News and Announcements

Animal Services Responds to Rabies Alert with Free Vaccinations for Affected Neighborhood

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

The Florida Department of Health in Citrus County (DOH-Citrus) has issued a rabies alert for the Heatherwood area of Inverness. This is in response to a feral cat that tested positive on Friday, December 27, 2019. The cat was tested after it bit a person on the previous day. Thanks to quick response and medical care, the person is receiving the post exposure treatment necessary to stop the disease.

Citrus County Animal Services is holding a free rabies vaccination clinic for all dogs and inside cats in the affected designated neighborhood. The clinic will run Friday, January 3, 2020 from 10am to 5pm at Citrus County Animal Services, 4030 South Airport Road, Inverness, FL 34450. Free rabies vaccinations have been made available for the designated neighborhood through a generous donation from Citrus County Foundation for Animal Protection (CCFAP).

The center of the rabies alert is at the intersection of E. Heatherwood St. and S. Hammock Ave., and includes the following boundaries in Citrus County:

• North boundary - Northern part of S. Vision Circle and Trail 18

• East boundary – Lighthorse Circle

• South boundary - E. Needham Court

• West boundary - S. Brittany Path

For more information phone, (352) 746-8400.

BOCC Plans Fifth Annual Community Leadership Summit

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

The fifth annual Community Leadership Summit will be held Friday, January 17, 2020 at the College of Central Florida, Citrus Campus in Lecanto, Conference Center beginning at 9am. Commissioner and Chairman Brian Coleman will preside over the collaborative event that brings together the County Commission, Citrus County School Board, City of Crystal River Council and City of Inverness Council.

This full day event provides an opportunity for community leaders to discuss, plan and prioritize mutual programs, projects and issues facing Citrus County while looking to the future.

Nature Cost Volunteer Center holds Healthy Food Drive in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr

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

The Nature Coast Volunteer Center, Retired and Senior Volunteer Program and the Board of County Commissioners are hosting a Healthy Food Drive in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Our local food pantries often find their stock of non-perishable food items depleted after the holidays. The Nature Coast Volunteer Center and Retired & Senior Volunteer Program is holding a food drive in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr., who once asked, “What are you doing for others?” 

Our goal is to help our local food pantries serve the citizens of Citrus County by providing nutritional food for their families. Non-perishable food donations will be collected through January 20, 2020. Collection boxes will be set up around the county, including Citrus County Resource Center in Lecanto, all Citrus County Libraries, and four of the County’s Community Centers. For a complete list of collection locations, please call (352) 527-5959.

Martin Luther King devoted his life to advancing equality, social justice, and opportunity for all and voiced that everyone has a role to play making America what it ought to be. By serving on this day and throughout the year, we honor Dr. King and help realize his dream of equality and opportunity for all. 

We are encouraging residents to gather friends, neighbors, church groups, clubs and civic organizations to join us in supporting these projects by registering to volunteer. The public is welcome to join us from 10am to noon on Tuesday, January 21, 2020 at the Central Ridge Community Center, 2804 W. Marc Knighton Court, Lecanto, FL. 34461 to sort, count and pack the non-perishables that will go out to our local pantries. 

There will be light refreshments at the event, and you are encouraged to register ahead of time. Organizers of this special Day of Service are Nature Coast Volunteer Center, Retired and Senior Volunteer Program, and the Board of County Commissioners. For more information or to register for the event, please contact the Nature Coast Volunteer Center at (352)527-5959 or via e-mail at ncvc@citrusbocc.com.

Work to begin on Skate Park Fence at Bicentennial Park

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

Work to begin on Skate Park Fence at Bicentennial Park

Citrus County Parks and Recreation would like to inform residents that work will begin on fence replacement at the Bicentennial Park Skate Park on January 6, 2020. This project is to replace the existing damaged fence to ensure the skate park is secure and safe for use.

The Skate Park will be closed to the public for safety. The work is planned to continue through the close of business on January 10, 2019. For more information phone, 352-527-7540.


Local Boy Scout Partners with Parks and Recreation to Give Back

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

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A Little Free Library was installed at the Central Ridge Community Center in Beverly Hills, Florida on Friday, December 20, 2019, by Boy Scout Noah Breder. Noah is a Life Scout with Troop 452 in Beverly Hills, Florida and this is one of four libraries Breder is in the process of installing for his Eagle Project.

The local scout partnered with Citrus County Parks and Recreation to secure the community center location. “Thank you for allowing me to install the library at the Central Ridge Community Center. Reading means a lot to me and being able to share my love for books with others is always a good thing,” said Noah in an email to Ms. Francine Noble, Parks and Recreation Director.

A Little Free Library is a small "take a book, leave a book" book exchange where anyone can come and trade books to read. The library at the community center currently contains books for all age/reading levels to enjoy.

The other locations where Noah Breder is installing libraries in 2020 are the Art Center of Citrus County, Whispering Pines City Park of Inverness, and the Suncoast YMCA.

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.

