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.
Government Affairs Meetings
10a.m. on the 4th Monday of each month held at the Cadence Bank on CR491 in Beverly Hills
Contact: Tom Mize- Chair: 

(352)-288-0450


**
Also see our very colorful and
informative Facebook page.
It contains some different information also.**







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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.      
     
   Info on current activities of the Task Force

   
The Suncoast Parkway and all related 
projects are very important for our county
and community groups to maintain 
updates. This area will hold all links to 
assist you. 



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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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  Suncoast 2 Opposition Seeking Funding


Suncoast 2 is planned to be a 4 lane (approved or lanes) toll road from the Hernando/Citrus county line northto SR 44 in Citrus County. No one is sure, except maybe FDOT, where Suncoast 2 will go after SR 44. It could go north to Norvel Bryant (CR486) or terminate at 44, sending traffic east through Inverness to I-75 or to US 41 to go to points north towards Ocala and Gainesville or to a very crowded US 19 in the center of Crystal River. The public has been left in the dark about this mysterious route.
The projected traffic on Suncoast 2 to SR 44 is woefully small much like the north section of the existing Suncoast. 

It is noteworthy that many years after completion of the Suncoast Parkway the road does not generate enough in tolls to pay for itself. Extending the road into Citrus County will not produce enough revenue to pay for the bonds. Yet the state is willing to spend $257 million on this 13 mile stretch into Citrus County. Governor Scott put $150 M into the budget for it but won't say why or where it is coming from.
One can only speculate about the intent and feasibility as no studies have been done to assess the impact of ending at 44 or going “somewhere north” and not to US 19 as was the original plan.
 
The I-75 task force concluded that improvements to I-75 should be the first priority. 
A non-profit has been formed to stop Suncoast 2 until the northern route is known and all stakeholders have been empowered. The name is: Friends of ETNA Turpentine Camp. We are seeking donations for legal help. Donations can be sent to Friends of ETNA Turpentine Camp, PO Box 75, Floral City, Florida 34436. Below is a link to articles from the Dec/Jan edition of the Suncoast Standard that gives information on ETNA and the history
of the proposed road. 
The Task Force did not approve as first on its list the construction of this new road west of I-75 but put it last. Its first choice was to improve I-75 and also promote traffic taking alternate routes west of I-75, specifically SR 44 from I-75 in Wildwood to this new SC 2 segment ending at SR 44 in the middle of Citrus County. Governor Scott for unknown reasons put in last year's budget $150 M to make this road go. Total cost for the road is $257 M or over 1/4 of a BILLION DOLLARS to go where? There is no approval from the Task Force to build any further in the near future. 
 
We do know it will destroy the Etna Turpentine Camp that is on the National Register and actually was a town up until 1926 and part of the main industry then in Citrus County and in Florida. It's a lost part of history as they used leased convict labor comprised mainly of African-Americans arrested by local sheriffs on trumped up minor charges and forced to work in horrible conditions and be whipped if they did not make their quota. We know also that it will destroy 700 acres of the Withlacoochee State Forest which it traverses for 7 miles. The SC 2 also runs in its entirety over the Brooksville Ridge which is the main recharge area for the first magnitude coastal springs that are home to the manatees of world fame. SWFWMD actually in its infinite wisdom approved the road for being eight lane and allows them to use closed depressions for drainage ponds. The Floridan Aquifer in Citrus County has 
no confining clay layer to speak of and these depressions are indicators of fractures and conduits in the karst geology of the Brooksville Ridge. So where does road pollution and spills go? Right to the springs!!! I learned all this from SWFWMD's own research which they refused to follow as the directors now are all yes men to Governor Scott just like all the other water boards. Scott's $150 M could be better spent on the Everglades projects. It's a lot 
of money!!! People don't seem to get that. This is not pocket change. And for a 13 mile road in a county with just 140,000 residents with the second highest poverty rate in the state and a population 1/3rd of which is over 65. What's the purpose here, Governor Scott? So please consider supporting our efforts to stop this totally useless expenditure of tax dollars. (statement received from Robert Roscow)

                                     


                                                                               
      







       








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Please also see ENR tab on menu as many items have been moved and new items appear! Stay informed!!
                      
                           
  


June 14th General Meeting Speakers: Mosquito Control







George Deskins
&
Blake Jenkins
Graph shows how over the years MC has used less 
toxins and more natural products to combat mosquitoes.

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 Dakota Access Pipeline Updates on ENR Tab

                                    

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Please review By Laws by clicking and opening.

Bring any items of discussion on the Draft to the July 12h CCC General Meeting.



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<



A Bold New Takeover of Florida’s Public Schools




Today Flo
rida Governor Rick Scott definitively stated that he wasn’t ready to sign HB-7069 at his Miami press conference. His priority is to fine-tune the budget. This is why he called for a ‘special session’ next week. He also said he now wants to add $210M to the FEFP Budget and will ask legislators to discuss that in session next week. But don’t let that confuse you!
    
HB-7069 has not been signed or vetoed yet. We need all hands on deck. Almost immediately House Speaker Richard Corcoran, said this funding increase would appease the opponents of his bill. That couldn’t be further from the truth.

