Diane Spencer fell in love with Sumter County before The Villages existed. As a student at UF she would frequently drive on Highway 441 from her home in Fort Lauderdale to Gainesville. Fast forward to 2004 when she bought a home in CDD-5 where expansive pastures and beautiful oak trees of Sumter County She served on the CDD-5 board from 2004 until 2007. In 2008 she was elected to North Sumter County Utility Dependent District, or NSCUDD. The Utilities Dependent District is something no one thinks about until their water or sewerage system stops working, which according to Spencer does not happen very often. “We are consistently recognized as having one of the most advanced sewerage and water systems in the state. The developer chose to install the most advanced equipment available.” The little cottages you see in roundabouts throughout The Villages are housing for the remotely monitored pumps. And Spencer says the control room looks just like an air traffic control command center.
An insurance lawyer by trade, Spencer was an expert in navigating through a very heavily regulated industry. This experience would come in handy while on NSCUDD since sewerage and water utilities are some of the most highly regulated industries in Florida. While federal, state, and local entities have regulatory control over NSCUDD, the operational control and funding are in the hands of The Villages. There are no grants or supplemental state funding for NSCUDD; residents pay an amenity fee each month for their water usage and waste collection. Another fact about the Utilities Dependent District board is that Jacobs is also under their purview.
Spencer has spent the last ten years on the board at UF Health Central Florida, which includes The Villages hospital and Leesburg Regional hospital. “UF Health coming to The Villages and the surrounding area is a great step forward, and we are beginning to implement the changes that will bring even better health care to our community.”
While she did not hint at what will be next, there is no doubt Diane Spencer will continue to serve her neighborhood and community for many years to come.