The Spring Lake Improvement District, consisting of 3,359 acres, was created in 1971 by the State Legislature, Laws of Florida 71-669. Spring Lake is an independent special district and is a unit of local government, similar to a municipality, with the exception that the District does not have authority over land use, zoning, police and fire.The District is under the jurisdiction of the State of Florida Department of Community Affairs. A link to DCA has been included in the Helpful Links section in the event you want to view the Special District Handbook and the various Florida Statutes that pertain to Special Districts. The District maintains all canals and most water bodies; no fishing, swimming, or boating is allowed. Please call the District Office for locations where fishing is allowed with the appropriate license. Trespassers fishing on private property can result in the Sheriffs Department being contacted.
Overall, the Spring Lake Improvement District plays a major and important role in providing community services in an effort to enhance the quality of life for residents of Spring Lake. Throughout this website you can view all the services and programs that are being offered.Additionally, a Public Records room is available in the District Office.
Spring Lake is governed and managed by an elected Board of Supervisors who hire a District Manager. There are 13 full time staff who oversee District activities.
- Bill Lawens, Chairman (Term expires Nov. 2016)
- Gary Behrendt, Vice-Chair (Term expires Nov. 2017)
- Tim McKenna, Secretary (Term expires Jan. 2019)
- Brian Acker, Supervisor (Term expires Jan. 2019)
- Leon Van, Supervisor (Term expires Nov. 2018)
- Joe DeCerbo, District Manager
- Clay Shrum, Assistant District Manager; Utilities Director
- Diane Angell, District Administrator
- Cindy Bacon, Administrative Assistant
- William Nielander, Attorney on retainer
- Gene Schriner, Engineer on retainer and contract
- Jack Alexander, Auditor, Stroemer and Company
- Corbett Alday, Grants Manager, Guardian Inc.
- Julie Fowler, Accounting Consultant
Board Meeting Dates are posted on the Home Page (2nd Wed. of each month, 10:00 a.m.)
Note: Minutes are both taped and transcribed for all District Board meetings and workshops. Draft minutes are available within 10 days after the Board meeting, and Board approved minutes within 5 days from approval. Copies of all minutes are available to read at the District Office, or there is a slight copying charge if you choose to have your own copy. All public records requests are handled as quickly as possible, never longer than the State Statute of 10 working days. For those residents who want to listen to the complete meeting, tapes are provided for use in our office, or discs can be purchased
Any person requiring special accommodations at these meetings because of a disability or physical impairment should contact the District Office at (863) 655-1715 at least five calendar days prior to the meeting. Meetings may be continued at a later date and time, which will be announced at the meeting.
There are three landowner positions on the Board, and two by popular election. All landowner elections are conducted at the November Board meeting, and popular elections are coordinated by the Highlands County Board of Elections. Qualifying for the popular election seats is normally in the month of June when the seat is available. Further information on qualifying for an elected seat can be secured at the County Board of Elections.
Each person who decides to appeal any decision made by the Board with respect to any matter considered at the meeting is advised that that person may need to ensure that a verbatim record of the proceedings is made, including the testimony and evidence upon which such appeal is to be based.
Get to know your Supervisors:
Brian Acker became a Supervisor in 2006. He and his wife, Marjorie, both have extensive law enforcement backgrounds from their years in Connecticut, and moved to Spring Lake in 2003. They have two children and two grandchildren.
Brian is a Vietnam Veteran, a member of the Police Association of Connecticut, and the Connecticut State Police Academy Alumni Association. He has a Criminal Justice Degree from Northwest Community College and attended the Turf Management School at the University of Massachusetts. He enjoys golf, cooking, and fine wines.
After 22 years with the Connecticut State Police Brian worked for 6 years as a Golf Course Superintendent Pesticide Licensee and for 9 years owned an art and antiques shop. His extensive background in organizational skills, analytical expertise, and decision-making has served our District well.
Bill Lawens first came to Spring Lake in 2000 and he and his wife Kathie moved here permanently in 2002. He became a Supervisor in 2007 and immediately developed the community questionnaire and capital improvement program process. As a member of the parks working group he assists the District in seeking grants for a new community center. He is currently Chairman of the Board
Bill worked for the State of Michigan for 32 years; 25 with the Liquor Control Commission. He and his wife own and operate the Curves franchise in Highlands County and they enjoy golf. They have 4 children and 10 grandchildren.
Gary Behrendt was elected to a Landowner position on 11/9/11 and will serve a three year term. Gary and his wife purchased a home in Spring Lake in 2004 and became permanent residents in 2009 after a successful 30 year career in Kissimmee, Florida. Gary served 8 years in the Air Force, has worked in concrete precast and installation, and became a real estate appraiser and formed his own company in the Orlando area in the 80's.
Gary and his wife, Timi, have two children, two grandchildren, and he states that they moved to Spring Lake for a quieter environment.
Tim McKenna was appointed to the Board on 1/11/12 to fill a popularly elected vacancy, and his term will go to November of 2014. Tim is retired and moved to Spring Lake in 2006 to enjoy fishing and golfing. He is a retired law enforcement officer of 27 years in Broward County, rising to the rank of Detective. He has a BA in Professional Studies from Barry University and an AA in Criminal Justice from Broward College. Since moving to Spring Lake he has hosted a St. Patrick's Day Party for District staff every year; a tradition he started with professionals he worked with in Broward.
Leon Van returned to the Board on 11/11/15 to fill a Landowner vacancy; his term expires November of 2018. Leon and his wife, Gail, come from Indiana where Leon worked for AT&T for 31 years before owning his own business for 7 years. He moved to Spring Lake full time in 1999 and in addition to being previously active on the District Board has volunteered diligently for St. Vincent DePaul and the Spring Lake Men's Golf Association. The Van's have 4 children and 8 grandchildren and have been married for over 50 years.