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.


Clerk of Court warns of jury scammers

Angela Vick, the Citrus County Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller, says there is a nationwide identity theft scam involving callers identifying themselves as “jury personnel.”

The aim of the scam, Vick says, is for the “jury” callers to get victims’ personal and financial information.

Sen. Dean receives Bob Graham Award

State Sen. Charles Dean (R-Inverness) was honored on Wednesday with the Bob Graham Award from the Florida Lake Management Society.

The award is given to persons elected to office "who demonstrate a commitment to lake and aquatic resource conservation,” and has been presented only 10 times by the Society.

“This is a great honor,” Sen. Dean said. “I am proud of this award and the work which went into it. Our water is our most precious natural resource and we must do all we can to protect it for future generations.

Thorpe puts county on notice about workplace harassment

 Scott Adams.County Administrator Brad Thorpe has put Citrus County Commissioners on notice that there have been incidents of alleged workplace harassment of county employees by County Commissioner Scott Adams.

Thorpe was not present at the commission's meeting on Tuesday. Substituting for him was Jeff Rogers, head of the Citrus County Department of Public Works.

Inverness, county agree to work things out

The city of Inverness and county commission want to be friends again.

Representing the Inverness City Council on Tuesday before the Citrus County Commission, with members of the council also present at the same meeting, was City Manager Frank DiGovanni.

DiGiovanni spoke for about an hour during the "Open to the Public" portion of the county commission meeting, and laid out eight things the city wanted the county to help in the interest of long-range planning for both entities.

Top Video: State of the Bay, Part 2

Part 2 of 2 parts.

A report on the state of ecology of Kings Bay, a manatee haven in Crystal River in Citrus County.

Presentation by Dr. Chris J. Anastasiou, Southwest Florida Water Management District about the results of a long-term study, which was presented to the Citrus County Commission on May 27.

The report was  titled  the "State of the Bay".  (May 27,2014)



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