County

Seeking application for seats on the Citrus Springs Advisory Board

 

The Citrus County Board of County Commissioners is seeking applications for the Citrus Springs Advisory Board.  This Advisory Board is seeking three qualified regular members, for a two year term each, that will begin on February 1, 2018. The term will expire on January 31, 2020.

 

Eligible applicants must reside full time and own property within the boundaries of the Citrus Springs Municipal Service Benefit Unit as approved by the Board of County Commissioners.

 

The Citrus Springs Advisory Board meets the first Wednesday of every month at 9:00am at the Citrus Springs Community Building, located at 1570 W. Citrus Springs Blvd in Citrus Springs. The purpose of this board is to provide facilities, street lighting, beautification and other essential facilities and municipal services for the Citrus Springs area.

 

Applications are due by January 5, 2018 and can be accessed at:

 

https://www.citrusbocc.com/commissioners/advboards/advisory-board-application.pdf

 

Completed applications should be sent to Citrus County Administration, 3600 W. Sovereign Path Suite 267, Lecanto, FL 34461.


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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 WaterMatters.org/Springs

 

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 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

352-746-6622

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

352-795-3716

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

352-726-3671

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

352-628-5626

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

352-726-2357

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

352-527-5900

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 www.disasterassistance.gov.


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Live Onstage At The Valerie Theatre

 

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Bicentennial Pool open September 16

 

Bicentennial Pool has electricity and will be open Saturday, September 16th! For more information on Citrus County pools visit, http://www.citrusbocc.com/commserv/parksrec/pool/pool.htm

 

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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 https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.


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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 DisasterAssistance.gov, 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.

 


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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.

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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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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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