News and Announcements

Join East Citrus Community Center for Activities and Entertainment

Category: Press Releases       Posted By: Denise Gallagher       Year: 2020

East Citrus Community Center, 9907 E. Gulf-to-Lake Highway, Inverness, invites you to join us for free activities and entertainment all month long. Take a moment to mark your calendar for these exciting activities:

                Jaime Roldan Entertainment the 1st Tuesday of the month at 10am. Come and listen to us!

                Joann Zarra, Pianist the 3rd Tuesday of each month at 10am. Sing along with us!

                Bubba and Kat, the 2nd Wednesday of each month at 10am. Come dance with us!

                Barry and Pam Fletcher, the 4th Wednesday of each month at 10am. Come dance with us!

For more information about these activities or others, please phone, 352-344-9666.

Free Cooking Demo offered by Extension

Category: Press Releases       Posted By: Denise Gallagher       Year: 2020

WHO:    Anyone who wants to learn how to use an electric pressure cooker           

WHAT: Free Cooking Demo                      

WHEN:  Wednesday, March 25, 2020 at 2:00pm

WHERE:  Citrus County Fair: 3600 S Florida Ave, Inverness, FL 34450

WHY:     Do you have an electric pressure cooker or are you thinking about getting one, but have questions or concerns? The University of Florida/IFAS Extension Citrus County is providing a free informational cooking demonstration on how to use the electric pressure cooker.

The class will be held on Wednesday, March 25, at the Citrus County Fair, located at, 3600 S Florida Ave, Inverness, FL 34450 at 2:00pm. Pre-registration is appreciated.  Admission to the fair is also required when attending this presentation.

To register online: For more information and to register, call Stephanie at the University of Florida/IFAS Citrus County Extension office in Lecanto at 352-527-5700.                         

Landfill offers Tire Disposal and Recycle Day

Category: Press Releases       Posted By: Denise Gallagher       Year: 2020

In an effort to reduce areas where water can collect and subsequently reduce mosquito breeding, the Citrus County Solid Waste Management Division will be accepting tires at the Central Landfill free of charge for recycling on Thursday, March 19 and Friday, March 20, 2020 from 8:00am through 4:30pm and Saturday, March 21, 2020 from 8:00am through 2:30pm.

This is a co-sponsored event by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. Standing bodies of water can serve as a breeding ground for mosquitoes, and mosquitoes have been found to transmit Zika Virus. Disposing properly of tires is one way to reduce standing water on our property and in our neighborhoods.

The Central Landfill is located at 230 W Gulf to Lake Highway (SR44) in Lecanto. FL 34461.

Residents in assessed and non-assessed areas can dispose of a maximum of twenty five passenger and/or pickup truck tires, without rims free of charge for recycling. This event does not apply to waste tire haulers or commercial entities and is intended for residential only

The Citrus County Solid Waste Management Division would like to remind residents that they can recycle 5 tires per visit, 2 times per year at no charge.

Residents needing further information about this event, or any other Solid Waste Management Program, may call at (352) 527-7670 or by email at

First Time Homebuyer’s Class to be offered

Category: Press Releases       Posted By: Denise Gallagher       Year: 2020

Looking to purchase your first home?  Join UF/IFAS Extension Citrus County for the First Time Homebuyer’s class.

WHO:             Anyone looking to purchase a home and has not owned a home for 3 years or more

WHAT:          FREE First Time Homebuyer’s Class

WHEN:          Thursday’s from 6:00 pm-8:00 pm from April 9th- April 30th.

WHERE:       UF/IFAS Extension Citrus County, 3650 W Sovereign Path, Lecanto.

WHY:             Citrus County First Time Homebuyer’s class is being offered by UF/IFAS  Extension Citrus County.  Participants who attend the entire program will                                                                   receive a Certificate of Completion that is required for first time homebuyer assistance programs. 

The class is HUD approved and encompasses the entire home buying process including preparing your credit and finances, shopping for a home, home inspection, fair housing, available loan products, loan pre-approval, and closing.   This class is free, but we ask that you pre-register. Childcare is not available.

To register online: For more information or to register, contact Sarah

or Stephanie at the UF/IFAS Extension Citrus County office at 352-527-5700.

County Names New Growth Management Director

Category: Press Releases       Posted By: Denise Gallagher       Year: 2020

Mike Sherman.jpg

Citrus County has named Michael Sherman, AICP as the new Growth Management Director. Sherman was unanimously confirmed by the County Commission on November 05, 2019 and began his new position on November 18, 2019. 

Michael Sherman, AICP has over 32 years of experience as a city planner in Florida and in the Republic of the Philippines.   In 1987, Mike began his career with the City of St. Petersburg, moving on to manage the City of New Port Richey's Office of Planning and Zoning. After five years as the City Planner, Mike relocated to Gadsden County, Florida as the County Planner and later as the Growth Management Director. In 1999, Mike left Gadsden County to work in the private sector and later accepted a position at the Florida Department of Community Affairs. 

