News and Announcements

Metropolitan Planning Organization to hold a public consensus building workshop

Category: Press Releases       Posted By: Denise Gallagher       Year: 2019

The Hernando/Citrus Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) will hold a public consensus building workshop on May 29, 2019. The purpose of the workshop is to obtain public comment on the proposed transportation improvements that will be included in the MPO’s 2045 Major Update of the Long-Range Transportation Plan (LRTP). 

WEDNESDAY, MAY 29, 2019

1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Hernando County Utilities Building – Training Room                     

15365 Cortez Blvd., Brooksville, FL      

All workshops/meetings are open to the public.  Any questions concerning this public workshop should be directed to Mr. Steve Diez, MPO Executive Director, Hernando/Citrus MPO, 1661 Blaise Drive, Brooksville, FL 34601, telephone (352) 754-4082, extension 28013 or email mpo@hernandocounty.us.

Join the UF/IFAS Citrus County Extension for a FREE Pressure Cooking Class

Category: Press Releases       Posted By: Denise Gallagher       Year: 2019

Join the UF/IFAS Citrus County Extension for a FREE Pressure Cooking Class

WHO:  Anyone can participate in the workshop 

WHAT: Pressure Cooking            

WHEN:  June 26, 2019 from 10am-11am

WHERE: UF/IFAS Extension Citrus County, 3650 W. Sovereign Path, Lecanto, FL 34461

Do you have an electric pressure cooker or have been thinking about getting one, but have questions or concerns? Attend our FREE informational class on June 26 from 10am to 11am located at the UF/IFAS Extension Citrus County office at 3650 W Sovereign Path, Lecanto.

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

All programs and related activities sponsored for or assisted by, the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences are open to all persons with nondiscrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex or sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions, or affiliations.  For persons with disabilities requiring special accommodations, please contact our office at least five working days prior to the program so that proper consideration may be given to the request. Our phone number is (352) 527-5700. For the hearing impaired, please contact the Florida Relay Center Service at 1-800-955-8771.

“Citrus County Extension connects the public with the University of Florida/IFAS’ knowledge, research, and resources to address youth, family, community, and agricultural needs.”

Accepting Applications for Vacancy on Water & Wastewater Authority

Category: Press Releases       Posted By: Denise Gallagher       Year: 2019

The Citrus County Board of County Commissioners is seeking applications for one Lay Member for a term ending January 31, 2023, to serve on the Citrus County Water & Wastewater Authority. This board provides for regulation of private, for-profit water, bulk water and wastewater utilities within the unincorporated areas of Citrus County. Applicants are required to be Citrus County residents and registered to vote in Citrus County.

The authority consists of five members; three members are technical members and two members are lay members.  The lay member positions are appointed on the basis of individual civic pride and integrity. Although experience in any area of relevant utility service and management, rate making, utility regulation or other endeavors is not required, applicants for the lay member position may be appointed from the same area of expertise as technical members. The Water & Wastewater Authority meets quarterly at 1:00 pm. on the first Monday of February, May, August and November at the Lecanto Government Building in Lecanto. 

Applications will be accepted until June 10, 2019.   Applications which meet the eligibility requirements will be forwarded to the Board of County Commissioners for evaluation, nomination and selection.  Applications can be found at http://www.citrusbocc.com/commissioners/advboards/advisory-board-application.pdf and completed applications should be sent to Citrus County Administration, 3600 W. Sovereign Path Suite 267, Lecanto FL 34461.

First BOCC meeting in June on a Monday

Category: Press Releases       Posted By: Denise Gallagher       Year: 2019

The Citrus County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) will be holding its first meeting next month on Monday, June 10, 2019 at the regular time of 1:00pm at the Citrus County Courthouse, 110 N. Apopka Ave. Inverness, Fl. 34450. The BOCC is rescheduling this public meeting from Tuesday to Monday due to the annual Florida Association of Counties Conference and Educational Exposition in Orlando, Florida.  

Citrus County Animal Services to Participate in Tampa Bay Regional Mega Pet Adoption Event

Category: Press Releases       Posted By: Denise Gallagher       Year: 2019

For the first time in history, five counties team up for a three-day adoption event to help Florida’s homeless pets find their forever homes.

The very first Tampa Bay Mega Adoption Event, a collaboration between five counties, will be held at the Hernando County Fairgrounds, May 17–19, 2019. Tampa-area municipal shelters from Hillsborough, Pasco, Polk, Hernando and Citrus counties will be there helping over 700 cats and dogs find their forever homes.

Admission to attend the event is free and adoption fees will be waived, thanks to the sponsorship of Best Friends Animal Society and the Hillsborough Pet Resources Foundation. “From puppies and kittens to sweet adults and seniors, we’ll have the perfect pet for everybody at the Tampa Bay Mega Adoption Event,” said Kenny Lamberti, Southeast Regional Director for Best Friends Animal Society. “Adoption is not only the most humane option when it comes to bringing home a new best friend, it’s also very cost effective, as all the pets at our event will be fixed, vaccinated, and microchipped. They’re ready for their new homes immediately.”

