County

Citrus County Awarded State Safe Routes to School Grants

 

Crystal River High School will be the recipient of new sidewalks due to the Florida State Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Grant Program.

 

The grant program funding is offered in an effort to improve the health and well-being of students by enabling and encouraging them to walk and bicycle to school.  The Citrus County BOCC approved the Work Authorization to apply for the grant on October 11, 2016.

 

The Crystal River High School sidewalk construction project will include a five-foot wide sidewalk along both sides of Turkey Oak from SR44 to 170 feet north of Woodbury Court, along with installation of high emphasis crosswalk markings at side streets along Turkey Oak from SR44 to US19. There will also be reconstruction of curb ramps and upgrades to the pedestrian signals at the SR44/Turkey Oak intersection, drainage modifications and curb ramp improvements at the southeast corner of CR495/Turkey Oak.

 

Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) will fund the design and construction which is estimated at a cost of $722,049.  Construction of the new sidewalk is scheduled to begin in 2021.  One hundred eleven of the school’s one thousand three hundred forty-six students reside within two miles of the school.

Citrus County Department of Public Works, Engineering Division applied for the grant as the “maintaining” agency, partnering with Citrus County School District as required by the SRTS program guidelines.  Eligible SRTS projects are required to directly support increased safety and convenience for students in grades K-high school to walk and/or bicycle to/from school.


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Citrus County celebrates Smart Irrigation Month and helps customers save water & money

 

Citrus County is celebrating Smart Irrigation Month by helping customers save water, save money and see better results. Smart Irrigation Month is a public awareness campaign to promote efficient water use. Focused on July, traditionally the month of peak demand for outdoor water use, the campaign highlights simple practices and innovative technologies to:

 

•           Make maintaining green spaces easy and convenient.

•           Minimize overwatering while keeping lawns, gardens and landscapes beautiful and healthy.

•           Save money on utility bills.

•           Help protect community water supplies for today and the future.

 

Property owners and managers typically overwater, unintentionally wasting money every time they take out the hose or turn on the sprinklers. Citrus County Department of Water Resources, a leader in smart water-saving practices, is delivering real results by:

 

•           Helping customers plant and maintain low-water landscapes that will thrive in their climate and site conditions via its Florida-friendly Landscaping™ program.

•           Incentivizing installation of new irrigation controllers systems that use real-time weather data to automatically adjust watering to meet plant needs.

•           Educating homeowners on the benefits, as well as providing rebates, for rain sensors that prevent watering in rainy weather.

•           Helping customers program automatic controllers to comply with community watering restrictions while extracting maximum benefit from every drop of water.

•           Auditing irrigation systems to make sure water is being using effectively and making necessary adjustments.

 

Among many irrigation efficiency programs in recent years, the Department of Water Resources partnered with the Southwest Florida Water Management District and the Withlacoochee Regional Water Supply Authority to evaluate 200 home irrigation systems plagued with excessive water use.  Results indicate an average of twelve to twenty percent water reductions. 

 

For more information about how Department of Water Resources can help homeowners, businesses and property managers reduce water use, visit the water conservation page at www.citrusbocc.com.

 

Smart Irrigation Month is an initiative of the Irrigation Association, a non-profit industry organization dedicated to promoting efficient irrigation. Visit www.smartirrigationmonth.org to learn more.


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Two free Florida-friendly gardening workshops in August 2017

 

Right plant, right place
Citrus County Utilities Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ Program is offering a free gardening workshop on August 8, 2017 from 2:00-3:30 pm. Once established the right plant is often sustainable without additional supplemental watering. Choosing appropriate plant materials, planting them correctly and managing them wisely, ensures a gardens success. 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.


Creating a Florida-friendly Landscape
Citrus County Utilities Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ Program is offering a free gardening workshop on August 22, 2017 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.


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Citrus County Submittal Period for Tourism Grant Funding is Open

 

The Citrus County Visitors and Convention Bureau announces that the Tourist Development Council is open to receive grant applications for tourism-related grants now through Friday, August 18. This is the second round of grant funding for the year 2017.


