Linking Citrus County Government with our Citizens
December 2019 January 2020
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Visit us on the web at http://www.citrusbocc.com
Citrus County Government will be a value-driven or- ganization dedicated to responsive citizen service by providing quality pro- grams, services and facili- ties to build a strong com- munity and promote the best quality of life for our citizens.
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(Photo: Citrus County Solid Waste employee; Carl Ballard, Heavy Equipment Operator display- ing his first place award.)
Landfill Employee Takes First Place at International Workshop Competition
Congratulations to Mr. Carl Ballard, Heavy Equipment Operator for Citrus County Solid Waste who competed at the Solid Waste Associ- ation of North America (SWANA) International Road-E-O Workshop, October 24 through 25, 2019, at the Phoenix Convention Center, Phoe- nix, Arizona. During the conference, Carl com- peted in the Compactor Division and received first place in his field. Carl was invited by SWA- NA, all-expenses, paid to participate in the Inter- national competition after taking first place at the state level SWANA Road-E-O this past March in the Heavy Equipment Division.
More than 100 front line participants showed off their on-the-job skills operating machinery, driving trucks and repairing equipment at the 2019 International Road-E-O. Spectators enjoyed great weather watching the competition. This was the 35th anniversary of the Road-E-O and it had more partici-
pants than in years past.
The International Road-E-O promotes skill and safety. The Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) is an organization of more than 10,000 public and pri- vate sector professionals committed to advancing from solid waste management to resource management through their shared emphasis on education, advocacy and research.
The Road-E-O is a multi-day event that includes general sessions on the latest safety practices in the industry, networking events, the Road-E-O competition, awards banquet, and more. The event promotes professionalism on the part of driv- ers, equipment operators and mechanics in the field of Solid Waste Management and is sponsored by SWANA. Additionally, the event promotes a spirit of competi- tion and goodwill throughout participating organizations (municipalities, counties and private haulers).
Congratulation to Carl for representing Citrus County at the international level and his first place award!
Citrus County Government offices will be CLOSED Monday, January 20, 2020 in observance of
Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
Citrus County Citizens’ Academy Recognizes Fall 2019 Graduates
The 2019 Fall Citizens Academy Graduation Event was held at the Citrus County Courthouse in Inver- ness on Thursday, December 12, 2019. Facilitator Doug Wright con- gratulated the participants and thanked them for spending time learning more about local govern- ment.
Graduates recognized for their par- ticipation were: Elaine Adair, Mar- yanne Bell, Thomas Bell, Kathleen Belmont, Rhonda Bess, Marianne Bonaiuto, Mark Bonaiuto, David Croyle, Michael Daskavitz, Hans Derkatsch, Susan Derkatsch, Anita
Dolbeck, John Ferreira, Yanel Guadagno, Andrew Hammond, Ellen Hand, Alexander Hansen, Christine Harvey, Keith Jarrett, Gary Kenworthy, Jackie Manning, Bob Mastrangelo, Judy Mastrangelo, Pat Turner, Joseph Tripp and Beverly Watson.
The Citrus County Citizens’ Academy is an interactive program that focuses on educating citizens about the County’s governmental operations. Elected officials, Constitutional Officers, Department Directors and county staff host unique and informative sessions designed to give a hands-on inside look into county gov- ernment operations. Participants learn about our local government, the community in which we live, and at the end of the twelve sessions, have made new friends, and most of all gained knowledge to be great am- bassadors within our community.
For more information on the Citizens’ Academy program or to register for the Spring 2020 session please contact Doug Wright at: email@example.com.
Local Boy Scout Partners with Parks and Recreation to Give Back
A Little Free Library was installed at the Central Ridge Community Center in Beverly Hills, Florida on Friday, December 20, 2019, by Boy Scout Noah Breder. Noah is a Life Scout with Troop 452 in Bev- erly Hills, Florida and this is one of four libraries Breder is in the pro- cess of installing for his Eagle Project.
The local scout partnered with Citrus County Parks and Recreation to secure the community center location. “Thank you for allowing me to install the library at the Central Ridge Community Center. Read- ing means a lot to me and being able to share my love for books with others is always a good thing,” said Noah in an email to Ms. Francine Noble, Parks and Recreation Director.
