Lisa MacNeil

County Fire/EMS funding mechanisms discussed at workshop

A recent surprise shortfall in the county’s budget was the impetus for the workshop that was held on May 1, 2018. The board voted unanimously to end the Municipal Service Taxing Unit (MSTU)* for the fire department, while keeping the Municipal Service Benefit Unit (MSBU).  EMS will be funded by money borrowed from other internal funds and the exploration of a half-cent sales tax to bolster the General Fund will take place in another meeting on May 22, 2018.

County considers a trap-neuter-vaccinate-return program to control stray cat population

At the April 24, 2018 Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) meeting,  Hernando County Animal Services Manager James Terry proposed a “Trap Neuter Vaccinate Return (TNVR)” program for homeless and “community cats” in Hernando County.  The program is designed to control the population growth of cats, which will ultimately cuts costs for veterinary care of cats taken to shelters and reduce cases of euthanasia.  The BOCC voted unanimously to move forward with the plan, placing it on future agendas to consider ordinance changes.


Concession License Agreement With Flohana, LLC, for Kayak Pickup Improperly Signed

On August 22, 2017, Parks and Recreation Manager Harry Johnson sought approval for a concession contract for Guest Services Inc., known, and doing business as Boating in Florida.  At that time, Johnson did not mention that an existing contract already allowed Flohana, LLC to pick up kayaks at Rogers Park. Flohana’s existing contract was not voted on or signed by the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC), and expires on September 30, 2018.  A county-wide memo was issued by Attorney Garth Coller to immediately prohibit the practice going forward.


County Commissioners mull their options in removing Nicholson from office

County Commissioner Nick Nicholson was absent from the April 24, 2018 Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) regular meeting.  He was arrested on April 19, 2018 on counts relating to owning, maintaining or operating an establishment of prostitution and “purchasing the services of any person engaged in prostitution.”  Nicholson has not yet given a statement, and has not resigned.

FDOT to Maintain Roundabout Landscaping

At the April 10, 2018 Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) meeting, Hernando County  Engineer Scott Herring advised the board that the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) has accelerated construction of the roundabout at US Hwy 98 and Citrus Way (CR 491) due to the accident history at that location. FDOT came to the Department of Public Works with a proposal to include landscaping as part of the construction, with the understanding that Hernando County be in charge of maintenance.

New vision for Brooksville Blueberry Festival

Last January, Coney Island Drive Inn owner John Lee rallied several local businesses to establish The Brooksville Blueberry Festival.   Following the departure of the Florida Blueberry Festival, Lee was confident that he and members of the community could build a new festival, that he describes as, “very different (from the previous years), with a more Brooksville feel.”    Lee and his crew were able to raise $36,000 from Hernando County donors alone. Lee’s vision for the new festival has taken shape, and its debut will be held on the weekend of April 28 - 29, 2018.

Spring Center comprehensive plan amendment will be transmitted to state

The comprehensive plan amendment for the 450 acre Spring Center development was discussed again at the regular Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) meeting on April 10, 2018.  Assistant County Administrator Ron Pianta opened the discussion, reminding the board and those in attendance that the purpose of the discussion was for the board to consider the amendment, the background information, and to determine whether or not to transmit the amendment to the state’s Department of Economic Opportunity.   The board unanimously voted to transmit the amendment.

US Representative Daniel Webster speaks to local business group on taxes and Middle East conflict

On Friday, April 6, 2018, Congressman Daniel Webster spoke about recent legislative changes following lunch at the Southern Hills Plantation clubhouse.  The Hernando County Chamber of Commerce event was sponsored by the Suncoast CPA Group, and attended by area business leaders and residents. Webster provided updates regarding tax reform, infrastructure and the Middle East.

Discussions on Weeki Wachee Preserve Rec Area to proceed

Commissioner Steve Champion was absent from the March 27, 2018 regular meeting, when the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) discussed building a recreational area at the Weeki Wachee Preserve, on Shoal Line Boulevard just east of Hernando Beach.  No vote was held on March 27th, and Champion asked for this discussion to be put on the April 10, 2018 agenda. The commision voted 4-1 to proceed with discussions with the Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD) to obtain land management and plan the recreation area.


Southern Hills development agreement requires further changes

 During the March 19, 2018 City Council meeting, developers and attorneys for Southern Hills Plantation avoided a building moratorium order due to a lack of sufficient water pressure/fire flow for phase 3 of the Southern Hills development.  Following this meeting, an amended development agreement was drafted to correct the problem and the first public hearing was held on April 2, 2018.