Commission passes tentative budget in 3-2 vote

FROM LEFT: County commissioners Joe Meek, Ron Kitchen, Scott Adams, Scott Carnahan and Dennis Damato.

The Citrus County Commission on Thursday passed the tentative budget for 2016-17 by a 3-2 vote.

Voting against the tentative budget were commissioners Dennis Damato and Scott Adams.

The tentative budget is $255,378,772 or a 1.75% increase from 2015/2016 budget of $250,983,322. The final vote will be held on at 5:01 p.m. on Sept. 27 in the commission chambers at 110 N. Apopka Ave. in Inverness.


Kitchen elected to FAC post

Citrus County Commission Chairman Ron KitchenCynthia Oswald,
BOCC Public Information Officer

Citrus County Commissioner and Board Chairman, Ronald Kitchen Jr. has been elected to serve a two-year term on the Florida Association of Counties (FAC) Board of Directors as the representative of District 10.

Initial Hurricane Hermine damage estimates complete

Waters rise in Crystal River housing areas (PHOTO: Citrus County Sheriff's Office September 2016)

The initial numbers for the damages to Citrus County from Hurricane Hermine were completed on Wednesday and forwarded to the Florida Department of Emergency Management (FDEM).

The Citrus County Emergency Management said that Citrus County has identified approximately $102 million in damages, and has documented 2,694 homes and properties (commercial included) impacted by Hurricane Hermine.

Citrus County plans Hurricane Hermine debris Collection

Cythia Oswald,
BOCC Public Information Officer

Citrus County Government anticipates the President’s signing of the Declaration of Emergency for Citrus County releasing FEMA funding for debris collection.

Citrus County is asking all storm affected residents to be patient as the process of storm debris collection is contingent on receiving this federal status.

Beware of post-storm unlicensed contractors

During recovery from Hurricane Hermine Citrus County Government is reminding residents that hiring an unlicensed contractor is not safe, and it is against the law.

It may be tempting to try and get repairs made as quickly as possible after a storm, but the county is  urging residents not to be lured by unlicensed contractors.

South Airport Road project complete

FRONT ROW, FROM LEFT: Former State Rep. Jimmie Smith, Citrus County Commission Chairman Ron Kitchen, Citrus County Commissioner Scott Carnahan, State Sen. Charlie Dean, and Inverness Mayor Bob Plaisted (Citrus Daily photo by Robby Douglas on Aug. 22, 2016). Click on image for larger photo.

A connector road from the Citrus County Animal Shelter to the Inverness Airport Industrial Park opened on Monday with a ribbon-cutting ceremony that drew dignitaries from city, county and state governments .

The project was designed to construct a 24-foot-wide by 1,600-foot roadway (0.30 mile) connecting the southern end of South Airport Road and the northern end of South Eva Holden Point.

The roadway provides an improved access to the new Terminal Building and Hangers at the Inverness Airport, along with access to the future business park.


Suncoast Parkway extension to come after other work

OCALA -- The I-75 Relief Task Force has re-racked its focus on extension of the Suncoast Parkway and will instead target the interstate and other current road networks.

Meeting in Ocala on Friday, the six-county task force decided to put other work first and worry about any extension of the Suncoast Parkway later.

Person of interest sought in counterfeit case

LEFT: Lelton Barron, 31 of Homosassa. RIGHT: Tiffany Coldsnow, 31, of Floral City.

Detectives with the Citrus County Sheriff's Office are looking for Lelton Barron, 31, from Homosassa, in reference to a counterfeit case which unfolded on Thursday night at the Crystal River Motel in Crystal River. 

Top Video: Hero saves choking county worker

Citrus County Assistant Veteran Services Officer Ken Wells was formally recognized for saving the life of a choking co-worker by the Board of County Commissioners (Aug. 9, 2016)

Assistant Citrus County Veterans Services Officer Ken Wellswas recognized by the Citrus County Commission for saving fellow employee Janet Gramann from choking by performing the Heimlich maneuver on her.

County OKs Homosassa RV resort

Stillwater RV Resort

The Citrus County Commission on Tuesday gave a green light for a 168-acre RV resort in Homosassa.

