News and Announcements

Commissioner Coleman to Hold May 1 Town Hall Meeting

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

Citrus County Commissioner Brian Coleman will be holding a Town Hall Meeting on Monday, May 1, 2017 for the general public to attend. The meeting will be held at the Inverness Community Center, 1082 N. Paul Dr., Inverness (off N. Independence Hwy.), from 5:30pm to 7:00pm.

“This will be an informal meeting to receive ideas, listen to issues and concerns from the community, and to explore ways to resolve problems.” explained Commissioner Coleman.

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

Periodic Night Lane Closures on US 19 in Homosassa Springs

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

Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) has announced periodic lane closures may take place in both directions of US 19 from W. Green Acres Street to S. Jump Court between 8:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. Friday through Saturday (April 28 – May 6) nights. At least one lane will remain open in each direction during the nighttime lane closures. FDOT advises the public to use caution in the project area

Also, W. Homosassa Trail west of US 19 will remain closed around-the-clock until further notice. The road is currently estimated to be reopened by June 2017.

Two Free Florida-friendly Gardening Workshops in May 2017

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

Irrigation efficiency

Citrus County Utilities Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ Program is offering a free gardening workshop on May 9, 2017 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.

Responsible pest management IPM

Citrus County Utilities Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ Program is offering a free gardening workshop on May 23, 2017 from 2:00-3:30 pm.  Correctly identifying the cause of plant damage is always the first step to controlling an infestation.  Inspection, scouting, identification, selecting the least harmful control and accurate application are all important IPM practices. 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.

County administrator and BOCC Recognize Employees at Service Award Breakfast

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

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County Administrator Randy Oliver and Commissioners Brian Coleman, Jimmie T. Smith and Ron Kitchen, are joined by Citrus County employees who recently received recognition for their years of service.

County Administrator Randy Oliver and Commissioners; Brian Coleman, Jimmie T. Smith and Ron Kitchen recognized years of employee service at a recent breakfast held at the Historic Old Courthouse in Inverness on Thursday, April 27, 2017. The following employees were honored for their service and dedication to Citrus County:

5 Year

Christopher Pappas, Hired on January 30, 2012 as a Custodian in the Public Works Department, Facilities Management.

Brian Witty, Hired on January 4, 2012 as a Maintenance Worker in the Public Works Department, Road Maintenance. He is currently a Medium Equipment Operator.

Charles Haley, Hired on January 9, 2012 as a Utilities Maintenance Worker in the Water Resources, Utilities Division. He is currently a Utilities Technician II.

Eric Pert, Hired on January 23, 2012 as a part-time Solid waste Technician I in the Public Works Department, Solid Waste.  He is currently a Heavy Equipment Operator.

Michael Leffew, Hired on February 8, 2012 as a Utilities Maintenance Worker in the Water Resources, Utilities Division. He is currently a Meter Reader.

Robert Defebbo, Hired on February 8, 2012 as a License Compliance Officer in the Growth Management, Building Division.

John Viggiano, Hired on March 26, 2012 as a Senior Center Aide in the Community Services, Parks & Recreations. He is currently a Community Center Coordinator.

Darla Graber, Hired on March 13, 2012 as a Teen Court Coordinator in the Community Services, Support Services Division.

Tammy Bagley, Hired on March 24, 2012 as a Solid Waste Technician I in Public Works, Solid Waste.

Tobey Phillips, Hired on April 30, 2012 as an Executive Assistant to the Board in Administration. She is currently the Community Services Director.

10 Year

Bernadine Flood-Nicholson, Hired on February 19, 2007 as a Conservation and Outreach Coordinator in Water resources, Utilities Division. She is currently the Utilities Billing & Customer Service Director.

Jacqueline Hendrix, Hired on March 12, 2007 as a secretary to the Board in Administration. She is currently a Secretary in Water Resources, Utility Operations Division.

Patrick McLeod, Hired on March 26, 2007 as a Maintenance Worker in the Public Works, Road Maintenance. He is currently a Traffic Control Technician.

Jeanette Smith, Hired on March 26, 2007 as a Utilities Maintenance Worker in Water Resources, Utilizes Division. She is currently a Water Resources Project Manager

Cortney Marsh, Hired on April 23, 2007 as a Secretary in the Department of Public Safety, Fire Services. She is currently a Legal Secretary for Growth Management, Code Compliance.

15 Year

Susan O’Connell, Hired on April 1, 2002 as a CADD Technician in Public Works, Engineering Division. She is currently a GIS Specialist in Systems Management, Geographic Information System.

