Local and State

NEOS 360 Interactive Playground

Driving by Tom Varn Park you may have noticed a colorful round metal structure and scratched your head in bewilderment.  Well the mystery is now solved- that techy piece of equipment is the new addition to the Tom Varn Park playground- complete with a selection of fast paced music and flashing lights to get the little ones excited and ready to move.  It’s actually a musical game, the object of which is to tag a light that switches on and off before it goes out. Players earn points with each successful tag. It’s called Neos 360.

Brooksville City Council approves FY 2019 budget

Brooksville City Council held its final public hearing to present the FY 2019 budget on September 12, 2018.  Without citizen comments, and little discussion at the dais, Resolution 2018-14,  the balancing of the budget at the 6.2000 millage rate was approved unanimously.  The new millage rate is an 11.14% decrease from the prior year’s rollback rate of 6.9775 mills.

Results of Superintendent survey, intended as tool for improvement

Dr. George McDonald and his colleague Dr. Reginald Lee from the University of South Florida (USF) met with the Hernando County School Board on Aug. 14, 2018 to share the results of the 2018 Superintendent’s Performance Survey. The survey, prepared by USF’s Center for Research, Evaluation, Assessment and Measurement (CREAM), received some assistance from board members Susan Duval and Linda Prescott to better address Hernando County’s specific situation and work culture. CREAM’s evaluation centered on Dr. Lori Romano, who was fired by the school board in June.  Dr.

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. 

FPA Weekly newspaper Awards

Congratulations to Hernando Sun Photographer Cheryl Clanton, who was awarded second place for her portfolio entry in the 2017 Florida Press Association Weekly newspaper awards.  The judges had the following comment on her entry, "Balance of pictures are solid and challenge the reader to change the outcome. Great job." One of the noteable photos in her portfolio was taken during Firefighter/Paramedic Steven Terry's funeral procession.  When we wrote an article about our entries earlier this year, this photo was featured.

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.

Low mosquito counts in Hernando, but nearby areas report arbovirus presence

 

It has been a wet spring and summer has brought rains which have kept up the water level. There are several areas in Hernando County with significant standing water where there usually is not water. There have also been cases of Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) and West Nile found in nearby counties. These factors could lead to a mosquito problem.