News and Announcements

Commissioner Carnahan to Hold Fire Services Town Hall at Central Ridge Library

Category: Press Releases       Posted By: Denise Gallagher       Year: 2017

Citrus County is currently conducting a nationwide search for a new Fire Chief. We would like to thank Jim Goodworth for his service and we recognize that choosing the next Chief is an important decision and the next step in building fire services in our community. 

Commissioner and Chairman of the Board of County Commissioners Scott Carnahan, who also served as Chairman of the Fire Service Committee, will be holding a Town Hall meeting at the Central Ridge Library to discuss fire services and receive your input regarding the provision of those services, discuss options and alternatives for service and funding.  The meeting information is as follows: 

Thursday, August 17 – Central Ridge Library, 425 W. Roosevelt Blvd., Beverly Hills, FL 34465, from 5:30pm to 7:00pm and the event is open to the public.

For more information, please call Public Information Officer Cynthia Oswald at (352) 527-5484.

Two Citrus County Projects Receive Funding from the Fighting for Florida's Future Budget

Category: Press Releases       Posted By: Denise Gallagher       Year: 2017

Under the leadership of Governor Rick Scott, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection announced a suite of 40 projects that will receive $50 million from the Fighting for Florida’s Future budget to improve water quality, reduce nutrient loading, recharge water supply and protect habitat in Florida’s iconic spring systems. This includes a state investment of more than $9 million to protect springs in Southwest Florida, including Aripeka, Weeki Wachee, Kings Bay, Crystal and Rainbow springsheds. Combined with match funding from Florida’s water management districts and local partners, the investment in springs projects statewide will total more than $94 million during the 2017-18 fiscal year.

“Thanks to the continued commitment of Governor Scott and the Florida Legislature in securing a dedicated funding source for springs restoration and protection, we can continue to focus on completing strategic acquisitions and projects that will produce real benefits for our spring systems,” said DEP Secretary Noah Valenstein. “I look forward to continuing to work with the Governor and Legislature, the water management districts and partners in the environmental, agricultural and local communities to conserve and protect Florida’s iconic springs.”

“This funding allows our district scientists to continue the important work of protecting our water resources,” said Brian Armstrong, P.G., executive director of the Southwest Florida Water Management District. “We are thankful to Governor Scott and the Florida Legislature for their financial commitment to ensure these environmental treasures are protected for future generations of Floridians.” The project development process is a collaborative effort among the department, water management districts, community leaders and local stakeholders. Projects are selected based on pollutant reduction, water conservation, cost effectiveness and available matching dollars.

The following are the two selected projects for Citrus County, Kings Bay:

Citrus County Advanced Wastewater Treatment Upgrades: A total of $1.5 million in collaborative funding will be used for construction upgrades to the existing Brentwood Wastewater Treatment Facility to produce advanced wastewater treatment level reclaimed water. This project will result in an estimated total nutrient reduction of 13,698 pounds of nitrogen per year.

Citrus County Northwest Quadrant Sewer Extension: A total of $6 million in collaborative funding will be used for sewer main expansion construction within the Northwest quadrant of Citrus County primarily serviced by septic systems. This sewer main extension will route up to 2 million gallons per day of wastewater flows to the Meadowcrest Wastewater Treatment Facility to produce additional high-quality reclaimed water flows to be sent to the Duke Energy Crystal River Power Complex. This project will result in an estimated total nutrient reduction of 87,791 pounds of nitrogen per year.

A complete list of the springs protection projects funded by the Fighting for Florida’s Future budget can be found at:

http://www.flgov.com/2017/08/07/gov-scott-announces-50-million-for-springs-restoration-projects-across-florida/ These projects will be considered by the water management district Governing Boards as part of their upcoming budget hearings.

Child Advocate Volunteers Sought for Guardian ad Litem Program

Category: Press Releases       Posted By: Denise Gallagher       Year: 2017

The Guardian ad Litem (GAL) program is currently in desperate need of volunteers to be advocates for abused, neglected or abandoned children whose cases are in the court system. A GAL is a trained volunteer appointed by the court to advocate on behalf of a child. The GAL becomes familiar with the child’s case and makes recommendations to help ensure a safe, stable and permanent environment for the child.

“Over 2000 children in Marion, Lake, Sumter, Hernando and Citrus Counties have been removed from their homes due to abuse, abandonment or neglect. GAL volunteers make a profound difference in the life of these children by helping judges decide whether a child should be reunited with his or her family, remain in foster care or in the worst of circumstances, placed for adoption,” said Marcia Hilty, Circuit Director of GAL Program for 5th Judicial Circuit. “They make sure important services are provided. Simply put, a GAL volunteer makes sure everyone does what is best for the child.” Research has shown that when a child whose case is being heard in dependency court is assigned to a GAL volunteer, they spend less time in foster care and do better in school. However, there are more children in the system than volunteers to serve them at this time.

Eligible volunteers must be 21 years of age and older (adults between 19 and 21 years are also eligible to work alongside a certified volunteer GAL), successfully complete the pre-service training program and be cleared of any serious criminal history via a level II criminal background check. A GAL must complete 30 hours of pre-service training. On average, volunteers should expect to spend 10-15 hours a month on a case, and most cases last 10-12 months. The volunteer works as part of a team, including a volunteer supervisor and program attorney. 

The next GAL training will be on September 7th, 8th and 9th, 2017 in Ocala.  All participants must complete an application process prior to training. To become a volunteer in Marion or Lake Counties, please contact Amarilys Ortega at 352-343-2736 or email amarilys.ortega@gal.fl.gov   To become a volunteer in Hernando, Citrus or Sumter Counties, contact Diana Hollwedel at 352-812-6971 or email diana.hollwedel@gal.fl.gov  For more information, visit www.guardianadlitem5.org

Learn How to Build Healthy Relationships

Category: Press Releases       Posted By: Denise Gallagher       Year: 2017

UF/IFAS Extension Citrus County is pleased to offer a different educational series to help you improve your relationships.  SMART Couples Florida classes are designed to teach you how to communicate needs, listen to the needs of others, successfully resolve conflict, and maintain happy and healthy relationships with everyone in your life.

“Elevate,” is a fun and powerful relationship-enhancement workshop to help couples improve their communication skills and strengthen their relationships.  This program runs Thursdays from 6 pm-8:30 p.m. from September 14 - October 12 at the UF/IFAS Extension Citrus County 3650 W. Sovereign Path, Ste. 1, Lecanto. To register by September 11th, or for more information, visit the SMARTcouples.org Classes and Events page or contact UF/IFAS Extension Citrus County at 352-527-5700.

Funding for this project is provided by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Grant: #90FM 0079-01-00.  These services are available to all eligible persons, regardless of race, gender, age, disability or religion.  In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 286.26, F.S., persons needing accommodations or an interpreter to participate in programs should contact their UF/IFAS Extension office no later than 5 days prior to the scheduled meeting time or call 1-800-955-8771 (TDD).

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