As a Growth Management Administrator, Mike directed a team of planners in the Comprehensive Planning and DRI section. Areas of review stretched from Manatee County, to Jacksonville and west to the Florida/Alabama line. Later as a Principal Planner in the Office of State Planning, Mike specialized in all-hazards mitigation planning. After leaving employment with the State of Florida, Mike established CPG Consulting, becoming a Partner in the Tallahassee office providing land use planning services to local governments, private landowners / land developers, and the wireless communication industry. In 2008, Mike joined Langan Engineering as Project Manager in the Tallahassee office.  After leaving Langan Mike was as the Community Development Director for Dade City, Florida. 

In October of 2018, Mike was elected Chair for the Humanist Alliance Philippines, International (HAPI).  HAPI is a not for profit corporation, NGO located in Barangay Las Pina, Republic of the Philippines.  HAPI provides humanitarian relief throughout all the major islands. Mike is also responsible for coordinating the international activities of HAPI with other NGO’s worldwide in the development of partnerships and cooperative programs throughout the Republic of the Philippines.  

When not working, Mike enjoys gardening, reading, along with spending time with his wife and grandkids. Mike can be reached at the Growth Management Department office, 352-527-5220.

Students Challenged to Detect Toilet Leaks

Category: Press Releases       Posted By: Denise Gallagher       Year: 2020

Citrus County Utilities is hosting its sixth annual Classroom Leak Detection Challenge for 3rd, 4th and 5th grade classrooms.  This annual event celebrates the EPA’s “We’re for Water” initiative by challenging students to test their home toilets for leaks.  All necessary supplies are provided by the utility.

This is a hands-on leak detection activity that teaches children and adults alike how to find and fix toilet leaks.  "They had so much fun discussing this topic,” said Amanda Edmister, third grade Central Ridge Elementary teacher. Having fun while learning how to save water is the goal.  According to EPA Water Sense, fixing one leaky toilet can save up to 200 gallons a day.

Using dye tablets provided by the utility, twenty-one classes from eight elementary schools tested 293 toilets for leaks in 2019.  Together, students found 41 leaky toilets with an estimated saving of 8,200 gallons of water a day when fixed.

The utility provides free shower timers to participating classrooms.  All classes are also entered into a chance drawing to win a pizza party. 

Teachers interested in participating in the 2020 challenge should send an email to by April 3, 2020 that includes the school, teacher name, grade and the number of students.  The utility will mail toilet leak detection supplies directly to the school. For more information, contact Debra Burden at (352) 527-7684.

Medicare 101 Seminar to be offered

Category: Press Releases       Posted By: Denise Gallagher       Year: 2020

Are you approaching 65? Have questions about Medicare? Join UF/USAS Extension Citrus County and SHINE

            WHO:             Individuals approaching 65 or joining Medicare

            WHAT:          Medicare 101: Learn about Medicare and your options.  Get answers to your Medicare questions, concerns, and options from a knowledgeable unbiased source.

WHEN:          April 20, 2020 from 6:00pm to 8:00pm

WHERE:       UF/IFAS Extension Citrus County

                        3650 W. Sovereign Path, Ste. 1, Lecanto, FL 34461

WHY:             What to do about Medicare can be one of the most complex questions you will face when you reach 65. Understanding the basics can provide you with the ability to take the proper steps when required and helps you to deal with problems when you need to. 

For more information or to register, contact Sarah at the UF/IFAS Extension Citrus County office at 352-527-5700.

25,000 Pet Oxygen Masks Donated and Counting: Citrus County Fire Rescue is Newest Recipient

Category: Press Releases       Posted By: Denise Gallagher       Year: 2020

Group Photo.jpg

Fire Chief Craig Stevens; Battalion Chief Bob Bessler; Driver Engineer Todd Godwin; Lieutenant Jon Ehnis; Firefighter Edward Paniccia; Pet Consultant for Invisible Fence of Florida Kevin Young; Animal Services Operations Supervisor Crystal Wallace; and General Manager for Invisible Fence of Florida Eric Wolfram and the amazing model Sasha (available for adoption at Citrus County Animal Services)

Sasha demonstrating.jpg

Battalion Chief Bob Bessler; Firefighter Edward Paniccia; Animal Services Operations Supervisor Crystal Wallace and Sasha (available for adoption at Citrus County Animal Services) 

Invisible Fence of Florida donates 33 pet oxygen masks to fire departments in Citrus County on behalf of Invisible Fence® Brand’s Project Breathe™ Program

Invisible Fence is not only known for its pet containment system keeping pets happy and safe in their yards, but also safe from other hazards like house fires. Today there are more than three million safer, happier pets and countless lives improved, including hundreds of pet lives saved through the Project Breathe™ Program, the company’s pet oxygen mask donation effort. Since the Project Breathe™ program’s inception in 2006, over 25,000 masks have been donated to first responders and now the company is giving more. Invisible Fence of Florida grants the newest donation of life-saving devices to Citrus County Fire Rescue in Citrus County – one of many donations by this local authorized dealership.

Each year, it’s estimated more than 40,000 pets die in fires, most succumbing to smoke inhalation. The reality in most cases is that first responders lack the equipment to resuscitate and save these animals. Programs like Project Breathe™ are addressing this issue.

