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 for 8 lanes) toll road from the Hernando/Citrus county line north to 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. But as long as Suncoast 2 remains on the books routes other than I-75 are likely to dominate. Certainly other cities like Inverness and neighborhoods will suffer if these alternative routes prevail.
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)                                              

                                                                                               
                          
                           
  


Attention Members:
A procedural mistake was made at the meeting I am very sorry if there was confusion:  having reread the existing By Laws ... Article VII Section B #1 - 7 We (CCC) Must publish for 2 consecutive meetings the By Laws and any changes before any changes can be made or not made...I made a mistake when I took the vote. It was only to be discussed at the meeting and then wait a month and then re-proposed and voted upon.
We will discuss the By Laws in June with proposed voting in July.
Sincerely,
Janet Barek
President

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Please review By Laws by clicking and opening.

Bring any items of discussion on the Draft to the June 14th CCC General Meeting.



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trafficking

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Citrus County Seeking Participates for Required Lead and Copper Testing
The County is required to obtain no less than thirty residential samples in the Charles A. Black, Citrus Springs-Pine Ridge, and Sugarmill Woods PWS during this year’s sampling event, which will take place during the month of June.
These samples are collected to determine the contribution of faucet fixtures and household plumbing and/or solder to the lead and copper levels in tap water. This sampling effort is only accomplished through the cooperation of homeowners and residents. The sampling and testing is scheduled for the month of June 2017 at no cost to our customers and takes only a few minutes of your time.
If you are interested in participating in this program, please contact Devon Villareal-Dabbs at 352-527-5427 or by email at devon.villareal@citrusbocc.com by no later than May 31. Please include your name, sample address, and email address in your response. The first forty responses received will be included in the sampling event. Upon acknowledgement of your participation, additional information will be provided via email including reminders regarding sample kit drop-off arrangements, sampling procedures, and the date of the sampling event.

 

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Guest column: Make your voice heard on MFLs

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Wednesday, May 17, 2017 at 8:14 pm

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There is a quiet riot underway in north Florida in general, and Citrus County in particular. The people are digging in their heels and with persistence, determination and the strength of unity, standing firm in objection to pending water management rule development by the Southwest Florida Water Management District (SFWMD).

<div class="source">For the Chronicle</div><div class="image-desc">Dan Hilliard</div><div class="buy-pic"></div>

For the Chronicle

Dan Hilliard

The point of the objection is simple. All waters of Citrus County and neighboring counties are deeply stressed. Recently adopted and pending rules by SFWMD promise to further degrade these waters at our expense. After determination by the state that all of our coastal springs and the Rainbow River are impaired by nutrient pollution and degraded by the algae that proliferates as a result, SFWMD has, on the basis of water supply planning, determined it is reasonable to reduce flows to those springs. In a regulatory sense, Rainbow River just lost 5 percent of natural flow. Crystal River and King’s Bay are about to lose                11 percent in the same fashion.

Oddly enough, SFWMD has other obligations under Florida statute in addition to water supply. They are flood control, water quality and the protection of natural systems. The law does not assign a priority to these responsibilities, nor does it provide the authority to ignore one in pursuit of another. In short, it is a broad and comprehensive mandate.

Politely put, we are not aligned with the official view, or even faintly amused.

The issue at hand is algae, nutrients, and a slow leisurely trip to greener pastures by waters that begin clear and subsequently convert to liquid guacamole. It is a public health hazard and has a negative impact on our economy. So serious is this problem in King’s Bay that the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) set a goal of .23 milligrams per liter (Mgl) concentration for nitrate in Kings Bay. This is substantially below the adopted state standard of .35 mgl for clear water spring systems.

SFWMD estimates in certain scenarios of natural flow, the proposed rule will increase the time it takes water to migrate from the springs to the Gulf from today’s average of about 11 days to as much as 16 days. Along the way, the groundwater that feeds the springs will absorb greater nutrient loads as a result of the estimated sevenfold increase in demand satisfied by the contributing basin.

Did you know virtually all of the King’s Bay Basin is within the jurisdictional authority of Citrus County, and the county commission recently voted to forward a letter of objection to SFWMD over this matter? I’m inclined to give them a kiss on the cheek next time I see them, but they will likely object. Suffice to say, I have observed nothing in my years as a resident of the county which so uniformly united our sentiments.

