Lisa MacNeil

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.

Tentative millage rates set in Brooksville

The Brooksville City Council voted 4-1 to lower the tentative millage rate at a special budget meeting held on Monday, July 23, 2018.   The new tentative rate will be lowered from 6.9763 to 6.2 mills.  The council also voted in favor of keeping work boots and Gatorade on the Department of Public Works (DPW) budget.

The tentative millage rate was solely opposed by Council Member Joe Bernardini.   Mayor Betty Erhard and Council Member Brent Young opposed the city’s responsibility for work boots and Gatorade.

Brooksville City Council passes amendment and opinion referendum for ballot

BROOKSVILLE- On July 16, 2018 City council considered an ordinance for a charter amendment and a resolution for the November 6, 2018 election ballot.

Ordinance 891, places an amendment on the ballot recommended by the city’s Charter Review Committee which aligns procedures for citizen petitions of ordinance proposals with citizen petitions proposing charter amendments. 

Ballot Title: CITY CHARTER CLEANUP AMENDMENT
CLARIFYING PETITION FORM AND CONTENT REQUIREMENTS
FOR ORDINANCES PROPOSED BY PETITION

Scubanauts Conduct Fish Surveys at New Reefs

During the weekend of July 7-8, 2018, Hernando County Aquatics Manager Keith Kolasa led a team of SCUBAnauts to conduct fish surveys at recently deployed artificial reefs.  Everyone participating remarked about the unusual clarity of the water, which was ideal for diving and counting the new reef inhabitants.

 

Senior SCUBAnaut Noah Heskin reported that the team counted a “couple hundred bait fish” between three sites.  He also reported counting a shark, a few sea turtles, and a lot of Gag Grouper, each approximately one foot long.   

Brooksville City Council sets tentative Brooksville Fire Department assessments

The fire assessment fee is a “non-ad valorem special assessment.” There are two tiers. Tier 1, for developed properties, is based on a fraction of improved value and tier 2 is assessed a flat rate ( for vacant parcels). The fire assessment fees have been increasing steadily since they were implemented in 2012. FY 2016 fire assessment for tier 1 properties was $.80 per $1000 of improvement value and $100 per parcel for tier 2 properties. FY 2017 approved fire assessments for tier 1 was $.85 per $1000 of improved value and $125 per parcel for Tier 2.

Moton reunion celebrates 50 years since last graduating class

Just like any other reunion, the alumni of Moton High School stopped at the front table to check in, collect their name badges, and take in the surroundings where they spent a good portion of their youth.  

Unlike other high school reunions, Moton’s alumni have a special story.

Moton High School was the only African-American high school in Hernando County, located at 835 School Street in Brooksville.

County Approves Changes to Red Bus Route and Fares

At the June 26, 2018 Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) regular meeting, Commissioners unanimously approved changes to the red route of TheBus.  According to Assistant County Administrator Ron Pianta, the red route has been having difficulties meeting its time points even after a slight modification in 2017.  The change is expected to save taxpayers money, as well as improve the timeliness of the service.