Lisa MacNeil

Pizza Villa 30th Anniversary

Pizza Villa, the well-known restaurant with two locations celebrated its 30th year in business in Hernando County. Chamber of Commerce members Danny and Angela Leporino with their family posed for photos during a ribbon-cutting ceremony while a steady stream of customers quickly filled the restaurant during the early dinner hour.  

Danny said, “Hernando County’s been very good to us, and we appreciate our customers.”  As he gestured to regard his customers who were occupying most of the seats at the tables, he said with a grateful smile, “Thirty years, what more can I say!?”  

Hernando Commission approves Spring Center property rezoning with modifications

Spring Center, the 440-acre planned development project in Spring Hill will undergo rezoning to accommodate the town center, with surrounding multi-family and single-family homes.  In a 5-0 vote, the Board of County Commissioners voted on September 11, 2018 to approve the rezoning petition with modified conditions and clarifications of language in some portions of the development’s plan.

City water and sewer rates, non-management staff salaries increased

In a special meeting held on August 27, 2018, the Brooksville City Council met to discuss items stemming from the previous budget meeting on August 13, 2018.   Included in this meeting were results of a water and sewer rate study performed by the Florida Rural Water Association, the usage of enterprise fund reserves, and employee salary increases.   Water and sewer rate increases were passed as well as 5% salary increases for non-management city staff.


Water and Sewer Rates

Strategic Marine Area Plan considered by Commissioners

Acceptance of the Strategic Marine Area Plan for Hernando County was tabled at the August 28, 2018 Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) meeting.  Due to unclear language and omitted definitions, the board will again consider the plan at the regular meeting on September 25, 2018, after necessary changes are made.

Aquatics Manager Keith Kolasa presented the science-based Strategic Marine Area Plan, that is described as a product of the RESTORE act, as well as a grass-roots effort that has been in development by members of the Port Authority.  

SWFWMD engineer: Withlacoochee gauges dropping upstream, but rainfall deciding factor on flood levels

SWFWMD (Southwest Florida Water Management District) Senior Professional Engineer Mark Fulkerson, Ph.D., P.E presented to the Board of County Commissioners at the regular meeting on August 28, 2018 the current condition of the Withlacoochee River, and gave some insight on its history, impacts of seasonal rainfall, and flooding considerations for the future.

HCSD Magnet Program & County Growth Discussion

At the School Board workshop held August 14, 2018, Supervisor of School Choice Angela Kennedy presented new Magnet School Procedures Plan for the 2019-2020 school year.  According to Kennedy, there are changes to some of the language in the application packet, and dates have been adjusted for the coming school year. The board also discussed school capacity in the future, as future development in Spring Hill is expected to increase the number of students attending schools in the area.

Brooksville Scrutinizes Budget, Considers Employee Raises for FY 2018-2019

Brooksville City Council held a six-and-a-half hour Budget Workshop on August 13, 2018, where the members discussed the budgets of several funds, most of them under the Public Works Department.  Salary increases for city employees were discussed in greater detail, with the entire council in agreement with a salary increase for non-management or executive employees, up to 5%. Merit increases for manager-level and above were also discussed. 

P&Z recommends Spring Center rezoning and BOCC approves comp plan

The Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) voted unanimously at the regular meeting on August 13, 2018 to approve their recommendation of the rezoning necessary to develop Spring Center, a 440-acre central hub of retail stores, restaurants and office space, surrounded by multi- and single-family homes.   Their approval was given with three small changes to the performance conditions described in the staff report.

County considers ‘bang for their buck’ in reducing Weeki Wachee Springshed Nitrogen levels

Hernando County Utilities Director Gordon Onderdonk asked Board of County Commissioners on July 24, 2018 for approval to withdraw current funding applications for proposed septic-to-sewer conversions.  The current applications total approximately $50-million, co-funded with Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD) and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), however also required a $4200 portion funded by each respective property owner, or other county funding.  The board approved unanimously.