Unfortunately, nearly 2,200 cats and dogs are killed in US shelters daily simply because there is no space. There are five states that make up fifty percent of the killing in the country; Florida is in the top five. The collaboration between organizations to host a mega adoption event is an important component of making Florida a no-kill state. “It’s important for municipal animal shelters and rescues to work together since we all have the same mission—to save more animals, place them into loving homes and bring the nation to no-kill by 2025. There’s no reason animals should have to die in shelters simply due to lack of space,” Lamberti said. “Adoption events like these not only help animals get adopted into homes, but also shows the power of communities coming together to save lives.”

The Tampa Bay Mega Adoption Event will be held at Hernando County Fairgrounds 6436 US Hwy 41, Brooksville, FL 34601 on Friday, May 17 from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday, May 18 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Sunday, May 19 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Participating shelters include Pasco County Animal Services, Hillsborough County Pet Resource Center, Polk County Animal Control, Citrus County Animal Services, Humane Society of the Nature Coast and Hernando County Animal Services. All animals will be spayed/neutered, vaccinated, micro-chipped and ready to go home the day of the event.

About Best Friends Best Friends Animal Society is a leading national animal welfare organization dedicated to ending the killing of dogs and cats in America's shelters. In addition to running lifesaving programs in partnership with more than 2,500 animal welfare groups across the country, Best Friends has regional centers in New York City, Los Angeles, Atlanta and Salt Lake City, and operates the nation's largest no-kill sanctuary for companion animals. Founded in 1984, Best Friends has helped reduce the number of animals killed in shelters nationwide from an estimated 17 million per year to about 800,000. Determined to bring the country to no-kill by the year 2025, Best Friends and its nationwide network of members and partners are working to Save Them All®.

To become a fan of Best Friends on Facebook, go to Facebook.com/bestfriendsanimalsociety. Follow Best Friends on Twitter (@BestFriends) and Instagram (@BestFriendsAnimalSociety).

Suncoast Parkway 2 Construction and Lane Closure Updates

Category: Press Releases       Posted By: Denise Gallagher       Year: 2019

The Florida Turnpike is advising motorists of construction along with lane closures:

Eastbound and westbound US 98 in the vicinity of the Suncoast Parkway
Long-term single lane closures. One lane in each direction will remain open to traffic. 

W. Oak Park Boulevard/CR 480 in the vicinity of the Suncoast Parkway
Possible intermittent single lane closures, 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday, May 13 through Friday, May 17.

W. Cardinal Street in the vicinity of the Suncoast Parkway
Possible intermittent single lane closures, 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday, May 13 through Friday, May 17.

W. Glen Street in the vicinity of the Suncoast Parkway
Possible intermittent single lane closures, 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday, May 13 through Friday, May 17.

Grover Cleveland Boulevard in the vicinity of the Suncoast Parkway
Possible intermittent single lane closures, 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday, May 13 through Friday, May 17.

Homosassa Trail/CR 490 in the vicinity of the Suncoast Parkway
Possible intermittent single lane closures, 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday, May 13 through Friday, May 17.

W. Oak Park Boulevard/CR 480 in the vicinity of the Suncoast Parkway
Full road closure, 9 p.m. to 5:30 a.m., Wednesday, May 15. If necessary to complete the work, this closure will also occur from 9 p.m. to 5:30 a.m., Thursday, May 16.

Detour information
W. Oak Park Boulevard/CR 480 traffic coming from the east wishing to access the west side of W. Oak Park Boulevard/CR 480 will be directed Lecanto Highway/CR 491, travel north on Lecanto Highway/CR 491 to W. Cardinal Street, travel west on W. Cardinal Street to US 19/US 98 and travel east on US 19/US 998 to access W. Oak Park Boulevard/CR 480.

W. Oak Park Boulevard/CR 480 traffic coming from the west wishing to access the eastside of W. Oak Park Boulevard/CR 480 will be directed to US 98, travel north on US 19/US 98 to W. Cardinal Street, travel east on W. Cardinal Street and travel south on Lecanto Highway/CR 491 to access W. Oak Park Boulevard/CR 480.

S. Corbett Avenue at W. Grover Cleveland Boulevard
Long term closure
Detour information:
W. Grover Cleveland Boulevard traffic wishing to access S. Corbett Avenue will be directed to continue east on W. Grover Cleveland Boulevard to Lecanto Highway/CR 491, travel south on Lecanto Highway/CR 491 to S. Leisure Boulevard, travel south on S. Leisure Boulevard to W. Whippoorwill Street and travel west on W. Whippoorwill Street to access S. Corbett Avenue.
S. Corbett Avenue traffic wishing to access W. Whippoorwill Street will be directed travel east on W. Whippoorwill Street to S. Leisure Boulevard, travel north on S. Leisure Boulevard to S. Lecanto Highway and travel west on S. Lecanto Highway/CR 491 to access W. Grover Cleveland Boulevard.

Florida’s Turnpike is constructing the Suncoast Parkway 2, a four-lane toll facility that extends the existing Suncoast Parkway northward for 13 miles from US 98 in Hernando County to SR 44 in Citrus County. The project includes constructing full interchanges at US 98 and West Cardinal Street and a partial interchange at SR 44, one wildlife crossing and four wildlife culverts, 15 new bridges, two all-electronic tolling gantries and equipment buildings, and related drainage, lighting, highway signing, traffic signalization, guardrail and sidewalk. 

