County hands out employee service awards

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

Below is the list of the awards, and names of the recipients of the awards.

5 years:

  • Casey Stephens-Solid Waste Director, Solid Waste Division of the Department of Public Works

10 years:

Selection of new administrator must wait for elections

Citrus County will have to wait for the selection of a new county administrator until after the elections.

County commissioners on Tuesday opted to wait until Sept. 12 to hear the final chapters in the selection of a new county administrator.

Animal activists protest state of county animal shelter

The Citrus County Commission meeting chambers were clogged on Tuesday with a number of animal activists protesting the lack of a full-time veterinarian and what they said were deplorable conditions at the shelter.

All had prepare statements they read before county commissioners outlining their complaints.

Prescription drug savings available for residents

The NACo Prescription (Free) Discount Card is provided to residents in a joint effort between Citrus County and the National Association of Counties (NACo). County residents without prescription coverage can use this program.

Even if an individual has prescription insurance coverage, they may still benefit from the discount card since it may save money on prescriptions that your existing plan does not cover.

Just remember to present the card when you pick up your prescription to get the best possible price available.

Top Video: 2015 Budget talks begin

Citrus County commissioners voice their perspectives about the county's preliminary budget for Fiscal Year 2015.

The new fiscal year begins on Oct. 1.

The proposed budget for Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 is $230,723,398 which is a 12 percent decrease of $262,586,233, and a 4 percent decrease from the total budget - excluding disputed taxes of $239,743,093 in FY 2014 by Duke Energy. The 2014 budget anticipated an underpayment by Duke Energy of almost $25 million



Top Video: FY 2015 Budget Presented

The Citrus County Commission has been presented with the Fiscal Year 2015 preliminary budget. 

In this video, the basic philosophy has been laid out by outgoing County Administrator and outgoing Management and Budget Director Cathy Taylor. Thorpe retires on Aug. 1 and Taylor on Aug. 4.

Thorpe laid out a budget that leaves the county in the black. The commissioners will have until Sept. 11 to study it before they next meet on Sept. 11 to discuss the tentative budget at 5:01 p.m. during their regular meeting.


Commission gets first look at preliminary budget

Citrus County Commissioners on Wednesday got their first look at the preliminary budget for Fiscal Year 2015.

The budget was presented by outgoing County Administrator Brad Thorpe, who retires Aug. 1, and Management and Budget Director Cathy Taylor, who retires on Aug. 4.

What happens next to the budget will be up to the commissioners to decide.

Thorpe told the commissioners the budget has been stabilized despite ongoing challenges. And, he said, property values show signs of strengthening after a five-year decline.


County picks Rogers as interim administrator

Jeff Rogers has agreed to hold down the post of Citrus County Interim Administrator until a new administrator can be chosen.

The county commission voted 5-0 on Tuesday to approve him as its interim administrator, effective Aug. 2. Rogers is currently the Director of the Department of Public Works.

County Administrator Brad Thorpe's last day will be on Aug. 1, and longtime Budget Director Cathy Taylor's last day will be on Aug. 4. Taylor will be replaced by her assistant, Kristin L. Demers.

County puts road sales tax on November ballot

The Citrus County Commission on Tuesday voted 4-1 to put the road sales tax (also called the road surtax) on the November ballot.

Commissioner Scott Adams voted against the measure.

Monies generated from the tax would only be used to fund roadway resurfacing and maintenance of local roadways, and would be put into a special, dedicated trust fund.

It would also provide for the use of the surtax proceeds; provide for a referendum; provide for severability and provide effective dates.

The tax would become effective in January 2016, and would end in 2034.

Port Authority OK's negotiation for marina, boat ramp

The Citrus County Port Authority on Tuesday voted 4-0 to negotiate for the development of a public-private partnership plan to create a boat ramp and marina in the barge canal area.

Port Authority Member Scott Adams voted against the project, calling it a situation where government was "picking winners and losers," and was fueled by "special interests."


County budget stable for coming Fiscal Year

Citrus County Administrator Brad Thorpe is handing a balanced budget to Citrus County Commissioners to consider during their first preliminary budget on July 23.

Thorpe released details of his proposed budget on Friday, but without a lot of bells and whistles attached to it. He forged together revenue streams, including Duke Energy dollars, to come up with a budget that the said on Friday is stable.


BOCC OK's private road maintenance program

The county commission on July 8 approved 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.

County commission approves vacation of Sugarmill stub-out

The Citrus County Commission on Thursday voted 3-0 to approve vacating a stub-out in a section of the Oak Village portion of Sugarmill Woods.

Commissioners Rebecca Bays and Joe Meek both said they were advised by the Florida Ethics Commission to recuse themselves from the meeting.

Bays recused herself, she said, because she provides insurance to Hernando County developer Nachum Kalka. Meek said he was recusing himself because his father had built "spec" homes for Kalka.

County sets July 22 public hearing for road tax referendum


The Citrus County Commission on Tuesday voted 4-1 to host a public hearing at 2:45 p.m. on July 22 in the commission's chambers in Inverness for a proposed road tax to be placed on the November ballot. Commissioner Scott Adams voted against it.

The proposed tax would be separate from the county's road tax, which normally are used to maintain and resurface county roads. Basically, Public Works Director Jeff Rogers said, the new tax would take the form of a sales tax. Its lifecycle would be limited to 20 years, Rogers said.

Hospital attorneys hurry to get county onboard with HCA matter

Attorneys representing the governing boards of community's Citrus Memorial Hospital on Tuesday rushed to the Citrus County Commission to ask the county for help with their efforts in seeking an opinion from the Florida Attorney General.


County votes 3-2 to purchase Meadowcrest Building

The Citrus County Commission on Tuesday voted 3-2 to purchase the building it is leasing as the West Government Center in Meadowcrest.

The purchase price, reduced by $750,000 by the landowner, Gulf to Lakes LTD, was the final purchase price.

Voting against the deal were County Commissioner Scott Adams and Rebecca Bays. Adams said it was the wrong use of taxpayer money, and Bays said that she has always been against the purchase of the Meadowcrest Building.

Thorpe announces new retirement date of Aug. 1

Citrus County Administrator Brad ThorpeCitrus County Administrator Brad Thorpe on Tuesday asked, and received, permission from the county commission to retire, effective Aug. 1.

Property appraiser releases 2014 taxable values

Citrus County Property Appraiser Les Cook announced today that the 2014 preliminary certification of taxable values have just been issued to all Citrus County taxing authorities, effective July 1, 2014."

The 2014 preliminary assessment roll reflects a total Non-School Taxable Value for Citrus County of $7.89 billion, and a School Taxable Value of $8.57 billion.

Top Video: Workplace Harassment 2

The Citrus County Commission on June 10 voted to allow County Attorney Kerry Parsons to hire an outside lawyer to investigate charges of alleged workplace harassment lodged by County Administrator Brad Thorpe.

On June 24, Parsons informed commissioners that an investigation of Thorpe's allegations has begun.

Thorpe alleged that Commissioner Scott Adams engaged in harassment of county employees, and Thorpe then informed the commissioners they were being put on notice of the alleged harassment.

Spring 2014 Citizens Academy graduates honored

The Citrus County Board of County Commissioners on Tuesday presented Certificates of Completion to 22 citizens who recently graduated from the Citrus County Citizens Academy.

The 12-session academy began in April 2014, and ended on Tuesday with a graduation at the Board of County Commissioners meeting.

This academy group made a large donation of personal hygiene items to the County Senior Care Programs after hearing  the presentation from staff about the needs of elderly citizens in our community.



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