A Little Free Library is a small “take a book, leave a book” book ex- change where anyone can come and trade books to read. The library at the community center currently contains books for all age/reading levels to enjoy.
The other locations where Noah Breder is installing libraries in 2020 are the Art Center of Citrus County, Whispering Pines City Park of Inverness, and the Suncoast YMCA.
Commissioner Coleman Named Chairman at the BOCC Reorganization Meeting
At the November 19, 2019 Board of County Commissioners Re-Organization meeting the Chairman, 1st Vice Chairman and 2nd Vice Chairman were nominated and appointed as follows:
Chairman 1st Vice-Chairman 2nd Vice-Chairman Brian Coleman Scott Carnahan Ronald E. Kitchen Jr.
Household Hazardous Waste Disposal Program Quarterly Schedule
Citrus County Landfill’s Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Disposal Program offers an additional drop-off day each quarter. The next quarterly Saturday HHW drop-off day will be January 11, 2020, from 9am to 1pm, 230 W. Gulf to Lake Hwy, Lecanto, Fl. 34461.
As a reminder, residents who are able to use our HHW program Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday EVERY WEEK, are encouraged to do so, as this Saturday collection is no different from our weekly program, other than being open on a weekend for residents who work during the week and are unable to use our weekly pro- gram. If any of our Citrus County residents are able to use the weekly House Hold Hazardous Program, please do so, as wait times will be longer on a Saturday HHW drop-off day.
Free household hazardous waste disposal for assessed households, may bring up to 10 gallons (or 60 pounds) of household hazardous waste for proper disposal on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 9:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. for no additional charge. More information phone (352)-527-7670 or visit our website: https://www.citrusbocc.com/ pubworks/swm/disposing/household-haz-waste.htm
A HUGE THANK YOU !
Special thanks goes to Dickie Nachman and friends for their generous donation of turkey dinners for the fire stations on Christmas Eve!
Citrus County Housing Services receives 28 HUD VASH Vouchers from HUD
In a continuing effort to end veteran homelessness, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced $29.3 million to 216 local public housing agencies (PHAs) across the country to provide a permanent home to veter- ans experiencing homelessness.
Citrus County was recently awarded 28 permanent support- ive Housing Choice Vouchers (HCV) through the HUD- Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) Program, which combines rental assistance from HUD with case man- agement and clinical services provided by VA. This is the
largest amount of vouchers Citrus County has received in a calendar year.
A component of the HCV program, the HUD-VASH vouchers enable homeless veterans to obtain affordable, decent housing in the private market. These vouchers are critical tools in helping com- munities effectively end homelessness among veterans. Over the last year, the number of veter- ans experiencing homelessness declined by two percent and has dropped by nearly 50 percent since the HUD-VASH program was created in the early 1990’s.
Citrus County Housing Services, will be partnering with the James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital, VA Medical Center (VAMC) in Tampa, who will assess veterans experiencing homelessness before re- ferring them to housing services for a permanent supportive housing voucher. Decisions are based on a variety of factors, most importantly the duration of homelessness and the need for longer term, more intensive support in obtaining and maintaining permanent housing. The HUD- VASH program includes both the rental assistance the voucher provides and the comprehensive case management that VAMC staff offers.
Veterans participating in the HUD-VASH program rent privately owned housing and generally con- tribute no more than 30 percent of their income toward rent. “Citrus County was first awarded HUD-VASH vouchers in 2016 and have since been awarded a total of 52 vouchers in an effort to end chronic homelessness among veterans in our county,” stated Tammy Harris, Housing Ser- vices director. For more information on this program and others please phone, 352-527-7520.
15th Annual Healthy Living Fair a Success!
Citrus County Support Services held their 15th annual Healthy Living Fair on Friday, November 8, 2019 at the Cit- rus County Resource Center in Lecanto. This year’s grand prize, a 32 Inch Flat Screen Smart TV, donated by Home Instead Senior Care went to winner Martin Feldberg (on left) who was presented his prize by Tanya Kerner repre- senting Home Instead Senior Care.
Approximately 300 community members attended the Healthy Living Fair, with over 60 vendors participat- ing. Proceeds from this popular event benefit “No Seniors Left Waiting” Program.