“The Project Breathe™ Program goal is simple,” said Ed Hoyt, Director of Invisible Fence. “We want to ensure that every fire department and rescue unit across the U.S. and Canada are equipped with life-saving pet oxygen masks.”

The devices will be used for rescues like the recent one in Citrus Springs, FL, where Citrus County Fire Rescue firefighters responded to a structure fire.  “Crews confirmed there were no occupants present; however, there were 10 cats in the home.  Crews were able to save 8 of the 10 cats; 5 of which required resuscitation by personnel using pet oxygen masks.   Red Cross arrived to assist the family.”

As a program that thrives by word of mouth, Invisible Fence© encourages people to contact your local fire department to find out if they have these pet-saving kits. Fire departments can request pet oxygen mask kit donations here. For additional information or questions, customers can call (800)578-3647 or visit

About Invisible Fence® Brand

Invisible Fence pioneered the pet containment industry in 1973, making it their mission to provide safe boundaries inside and outside of the home. The Radio Systems Corporation® owned company predominantly sells pet containment, avoidance and access solutions across the U.S. and Canada. In addition to offering award-winning products like Boundary Plus® Technology, Authorized Dealers provide professional installation, Perfect Start™ Plus Training and integrated solutions that have protected more than three million pets to date. Invisible Fence also founded the Project Breathe™ Program in 2006, donating more than 25,000 pet oxygen masks to fire departments and first responders. For more information on Invisible Fence or to find a local dealer, visit or follow the company on Facebook.

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony to be held for the Hernando Area Senior Program

Category: Press Releases       Posted By: Denise Gallagher       Year: 2020

The public is invited to join the Board of Citrus County Commissioners for the Hernando Area Senior Program Ribbon Cutting Ceremony on Tuesday, March 3, 2020 at 10:00am at the Historic Hernando School 2435 North Florida Avenue, Hernando. No RSVP is needed to attend. 

The new Senior Program includes a daily nutritious meal, activities, nutrition education, crafts and socialization. The new space can accommodate up to sixty seniors for lunch and many more for programming. Increased activity in the building will help in the future with securing grants for completing restoration of the school.

The Historic Hernando School is a designated historic building, which was added to the U. S. Register of Historic Places on May 4, 2000. The Hernando Heritage Council mission is to restore and renovate the Historic Hernando School as a community/cultural arts center, nonprofit resource center, library, museum, public auditorium and meeting area for the betterment of the citizens of the town of Hernando, and all of Citrus County. The organization has taken the lead over the past few years to secure funding through donations and grants for restoration of the building.

For questions or more information on this event, please contact Public Information Officer, Cynthia Oswald at 352-527-5484.

BOCC Passes the Keys to Citrus County Veterans Coalition

Category: Press Releases       Posted By: Denise Gallagher       Year: 2020


Veterans Coalition Vice-Chairman Mike O’Brien, Veterans Coalition Chairman Richard Floyd, BOCC Chairman Brian Coleman, Commissioner Jimmie T. Smith.

Community Services Director Mariselle Rodrigues, Veterans Services Officer Phil Watson, Parks and Recreation Director Francine Nobles representing Support Services Director Joanne Granger.

Victoria White representing U.S. Congressman Daniel Webster.

Veterans and Coalition members: Bob Bendle (Treasurer), Fred Daniels, Wallace Turner (2nd Vice-Chairman), Jerry Kelly (Sargent at Arms), Trish Hendry (Food Pantry Director), David Huntington (Editor), Amy Scheels (Auxiliary member), and Jim Behuniak.

Citrus County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) officially passed the keys of the Inverness Community Center on N. Paul Drive, Inverness to the Citrus County Veterans Coalition on Tuesday, February 11, 2020. The public joined BOCC Chairman Brian Coleman and Commissioner Jimmie T. Smith along with Veterans Coalition Chairman Richard Floyd and Vice-Chairman Mike O’Brien to recognize the transition of the property. Many of the attendees were veterans, including the two commissioners. Victoria White attended representing U.S. Congressman Daniel Webster.

Citrus County Support Services Director Joanne Granger and her staff worked for over six months with local organizations, the Historical Society, and leaders of the Veterans Coalition to make this unique transition of property happen. “This is a win – win situation,” said Joanne. “It provides the veterans with much needed additional space for their services and gave us the opportunity for a new space for our senior programs.” Support Services will be cutting the ribbon for the Hernando Area Senior Program located in the Historic Hernando School on Tuesday, March 3 at 10am. The public is invited to attend. 

The veterans will be using the Paul Drive property for storage of donations and a foodbank for veterans in Citrus County. “We feed over 110 veterans and family members each Tuesday and Thursday,” said Veterans Coalition Vice-President Mike O’Brien. “We will use this additional building for wheelchairs, scooters and other adaptive equipment that the community generously donates along with giving us space for additional freezers and refrigerators. The veterans’ organization owns additional property adjacent to the community center building.

Many of the attendees stayed for a tour of the multiple buildings and met with volunteers and veterans that utilize the services of the Veterans Coalition. Food Pantry Director Trish Hendry said, “We work with other organizations in the county, the Food Bank, the school district, and churches to help each other provide for the hungry.”


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