CR491 Roadway Shift Announced

 

Vehicular traffic on CR491 is set to be shifted to the newly constructed roadway pavement on Thursday, August 30, 2018 weather dependent (rain dates are scheduled through Wednesday, September 5, 2018 at this time). This new traffic pattern on CR491 will be from just north of SR44 to West Audubon Park Path. Traffic shift is to begin at approximately 9:00am and be finalized by approximately 3:00pm on the day of the shift.

 

Project Variable Message Signs have been placed to notice the traveling public of the date the New Traffic Pattern will be in place.  At present Thursday, August 30, 2018 is given as date of shift by Project Variable Message Signs.  If weather issues would require date change Variable Message Signs will be modified to announce such schedule change.

 

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Central Ridge Community Center Office to Modify Hours of Operation

 

The Central Ridge Community Center Office at 77 Civic Circle, Beverly Hills, FL 34465 will be closed between the hours of 11:00am and 1:00pm each day effective immediately. The purchase of Pool passes and Gym passes will be unavailable between these hours. All other aspects of the Park will remain open during this time. For more information on Central Ridge Park and other Citrus County Parks visit: https://www.citrusbocc.com/commserv/parksrec/parks/parks.jsp.

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Southwest Florida Water Management District Scheduling Prescribed Fires for Citrus County

Setting prescribed fires in controlled settings can reduce the risk of wildfires burning out of control, as many Floridians witnessed during the state’s wildfire emergency last year. That’s why the Southwest Florida Water Management District (District) will be conducting prescribed burns in August and September on Potts Preserve and the Two Mile Prairie Connector parcel in Citrus County.


Potts Preserve is located approximately two miles east of the City of Hernando and three and a half miles north-northeast of Inverness. The property is east and southeast of State Road 200 and north of Turner Camp Road and is bordered by the Withlacoochee River on the east. Approximately 600 acres will be burned in small, manageable units.


The Two Mile Prairie Connector property is located approximately five miles north-northeast of the City of Hernando and seven miles southeast of Dunnellon. This parcel is located on State Road 200 approximately 350 yards southwest of the Lecanto Highway intersection. Approximately 200 acres will be burned in small, manageable units.



Some major benefits of prescribed fire include:


• Reducing overgrown plants, which decreases the risk of catastrophic wildfires
• Promoting the growth of new, diverse plants
• Maintaining the character and condition of wildlife habitat
• Maintaining access for public recreation


The District conducts prescribed fires on approximately 30,000 acres each year. Click here to learn more about why igniting prescribed burns now prepares lands for the next wildfire season.

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Nature Coast Volunteer Center is sponsoring a shoes and socks drive for needy children in Citrus County
Nature Coast Volunteer Center (NCVC) of Citrus County and Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) are sponsoring the “Two Good Soles” drive, collecting new shoes and socks for children in need through September 11th. 2018 marks the 17th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks and has been designated a National Day of Service and Remembrance. Everyone is invited to participate in the remembrance of 9/11 by making a donation of new shoes and socks at several donation boxes located throughout Citrus County. Convenient drop-off locations are as follows:

Bealls Outlet, Crystal River Plaza, 20 N. Suncoast Blvd., Crystal River
Central Citrus Community Center, 2804 W. Marc Knighton Ct. Lecanto
Central Ridge Community Center, 77 Civic Circle, Beverly Hills
Citrus County Libraries—all locations
Citrus County Resource Center, 2804 W. Marc Knighton Ct., Lecanto
Citrus County Schools, District Service Center, Inverness
Citrus County Tax Collectors Office, Crystal River and Inverness
Citrus Springs Community Center, 1570 W. Citrus Springs Blvd.
East Citrus Community Center, 9907 E. Gulf to Lake Hwy., Inverness
Inverness Community Center, 1082 N. Paul Dr., Inverness
Drummond Bank, 2453 N Citrus Hills Blvd, Hernando
Drummond Bank, 1161 N. Suncoast Blvd., Crystal River
West Citrus Community Center, 8940 W. Veterans Dr., Homosassa
YMCA, 4127 W. Norvell Bryant Hwy., Lecanto

Collection items will benefit these local agencies (Citrus Abuse Shelter, Citrus County District Student Services, Citrus County Family Resource Center, Citrus United Basket, Daystar Life Center, and the Pregnancy & Family Life Center).If you are a business or civic organization that would like to learn how you can participate in “Two Good Soles”, please call 352-527-5959.

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What’s Happening at the Old Courthouse Heritage Museum this summer?

 Saturday, September 22 - 2:00 - 3:30 p.m. Eric Flagg will present a free program titled Water: The Life of Florida. Flagg, is co-owner Jellyfish Smack Productions, a documentary film production company and teaches cinematography at Santa Fe College in Gainesville. This event will take place in the second floor courtroom of the Old Courthouse Heritage Museum in downtown Inverness. The Inverness Cultural Heritage Council, Citrus County Historical Society is partnering with organizations from Save Our Water Week, and this program is for the first Coffee and Conversation Speakers Series. The program is free, but please call 352.341.6428 or go online at https://cchistoricalsocietyshop.com/ to reserve a seat.