June 2017 - Applicant Submittal Period Opens

August 18, 2017 - Applicant Submittal Period Ends

September 13, 2017 - Applicant Presentation to the Tourist Development Council; Grant Selection & Budget Allocation

There are two grant categories available this period: Special Project/Events and Collateral Materials.
                                                      

Special Projects/Events Grant

The Citrus County Tourist Development Council (TDC) offers a Special Event Grant program to organizations designated to promote special events/projects which attract overnight visitors to Citrus County, thereby impacting the lodging industry. A “Special Event” is defined as any activity, service, venue, or event which is intended to attract overnight visitors to Citrus County.


This Special Project/Events Grant is used to provide funding for advertising and promotion of local events to out-of-county markets, with the goal of attracting overnight visitors. The Grant funds are intended to supplement the organization’s budget and are restricted in their use, allowing them to be used only for Marketing, Advertisement, and Promotional Materials.
                                         

Collateral Materials Grant

The purpose of the Citrus County Tourist Development Collateral Materials Grant is to assist organizations in Citrus County by providing funding awards for program dollars to make our area more appealing to visitors who are spending the night in Citrus County. This grant leverages TDC resources and extends the marketing for Citrus County.


The goals of the program are:

·         Increase overnight stays in Citrus County

·         Promote a positive image and increased visibility of the area’s attractions

·         Increase expenditures by visitors to Citrus County

·         Enhance the quality of existing material and encourage new collateral development

·         Educate visitors about the different areas in the County


Grant funding was awarded to applicants in both categories during the last two grant cycles. In the second grant period of 2016, a Collateral Materials grant supported an informational brochure on the Withlacoochee State Trail; a Special Projects/Events grant was given to benefit the Homosassa Seafood Festival during this same period. During the last grant period in early 2017, a Collateral Materials grant was awarded to the author and designer of the Finding the Treasures of the Trail: Citrus County trail guide and a Special Projects/Events grant was given to help advertise the City of Crystal River’s Pirate Fest. These items and events were found to be beneficial to overnight tourism in Citrus County.


To apply and for more detail on each type of grant, maximum awards, eligible projects, reporting requirements, etc., visit the Tourist Development Council website at:  http://www.citrusbocc.com/commissioners/advboards/tdc/tdc.htm. Applicants must conform to the TDC’s policies and procedures as specified. Applications failing to meet the deadlines will not be considered until the next funding cycle.


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Two Citrus County Projects Receive Funding from the Fighting for Florida’s Future Budget

 

Under the leadership of Governor Rick Scott, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection announced a suite of 40 projects that will receive $50 million from the Fighting for Florida’s Future budget to improve water quality, reduce nutrient loading, recharge water supply and protect habitat in Florida’s iconic spring systems. This includes a state investment of more than $9 million to protect springs in Southwest Florida, including Aripeka, Weeki Wachee, Kings Bay, Crystal and Rainbow springsheds. Combined with match funding from Florida’s water management districts and local partners, the investment in springs projects statewide will total more than $94 million during the 2017-18 fiscal year.

 

“Thanks to the continued commitment of Governor Scott and the Florida Legislature in securing a dedicated funding source for springs restoration and protection, we can continue to focus on completing strategic acquisitions and projects that will produce real benefits for our spring systems,” said DEP Secretary Noah Valenstein. “I look forward to continuing to work with the Governor and Legislature, the water management districts and partners in the environmental, agricultural and local communities to conserve and protect Florida’s iconic springs.”

 

“This funding allows our district scientists to continue the important work of protecting our water resources,” said Brian Armstrong, P.G., executive director of the Southwest Florida Water Management District. “We are thankful to Governor Scott and the Florida Legislature for their financial commitment to ensure these environmental treasures are protected for future generations of Floridians.” The project development process is a collaborative effort among the department, water management districts, community leaders and local stakeholders. Projects are selected based on pollutant reduction, water conservation, cost effectiveness and available matching dollars.

 

The following are the two selected projects for Citrus County, Kings Bay:

 

Citrus County Advanced Wastewater Treatment Upgrades: A total of $1.5 million in collaborative funding will be used for construction upgrades to the existing Brentwood Wastewater Treatment Facility to produce advanced wastewater treatment level reclaimed water. This project will result in an estimated total nutrient reduction of 13,698 pounds of nitrogen per year.

