Extension Announces 2017 Fall Plant Sale

Citrus County Extension’s Master Gardeners announce their annual Fall Plant Sale on October 21 starting at 9:00 AM.  Located at the UF Extension’s Lecanto office on Sovereign Path, admission and parking are free. Master Gardener volunteers are trained to share smart gardening practices with the public using the Florida-friendly landscaping principles including all garden maintenance activities, plant selection and healthy water issues.

There will be quality plants available for purchase at reasonable prices along with great gardening information and suggestions. The event includes sale of veggies, herbs, native plants, fruit trees, shrubs, unique garden items, bluebird nest boxes and much more.

UF/Citrus County Extension Fall Plant Sale
Saturday, October 21, 2017
9:00 AM- 12:00 PM (or plants are gone)
Admission and parking are free

For more information, call 352-527-5700.



Department of Health Answers “Fish Kill” Questions


In the wake of recent Withlacoochee River flooding caused by Hurricane Irma, some areas in Citrus County have experienced an increase in incidents of “Fish Kills” and associated odors brought on by decomposing fish. Here is some information on the recent fish kill:


Fish Kill Causes: 

Besides some common causes of fish kills in Florida, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission states that major storm events like hurricanes with resulting rising water can make conditions favorable for increased fish deaths. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is the lead agency for responding to fish kills. Their web site has information on their causes  Citizens can report an incident online: or by calling (800) 636-0511.


Health Concerns:

The Florida Department of Health recommends you follow these general guidelines when a fish kill is observed:


·         Do not eat, collect, or use fish, shrimp or crabs that were found dead or dying, from distressed areas.


·         Do not harvest or eat shellfish from waters that have been closed by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, or from areas where large numbers of distressed or dead fish are present.


·         Do not harvest fish, shrimp or crabs that are acting erratically, have sores or ulcers, or that appear to be diseased.


·         Do not swim or play in water where distressed or dead fish are present. If you come in contact with the water, immediately wash exposed areas thoroughly with soap and clean water.


·         Do not let pets swim in or drink from water in the vicinity of a fish kill. If your pets come in contact with water, immediately wash their fur thoroughly with soap and clean water.


·         Items that have come in contact with affected waters should be thoroughly washed with soap and clean water or disinfected with a bleach solution (mix ¼ cup of household bleach per gallon of water and immerse for 15 minutes) prior to continuing their use.


·         Contact your physician if you believe you have become ill as a result of consuming or being exposed to fish or affected waters during a fish kill.


If you have other health questions about fish kills, please call the Florida Department of Health in Citrus County, Environmental Health Section at: (352) 513-6103. If you see an unknown substance in a lake or water body and suspect the fish kill is a result of a toxic spill, please call Florida’s 24-hour State Watch Office at (850) 815-4001.



Southwest Florida Water Management District Board Approves Plans for Homosassa and Chassahowitzka Rivers

The Southwest Florida Water Management District’s Governing Board (SWFWMD) recently approved the Surface Water Improvement and Management (SWIM) plans for the Homosassa and Chassahowitzka rivers, meaning all five first-magnitude springs in the District now have established plans for improvement of those water bodies.

The SWIM Act requires the District to maintain a priority list of water bodies of regional and statewide significance and develop plans and programs for their improvement.

The Homosassa and Chassahowitzka rivers were selected by the District as priority water bodies for the SWIM Program in 2014. The District created a Springs Coast Steering Committee, which is an interagency partnership to protect, manage and restore springs. Through that committee, the SWIM plan process was implemented, which involves defining issues and drivers, setting quantifiable objectives, developing management actions, and establishing priority projects and initiatives.

“These aren’t just plans,” said Chris Anastasiou, chief environmental scientist. “These are key strategies to helping improve and manage these very important resources.”

The plans look at three focus areas: water quality, water quantity and natural systems. The plans then identify issues in those three areas such as nitrate enrichment and altered aquatic vegetation. And through these plans, at least 60 projects and initiatives have been identified for these two rivers.

Anastasiou stressed that the SWIM plans are living documents that will be used, implemented and updated to meet the needs of the systems.

“Now the work really begins,” Anastasiou said. “Now, we move from planning into implementation.”