At present, SFWMD estimates that only about 1.5 percent of the system’s 70-plus springs’ natural flow has been diverted by our many wells in the basin. They anticipate a demand of 2.1 percent by 2035 at the end of their current planning period and will review the rule every 10 years, or until Daffy Duck is elected president; whichever occurs first. I don’t recall where I read that last part, by the way.

Why the rush? They have the authority to adjust the authorized allocation from the spring system with each review cycle. Why leap off the cliff tomorrow? Maybe that is a harsh judgment, but here are a few factoids to ponder. Staff submits that because there is no specific study of King’s Bay as relates to nutrient pollution and residence time, that it is acceptable to defer the issue for further study, and march boldly into the future. The staff recommendations are predicated on the thought that they will preclude the onset of “significant harm” to the system with this determination. SFWMD’s arbitrary definition of significant harm threshold is 15 percent loss of habitat, that being based on current conditions, not those that existed before we made a mess of affairs. Please ponder the hundreds of millions of dollars it will cost to begin remediation of the causes even as we disregard the looming increase of nutrient pollution which will result from the methodical increase of groundwater pumping for a variety of purposes such as residential development, agriculture, industry and so forth. The catch in this affair is that once a water use permit has been issued, it is difficult to modify or restrict the permit. It is a 30-year permit.

Consider how much fun we will have on our lovely green bay at sunset as we remember years past when they contributed something in the neighborhood of $200 million per year to our economy.

Remember those times when it was fun to swim in the clear, cool waters on a hot summer day?

If per chance you wish to share your thoughts to SFWMD’s governing board, a public hearing for this rule adoption will occur on May 23 at the SFWMD facility in Brooksville. There is no need to be bashful, we are all in this together.

Dan Hilliard is a member of the Florida Springs Council and the Kings Bay Springs Alliance

Read and share your thoughts on this storyComment

Crystal River MFL Decision

Submitted by RobertRoscow on Thu, 05/18/2017 - 7:51am.

It's really a super odd policy that when you know something is already very very sick that you are allowed to make it 15% sicker before you say it's sick enough to stop, knowing full well that you can't reverse the process once that determination is made. That's not science. That's outright stupidity and exploitation. My experience with the Crystal River started almost 68 years ago and I can assure you it's already terminal, not just sick. There was no lyngbya goop everywhere and the palms on the islands weren't dying from salt water intrusion. SWFWMD you don't need to kill it anymore and don't tell me this policy is scientific. You know that's complete BS or 15% more BS past complete BS.



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The Hernando/Citrus Metropolitan Planning Organization Technical Advisory Committee to meet in Brooksville

The Hernando/Citrus Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) will conduct a public meeting on Wednesday, May 31, 2017, beginning at 10:00 a.m., at the Hernando County Government Center, 20 North Main Street, Room 261, Brooksville, Florida. 

Items scheduled on the agenda include: 

 FDOT District 5 SR 50 Project Development and Environment (PD&E) Study Update

· 2017 Legislative Wrap-up
· Draft FY 2018/19 List of Priority Projects (LOPP) Review
· Congestion Management Process (CMP) – Performance Measures Review
· Draft FY 2018 – FY 2022 Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP) Review
· Suncoast II – Proposed Trailheads

The public is encouraged to attend.  Any questions concerning this public meeting should be directed to Mr. Steve Diez, Transportation Planner III, Hernando/Citrus Metropolitan Planning Organization, 20 North Main Street, Room 262, Brooksville, FL, 34601, telephone (352) 754-4057, extension 28013 or emailmpo@hernandocounty.us.

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 Hernando/Citrus Metropolitan Planning Organization Citizens Advisory Committee to meet in Brooksville

 The Hernando/Citrus Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) will conduct a public meeting on Wednesday, May 31, 2017, beginning at 1:00 p.m., at the Hernando County Government Center, 20 North Main Street, Room 261, Brooksville, Florida. 