 

Citrus County Northwest Quadrant Sewer Extension: A total of $6 million in collaborative funding will be used for sewer main expansion construction within the Northwest quadrant of Citrus County primarily serviced by septic systems. This sewer main extension will route up to 2 million gallons per day of wastewater flows to the Meadowcrest Wastewater Treatment Facility to produce additional high-quality reclaimed water flows to be sent to the Duke Energy Crystal River Power Complex. This project will result in an estimated total nutrient reduction of 87,791 pounds of nitrogen per year.

 

A complete list of the springs protection projects funded by the Fighting for Florida’s Future budget can be found at:

http://www.flgov.com/2017/08/07/gov-scott-announces-50-million-for-springs-restoration-projects-across-florida/These projects will be considered by the water management district Governing Boards as part of their upcoming budget hearings.

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Southwest Florida Water Management District’s (SWFMD) maintains once-per-week lawn watering and other restrictions in the District’s northern region, which includes Citrus

Due to lingering drought effects and water resources not recovering as quickly as other areas, the Southwest Florida Water Management District’s (District) Governing Board voted July 25 to maintain once-per-week lawn watering and other restrictions in the District’s northern region, which includes Citrus, Hernando, Levy and portions of Lake, Marion and Sumter counties. The restrictions for the District’s northern region will remain in effect through Oct. 1, 2017.

Under the modified phase III restrictions, lawn watering is reduced to once-per-week and allowable watering hours also are reduced. Micro-irrigation and hand watering of non-lawn areas are still allowed any day, if needed. Additionally, there are limits on car washing and homeowners’ associations may not enforce any deed restrictions which could cause an increase in water use. Additional details regarding the watering of new lawns and plants, reclaimed water and other water uses can be found at //WaterMatters.org/restrictions.

The District considers both natural water resource conditions and the viability of public supply when deciding to declare, modify, or remove a water shortage order. For the past 20 years, the District has worked diligently with its partners to develop alternative water supplies.

The District encourages water conservation year-round, and offers many tips to reduce water use and additional information at //WaterMatters.org/conservation . You can also visit the Citrus County Board of County Commissioners, Water Conservation webpage for important water conservation information, links, rebates and programs 

 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 at 

 http://www.citrusbocc.com/waterres/conservation/conservation.htm.

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Gym Passes Available at Central Ridge Community Center

 

Citrus County Parks and Recreation is announcing the enhancement of the Gym at the Central Ridge Community Center at 77 Civic Circle in Beverly Hills. Parks and Recreation has recently acquired specialized equipment that works every part of the body with easy to use devices. The gym is open to all county residents from 8:00am to 4:30pm Monday through Friday. Monthly passes are $10 per person. Staff is available to give you a tour of the facility and register you for a pass.

  
In addition, you can stay a while and play a game of pool or ping-pong, take a walk in our beautiful park, play a round of tennis or lounge poolside at the Central Ridge Swimming Pool. For more information, you may call the Community Center at 352-746-4882 or the Citrus County Parks and Recreation Administration office at 352-527-7540 

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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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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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 Extension Service offers food safety training

You don’t have to travel to Tampa or Orlando to get your ServSafe® Food Protection Manager’s Certification. The University of Florida/IFAS Extension Citrus County is providing training to help food managers and staff keep food served to Florida’s consumers safer.
 
This is a comprehensive training that provides the most up-to-date information and current regulations. The ServSafe® Manager’s exam is given at the end of the training, which provides a National Certification that is good for five years. Certification is required in Florida for food managers of all establishments licensed by the Department of Business and Professional Regulation, the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and selected licenses of the Department of Health.

The next class will be held on Friday, August 18, 2017. Pre-registration of two weeks is required. It will begin promptly at 8:30 am, and run approximately 7 hours, then participants will have a maximum of two hours to take the national certification exam. There is no “test only” option. Participants should bring valid picture identification with them, and a sack lunch. Training is held at the UF/IFAS Extension Citrus County office at 3650 W Sovereign Path, Suite 1, Lecanto (from State Road 44, go south on County Road 491, turn west on Saunders Way, go one block, turn left onto Sovereign Path. The Extension building is the first building on the right).

To register online: http://tinyurl.com/z6dp7jf

Cost for the course and exam is $110. The purchase of the ServSafe® Manager Manual for $55 is highly recommended and is available in English or Spanish. It is suggested that participants study the ServSafe® Manager 6th edition textbook prior to attending the class. For more information, call Sarah at the University of Florida/IFAS Extension Citrus County office in Lecanto at 352-527-5713.



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