30 Year

Jack Brooks, Hired on April 27, 1987 as an Engineering Technician III in the Department of Technical Services, Engineering. He is currently a Utilities Operator II for Water Resources, Utility Operations.

Winners of the Drop Saver Poster Contest

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

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Mrs Zoucha & Sophia Watson.  Cutline: Division 2 winner Sophia Watson with teacher Kelly Zoucha

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Alexia Sibul and Teacher Amanda Klauder.  Cutline: Division 4 county and state winner Alexia Sibul, 7th Grader, Inverness Middle School, with teacher Amanda Klauder

Citrus County Utilities in partnership with Citrus 20/20 Inc.’s annual Save Our Waters Week campaign and the Florida Section of American Water Works Association are proud to announce the winners of the 2017 Drop Savers Poster Contest.  The contest teaches elementary aged school children and reminds middle and high school aged teens about the importance of water conservation.

One winner from each of the five divisions was selected from participating schools throughout Citrus County.  The division one winner is 1st grader Keegan Woodhouse of Crystal River Primary.  Second grader Sophia Watson of Lecanto Primary won division two.  Ms. Watson’s poster read, “Save water by using a broom not a hose,” a message her father admitted she taught him weeks earlier.  Aida Canetti, a fifth grader at Crystal River Primary won division three.  Alexia Sibul of Inverness Middle School placed first in division four at the local level and in the FSAWWA state competition.  Sibul’s message was, “Don’t let water run in the sink, our life’s on the BRINK!”  Finally, Mackenzie Kauffman of Lecanto High School won division 5 and placed second in the statewide contest. 

Each division poster winner earned a $25 prize, the winner’s teacher receives a $50 prize to be used for school supplies and the winner’s school receives a plaque displaying the prized artwork.  State winners will receive additional prizes from the FSAWWA. 

View all the winning entries at  http://www.citrusbocc.com/waterres/conservation/youth/drop-savers/drop-savers.htm

Voluntary Reduction of Water Consumption Update

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

Citrus County citizens are being urged to voluntarily reduce water consumption while drought conditions continue. Voluntary citizen compliance will bring down the level of water usage, during this extended period of dry weather, to avoid potential regulatory action. 

The Southwest Florida Water Management District’s (District) Governing Board voted April 25 to declare a Phase I Water Shortage for all 16 counties throughout the District’s boundaries. Included in the order are Charlotte, Citrus, DeSoto, Hardee, Hernando, Highlands, Hillsborough, Lake, Levy, Manatee, Marion, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Sarasota and Sumter counties. 

The primary purpose for a Phase I water shortage is to alert the public that watering restrictions could be forthcoming. The order also requires local utilities to review and implement procedures for enforcing year-round water conservation measures and water shortage restrictions, including reporting enforcement activity to the District. 

Phase I water shortage order does not change allowable watering schedules, however it does prohibit “wasteful and unnecessary” water use.

The District considers both natural water resource conditions and the viability of public supply when deciding to declare a water shortage order – that means, restricting the amount of water the public can use. For the past 20 years, the District has worked diligently with our partners to develop alternative water supplies. Even though we are experiencing drought conditions, there is adequate water supply available to the public.

Florida’s dry season runs October through May and April is historically one of the driest months of the year. The District encourages water conservation year-round, and offers many tips to reduce water use and additional information on our website WaterMatters.org/conservation.

Here are some facts about outdoor water use:

Due to the ongoing drought conditions, there has been an increase in lawn and landscape watering. In most communities, the amount of water homeowners use to keep their lawns green or gardens lush spikes in the summer—two to four times as much water than they use the rest of the year!

In addition, those with timed outdoor watering systems often forget to monitor the weather and make certain they have a functioning rain sensor.  Required by Florida Statute, a rain sensor interrupts a scheduled irrigation cycle if sufficient rain has recently fallen 

Homes with automatic irrigation systems can use about 50 percent more water outdoors than those without them. If you receive a water bill, check your summertime use—how does your warmer weather water use compare to winter months? Here are some tips for keeping water use under control:

Timing is everything: Know how much water your landscape actually needs before you set your sprinkler. A clock-timer-controlled irrigation system that is not properly programmed or maintained can waste as much as 30,000 gallons of water annually.  Most lawns only require ½” to ¾” of water each week.  You can conduct a catch can test to determine each zone’s output and optimal run times.  Find instructions at http://tinyurl.com/CatchCanTest.  Generally, it is best to water lawns in the early morning to reduce evaporation losses during the heat of the day, as well as minimize extended periods of wet grass that can lead to fungus. 