The Suncoast Trail, part of Florida’s Statewide Greenways and Trails System, will also be extended from US 98 to SR 44, with a pedestrian overpass constructed over US 98. The cost for this project is approximately $135 million and it is expected to be completed in 2022. 

County to hold Public Workshop for Solid Waste Franchising

Category: Press Releases       Posted By: Denise Gallagher       Year: 2019

Citrus County Board of County Commissioners will be holding a public workshop to discuss Solid Waste Franchising within Citrus County. The workshop is scheduled for Tuesday, June 25, 2019 at 9:00am at the Citrus County Courthouse, 110 N. Apopka Avenue, Inverness, Florida 34450.

The workshop will be an opportunity for the public to present any questions or concerns they have regarding the future of solid waste franchising. For more information on this meeting please call the Citrus County Department of Public Works at 352-527-5477.

It’s Kitten Season! Animal Shelter in Desperate Need of Foster Homes

Category: Press Releases       Posted By: Denise Gallagher       Year: 2019

Citrus County Animal Services is in desperate need of foster homes especially for those that are most vulnerable and fragile which include neonates (bottle babies), especially kittens, moms with litters, and underage (not old enough for adoption) puppies and kittens.

We also have foster opportunities for those animals that have medical needs or who just need a break from the shelter, think of it as their vacation or weekend off from work.

Most of the animals that come into the shelter are strays; foster homes give us vital information that helps us help them find their forever home. Foster homes also play a huge role in helping animals adjust to homes, family life and help animals that may just need to learn some basic manners.

We have many foster opportunities available ranging from long term, short term, day out adventures, and more. We also can give school volunteer credit hours to those families with children.

Citrus County Animal Services provides fosters with all supplies and medical care they will need while fostering. So please help us help them by being part of the solution. Foster homes play a pivotal role in saving lives by opening up their heart and homes.

For more information please contact Colleen Yarbrough at, Colleen.Yarbrough@citrusbocc.com  352-746-8408 or Crystal Wallace at, Crystal.Wallace@citrusbocc.com  352-746-8401. The Shelter is located at 4030 S. Airport Road, Inverness, Florida 34450.

Board of County Commissioners Adopts Policy for the Distribution of Drug Seizure Fund Grants

Category: Press Releases       Posted By: Denise Gallagher       Year: 2019

The Citrus County Board of County Commissioners have elected to assume responsibility for the distribution of drug seizure funds.  The purpose is to ensure that the use of these funds provide the maximum benefit to the citizens of Citrus County. Administrative Regulation (AR 2.23) has been developed which includes the submittal period as well as criteria for the evaluation of these submittals.

This policy will permit the Board to evaluate the requests for Drug Seizure Funds and determine which will have the greatest benefit to the community. Requests will be considered on a quarterly basis. Grant funds use must be closely related to drug education or prevention programs.  The schedule for the first round of grant applications is as follows:

          Submission of the Request to the Sheriff’s Office                                   May 30, 2019

          Applications forwarded to the County by Sheriff’s Office                     June 14, 2019

          Board Consideration of Applications - Special Board Meeting            July 9, 2019 at 9:00 a.m.

For more information about the grant process or to receive a copy of the guidelines please call, Jeff Kopp, Citrus County Sheriff’s Office at 352-341-7404 or Debra Stack, Citrus County Administration Office at 352-527-5467.

Guardian ad Litem Raises Awareness of Children’s Mental Health

Category: Press Releases       Posted By: Denise Gallagher       Year: 2019

May 5 through 11, 2019 is Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week, and the Florida Guardian ad Litem Program is joining other advocates across the state and nation to raise awareness about the importance of children’s mental health and its role in their healthy development from birth.

"Because the Guardian ad Litem Program works with youth who have experienced abuse, abandonment and neglect, we've seen the long-term effects," said Marcia Hilty, Circuit Director of the Guardian ad Litem program serving the 5th Judicial Circuit. "These traumas can harm children’s physical, emotional and social development, putting them at greater risk for suicide and other mental health conditions."

The U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) hosted the first Awareness Day in 2005 to bring national attention to the importance of caring for every child’s mental health. The theme this year is “Suicide Prevention: Strategies That Work.”

"As Guardians ad Litem, we have the ability to advocate for the right services and supports that can minimize the impact of trauma, build resilience and promote positive mental health and overall development, " said Laurie Blades, the Program's director of children's behavioral health advocacy.

"The Guardian ad Litem Program supports Awareness Day activities as an opportunity to advocate for addressing the mental health needs of the vulnerable children we represent," said Executive Director Alan Abramowitz. "It also provides an opportunity for us to join forces with other community partners to emphasize the importance of positive mental health for all children."

Resources for suicide prevention may be found at https://www.samhsa.gov/childrens-awareness-day/event/resources-suicide-prevention. To learn more about the Guardian ad Litem Program or to become a volunteer, visit guardianadlitem.org or call 352-812-6971

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