planning the permanent office, it will add about 50 percent more capacity.

“I think we’ll move it from 65 to 100 (seats),” he said.

The district is still negotiating with CGI to purchase some land at St. Lucie Trails to build a stormwater management area that would help reduce flooding at The Enclave at St. Lucie West and Lake Forest at St. Lucie West. Additionally, Lake Forest Pointe and Country Club Estates would benefit from the proposed additional stormwater storage. The biggest benefit would be to Cashmere Boulevard between Heatherwood and St. Lucie West boulevards.

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