Information Meeting for Suncoast Parkway 2 Project
The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), Florida’s Turnpike Enter- prise will hold a Public Information Meeting for the Suncoast Parkway 2 project (from SR44 to SR486) on Thursday, January 23, 2020 at the Citrus County Na- tional Guard Armory, located at 8551 W. Venable Street, Crystal River, FL 34429. The meeting will be an informal open house from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
There will be no formal presentation. In the event the Public Information Meet- ing cannot be held on January 23, 2020 due to severe weather or unforeseen conditions, it will be held on the alternate date of February 18, 2020 at the same time and place.
This Public Information Meeting will give interested persons an opportunity to ask the project team questions and provide comments. Displays illustrating the alternatives for the proposed design will be available for review.
For project information and updates, you may visit the project website at http://www.suncoast2.com. Documents displayed at the Public Information Meeting will be available on the project website beginning January 23, 2020.
Boat Ramp Improvements Completed
Improvements to the boat dock at MacRae’s boat ramp, located at 5290 S Cherokee Way, Homosassa, FL 34448 have been successfully com- pleted. The boat ramp is open to the public.
This project is part of a continued ef- fort to maintain and improve county boat ramps. The Fort Island Trail Park ramp renovation project was complet- ed in November 2019.
There continues to be no charge to use Citrus County boat ramps and parking facilities.
(Attached Photo: L to R; Benny Pike, Withlacoochee River Electric Cooperative, Inc. Construction Super- intendent; Commissioner Ron Kitchen; Commissioner Scott Carnahan; Steve Bowler, Withlacoochee River Electric Cooperative, Inc. Engineering Supervisor and Brian Coleman, Chairman, Citrus County Board of Commissioners.)
Withlacoochee River Electric Cooperative Presents Check to Board of County Commissioners
Withlacoochee River Electric Cooperative, Inc. representatives; Steve Bowler, Engi- neering Supervisor and Benny Pike, Con- struction Superintendent, presented BOCC Chairman Brian Coleman with a check on December 16, 2019, authorized by the Co- operative’s Board of Trustees, for the Coun- ty’s pro-rata share of a capital credit refund in the amount of $34,424.10 for the year 2018.
Withlacoochee River Electric Cooperative, Inc., one of the largest non-profit electric util- ities in the United States, is a non-profit, member-owned electric utility, which returns capital credits to members annually.
(Photo L to R: Cynthia Skelhorn, GIS Director, William Braun- sch, GIS Specialist, Bob Voak, GIS Specialist, Susan O’Connell, GIS Analyst, Risa Patarasuk, GIS Analyst, Kristi Fuller, GIS An- alyst
Citrus County Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Division Celebrates GIS Day
Citrus County Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Division Recognizes How Geographic Information System Technology Makes a Social Impact and Inspires Scientific Education
The Citrus County GIS Division celebrated GIS Day on Wednesday, November 13, 2019. The Citrus County GIS Divi- sion has shown an innovative application of geographic infor- mation system (GIS) technology in analysis, visualization, gain- ing insights into geospatial data, and thought leadership in the
field of County Government Geographic Information Services.
“Geographic information and geospatial technology are crucial to operating and maintaining our infrastructure, sus- taining our natural resources, and making informed decisions that can contribute to economic growth,” said Cyn- thia Skelhorn, GIS Director. “By promoting GIS awareness, education and technical training we recognize its con- tribution to the welfare of Citrus County residents.”
Citrus County joined hundreds of organizations worldwide in hosting gatherings that annually serve to ignite the imagination of the future innovators who will further advance global progress using GIS.
For more information on how the Citrus County GIS Division is innovating through the application of GIS, visit https://gis.citrusbocc.com.
Season 7 added new lakes among the top TrophyCatch waters
The top TrophyCatch lakes have not changed much in prior seasons, but in Season 7 we saw new names along with Kissimmee, Rodman, Toho, and oth- ers. Lake Harris was on fire this season by breaking into the top ten waterbodies and taking third place for most approved fish! The Tsala Apopka Chain was well- represented, claiming two Hall of Fame fish out of Lake Hernando and Croft Van
Ness Lake. This chain previously appeared on the TrophyCatch radar until the chain’s water levels dropped below average in 2011-2012. It is now back and better than ever—not unlike Orange Lake. Croft Van Ness Lake almost had as many fish approved this season (23) as it did for the past 6 seasons combined (27).
