Hernando County Government

A small sinkhole opens up on Bay Road, near Deltona Boulevard on Sunday (7/19)

Due to a small depression in the roadway at Deltona Blvd, the county isolated the area and filled in the sinkhole. Once the county determines that the sinkhole is stable it will be permanently repaired. It is anticipated that the repair work will begin early next week.  In the meantime, the county has closed one lane on Deltona northbound and has blocked the turning lane onto Bay Road. A traffic detour is in place until the repairs are completed.

Hearing Officer vs. Planning and Zoning Commission

At a previous board meeting on April 14, 2020 Commissioner Wayne Dukes asked the board to consider if replacing the current Planning and Zoning Commission with a Special Master or Hearing Officer would be advantageous to the county.  Since the agenda item was for discussion, no decision was made. However, the general consensus is that the Hearing Officer model would be less advantageous in several ways, aside from the financial aspect of adding another compensated position to the county employee payroll.

Sheriff submits proposed budget for FY 2020-2021

On June 1, 2020, Sheriff Al Nienhuis submitted the Hernando County Sheriff's Office’s (HCSO’s)  proposed annual budget for Fiscal Year (FY) 2020-2021, which funds Law Enforcement, Detention, and Courthouse Security.  The proposed budget of $58,913,360 is 4.67% more than the FY2020 approved budget of $56,287,539.

Nienhuis reports that his expected increase in revenue is to increase by 1.28% for the coming fiscal year ($4,232,978 in 2020 to $4,287,292 in 2021).

EOC Alert 4 - Tropical Storm Cristobal/Coastal Flooding/Heavy Rainfall

A Storm Surge Watch is now in effect for coastal Hernando County. A Storm Surge Watch means life-threatening inundation, from rising water moving inland from the coastline, is possible somewhere within this area within the next 48 hours. There is potential for 2 to 4 feet of storm surge above ground level on Saturday (6/6) night into Sunday (6/7) morning, especially at times of high tide. High rain chances are also expected across the entire area, with showers and isolated thunderstorms possible at any time. A Flood Watch and Coastal Flood Statement is also in effect until 8 p.m.

Property Assessed Clean Energy loan program discontinued

The BOCC voted 3-2 at the regular meeting on May 26, 2020 to discontine the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) loan program in Hernando County.

The program came under fire recently and was featured on WFLA Channel 8’s “8 on your Side,” with two segments shown during the meeting.   Commissioner Jeff Holcomb opened the discussion by describing problematic aspects of the program.

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.

The Future of Weeki Wachee's Debts

While the bill to dissolve the city of Weeki Wachee (HB-1215) awaits a signature by Governor Ron DeSantis, the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) voted unanimously at the April 14th meeting to create a Dependent Special District of the former city, which will protect the county from any responsibility for the current debts owed by Weeki Wachee, while also protecting the city’s creditors.  The county will also seek to keep the tax liabilities and annual fees of the involved businesses to a minimum.