Our mission is to protect our environment and natural resources, thereby preserving quality of life in Citrus County.  We do this by monitoring local government, researching issues and disseminating relevant information through our members and delegates. We are all citizen volunteers.

Come for a meeting
Stay for a membership!


9 a.m. - 2nd Wednesday Doors open at 8:30 Beverly Hills Lions Club 72 Civic Circle Beverly Hills, FL 34465(MAP)

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 The latest update for the extension of Suncoast Parkway 3 to continue north from SR44 up through Citrus County to parallel I-75 north past Jacksonville has been put on the back burner. FDOT will be concentrating on relieving traffic on I-75 by widening I-75 and making other improvements.                                                                        

FDOT Public Meetings Website:http://www2.dot.state.fl.us/
publicsyndication/publicmeeting.aspx/
publicmeetings.com
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  More information about upcoming
meetings will be available on the project
website at 
ww.i75relief.com Please direct
any questions or comments to Hui Wei Shen,
FDOT Project Manager, by phone at
(850) 414-4911, or by email at  Huiwei.Shen@dot.state.fl.us. 

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The Florida Channel has agreed with FDOT to
videotape all remaining I-75 Relief Task Force
meetings. FDOT is also negotiating for live-
streaming the remaining Task Force meetings. 
TUNE IN http://thefloridachannel.org/, and learn
about this process that threatens our Florida.  
     
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Wawa eyeing Citrus County RaceTrac on track for


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Four Corners

By Michael D. Bates
Friday, January 13, 2017 at 8:00 pm

Wawa, which has achieved almost a cult following among sandwich and coffee connoisseurs, is in negotiations to open its first store in Citrus County.

If successful, it would be located on the southeast corner of County Road 491 and 486 in Lecanto.

But wait — there’s more.

The county has a development agreement in hand from RaceTrac, which plans to build its newest gas station/convenience store at one of the most heavily traveled intersections of the county — the southwest corner of C.R. 491 and State Road 44. Plus, negotiations remain under way for the long-awaited new Taco Bell on U.S. 19 in Homosassa. Throw in a new Wendy’s restaurant, and that’s four new options for county residents.

Barring any obstacles in the final permitting stage, most of these locations could open this year.

WAWA/WENDY’S

Wawa devotees have been known to travel long distances to visit the gas station with the funny name, which is a native American word for the Canada goose.

Ed Dickinson, president-broker for Walter Dickinson of Tampa Bay Inc., said the Wendy’s franchisee that owns 4 acres on the southeast corner of County Road 491 and 486 in Lecanto is negotiating with Wawa to finalize the deal. If successful, Wawa would occupy the “hard corner” of that intersection and Wendy’s the “off-corner” just to the east. There would be an entrance off both main roads.

If all goes well, it could open by the fourth quarter of 2017, said Dickinson, whose company helps with site selections.

The sandwich shop/gas station/convenience chain is popular in other markets and has been expanding in recent years. Because Wawa sells gas at lower prices, it tends to create competition in the area among neighboring stations.

Pennsylvania-based Wawa has more than 640 convenience retail stores in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and central Florida. It started building stores in the Sunshine State in 2012 and has been steadily expanding.

RACETRAC

RaceTrac has submitted paperwork to the county to build at C.R. 491 and S.R. 44, sometimes called Four Corners. It still must go through other permitting steps and the county commission for approval.

But RaceTrac spokeswoman Karissa Bursch is optimistic that groundbreaking will take place in the next two months, with an anticipated opening at the beginning of the fourth quarter. She anticipates a mix of 15 to 20 full- and part-time employees. The store will have 18 fueling stations.

Bursch said this will be the chain’s latest store model, with more modern architecture, expanded indoor and outdoor seating and more food and beverage options.

TACO BELL 

The sign along the east side of U.S. 19, just north of West Homosassa Trail, has been there for about 15 months. But Dickinson said Taco Bell still plans to build. 

He said the property owner continues to work through some permitting and access issues with the county, including completing paving a stub-out that would allow customers to access the restaurant through the Dollar General.

Dickinson said there are also development issues with the Florida Department of Transportation, which is widening that stretch of U.S. 19.

Don Taylor, president of the Economic Development Authority for Citrus County, said even though these kinds of retailers typically pay lower wages, they still enhance the county by providing high-paying — albeit temporary — construction jobs. It also shows that Citrus County is still a desirable place for chains and may entice other investors into the area.

“Some of these retails coming in, they’ve done their demographics and they see there’s money to be spent here,” Taylor said.

Contact Chronicle reporter Michael D. Bates at 352-563-5660 or mbates@chronicleonline.com


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Contact: Cynthia Oswald, Public Information Officer

352-527-5484

cynthia.oswald@citrusbocc.com


Transit offers new program for residents 60 and over


The Citrus County Transit’s Transportation Disadvantaged Advisory Board has approved a new option for residents sixty years of age and over.   The new program invites any resident that is age sixty and over to get a free pass to ride the Deviated Fixed Route, and have a discount on the Para Transit service.  This opportunity is not income based and residents will need to show proof of age for the bus pass to be issued.  Passes and applications are available at the Citrus County Transit Center, located at 1300 S. Lecanto Hwy. as well as on the Citrus County BOCC website http://www.citruscountytransit.com/. For more information, call our office at 352-527-7630.


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The Citrus County Regional Science & Engineering Fair is being held January 31, 2017 at the Citrus County Auditorium from 8:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

For more information contact

Richard Crowley

Teacher on Special Assignment-Science

Citrus RSEF Director

(352) 726 1931 x 2213

crowleyr@citrus.k12.fl.us

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Below are the addresses to send  letters concerning your opinion related to FDOT abruptly moving money earmarked for widening US41 and a multi-use path parallel to US 19 when widened without notifying Citrus County Board of Commissioners.