Season 7 Top 10 Waterbodies
Waterbody Lunker Trophy Rodman Reservoir 61 19 Lake Kissimmee 30 6
Lake Harris 22 7
80 36 29
Lake Hernando 17 Kingsley Lake 13 Lake Okeechobee 20 Lake Toho 24 Lake Placid 18 Croft Van Ness Lake 12 Lake Weohyakapka 18
111 29 122 27 7 27 2 26 6 24 101 23 5 23
Angela Vick, Clerk of Court, Awarded Certificate of Achievements for Excellence in Financial Reporting
The Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting has been awarded to Citrus County for the 21st year in a row by the Govern- ment Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) for its comprehensive annual financial report (CAFR). The Cer- tificate of Achievement is the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting, and its attainment rep- resents a significant accomplishment by a government and its manage- ment. The CAFR has been judged by an impartial panel to meet the high standards of the program including demonstrating a constructive “spirit of full disclosure” to clearly communicate its financial story and motivate potential users and user groups to read the CAFR.
GFOA has also given an Award for Outstanding Achievement in Popular Annual Financial Reporting to Citrus County for its Popular Annual Financial Report (PAFR) for the fis- cal year ended September 30, 2018. This is a prestigious national award recognizing conformance with the highest standards for preparation of state and local government popular reports. In order to receive this Outstanding Achievement Award, a government unit must publish a PAFR, whose contents
conform to program standards of creativity, presentation, understandability and reader appeal.
“I would like to recognize my Financial Services Team and Senior Financial Analyst, Susan Sullivan, CPA, the team lead for the compilation and submission of both award winning reports. Without her ded- ication and commitment, this achievement in excellence for 21 consecutive years would not have been possible,” said Ms. Vick.
GFOA is a nonprofit professional association serving approximately 17,500 government finance profes- sionals with offices in Chicago, IL, and Washington, D.C. Both the CAFR and PAFR are available for citizens to access and view on the Clerk’s website at http://www.citrusclerk.org.
County Court Changes for 2020
On January 1, 2020 there are significant changes happening in county court that your Clerk of Court Angela Vick wants you to be aware of. Florida’s State Courts System and the Florida Court Clerks and Comptrollers are working together to ensure citizens in Florida are aware of what is going on.
On the first day of 2020:
- Dollar limits for civil cases in county court double to $30,000
- Small claims cases are increasing to include amounts up to $8,000, an increase of 60 percent
- Civil filers must include a cover sheet that specifies the amount of money in dispute in cases valued at more than $8,000
- Filing fees remain as they have been and do not change
Increases in county courts’ jurisdictional limits were passed by the legislature this year, and signed by Governor DeSantis. Increases to small claims amounts and the civil cover sheet changes were adopted in the Florida Rules of Judicial Administration approved by the Supreme Court.
The change should be seamless and invisible to most courts users. Lawyers and self-represented (pro-se) liti- gants who file electronically will be automatically prompted to include an amount in dispute when filing civil cases. The Florida Courts E-Filing Portal will automatically produce a civil cover sheet in compliance with new rules. In- formational video messages highlighting these changes are posted on the Citrus County Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller’s website http://www.citrusclerk.org, and the KnowYourCourt.org website, as well as social me- dia.
BOCC Recognitions, Honors & Events
The BOCC Proclaims the weeks of Oct. 28 through Nov. 15 Veterans Appreciation Weeks and November 11, 2019 Veterans Day
in Citrus County.
The BOCC Proclaims the week November 17 through 23 National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week in Citrus County.
The BOCC Proclaims November Diabetes Awareness Month in Citrus County.
The BOCC Proclaims November 15 Citrus County Recycles Day in Citrus County.
Get Involved! Community Spirit abounds in
Citrus County. Your friends and neighbors are making a difference in the lives of their fellow citizens.
The BOCC Proclaims November 13 GIS Day in Citrus County.
BOCC Recognitions, Honors & Events
The BOCC is recognized with a Lasting Legacy Partnership in Action Award for utilities savings from Schneider Electric.
The BOCC Proclaimed November 19 Children’s Grief Awareness Day in Citrus County.
The BOCC Recognizes with Appreciation Commissioner Jeff Kinnard’ s Leadership as 2019 BOCC Chairman.
