News and Announcements

Check out Parks and Rec Spring Programs for Kids and Families!

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

It’s all happening at Citrus County Parks and Recreation this Spring! Staff has planned a lot of great community programs for families, kids, and folks of all ages for the spring season. “We have begun promoting this spring season’s Movies in the Park, choosing films based on great feedback from staff who had seen them and some of the reviews online,” said Recreation Program Specialist Andrea Cuccaro. “We recently started a Citrus County Parks and Recreation Facebook page and definitely encourage folks to like our page. It’s a great place to follow events, sports, and info about our facilities and how to participate in the fun,” she added.

Films will all be shown at sundown, but folks who come slightly earlier will have time for kids to play on Citrus Inflatables! Free popcorn is provided by Rural King, and free soda and water is provided by Pepsi products.

Spring 2020 Movie Schedule:

Saturday, Feb. 22:            Spider-man into the Spider-verse at Bicentennial Park Field 5

                                                501 N. Baseball Point Crystal River, FL 34429

Friday, March 20:             Abominable at Lecanto Community Park

                                            3505 West Educational Path Lecanto, FL 34461

Friday, April 17:                 Toy Story 4 at Bicentennial Park Field 5

                                             501 N. Baseball Point Crystal River, FL 34429   

Friday, May 29: Dora and the Lost City of Gold at Fort Island Gulf Beach

                                             16000 West Fort Island Trail Crystal River, FL 34429

Citrus County Parks and Recreation is also hosting other special events this spring for kids, families and folks of all ages:

Free Open Mic Night: Last Wednesdays of the month (Jan, Feb, April, May) from 6:30-9:30pm at Central Ridge Community Center located at 77 Civic Circle Beverly Hills, FL 34465. All ages. No profanity. Vocalists, musicians, poets, and comedians welcome! Free donuts provided by Fresh Start, and free drinks provided by Pepsi.

Free 16th Annual Kid’s Fishing Clinic: Saturday, February 22, in association with Fish Florida where

kids get a free rod and reel and a fishing lesson. The event will be held at Fort Island Trail Park at 12073 W. Ft Island Trail Crystal River, FL 34429. “The Kids' Fishing Clinic is a one-day educational event established by the Outreach and Education section of the Division of Marine Fisheries Management, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission,” said Maci Kepler, Recreation Program Specialist. “One of the main goals for the Kids' Fishing Clinic is to create responsible marine resource stewards by teaching children the vulnerability of Florida's marine ecosystems. After approximately one hour of instruction, the children will receive a free rod and reel, and will have the opportunity to fish,” Kepler added. For ages 5-15, registration opened January 1, 2020 and spots are limited. You must pre-register at; apm.activecommunities.com/citruscountyparks to join the fun.

The P.L.A.Y. program basketball session: begins Monday, Feb. 24 for ages 3-5 and parents are

involved in all of the drills. Each session is on Monday evenings at 5:30pm for 1 hour and lasts 6 weeks. Cost is $45 which includes a t-shirt, sports equipment and lessons. You must register for the program, as it is limited to 14 spaces. Register starting January 27 at; apm.activecommunities.com/citruscountyparks.

Spring Break Camp! March 23-27 with a different theme each day: Art day, Zombie Day, Sports Day, Pool Day, and Dance Party Day! For kids ages 11-14. Cost is $50 for the week with a $10 discount per child for multiple children from the same family. Early drop off and late pick up available. Register starting January 21 at;  apm.activecommunities.com/citruscountyparks

Egg-streme Glow Hunt and Festival: Thursday April 9 Glow-in-the-dark Easter egg hunt opens at 6pm at Bicentennial Park located at 501 N. Baseball Point Crystal River, FL 34429. Entrance fee is $5 per person. 7pm: Ages 1-3, 7:20pm: Ages 4-5, 7:40pm: Ages 6-7, 8:10pm: Ages 8-9, 8:30pm: Ages 10-11, 8:50pm: Ages 12-13.  

Check out Citrus County Parks and Recreation’s programs before they happen by following them on facebook at www.facebook.com/citruscountyparks  For more information, call (352) 527-7540.

Two free Florida-friendly gardening workshops in February

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

Optimizing irrigation systems

Citrus County Utilities Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ Program is offering a free gardening workshop on February 4, 2020 from 2:00-3:30 pm.  Landscape irrigation is supplemental, but often uses 50-70 % of total residential water consumption. Irrigation practices such as seasonal scheduling, catch can calibration and selection of drought tolerant plants are essential to creating a sustainable and water conserving landscape.  Classes are held at the Citrus County Extension Service building located at 3650 W Sovereign Path in Lecanto.  Please contact Steven Davis at (352) 527-5708 to confirm your participation or register at https://ccufflprogram.eventbrite.com.