S. Sunnyview Point at W. Cardinal Street

Long-term closure

Detour information:

· S. Sunnyview Point traffic wishing to access W. Cardinal Street will be directed to travel west on Access Road F to S. Frank Meyer Point, travel north on S. Frank Meyer Point to the W. Cardinal Street diversion road and travel west on the diversion road to access W. Cardinal Street.

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.

Information Meeting for Suncoast Parkway 2 Project

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

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise will hold a Public Information Meeting for the Suncoast Parkway 2 project (from SR44 to SR486) on Thursday, January 23, 2020 at the Citrus County National Guard Armory, located at 8551 W. Venable Street, Crystal River, FL 34429. The meeting will be an informal open house from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

There will be no formal presentation. In the event the Public Information Meeting cannot be held on January 23, 2020 due to severe weather or unforeseen conditions, it will be held on the alternate date of February 18, 2020 at the same time and place.

This Public Information Meeting will give interested persons an opportunity to ask the project team questions and provide comments. Displays illustrating the alternatives for the proposed design will be available for review. For project information and updates, you may visit the project website at www.suncoast2.com.  Documents displayed at the Public Information Meeting will be available on the project website beginning January 23, 2020.

Citrus County Housing Services receives 28 HUD VASH Vouchers from HUD

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

In a continuing effort to end veteran homelessness, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced $29.3 million to 216 local public housing agencies (PHAs) across the country to provide a permanent home to veterans experiencing homelessness. Citrus County was recently awarded 28 permanent supportive Housing Choice Vouchers (HCV) through the HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) Program, which combines rental assistance from HUD with case management and clinical services provided by VA. This is the largest amount of vouchers Citrus County has received in a calendar year. 

A component of the HCV program, the HUD-VASH vouchers enable homeless veterans to obtain affordable, decent housing in the private market. These vouchers are critical tools in helping communities effectively end homelessness among veterans.  Over the last year, the number of veterans experiencing homelessness declined by two percent and has dropped by nearly 50 percent since the HUD-VASH program was created in the early 1990’s. 

Citrus County Housing Services, will be partnering with the James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital, VA Medical Center (VAMC) in Tampa, who will assess veterans experiencing homelessness before referring them to housing services for a permanent supportive housing voucher. Decisions are based on a variety of factors, most importantly the duration of homelessness and the need for longer term, more intensive support in obtaining and maintaining permanent housing. The HUD-VASH program includes both the rental assistance the voucher provides and the comprehensive case management that VAMC staff offers.

Veterans participating in the HUD-VASH program rent privately owned housing and generally contribute no more than 30 percent of their income toward rent. “Citrus County was first awarded HUD-VASH vouchers in 2016 and have since been awarded a total of 52 vouchers in an effort to end chronic homelessness among veterans in our county,” stated Tammy Harris, Housing Services director. For more information on this program and others please phone, 352-527-7520.

Extension Service offers food safety training

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

You don’t have to travel to Tampa or Orlando to get your ServSafe® Food Protection Manager’s Certification.  The University of Florida/IFAS Extension Citrus County is providing training to help food managers and staff keep food served to Florida’s consumers safer.  

This is a comprehensive training that provides the most up-to-date information and current regulations.  The ServSafe® Manager’s exam is given at the end of the training, which provides a National Certification that is good for five years.  Certification is required in Florida for food managers of all establishments licensed by the Department of Business and Professional Regulation, the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and selected licenses of the Department of Health.

The next class will be held on Thursday, February 27, 2020.  Pre-registration of two weeks is required.  It will begin promptly at 8:30 am, and run approximately 8 hours, then participants will have a maximum of two hours to take the national certification exam.  There is no “test only” option.  Participants should bring valid picture identification with them, and a sack lunch.

Training is held at the UF/IFAS Extension Citrus County office at 3650 W Sovereign Path, Suite 1, Lecanto (from State Road 44, go south on County Road 491, turn west on Saunders Way, go one block, turn left onto Sovereign Path.  The Extension building is the first building on the right). 

To register online: http://tinyurl.com/z6dp7jf

Cost for the course and exam is $110.  The purchase of the ServSafe® Manager Manual for $55 is highly recommended and is available in English or Spanish.  It is suggested that participants study the ServSafe® Manager 7th edition textbook prior to attending the class.  For more information, call Sarah at the University of Florida/IFAS Extension Citrus County office in Lecanto 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.”

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Citrus County Affordable Housing Advisory Committee to meet in January

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

The Affordable Housing Advisory Committee will meet on Wednesday, January 15, 2020 at 5:00 pm, in the café at the Citrus County Resource Center, 2804 West Marc Knighton Court, Lecanto, Florida. 

Any person desiring further information regarding this meeting may contact Citrus County Housing Services, 2804 W. Marc Knighton Court, Lecanto, FL 34461 (352) 527-7520.

Any person who requires a special accommodation (ADA) must provide at least 72 hours’ notice.

Si necesita un traductor de español por favor haga arreglos con el Condado dentro de dos días de la notificación de la publicación 352-527-5370.

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