 

We have two new exhibitions on display at the museum including a new permanent exhibit titled Citrus County History, from 1887 to the Present. This exhibition presents what early pioneer life was like on the open Florida frontier, how Citrus County got its name, to a rising economy, the early industries and what made our county what it is today. Included are stories about how war times have impacted our local area, along with locals and legends, including when Elvis came to town.

 

The traveling exhibition titled "Spanish Conquistadors in Florida" will be on exhibit until August 2018, at the Old Courthouse Heritage Museum in downtown Inverness on the Square. This exhibition is on loan from one of our sister Museums, the Floral City Heritage Hall and Museum in Floral City.  For more information check us out at cccourthouse.org or like and share with your friends our Facebook page.

 

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 Opportunity for Free Program to Prepare Your Garden for the Summer Storm Season

Central Ridge Library on Thursday, August 9 at 10:30 am. 
    As summer winds into fall, Florida’s hurricane storm season kicks into full gear. After assuring indoor preparations are complete, don’t forget to take some storm preparations outdoors too. Join UF Extension experts for advice on protecting your home at an informative discussion. Pre-registration for free program is appreciated but not required at 352-527-5700.  
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Citrus County Submittal Period for Tourism Grant Funding is Now 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 Thursday, August 23. This is the second round of grant funding for the year 2018.

 

June 2018 - Applicant Submittal Period Opens

August 23, 2018 - Applicant Submittal Period Ends

September 12, 2018 - 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 these grant programs 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

•             Educate visitors to the different areas in the County

 

For more details 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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Trailer Donated to Citrus County Animal Services

 

Photo Caption L to R: Laurie Diestler (NCVC Supervisor), Joanne Granger (Support Services Director), Sandy Plumadore (Friends Board Secretary), Morgan Woodward (Animal Services Director), and Bruce Chadbourne (Friends Board President). The trailer was purchased years ago by the Friends of NCVC and donated to Citrus County for use in emergency management and fundraising efforts by the NCVC Board. The asset was transferred to Animal Services recently to be used for storing crates and cages that they will be using in emergency situations.

 


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Why We’re for Water

 

Arguably, water is cheap. The Citrus County Department of Water Resources’ water costs less than one cent per gallon for the first 10,000 gallons, including its base water charge. Compare that to the cost of bottled water at the store, or filling up at your local gas station, and it becomes apparent that water, one of our most precious natural resources, is a bargain.

But while the cost is low, the stakes are high. In some communities, the water supply might seem abundant, but often that’s not the case.  According to the Southwest Florida Water Management District, its northern region groundwater percentiles have fallen below the 20th percentile 5 out of the last ten years. 

So what’s a concerned citizen to do? Start by standing up for water.  You can join thousands of your neighbors supporting the We’re for Water Campaign, organized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) WaterSense program, and by making simple changes at home.

If your home has an automatic irrigation system, examine its schedule.  On average, fifty percent of irrigation is wasted due to over watering and other inefficiencies.  Begin by adopting a seasonal irrigation schedule such as one day per week irrigation during rainy season months of late May to mid-October, as well as one irrigation day every fourteen days during the winter months of December, January and February. 

“The most frugal watering method is only applying ½ to ¾” of irrigation when 30-50% of the lawn shows signs of need like grass blades folded in half lengthwise or foot prints lingering in the lawn, said Debra Burden, water conservation manager with the Citrus County Department of Water Resources.  Then, set the seasonal irrigation schedule while away from the home for extended periods,” she added.  Those that prefer to set the controller and forget it, consider installing a Water Sense labeled controller that acts like a thermostat for the lawn by automatically adjusting for weather and season.  A $150 account credit is available to Citrus County Utilities customers that install qualifying controllers.   

Inside the home, the average American water use is about 100 gallons day.  It’s easy to find a few gallons to spare with these three simple steps: Check. Twist. And replace.

First, check toilets to reveal any silent leaks. Easy-to-fix household leaks can waste enough water each year to fill a backyard swimming pool. Just add a few drops of food coloring in the toilet tank and wait 10 minutes before flushing.  If dye appears in the toilet bowl, your toilet has a leak. If you find a leak, visit www.epa.gov/watersense/fixaleak for do-it-yourself repair tips or contact a plumbing professional.

Second, if you don’t have them already, twist an aerator onto each bathroom faucet to save water without noticing a difference in flow.  Faucet aerators cost as little as a few dollars and can save a household more than 500 gallons each year—enough to do 14 loads of laundry. For confidence that an aerator will have your faucet using 30 percent less water while still flowing with force, look for the WaterSense label, which is only awarded to products independently tested and certified to meet EPA’s water efficiency and performance criteria.  The Citrus County Department of Water Resources’ Lecanto office offers free aerators to county citizens that mention the “We’re for Water” campaign.

Third, replace your old showerhead with a WaterSense labeled model, which helps you shrink your water footprint while still enjoying a satisfying shower.  Making this switch not only reduces a household’s water use by 2,300 gallons annually, but also saves enough energy from heating less water to power a television for a year.  Accompanying savings on utility bills are an added bonus.

 

“We forget the water cycle and the life cycle are one.” – Jacques Cousteau

 

Want to do more? Then visit http://www.citrusbocc.com/waterres/conservation and take the “I’m for Water” pledge.

 

WaterSense is a partnership program sponsored by EPA that seeks to protect the future of our nation’s water supply by offering people a simple way to use less water with water-efficient products and services.


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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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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.