Look for the label: If your system uses a clock timer with pushpins, consider upgrading to a WaterSense labeled controller. WaterSense labeled irrigation controllers act like a thermostat for your lawn, using local weather data to determine when and how much to water, reducing waste and improving plant health. Some even offer the ability to control and view activity from anywhere, which is great for seasonal residents.  Learn more at www.epa.gov/watersense/products/controltech.html.

Tune up your system: Inspect your irrigation system monthly when it is being used regularly.  Most systems have a test mode.  Walk each zone while it is running to check for leaks or clogged sprinkler heads. Fix sprinkler heads that are broken or spraying on the sidewalk, street, or driveway.

Play zone defense: When planting, assign areas of your landscape different hydro-zones depending on sun/shade exposure, soil and plant types, and type of sprinklers. Then, adjust your irrigation system or watering schedule based on those zones’ specific needs. This helps you avoid overwatering some areas or under-watering others.  Call your local Florida Yards & Neighborhoods coordinator at (352) 527-5708 to learn more and inquire about upcoming classes.

Leave it long:  Raise your lawn mower blade. Longer grass promotes deeper root growth, resulting in a more drought-resistant lawn, reduced evaporation, and fewer weeds.

For more tips on reducing outdoor water use, visit http://tinyurl.com/OutdoorWaterUse.

Lifeguard Rookie School Offered at Bicentennial Park Pool

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

Now is the time to sign up for the Lifeguard Rookie School at Bicentennial Park Pool. The hiring process for Lifeguards for Citrus County Parks & Recreation will begin with the Lifeguard Rookie School.

Candidates will be asked to demonstrate these swimming abilities during a skill session:

· Swim 550 yards using either the front crawl stroke or breast stroke

· Swim 20 yards, retrieve a 10 lb. brick from the bottom of the pool and swim back within 1 minute      and 40 seconds

· Tread water for 2 minutes using just your legs

· Retrieve 3 diving rings 5 yards apart from the bottom of the pool

Upon successful completion of the American Red Cross Lifeguarding Class, the final hiring process for Citrus County Parks & Recreation Lifeguards will begin.  As a Citrus County Parks & Recreation Lifeguard, the county will cover the cost of this Lifeguard Training.

The Citrus County Parks & Recreation Lifeguard Rookie School Schedule is May 1-5, 2017 from 3pm-8pm at Bicentennial Park Pool, 8145 W. Bicentennial Park Dr., Crystal River, FL 34429.

Please call (352)795-1478 to set up your appointment for a skill session April 24-28, 2017 between the hours 8am to 4pm, for an experience you will remember for a lifetime.

Affordable Housing Advisory Committee to Meet April 25

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

The Affordable Housing Advisory Committee will meet on Tuesday, April 25, at 5:00 pm, at the Citrus County Resource Center, 2804 West Marc Knighton Court Café Room 121 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.

Short-term Closure for Safety Improvements on N. Camae Point

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

Citrus County Road Maintenance, in cooperation with Florida Northern Railroad, will be temporarily closing N Camae Pt on Thursday morning, April 27. This will be a short-term closure for safety improvements.

For questions or more information, contact Frank Myszewski with Florida Northern Railroad at 407-466-0806.

Withlacoochee State Trail Rehabilitation in Citrus County

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

At the February 21, 2017 Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) meeting, MPO Chairman and Citrus County Commissioner Ron Kitchen requested an update on the status of the Withlacoochee State Trail (WST) maintenance. The resurfacing and maintenance of the Withlacoochee Trail has been a priority topic of the local bicycle community, Citrus County Visitor & Convention Bureau, Board of County Commissioners, and the City of Inverness and trail users have long expressed a growing concern about the 25-year old trail's surface and base conditions.

In order to address this and other trail maintenance issues in both Citrus and Hernando Counties, the MPO has created a Transportation Alternatives (TA) Rehabilitation line item in the Complete Streets section of the List of Priority Projects (LOPP).

The Citrus County LOPP contains the Withlacoochee State Trail. MPO policy provides for annual Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) Work Program funding in the $250,000 to $1,000,000 range per county and no match of local funds is required. The WST is the priority in Citrus County and applications have been submitted to FDOT for review and approval.

“The solution of the MPO to provide for the maintenance of the trail in the FDOT work program is a welcome addition.” said Citrus County Director of Public Works Jeff Rogers.

Citrus County has also been working on an agreement with the State of Florida and the Withlacoochee State Trail Volunteers to have the Citrus County Road Maintenance Department perform the repairs for the trail on an as needed basis. The two programs, funding for resurfacing, and an agreement for maintenance will ensure the Withlacoochee State Trail continues as an asset to the bicycling community in Citrus County and our visitors.

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