To view the SWIM plans, visit



 Locations to register for FEMA Individual Assistance


The following locations are available to the public to register themselves for FEMA’s Disaster Individual Assistance (IA).  In cooperation and partnership with Citrus County, the following locations are available for public use to register for assistance:


Central Ridge Library

425 W. Roosevelt Blvd

Beverly Hills, FL 34465


Mon-Thurs 10:00 am-7:00 pm

Fri-Sat 10:00 am-5:00 pm


Coastal Region Library

8619 W. Crystal Street

Crystal River, FL 34428


Mon-Thurs 10:00 am-7:00 pm

Fri-Sat 10:00 am-5:00 pm


Floral City Public Library

8360 E. Orange Avenue

Floral City, FL 34436


Tues & Thurs 10:00 am-7:00 pm

Wed & Fri 10:00 am-5:00 pm

Saturday 10:00 am-4:00 pm


Homosassa Pubic Library

4100 S. Grandmarch Avenue

Homosassa, FL 34446


Mon-Thurs 10:00 am-7:00 pm

Fri-Sat 10:00 am-5:00 pm


Lakes Region Library

1511 Druid Road

Inverness, FL 34452


Mon-Thurs 10:00 am-7:00 pm

Fri-Sat 10:00 am-5:00 pm


Citrus County Resource Center

2804 W. Marc Knighton Court

Lecanto, FL 34461


Mon-Fri 8:00 am-5:00 pm


Citrus County Transit will provide rides to the libraries listed to assist those who are in need of transportation in order to register for disaster assistance.  Contact Citrus County Transit at 352-527-7630.


The library locations are in addition to the Sheriff’s Office locations where citizens may register for disaster assistance: Operations, Emergency Operations, and the Crystal River Substation.     You may also register from the comfort of your very own home if you choose to do so at



Live Onstage At The Valerie Theatre


October 21, 2017                 3:00PM & 7:30PM


The Rat Pack Show

Please note: This show is almost sold-out!


November 11, 2017       3:00PM & 7:30PM


THE SOPHISTICATED LADY stars Susanne Smith. Called "The Big Voice in a Small Package", Susanne Smith will captivate you with her 4-octave range and amazing versatility. From Broadway & Motown to sultry Blues & jazz, join Susanne on a Musical journey with the great singers of our time!


Classic Movie Series


October 1 @ 3PM


Seven Brides for Seven Brothers is a 1954 musical film, photographed in Ansco Color in the CinemaScope format. The film was directed by Stanley Donen, with music by Saul Chaplin and Gene de Paul, lyrics by Johnny Mercer, and choreography by Michael Kidd. In 2006, American Film Institute named Seven Brides for Seven Brothers as one of the best American musical films ever made.


October 8 @ 3PM


The Wrong Man is a 1956 American docudrama film directed by Alfred Hitchcock and starring Henry Fonda and Vera Miles. The film was drawn from the true story of an innocent man charged with a crime, as described in the book The True Story of Christopher Emmanuel Balestrero by Maxwell Anderson and in the magazine article "A Case of Identity" (Life magazine, June 29, 1953) by Herbert Brean. It is one of the few Hitchcock films based on a true story and whose plot closely follows the real-life events.


October 15 @ 3PM


A Hard Day's Night is a 1964 British musical comedy film directed by Richard Lester and starring the Beatles—John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr—during the height of Beatlemania. It was written by Alun Owen and originally released by United Artists. The film portrays several days in the lives of the group. The film was a financial and critical success. Time magazine rated it as one of the all-time great 100 films.

October 29 @ 3PM


Invasion of the Body Snatchers is a 1956 American science fiction horror film produced by Walter Wanger, directed by Don Siegel, that stars Kevin McCarthy and Dana Wynter. The black and white film, shot in Superscope, was partially done in a film noir style. Daniel Mainwaring adapted the screenplay from Jack Finney's 1954 science fiction novel The Body Snatchers. Invasion of the Body Snatchers was selected in 1994 for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress for being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant."