Items scheduled on the agenda include: 

• FDOT District 5 SR 50 Project Development and Environment (PD&E) Study Update
• 2017 Legislative Wrap-up
• Draft FY 2018/19 List of Priority Projects (LOPP) Review
• Congestion Management Process (CMP) – Performance Measures Review
• Draft FY 2018 – FY 2022 Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP) Review
• Suncoast II – Proposed Trailheads

 The public is encouraged to attend.  Any questions concerning this public meeting should be directed to Mr. Steve Diez, Transportation Planner III, Hernando/Citrus Metropolitan Planning Organization, 20 North Main Street, Room 262, Brooksville, FL, 34601, telephone (352) 754-4057, extension 28013 or email mpo@hernandocounty.us.


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County Offices Closed in observance of Memorial Day

Citrus County Government offices will be closed Monday, May 29, in observance of Memorial Day.

The Citrus County Central Landfill will be closed on Monday, May 29, 2017 in observance of Memorial Day.

It will be open regular hours on Saturday, May 27 and Tuesday, May 30. For more information on landfill hours, call 527-7670 during office hours or go to the county’s website at: http://www.citrusbocc.com/pubworks/swm/solid-waste.htm.

All Citrus County Library branches will be closed for Memorial Day on Monday, May 29 and will resume normal hours of operation on Tuesday, May 30. Just a reminder that all branches will be closed Friday May 19 for the Annual Profession Staff Development Day, normal hours of operations will resume the following day.

Citrus County Transit will be closed for Monday, May 29.

Citrus County Animal Services Administrative office will be closed Monday, May 29 in observance of Memorial Day. The animal shelter is closed on Mondays, open Tuesday through Saturday.

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The BOCC proclaims May as Older Americans Month in Citrus County

 

The Citrus County Board of County Commissioners presented a Proclamation at their regular meeting on May 9, 2017 proclaiming the month of May as Older Americans Month in Citrus County.

 

Older Americans richly contribute to our community. What it means “to age” has changed – for the better. Citrus County is committed to supporting older adults as they take charge of their health, explore new opportunities and activities, and focus on independence.

 

The Board of County Commissioners recognizes the month of May as Older Americans Month in Citrus County, and urges all citizens to take time this month to celebrate older adults and the people who serve and support them.

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Senior Legal Issues Information Session Offered

To celebrate Older Americans Month, the Florida Department of Elder Affairs and Community Legal Services of Mid-Florida are partnering to provide an information session to Citrus County seniors on an array of legal issues.

The event will take place on Thursday, May 25 at 1:00pm at the Central Citrus Community Center, 2804 W. Marc Knighton Court. Expect to hear about housing issues including evictions and foreclosures, public benefits (Veterans & Social Security), fraud prevention and fair debt collection practices.

Pre-registration is not required to attend. For more information, call Citrus County Senior Programs at
352-527-5900.

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Lane closures on US 19 announced


The Florida Department of Transportation 
W. Homosassa Trail west of 
US 19 remains closed around-the-clock until further notice. FDOT advises the public to use caution in the project area.

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VISIT FLORIDA to Host Lunch & Learn for Tourism Industry Professionals

 

VISIT FLORIDA’s Regional Partnership Manager, Brandy Hastings, will host a Lunch & Learn event at the Citrus County Welcome Center, located at 915 N Suncoast Blvd, Crystal River, FL 34429, on Tuesday, June 6. The event, which will explore the benefits and resources available through VISIT FLORIDA Partnership, will begin at 11:30am and last until 1:00pm.

 

This is a no cost event for tourism industry professionals and those who are operating tourism-related businesses within Citrus County. Enjoy a complimentary lunch while learning how opportunities through VISIT FLORIDA can help generate more business for you. See the most up-to-date tourism statistics from VISIT FLORIDA, learn about VISIT FLORIDA's Marketing Strategies, and discover ways that VISIT FLORIDA can help grow your business. The Citrus County Visitors and Convention Bureau and Evok Advertising staff will also be available to discuss cooperative marketing opportunities, industry partnerships, and other related topics.

 

Registration is required. Space is limited to two people per company; additional delegates from the same company will be placed on a waiting list. Registration will be available on

VISIT FLORIDA’s website
  (https://visitflorida.formstack.com/forms/vflnl_discovercrystalriver) until Wednesday, May 24. If you have any questions, contact the VISIT FLORIDA Industry Relations Team at Partner@VISITFLORIDA.org or (877) 435-2872.
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Please also see ENR tab on menu as many items have been moved and new items appear! Stay informed!!

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Update from WAR


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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