Julie B. Maglio

County's First FY 2021 Public Budget Hearing

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County Commissioners approved a millage rate reduction of .25 mills over last year’s millage rate during the first budget hearing on Sept. 9, 2020. Because of an increase in property values, this will result in an increase in property tax revenues for the county.  The fiscal year 2021 tentative budget is $537,678,748 with 25.99% coming from the general fund.

Five Year Capital Improvement Plan includes 239 projects, totals over $410 million

Ahead of the next evening’s first public budget hearing, Budget Director Stephanie Russ delivered a presentation on Capital Improvement Projects completed in FY 2020 and those that are budgeted for FY 2021 on Sept. 8, 2020.  She brought attention to several projects that are currently unfunded in FY 21 but remain a priority to the county such as the $14.5 million radio system overhaul for the Sheriff’s Office and the courthouse remodel.

Adding Restrictions to Fertilizer Ordinance

The Hernando County Board of County Commissioners discussed changes to the county’s fertilizer ordinance for nearly three hours on Sept. 1, 2020, in a public workshop.  The changes to the fertilizer ordinance were requested by the Hernando County Association of Realtors and would further restrict fertilizer application by homeowners during the summer months.  During this time, homeowners would have the option of hiring a professional company to properly assess lawn conditions and apply fertilizer.  


County Considers Settlement in Liquidated Damages Dispute

On April 28, 2020, the Hernando County Board of County Commissioners held an Executive Session to discuss settlement details and litigation strategy in a case brought against the county by former employee Thomas Charlow.  The Executive Session was not held in the sunshine as is common for discussions relating to ongoing litigation.  

Thomas Charlow had been an employee in the public works department since 2013. His wife Cristi Charlow served as the Human Resources director beginning in 2015 until her resignation in December of 2019.

Buyer backs out of contract to purchase county surplus property 

On July 30, 2019, Hernando Board of County Commissioners unanimously approved the surplus designation and unsolicited purchase offer for a county owned property located at County Line Rd and Cobblestone Drive.  The 5.4 acre property was valued by the property appraiser at $54,000.  Working through realtor Gary Shraut, the buyer, RKM Development Corp submitted a $625,000 offer to purchase the property previously owned by the Deltona Corporation.

March unemployment increase, partial picture of COVID-19 impacts

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The State of Florida unemployment numbers for the month of March 2020 were released by the Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) on Friday April 17, 2020. The numbers do not necessarily reflect the full impact COVID-19 has had on state employment rates as many of the regulations and closures started mid March.

According to the DEO, “Florida saw expected changes in employment and unemployment data due to COVID-19 and the state’s effort to mitigate the spread.”