News and Announcements

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.

Overnight lane shifts, 9 p.m. to 5:30 a.m., Monday, January 13, and nightly through Friday, January 17.

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 13, and daily through Friday, January 17.

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 13, and daily through Friday, January 17.

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 13, and daily through Friday, January 17.

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 13, and daily through Friday, January 17.

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 13, and daily through Friday, January 17.

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.

PET MEALS PROGRAM IN NEED OF DRY DOG FOOD DONATIONS

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

Do you have a pet who is a member of your family?  Do you love animals? The PetMeals Program is seeking help from pet lovers throughout Citrus County. At this time, the program is in great need of dry dog food in unopened bags. Each month, the PetMeals Program provides dog and cat food to the companion pets of senior homebound clients who receive Meals on Wheels in Citrus County.

The PetMeals program was started when it was noticed that a very thin man was only taking small bites of his food and then placing his food tray on the floor for a very overweight Chihuahua to finish the meal. When asked why he was doing this, he stated he did not have the money to buy dog food any longer and that he would rather go hungry than not feed his beloved pet.

The PetMeals Program is 100 percent donation-based, volunteer driven program that provides dog food and cat food to our senior homebound clients. The greatest need at this time is for unopened bags of dog food. Please drop off donations at your closest community center or a monetary donation can be mailed to:

Citrus County BOCC

Citrus County PetMeals Program

2804 W. Marc Knighton Ct. Key #3

Lecanto FL 34461

Any contributions are accepted and appreciated. For more information on how to help, or locations to make food or monetary donation, please call, (352) 527-5975.

County Asks Homeowners to Reduce Irrigation This Winter

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

Overwatering in winter encourages pests and disease

The Citrus County Department of Water Resources is reminding residents to reduce irrigation frequency to about once every two weeks in January and February.  Too much water in winter can lead to lawn disease, pests and weed growth.  

“As days shorten and nights cool, most lawns in Citrus County slow growth and go into some sort of dormancy,” said Debra Burden, water conservation manager. “Dormancy means less water and mowing, and no fertilizer.”

Burden says it is important to allow grass roots to dry out after irrigation or rainfall.  Some citizens have reported rainfall alone has allowed them to go all winter without irrigation.  Florida averages more than fifty inches of rainfall each year. Some research suggests that lawns can go as many as 23 days without irrigation or rainfall in our region.

Unless the irrigation system has a Water Sense labeled controller that automatically adjusts irrigation seasonally, Burden suggests reducing irrigation to about once every 14 days.  Wait another 14 days after receiving 1/2” of rainfall. 

Some find it easiest to simply turn the controller to the ‘OFF’ position, and then back ‘ON’ after two weeks of no rainfall.  Do not unplug the controller, as this could cause it to lose settings. 

As spring approaches and weather warms, schedule irrigation on your next allowable watering day if the lawn show signs it needs water, like grass blades folded in half lengthwise, a blue-gray appearance or footprints that linger in the lawn.

According to the Southwest Florida Water Management District, watering only every other week at most during the winter will help conserve drinking water supplies that the public needs for critical uses during the dry season. In fact, if everyone skipped one week of irrigation this season, it could save an estimated 1.9 billion gallons of water.

For additional information about water restrictions and water conservation, call 352-527-7669.


Three free Florida-friendly gardening workshops

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

Three free Florida-friendly gardening workshops

Creating a Florida-friendly Landscape

Citrus County Utilities Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ Program is offering a free gardening workshop on January 21, 2020 from 2:00-3:30 pm.  Plan before you plant is an important concept when developing sustainable garden ideas.  Basic principles of landscape design include site evaluation, selection and placement of the ‘right plant’ and establishment practices for newly installed sustainable gardens.  “What is and how to create a Florida-friendly Landscape” is the theme of 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.

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.

2020 Water Conservation Poster Contest Prizes for students and schools

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

Citrus County Utilities is seeking student participation in the 2020 Drop Savers poster contest.  Students in grades K-12 are encouraged to create a poster depicting a water-saving idea, in slogan form, drawing form, or both.  Posters must focus on how to use less water and encourage water-conservation behaviors. 

As part of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) ongoing We’re for Water campaign, this year’s theme is Fixing Leaks Saves Water to raise awareness to the nearly 1 trillion gallons of water wasted from household leaks each year.

A twenty-five-dollar cash prize will be awarded to the county-wide first place winners in each of the five divisions.  Posters will be judged by grade level as follows: Division 1- kindergarten and first grades; Division 2 - second and third grades; Division 3 - fourth and fifth grades; Division 4 - sixth, seventh and eighth grades; Division 5 - ninth through twelfth grades.  A fifty-dollar cash prize will be awarded to each division winner’s school to be used for art supplies, as well as a plaque displaying the winning artwork.

Applications and posters must be received by 5 p.m., Thursday, February 27, 2020.  Mail or deliver submissions to 3600 W Sovereign Path, Suite 202, Lecanto, FL 34461.  For applications and contest guidelines, call (352) 527-7684.  

The Citrus County Utilities poster contest is part of the Keep Citrus County Beautiful annual Save Our Waters Week campaign and the Florida Section of American Water Works Association statewide Drop Savers poster contest.  

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