The unanimous vote by the commission means that the pristine property can now proceed building a site that will host 379 RV spaces and a resort with 55 cabins, together with six bath houses.

The project is being piloted by Stillwater Estates LLC, whose majority stockholders are Steve Ponticos and Larry Tate. The plan is to build the resort in four phases

Royal campaign announces support for Prendergast

LEFT: Phil Royal. RIGHT: Mike Prendergast.

The Phil Royal for Sheriff campaign on Sunday night posted on its Facebook page that it supports Mike Pendergast for Citrus County Sheriff.

Royal, the frontrunner in the 2016 Citrus County sheriff race died unexpectedly on July 18, leaving the community and Royal supporters shocked and unsure of where to place their support in the upcoming primary election, the post read.

Citrus County rolls out express permitting

Special to Citrus Daily

The Citrus County Building Division is pleased to announce a new line of e-government services that enhance online permitting to now allow self-service purchase of Air Conditioning (HVAC) change-out and Re-roof permits.

County mulls economic ombudsman post

Citrus County commissioners discuss the new economic ombudsman position.

The consensus among Citrus County commissioners on Wednesday was that the idea of an economic ombudsman between business and the county's various business-related departments is a good one.

Indeed, navigating the maze of county regulations and codes might be easier for a big business, but smaller businesses have not been so successful.


Top Video: Budget Talk

Citrus County Commissioners had a chance to comment on a first review of the budget for the coming Fiscal Year (FY 2016-17). The new fiscal year begins on Oct. 1.

Aug. 7: Purple Heart Day in county

Citrus County Commission Chairman Ron Kitchen, second from right, joins fellow commissioners (background) in presenting to the representatives of the local Military Order of the Purple Heart Organization a proclamation declaring Aug. 7, 2016 as Purple Heart Day in Citrus County.

Cynthia Oswald,
BOCC Public Information Officer

The Citrus County Board of County Commissioners on Tuesday proclaimed Aug. 7 as Purple Heart Day in Citrus County.


Free mulch available

Special to Citrus Daily

The Citrus County Division of Solid Waste Management wants to remind everyone that the county has an abundance of Coarse Mulch available for residents, free of charge.

You can obtain it anytime the Central Landfill is open for business, in amounts from the size of a tote, to a tractor-trailer load.


County budget ready for presentation

Citrus County Administrator Randy Oliver

The numbers have all been crunched by Citrus County staff and the Fiscal Year 2016-17 proposed budget will be presented at 9 a.m. on July 27 to the county commission.

This will be the first take for the budget, and there will be other budget sessions as well before the county adopts the budget and the budget becomes effective on Oct. 1.


Lecanto political forum remembers Royal

The Republicans of Citrus County Booth at the political forum at CF Campus in Lecanto. On the right-side of the table was a framed photo of Phil Royal (R). PHOTO: Robby Douglas, Citrus Daily. (July 20, 2016). Click image for larger view

Even though not physically present Wednesday night, it was plain to people attending the first non-partisan political forum that the presence of the late Phil Royal was still on the minds and hearts of all who attended.

The forum, held at the College of Central Florida's Citrus Campus, was sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Citrus County and Citrus County Council.


Kitchen certified by FAC

Citrus County Commissioner Ron Kitchen

Special to Citrus Daily

ORANGE COUNTY, FL – The Florida Association of Counties (FAC) presented Citrus County Commissioner Ronald Kitchen, Jr. with the Certified County Commissioner (CCC) designation following his completion of a comprehensive study program developed by the association.

Sheriff candidate Royal dies in Key Center run

Phil Royal, candidate for Citrus County Sheriff

Phil Royal, a candidate for Citrus County Sheriff, died Monday morning during "Run for the money," a Key Center fundraising event, at age 47.

His official website broke the sad news.

"Today the Royal for Sheriff campaign is deeply saddened to inform the citizens of Citrus County of the untimely death of Phil Royal. This unspeakable tragedy occurred as the result of a seizure Phil experienced while running in a charitable fundraising event.


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