The BOCC Proclaims November Palliative Care Month in Citrus County.
Get Involved! Community Spirit abounds in Citrus County. Your friends and neighbors are making a difference in the lives of their
The BOCC Recognizes Carl Ballard for his 1st Place Award at the
2019 SWANA International Road-E-O.
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Kudos and Thanks!
“It’s time you guys got some recognition, don’t you
think (Julia M. Vascimini, Growth Management,
Building Division)!? Hope you and everyone over
there has a very Happy Thanksgiving as well!” Mi-
chael DeMaria, Vice President, Stonington Construction, Inc., Carlton-Royce International, Inc. Realtor®
“I just would like to take a moment to say a truly warm and special thank you to an employee that you have working with you by the name of Carl Sanders (Growth Management, Building Division). Carl is truly a huge asset to Citrus County and I am so grateful and appreciative of all the information, knowledge, professionalism, willingness to help person he exemplifies. He is amazing in every- way!! I know way to often people are quick to complain but rarely take time to write kind words. Thank you again Carl for the support you provide to me on a daily basis.” Kindest regards, Lynn Har- ris, ERA Suncoast Realty
“The other day I went to your office to apply for a roofing permit. I have to admit, you have some of the most impressive staff I could have ever imagined encountering. They were so helpful and friendly throughout the entire process and I wouldn’t have ex- pected such kindness, since it was actually at the end of the day. But, to my surprise, you would have thought that I was the first customer of the day. In addition and most of all, I wanted to commend one specific staff member of yours, Ms. Kim Slater (Growth Management, Building Division). She exemplified the epitome of an outstanding member of your team. Her patience and guidance throughout the whole application process was amaz- ing. I found it to be astonishing how she could be able to offer such kind assistance after a full day of working on permits consid- ering the high number of permits that go through your office each and every day. Ms. Slater is a recognizable asset to your office and I am grateful to have benefitted from her service.” Sincerely, Guy Brown, Inverness
“Today I needed water to be turned on at a property I own as soon as possible and I was panicking. When I called the Department of Water Resources, Katie Clater answered the phone. She re- mained calmed, courteous and very patient as she walked me through the process of getting water service turned on. I am so impressed by how Katie handled herself under pressure and her excellent level of customer service. She is a valuable gem to your organization who deserves many accolades. Thank you for all that you do for our community and special gratitude to Katie! You are PHENOMENAL!” Merry Christmas! Best Regards, Iriana
“(Debbe Hopper, Water Resources, Conservation Division)
was well prepared, arrived on time and was very pleasant and courteous during her visit. She took the time to address our ques- tions and concerns. We learned a few things about our controller, and she identified the need to replace our rain sensor. It is great to see our taxes at work. Debbe was AWESOME!!!! smiling face included!” Alberto Del Valle
Citrus County Animal Services https://www.citruscritters.com/
Look What’s Coming…
(Special thanks to Joanna Coutu, Land Development Director for preparing this popu- lar feature for the Citrus Link each month.)
Citrus County has requested a building permit (2019-12778) for a new ADA- accessible ramp at 1500 N. Meadowcrest Blvd. in Crystal River.
Dr. Bob’s Compassion Clinic has requested a building permit (2019-13261) for a new 2,098 square foot office building at 6074 W Nordling Loop in Crystal River.
The School of Dance Arts has requested an interior remodel permit (2019-13280) for the site at 581 E. Gulf to Lake Highway (SR-44) in Lecanto.
Swap O’ Rama has requested an interior remodel permit (2019-13453) to convert an existing office to a bar ar- ea at Howard’s Flea Market at 6373 S. Suncoast Blvd (US-19) in Homosassa.
The Laurel Ridge Community Center has requested an interior remodel permit (2019-12466) for remodel of the private clubhouse and pool restroom at 4705 N Crestline Drive in Beverly Hills.
Hands to Paws has requested a building permit (2019-12600) to expand into an adjacent unit at 3892 N Lecanto Highway in Beverly Hills.
The Crystal River Airport has requested a building permit (2019-12918) to repair 7 steel columns in an airport hangar at 8145 W Bicentennial Park in Crystal River.
HAPPY NEW YEAR 2020 Youngsters get a head start on festivities at the Floral City Library!