October 31 @ 7:30PM-Special Halloween Event-$8.00* No PROPS, please


The Rocky Horror Picture Show is a 1975 British-American musical comedy horror film directed by Jim Sharman. The screenplay was written by Sharman and Richard O'Brien based on the 1973 musical stage production The Rocky Horror Show, music, book, and lyrics by O'Brien. The production is a parody tribute to the science fiction and horror B movies of the 1930s through to the early 1970s. The film stars Tim Curry, Susan Sarandon, O'Brien himself, and Barry Bostwick along with cast members from the original Royal Court Theatre, Roxy Theatre, and Belasco Theatre productions. Still in limited release four decades after its premiere, it is the longest-running theatrical release in film history. It is often shown close to Halloween. Today, the film has a large international following. It was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress in 2005.


Special Movie Event


October 19 @ 7PM & October 22 @ 3PM


The acclaimed and heart-rending documentary of Glen Campbell’s farewell tour in the U.S., Australia, and Europe as he struggles with the relentless and debilitating progress of Alzheimer’s disease. Starring Glen Campbell and his family, with appearances by Jay Leno, Vince Gill, Jimmy Webb, Brad Paisley and other Campbell friends and entertainers. The film is rated PG (for thematic elements and brief language).

Two special screenings at the Valerie Theatre in celebration of Citrus County Walk Aware, a fund-raising weekend for the Alzheimer’s Family Organization (AFO), a regional non-profit that serves and supports caregivers for individuals living with Alzheimer’s and dementia in eight west-central Florida counties, including Citrus County.

Each showing will be followed by an audience Q&A hosted by AFO Executive Director Kathleen Winters, and AFO President Debbie Selsavage.

Gala Opening – Thursday evening, October 19; 7:00 p.m. Reserved seating. $30 including reception.

Sunday Matinee – Sunday afternoon, October 22; 3:00 p.m. General Admission. $15.

Sponsored by Grand Living at Citrus Hills.


To see all of our offerings, visit our website at


Box Office opens one hour before show time. Tickets are available at the box office Thursday, Friday & Saturday, Noon to 4PM and online anytime at

207 Courthouse Square, Inverness, FL 34450 (352)-341-7850x2




Bicentennial Pool open September 16


Bicentennial Pool has electricity and will be open Saturday, September 16th! For more information on Citrus County pools visit,



Citrus County Landfill Open September 16 with Extended Hours


The Citrus County landfill has extended hours Saturday, September 16 for the general public from 8:00am to 4:30 pm. This is to accommodate storm debris collection for Citrus County citizens impacted by Hurricane Irma.


For more information on Citrus County visit our website,

and LIKE us on Facebook!


Contact:               Cynthia Oswald, Public Information Officer




U.S. Small Business Administration to offer loans


The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has added more counties to the disaster declaration in Florida affected by Hurricane Irma that began on Sept. 4, 2017. Citrus County is now eligible for both Physical and Economic Injury Disaster Loans from the SBA.


Businesses and private nonprofit organizations of any size may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace disaster damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory, and other business assets. Applicants may be eligible for a loan amount increase up to 20 percent of their physical damages, as verified by the SBA for mitigation purposes. Eligible mitigation improvements may include a safe room or storm shelter to help protect property and occupants from future damage caused by a similar disaster.


For small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private nonprofit organizations, the SBA offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster. Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance is available regardless of whether the business suffered any physical property damage.


Disaster loans up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace disaster damaged or destroyed real estate. Homeowners and renters are eligible up to $40,000 to repair or replace disaster damaged or destroyed personal property. Interest rates are as low as 3.305 percent for businesses and 2.5 percent for nonprofit organizations, 1.75 percent for homeowners and renters with terms up to 30 years. Loan amounts and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition.


Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via the SBA’s secure website at



Citrus County Qualifies for FEMA Individual Assistance


On September 13, Citrus County qualified for FEMA Individual Assistance.   Homeowners, renters and business owners in Citrus County may now apply for federal disaster assistance for uninsured and underinsured damage and losses resulting from Hurricane Irma. Individuals will need to register with  FEMA through the official FEMA website. The County cannot by law be involved with this process. Citizens without power or internet may go to Citrus County Libraries for computer access.


To be eligible for federal aid under FEMA’s Individual Assistance Program, storm damage and losses from the hurricane and flooding must have occurred as a result of Hurricane Irma, beginning Sept. 4.