While meager school funding in Florida has been an issue for over a decade, the funding amount was not our primary concern with this rushed bill. HB-7069 recklessly puts both feet on the gas pedal and accelerates the corporate takeover of our neighborhood public schools unlike ever before. It makes the threat of the demise of public education imminent. For instance, if this bill is not vetoed, an estimated 115 Florida public schools will be immediately handed over to out-of-state charter chains with more and more in subsequent years.

For these designated ‘Schools of Hope,’ charter operators are not required to hire certified teachers. In other words, the neediest students won’t have teachers with degrees in education nor will they have teachers who pass a State certification test. These are, of course, requirements in traditional public schools. Does this make sense to anyone?

Given that Florida already has 341 closed charterschools, is this even a fiscally responsible Bill? How many more charters will we open and close like t-shirt shops on A1A before we realize we’ve lost a year’s worth of an education budget?

Also embedded within this inflated 278 page bill, are reduced restrictions, such as bypassing local zoning laws, reduced accountability, and preferential rules only for charter schools. Does this give parents high quality choice or does it just enable more private entities to grab our tax dollars and our property.

On the public school side, this bill contains unfunded mandates, such as, a new recess requirement. The sponsors boldly exempt charter schools of this costly requirement. Is that giving parents ‘quality choice?’ Reps Corcoran, Bileca, and Diaz neglect to mention this unfair advantage as they aggressively promote 7069 around the state. They also neglect to mention that all three have direct ties to income/investments with charters as documented.

While it’s nice that Governor Scott suggested a slight funding increase, that doesn’t allay real fears of an unfair, wholly destructive bill. Increasing per pupil funding and mandating more capital dollars to private entities only simply makes it more attractive for outside charlatans to come in.

What happened to that important quest for accountability and the extensive investment in Florida standards? That’s completely gone with this bill. You won’t be able to measure students in the same county against each other let alone in the same state. P

Please don’t insult Florida tax payers’ intelligence. Call this bill what it was crafted in a back room to be called: ‘Florida’s Corporate Takeover Of Public Education’ Bill. How many of the 278 pages actually help children learn, achieve, or advance? This bill has everything to do with padding wallets of charter operators, their management firms, and charter school investors.

Parents Across Florida opposes this destructive bill for the reasons stated above and, most critically, because HB-7069 was never allowed open review, discussion, or debate in the Senate.
        
Contact Gov. Rick Scott on (850) 488-7146. Ask him to please Veto 7069.

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Water Restrictions go into effect June 5 for
 Citrus County


Southwest Florida Water Management District’s Modified Phase III water shortage restrictions go into effect for Citrus County June 5, 2017 through August 1, 2017. These measures  apply beginning June 5 to all of Citrus, DeSoto, Hardee, Hernando, Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas and Sarasota counties; the portions of Charlotte, Highlands, Lake, Levy, Marion, Polk, and Sumter, within the District’s jurisdiction; and Gasparilla Island (including the portion in Lee County),  except where stricter measures have been imposed by local governments.
These restrictions apply to the use of wells and surface sources such as ponds, rivers and canals, in addition to utility-supplied water. Lawn watering is limited to a once-per-week schedule. Unless your city or county already has stricter hours in effect, the allowable watering hours are before 8 a.m. or after 6 p.m., regardless of property size.

  

Addresses with “house numbers” …

May only irrigate on …

Ending in 0 or 1 

Monday 

Ending in 2 or 3 

Tuesday 

Ending in 4 or 5 

Wednesday 

Ending in 6 or 7 

Thursday 

Ending in 8 or 9 

Friday 

No address (community common areas, etc.) 

Friday 

 

For information on car washing, new lawns and plants, reclaimed water, and other water uses visit: http://www.citrusbocc.com/waterres/watering-restrictions.htm
or http://www.swfwmd.state.fl.us/conservation/restrictions/swfwmd.php

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May 10th Meeting Photos







Chosen to receive one of the two Jim Bitter $100 Scholarships

 
    A
ustin Brantley with septic field project






















































Austin Brantley
 receiving Jim Bitter $100 Scholarship check

   
  Tom Mize reporting Govt'l Affairs

 Diane Toto with We Care  Food Pantry  
 
 Chuck Dixon with School Board

Commissioner JimmyT Smith in the Spotlight


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Recycling Center Locations Open to the Public

At the March 28, 2017 meeting, the Board of County Commissioners voted to keep the remaining Recycling Drop-off Collection Centers open. The three which have already been closed, located at Withlacoochee Technical College in Inverness, the West Side Convenience Center on Rt. 44 in Crystal River, and the center in Citrus Springs, will remain closed.
The locations of the Recycling Centers, which are OPEN to the public, are:
  • West Citrus Community Center          East Citrus Community Center 
  • Beverly Hills Plaza,                             One Civic Circle, Beverly Hills 
  • Lecanto Government Building            Citrus County Central Landfill 
  • Arlington Street                                       Inverness Citrus County Fairgrounds
  • Citrus County Animal Shelter              Duval Island Boat Ramp 
Should you have any questions about this, or any other program or service offered by the Division of Solid Waste Management, please call 352-527-7670, or email landfillinfo@citrusbocc.com .       

         

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        Acronyms Commonly Used by Citrus County Govt

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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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CCCwebmaster 1,
Feb 11, 2017, 6:20 AM