Community's residents upset over sinkhole costs

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MARION COUNTY, Fla. —

Hundreds of Marion County homeowners are furious that they're going to have fork over hundreds of dollars to fix a sinkhole.

The sinkhole opened up in the Fore Ranch community after Tropical Storm Debby in June.

WFTV's Berndt Petersen learned that the more than $500,000 repair bill is now the responsibility of an entire community.

Fore Ranch resident Maria Tripodi said she and her neighbors have hot tempers.

"Everybody is very angry. And a lot of people, they don't have the money to pay," said Tripodi.

There are 1,100 homeowners in the Ocala community, including Daniel Guerrero's parents, who blame the builder, Pulte Homes.

"They were heated. It made no sense how we have to pay for it, when it was their fault for building on the property, you know?" said Guerrero.

The bill to fill two large pits that opened over the last year came in at $615,000.

Each homeowner will have to pay a special assessment of nearly $400.

In an email, the Fore Ranch Community Association told WFTV that without the assessment, the neighborhood would be left without funding for the community's club house, pool and landscaping.

Maria Tripodi said her good neighborhood is dogged by a bad reputation. She said she and her friends are stuck with homes they can't sell.

"And my home, with a sinkhole, the value, the appraisal went to $30,000. I paid $215,000. So who is going to pay for my sinkhole?" said Tripodi.

The neighborhood association said their annual budget for sinkhole repairs is $30,000 a year.