Citrus County BOCC celebrates Smokey Bear’s Birthday

(Attached picture: The Board of County Commissioners are pictured with Smokey the Bear)

Citrus County BOCC celebrates Smokey Bear’s Birthday

The Citrus County Board of County Commissioners presented a Proclamation at their regular meeting on July 22 celebrating August 9 as Smokey the Bear’s 70th birthday. Despite the campaign’s success over the last 70 years, wildfire prevention remains one of the most critical issues affecting our country.

Florida Forest Service remains committed to wildfire prevention, educating over 35,000 people in Citrus County and assisting 150,000 landowners in the past five years. The Florida Forest Service and Withlacoochee Forest Center staff has responded to over 243 wildfires totaling 3,950 acres burned since 2009 in Citrus County. When the Florida Forest Service is not actively engaged in fighting wildfires, they are conducting prescribed burns, mowing and chopping vegetative fuels in high wildfire risk areas in Citrus County to reduce the size and intensity of wildfire near communities.

The Board of County Commissioners extends best wishes in recognition of Smokey Bear’s 70th birthday and extend sincere gratitude to the many dedicated forestry professionals for their commitment to the people of our state.

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Citrus County Utilities to Perform Hydrant Flushing

Citrus County Utilities Division has contracted with R and M Service Solutions to perform flow testing and maintenance of the fire hydrants in Citrus County. The company will begin in the Sugarmill Woods area in early August. Customers in the test areas may observe minor pressure fluctuations and/or discolored or cloudy water. This is a common occurrence with hydrant flow testing and does not present a public health risk. In most instances, these conditions clear up quickly, however running water through all the faucets in your home for a few minutes is recommended and should produce clear water again. If you continue to have discolored water after flushing your faucets or have any questions, please call Citrus County Utilities at 527-7650.

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Tourist Development Council Schedules Media Workshop

The Tourist Development Council (TDC) is moving their regularly scheduled meeting to Wednesday, September 3 to provide an educational workshop to share how the Visitors & Convention Bureau works as a tourism destination marketing organization. This workshop will begin at 9 am at the College of Central Florida, located at 3800 S. Lecanto Highway in Lecanto, in Conference Center Room 101. Public is encouraged to attend.

All TDC Board members and industry partners have been invited to attend this event, as the 2014/15 marketing and media plans will be presented and media partners will share their strategies on how to visually market Citrus County. This will also provide opportunities for tourism industry partners in our community to learn more about the media avenues available to them.

Visit Florida’s Vice President of Marketing & Sales Kimberly Faulkner will be making a presentation, as well as representatives from Madden Media, Collinson Media, Miles Media, BrandUSA, Disney radio, and Brighthouse Media Strategies. Highlights from Data Research Services will be provided by Walter Klages and Honey Rand with Environmental PR Group will be sharing their role in the marketing of Citrus County.

For more information about this workshop, please contact Adam Thomas at the Visitors & Convention Bureau at 352-628-9305 or adam.thomas@bocc.citrus.fl.us. For more information about the TDC, please visit www.visitcitrus.com .

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Training Offered to Become Animal Foster Home

Citrus County Animal Services invites you to attend an information/training session on becoming a foster home for shelter animals to be held on Thursday July 30th from 2:30-4:30 pm. The training will be held in the training room at the Citrus County Resource Center, located at 2804 W Marc Knighton Ct. in Lecanto.
Animal Services is seeking foster homes in which to place a pet that has been with us a length of time and requires a little extra promoting to find them a loving home. Ultimately, the goal is to find a “furever” home for each animal. We also, from time to time, have animals who need a loving hand and a place to recuperate after surgery or recover from an illness. By becoming a foster caregiver to these animals you may get the chance to spend quality time with some tiny kittens, teach a dog how to love and be loved, or assist an injured cat or dog to get back on their feet thanks to your care and attention. It’s an immensely rewarding experience, and it saves animals lives in a very direct way. This training is required to become a foster caregiver.
Please RSVP to Billie Lombardo, Citrus County Animal Services Volunteer Coordinator at Billie.lombardo@bocc.citrus.fl.us or call 352-746-8408.