9 steps to Florida-friendly Landscaping™

Citrus County Utilities Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ Program is offering a free gardening workshop on February 18, 2020 from 2:00-3:30 pm.  The University of Florida developed the 9 basic principles to establish a set of gardening practices which aid gardeners in creating sustainable and successful ornamental gardens.  These practices allow gardeners to create beautiful landscapes generating little or no impact to our water resources.  Selection of the right plant for the right location, efficient irrigation, proper fertilization and responsible pest management are several of the topics discussed during this workshop. Classes are held at the Citrus County Extension Service building located at 3650 W Sovereign Path in Lecanto.  Please contact Steven Davis at (352) 527-5708 to confirm your participation or register at https://ccufflprogram.eventbrite.com.

Suncoast Parkway 2 Construction and Lane Closure Updates

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

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 daytime intermittent single lane closures, 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday, February 3, and daily through Friday, February 7.

W. Cardinal Street in the vicinity of the Suncoast Parkway

Possible daytime intermittent single lane closures, 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday, February 3, and daily through Friday, February 7.

W. Glen Street in the vicinity of the Suncoast Parkway

Possible daytime intermittent single lane closures, 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday, February 3, and daily through Friday, February 7.

Grover Cleveland Boulevard in the vicinity of the Suncoast Parkway

Possible daytime intermittent single lane closures, 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday, February 3, and daily through Friday, February 7.

Homosassa Trail/CR 490 in the vicinity of the Suncoast Parkway

Possible daytime intermittent single lane closures, 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday, February 3, and daily through Friday, February 7.

S. Pine Meadow Avenue at W. Cardinal Street

Long term closure

Detour information:

•             S. Pine Meadow Avenue traffic wishing to access W. Cardinal Street should travel north on S. Pine Meadow Avenue to W. Mockingbird Street, travel west on W. Mockingbird Street to S. Eastern Avenue and travel south on S. Eastern Avenue to access W. Cardinal Street.

PROJECT DESCRIPTION: 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 W. Cardinal Street and a partial interchange at SR 44, one wildlife crossing and four wildlife culverts, 15 new bridges, 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.

Grant Deadline Extended for Homeowners Impacted by Hurricane Hermine

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

Application deadline has been extended to Monday, March 9, 2020 for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Disaster Recovery Program to accept applications from very low to low-to-moderate income homeowners that were impacted by Hurricane Hermine.

Citrus County has been awarded approximately $1,000,000 from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity for demolition, home replacement with elevation activities under the Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) Program related to Hurricane Hermine.

These funds must benefit very low to low-to-moderate income persons within the County, including the City of Crystal River. Assistance will be provided in the form of a no interest deferred-payment loan.

CDBG-DR funds are eligible for unmet needs only and cannot be used where duplication of benefit may occur.

FEMA funds, insurance funds and other assistance will be considered in any request for assistance under CDBG-DR, clear documented impact from Hurricane Hermine will be required by homeowners wishing to participate in this program.

If you are interested in applying for this grant, Citrus County will be hosting a mandatory resident orientation meeting to go over the program details at the:

•             Homosassa Public Library, 4100 S Grandmarch Ave, Homosassa, FL 34446

on Monday, February 10 from 5:30-6:30pm

Applications packets can be obtained during this meeting or at the Citrus County Resource Center         Monday - Friday from 8:00 am - 4:30 pm located at 2804 W. Marc Knighton Ct., Lecanto, FL 34461.

The deadline for completed applications has been EXTENDED to Monday, March 9, 2020 at 4:30 pm.  Completed applications must be dropped-off at 2804 W. Marc Knighton Ct., Lecanto, FL 34461

Board of County Commissioners Drug Seizure Fund Grants Available

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

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.

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 2020 round of grant applications is as follows:

Submission of the Request to the Sheriff’s Office:                       March 1, 2020

Board Consideration of Applications at BOCC Board Meeting:  March 24, 2020 Time Certain 2:00pm.

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.

Citrus County Fire Rescue Implements Advanced Life Support Services at Three Career Stations

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

On Monday, January 19, 2020 at approximately 12:30 pm, Citrus County Fire Rescue successfully implemented non-transport first response Advanced Life Support (ALS) services at three of our nine career fire stations.  We are very proud to say that Engine 3 from Homosassa, Engine 20 from Pine Ridge, Squad 23 from Kensington Rd., and the Safety Officer are ALS equipped and providing service to their respective areas of response. 

This ALS status and license enables CCFR paramedics to serve as an extension of the emergency room physician and administer life-saving medications and procedures in the field.  This service augments the current ALS provider, Nature Coast EMS, by providing state certified Paramedics in areas where Fire Rescue could respond as the first arriving unit of the 911 systems for emergency medical and traumatic call types.  Current call volume indicates this need as a critical supplement to increase service to our residents and visitors and improve the pre-hospital outcome.

Information Meeting for Suncoast Parkway Cardinal Interchange Planning

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

Citrus County Growth Management Department will hold a Public Information Meeting for the Suncoast Parkway 2 Cardinal Interchange on Thursday, January 30, 2020 at the Homosassa Library, 4100 South Grandmarch Avenue, Homosassa. The meeting will be an informal open house from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. 

The purpose of the meeting is to discuss with the public the Cardinal Interchange potential land use, a timeline for completion, and information on new infrastructure to be constructed. “Comments from citizens will be valuable to county commissioners as they put together a plan for West Cardinal Street,” said County Administrator Randy Oliver.

“Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council (TBRPC) presented a land-use corridor study to the commissioners last year, which was meant to be a starting point for discussion but did not include public comments,” said Steve Lachnicht, Assistant County Administrator. “This public meeting and subsequent discussions will build on the TBRPC study.”

This Public Information Meeting will give interested persons an opportunity to ask the project team questions and provide comments. Displays illustrating the alternatives for potential land use around the interchange will be available for review.

For information and updates on the interchange planning process, you may visit the Citrus County website at https://www.citrusbocc.com/plandev/growth-management.htm

Citrus County Submittal Period for Tourism Grant Funding Open

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

The Citrus County Visitors and Convention Bureau announces that the Tourist Development Council will be open to receive grant applications for tourism-related grants from Monday, January 27 until Friday, February 28 at 5:00pm. Grant applications can be submitted to the Visitors Center office at 915 N Suncoast Blvd., Crystal River, FL 34429 or via email to veronica@visitcitrus.com. This will be the only round of grant funding for the 2019-2020 fiscal year.

January 27, 2020 - Applicant Submittal Period Opens

February 28, 2020 - Applicant Submittal Period Due by 5:00pm

April 8, 2020 - Applicant Presentation to the Tourist Development Council; Grant Selection & Budget Allocation

There are two grant categories available this period: Special Project/Events and Collateral Materials.

Special Projects/Events Grant

The Citrus County Tourist Development Council (TDC) offers a Special Event Grant program to organizations designated to promote special events/projects which attract overnight visitors to Citrus County, thereby impacting the lodging industry. A “special event” is defined as any activity, service, venue, or event which is intended to attract overnight visitors to Citrus County.

This Special Project/Events Grant is used to provide funding for advertising and promotion of local events to out-of-county markets, with the goal of attracting overnight visitors. The grant funds are intended to supplement the organization’s budget and are restricted in their use, allowing them to be used only for marketing, advertisement, and promotional materials.

Collateral Materials Grant

The purpose of the Citrus County Tourist Development Collateral Materials Grant is to assist organizations in Citrus County by providing funding awards for program dollars to make our area more appealing to visitors who are spending the night in Citrus County. This grant leverages TDC resources and extends the marketing for Citrus County.

The goals of these grant programs are:

•             Increase overnight stays in Citrus County

•             Promote a positive image and increased visibility of the area’s attractions

•             Increase expenditures by visitors to Citrus County

•             Educate visitors to the different areas in the County

For more details on each type of grant, maximum awards, eligible projects, reporting requirements, etc., visit the Tourist Development Council website at:

http://www.citrusbocc.com/commissioners/advboards/tdc/tdc.htm.

Applicants must conform to the TDC’s policies and procedures as specified. Applications failing to meet the deadlines will not be considered until the next funding cycle.

Suncoast Parkway 2 Construction and Lane Closure Updates

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

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

Southbound Suncoast Parkway/SR 589 entrance ramp from US 98

Overnight lane shift, 9 pm. Wednesday, January 29, to 5:30 a.m. Thursday, January 30; and 9 p.m. Thursday, January 30, to 5:30 a.m. Friday, January 31.

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 daytime intermittent single lane closures, 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday, January 27, and daily through Friday, January 31.

W. Cardinal Street in the vicinity of the Suncoast Parkway

Possible daytime intermittent single lane closures, 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday, January 27, and daily through Friday, January 31.

W. Glen Street in the vicinity of the Suncoast Parkway

Possible daytime intermittent single lane closures, 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday, January 27, and daily through Friday, January 31.

Grover Cleveland Boulevard in the vicinity of the Suncoast Parkway

Possible daytime intermittent single lane closures, 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday, January 27, and daily through Friday, January 31.

Homosassa Trail/CR 490 in the vicinity of the Suncoast Parkway

Possible daytime intermittent single lane closures, 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday, January 27, and daily through Friday, January 31.

S. Pine Meadow Avenue at W. Cardinal Street

Long term closure

Detour information:

•             S. Pine Meadow Avenue traffic wishing to access W. Cardinal Street should travel north on S. Pine Meadow Avenue to W. Mockingbird Street, travel west on W. Mockingbird Street to S. Eastern Avenue and travel south on S. Eastern Avenue to access W. Cardinal Street.

PROJECT DESCRIPTION: 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 W. Cardinal Street and a partial interchange at SR 44, one wildlife crossing and four wildlife culverts, 15 new bridges, 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.

Health Talk at the Library

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

The Friends of the Lakes Region Library invite the public to their annual meeting on Tuesday, January 28th at 2:00PM at the Lakes Region branch of the Citrus County Library System for a special health discussion. Katie Lucas, senior placement specialist at Royal Dalton House Assisted Living and Memory Care, will explain how individuals can prepare important personal information in a way that will be easily accessible to family in the event of an unforeseen health emergency. This free informational session will follow a brief installation of officers. Refreshments will be served. To learn more about the friends of the library and other library activities visit citruslibraries.org. 

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