Register with FEMA as soon as possible. If you preregistered with FEMA, you do not have to apply again. If you have phone and/or internet access, you may register:

  • Online at, or
  • On the FEMA Mobile App, or by
  • Calling 800-621-3362 (FEMA). Applicants who use 711 or Video Relay Service may also call 800-621-3362. People who are deaf, hard of hearing or have a speech disability and use a TTY may call 800-462-7585.
  • The toll-free numbers are open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. ET, seven days a week.
  • Multilingual operators are available. Press 2 for Spanish and press 3 for other languages.


Don’t be discouraged if you do not have access to telephone or internet service. Disaster survivor assistance specialists will soon be in Citrus County helping people register for assistance. Locations for FEMA disaster specialist will be announced at a later date. Assistance for eligible survivors can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, and for other serious disaster-related needs, such as medical and dental expenses or funeral and burial costs.


Long-term, low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) also may be available to businesses to cover losses not fully compensated by insurance and do not duplicate benefits of other agencies or organizations.  Contact your insurance company to file an insurance claim. FEMA does not duplicate insurance payments. However, you may still receive help after your insurance claims have been settled.



Join UF/IFAS Extension Citrus County and Kurt Davis for the Rescheduled Women and Social Security


WHO:           Woman approaching 65 or applying for Social Security


WHAT:         Women and Social Security:

Learn about maximizing your social security benefits.  Get answers to your Social Security questions, concerns, and options from a knowledgeable unbiased source.    

WHEN:         September 25, 2017

                      Monday Night from 6:00 to 8:00 pm


WHERE:         UF/IFAS Extension Citrus County

          3650 W. Sovereign Path, Ste. 1, Lecanto, FL 34461


WHY:           What to do about Social Security can be one of the most complex questions you will face when you reach 65. Understanding the basics can provide you with the ability to take the proper steps when required and helps you to deal with problems when you need to.  The previous Women and Social Security class was cancelled due to weather.  We have rescheduled for September 25.  There is still space available, if you are interested in attending this class please call ahead and reserve your spot.


          To register online:


For more information or to register, contact Sarah at the UF/IFAS Extension Citrus County office at 352-527-5700.


Checklist for Storm Debris Clean-up


Anticipating that there will be significant amounts of natural vegetation tree debris generated from the impact of Hurricane Irma, and to facilitate the clean-up, we are asking all citizens to follow these guidelines:

·         Crews will begin storm generated vegetative debris collection on October 2, 2017.

·         Only storm generated natural vegetation will be collected.

·         Please bring all storm generated natural vegetation to the curbside as quickly as possible.

·         Do not pile storm generated vegetative debris around mailboxes, water meters, fire hydrants, next to fences, cars, telephone poles or under guide wires.

·         Do not pile storm generated vegetative debris in the road.

·         If you decide to perform your own clean-up and drive items to the landfill, you will be charged the normal prices.

·         Storm related vegetative debris removed by contractors is not eligible for pick-up.

·         The debris pick-up only includes residential properties located on County maintained roadways at this time.  Private roadway pick-up must be authorized by FEMA.


Board of County Commissioners Meeting Schedule Update


The Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) held a special meeting yesterday, September 12, in place of their regularly scheduled meeting, to update the Commissioners and the public regarding storm and recovery efforts.  No other actions were taken at the meeting.  


The regularly scheduled BOCC meeting for September 12 will be held on September 19 at 1:00 PM, rescheduled Public Hearings will be at 1:30PM and 1:40PM. The Tentative Budget Hearing scheduled for September 14 at 5:01 PM will be held September 19 at 5:01 PM.  The final Budget Hearing remains scheduled for September 26 at 5:01pm


All meetings will take place at the Citrus County Courthouse in Inverness. Meeting agendas and minutes are available on the Citrus County Clerk’s website at: .


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.





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: projects will be considered by the water management district Governing Boards as part of their upcoming budget hearings.


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 //

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 // . 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 


Ending in 2 or 3 


Ending in 4 or 5 


Ending in 6 or 7 


Ending in 8 or 9 


No address (community common areas, etc.) 



For information on car washing, new lawns and plants, reclaimed water, and other water uses visit:

or at


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 


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 .       



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 For more information, call our office at 352-527-7630.