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Applications being accepted for Citizen positons for Hernando/Citrus MPO

The Hernando/Citrus Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) is accepting applications from individuals interested in serving on the following committees as a volunteer:

Citizens Advisory Committee (11 public members)
• City of Brooksville citizen representative
• City of Crystal River citizen representative
• City of Inverness citizen representative
• Low income and/or minority citizen representative from Citrus County
• Low income and/or minority citizen representative from Hernando County
• Public transit user citizen representative from Citrus County
• Public transit user citizen representative from Hernando County
• Unincorporated Citrus County citizen representatives (2 representatives)
• Unincorporated Hernando County citizen representatives ( 2 representatives)

Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Committee (7 public members)
• City of Brooksville citizen representative
• City of Crystal River citizen representative
• City of Inverness citizen representative
• Citizen at Large for Hernando County (2 representatives)
• Citizen at Large for Citrus County (2 representatives)

Applications are available at the MPO website www.co.hernando.fl.us/MPO/ click on “Committee Applications”. All questions regarding any of the current vacancies should directed to Steve Diez at the MPO office, 20 N. Main Street, Rm 262, Brooksville, FL 34601; telephone 352-754-4057 or email stevend@hernandocounty.us. Deadline for completed applications is 12 noon on Monday, August 4, 2014.

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Financial Workshop Series for Women Scheduled for September

Did you know women are generally less financially secure throughout their lifetime, are more likely to be widowed or divorced and have less retirement income? Citrus County Extension Services invites women to attend a five session workshop series “Women and Money: Unique Issues” to begin on Thursday, September 4 from 6:00-8:00 pm. The workshops will explore the impact of life changes on an individual’s economic status and how to plan appropriately for future financial well-being.

The classes will be held at the Extension Services Office, located at 3650 W. Sovereign Path in Lecanto. Pre-registration is required with a onetime fee of $15. For registration and questions, contact Sarah Ellis at 352-527-5700 or ellissm@ufl.edu .

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Veterans Services to Change Schedule

The Citrus County Veterans Service Department has announced effective August 1, 2014 they will not have a Case Manager available Wednesdays at Lakes Region Library, Homosassa Library and Coastal Regional Library. This will take place until further notice. For assistance, please call 352-527-5915 to schedule an appointment at the office in Lecanto.

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Private Road Maintenance Program Approved by BOCC

At the July 8, 2014 Board of County Commissioners meeting, an administrative regulation that provides for a maintenance program for private roads was approved. The administrative regulation describes the program by which citizens that reside on a private road may petition the County to provide improvements and/or maintenance to their road, funded through a special assessment. The total costs associated with said road improvements and/or maintenance, which includes construction, engineering, administrative, interest and financing costs, and other direct costs and fees, shall be borne by special assessments levied against benefiting property owners.

Citizens interested in utilizing this service must provide the following:
• Submit a petition signed by 100% of those having an ownership interest in the roadway(s) and/or all benefiting property owners being assessed by May 1st of any given year to be considered for inclusion in the following years’ program.
• Include an Ownership & Encumbrance (O&E) Report from a Title Company of your choice.
• Include a highlighted map signed by the representative/contact person indicating the complete road segment(s) to be improved and the exact starting and ending points of the improvements and/or maintenance.
• Include a description of the requested improvements and/or maintenance.
• Include a non-refundable escrow deposit of two hundred fifty ($250.00) dollars for the first twenty five (25) lots and five ($5.00) dollars per lot thereafter.

Upon review and verification of the completed petition, the eligibility of the project will be determined and if eligible, a Preliminary Opinion of Probable Cost will be prepared. To receive a petition package, or if you have any questions, please contact the Citrus County Land Section at 352-527-5458.

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Press Conference to be held July 18 at 10:30 am

County Administrator Brad Thorpe will release his proposed budget for Fiscal 2014/15 during a press conference on July 18 at 10:30 am. Press representatives are invited to the Administration Conference room at the Citrus County Courthouse on the 2nd floor. A copy of the proposed budget will be provided at that time.

The proposed budget will be available to view on the BOCC website (www.bocc.citrus.fl.us/) on Friday, July 18.

The preliminary budget hearing will be Wednesday, July 23, 2014  in the Commission chambers, Room 100, at the Citrus County Courthouse in Inverness starting at 9 am. The meeting is open to the public

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County Commission Gives Service Awards to Employees


Attached picture: Commissioner Scott Adams, Commissioner Joe Meek, James Fuller; Commissioner Dennis Damato, Norman Morris; Commissioner Rebecca Bays, Commissioner J.J. Kenney

The Citrus County Commission at its regular board meeting on July 8 presented service awards to employees.

10 years
James Fuller-Medium Equipment Operator, Road Maintenance Division of the Department of Public Works

Norman Morris-Maintenance Technician, Road Maintenance Division of the Department of Public Works

15 years
Connie Sweat-Library Assistant, Library Services Division of the Department of Community Services

30 years
Richard Sims-Grounds Maintenance Coordinator, Parks & Recreation Division of the Department of Community Services

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