DENNIS DIX,  
    MPO Coodinator Hernando County Planning Department
    20 N Main Street
    Room 262
    Brooksville, FL  34601-2828

PAUL STEINMAN
    District 7 Secretary FDOT

    State of Florida DOT
    11201 N McKinley Drive, MS 7-100
    Tampa, FL 33612-6456
    

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Contact: Cynthia Oswald
Public Information Officer 352-527-5484 cynthia.oswald@citrusbocc.com 
PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT COMMISSION (PDC) SEEKING APPLICATIONS
The Citrus County Board of County Commissioners is seeking applications for the Citrus County Department of Planning and Development’s Planning and Development Commission (PDC). Two regular positions and two alternate positions are expiring on January 31, 2017. The PDC reviews development applications and makes recommendations to the Board of County Commissioners on changes to the Citrus County Comprehensive Plan and Land Development Code. The PDC has final action on Variance and Conditional Use applications. The PDC also provides direction to staff regarding land use amendments as well as text amendments on development issues.
 Application can be found at http://www.citrusbocc.com/commissioners/advboards/advisory-board-application.pdf. For more information about the PDC, go to http://www.citrusbocc.com/commissioners/advboards/pdc/pdc.htm . Completed Applications may be sent to Land Development Division 3600 W. Sovereign Path, Suite 141 Lecanto, FL 34461 Applications are due by Tuesday, January 3, 2016 and those applications which meet the eligibility requirements will be forwarded to the Board of County Commissioners for evaluation, nomination and selection.


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Governmental Affairs

The next Governmental Affairs meeting will be November 28th @ 10am held in the conference room of the Cadence Bank on CR491 in Beverly Hills. All members are welcome to join in and learn what is occurring within the county. 
The December meeting will be held on December 19th due to holidays..see you there

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May We All Unite

YouTube Video


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ANNOUNCEMENT

It has come to our attention that Kathy-Faye Chetoka has passed away. 
Many of you may have known her through COST. She was a devoted fighter against the SC2 and accomplished many things by getting involved with the cause. Kathy was a sweet woman that gave her all. Thank you Kathy-Faye. You made a difference!

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July 20th Candidate Forum
Bud Osborn and Pat Wade at CCC Welcome Table


Kate Betsko-  President, League of Women Voters, Citrus County


Crowded auditorium

Kate Betsko and John Wade honoring Senator Dean with plaque

Susan Gill, Supervisor of Elections

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 A “white paper” generated by Dan Hilliard and published by Kings Bay Springs Alliance, Inc. - for your quick consumption.   

Kings Bay Springs Alliance, Inc., is asking that if you agree that addressing the damage done by turf fertilizer to our water systems is in order, and that the following would generally be in addition to the current ordinance,  please email the county commissioner of your choice - or all five of them - and tell them it’s time to toughen up our residential fertilizer ordinance to save our water systems!  (Note: agriculture is exempt)

1. Prohibit sales of turf fertilizer June thru September inclusive.
2. Prohibit the application of turf fertilizers during the same time frame with possible exception of golf courses.
3. Prohibit the use of  turf fertilizers within 100' of any storm water drainage conveyance which will transmit runoff directly into any water body.
4. Prohibit the application of fast release turf fertilizer on any property adjacent to water bodies unless the shoreline is protected by swales to control runoff.
5. Incorporate a concurrent Florida Friendly Landscape ordinance which is consistent with state guidance and promotes the conversion of landscaping of residential and business properties for a specified but limited time (10 years?) by use of property tax incentives.  The ordinance should be incorporated into the Citrus County LDC.

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(This Petition is still active and needing signatures)

Tell DEP: Don't allow more toxic fracking chemicals in Florida's water

Petition to Florida Department of Environmental Protection:
"Protect Florida's water. Don't weaken standards to allow more toxic chemicals in our state waters, including chemicals like benzene that are used in fracking."
Sign Petition    You'll receive periodic updates on offers and activism opportunities.
According to reports this week from the Tallahassee Democrat, Florida officials are preparing to weaken restrictions on two dozen toxic chemicals in Florida’s water — including tripling the allowable level of benzene, a cancer-causing chemical used in Fracking.1
Thanks to public pushback, fracking still isn’t allowed in Florida, but the fracking industry is trying hard to change that. This plan to increase allowable benzene levels could be a backdoor attempt to help pave the way for fracking in the Sunshine State.2
As the Department of Environmental Protection considers these new standards, this is a vital moment for Floridians to speak out for the safety of their water.
Tell the Florida Department of Environmental Protection: Protect Florida’s water. Don’t weaken toxic standards that could pave the way for fracking.
While officials at the Department of Environmental Protection claim increasing benzene levels has nothing to do with fracking, it’s hard to take them at their word given the recent actions of the fracking industry in Florida.
After the oil and gas industry gave at least $443,000 to top Republicans in the legislature, the Florida house voted in February to pass a bill that would open the door to fracking, preempt local fracking bans, and provide exemptions for companies to avoid disclosing what chemicals they’re using.

Thanks to an outcry from Floridians, including nearly 10,000 CREDO Activists, the bill died in the state Senate. But we know the industry is not done — and we can’t let weakening toxics standards open the door for endangering Florida’s precious water with toxic fracking in fragile ecosystems.
With 90 percent of Floridians relying on groundwater aquifers for their drinking water, increasing levels of toxic contaminants is dangerous. And with the state so vulnerable to impacts from a heating planet, any attempt to expand fossil fuels and fracking should be a 
non-starter. Tell DEP: Don't allow more toxic fracking chemicals in Florida's waterTell the Florida Department of Environmental Protection: Protect Florida’s water. Don’t weaken toxic standards that could pave the way for fracking.