THE CAPITAL, TALLAHASSEE, January 26, 2017.......... A measure that would allow Floridians to mix vodka and veggies in their shopping carts --- something prohibited for more than eight decades --- sailed through a Senate committee on Thursday.

The Regulated Industries Committee, in a 9-1 vote, backed the latest proposal (SB 106) to repeal a Depression-era law requiring liquor stores and bars to be separated from groceries and other retail goods, commonly referred to as the "liquor wall."

Safe Routes to School and Quality Drive Sidewalks

Local Agency Program (LAP) agreements were approved between the Florida DOT and Hernando County to pay for updated sidewalks under the Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program. Under the agreement, Assistant County Administrator Brian Malmberg stated the DOT will reimburse the County for costs of the design, up to the maximum amount approved for each of the two projects.

School District Updates Jan. 10, 2017


Superintendent's Update

The Hernando County School District held their regular board meeting on 01/10/17. Superintendent Lori Romano announced an increase in graduation rates in 2016 to 81.1%. Next she congratulated Pam Cannon from Explorer K8 as the 2017 School Related Employee of the Year. Pam is the school’s secretary but enthusiastically does so much more, always with a smile.

Water and wastewater treatment rate increases tabled indefinitely

Hernando Counties Utilities Director Gordon Onderdonk presented information to the BOCC about proposed increases in the water and wastewater rates for the next three fiscal years. It would be part of the PILOF, or Payment in Lieu of Franchise Fees, which allows the utilities department to use the right of way for the water/sewer lines, fire hydrants, etc. The PILOF is made to the County’s General Fund.

Hernando County Fertilizer Ordinance in Effect Jan. 1st through March 31st

by LILLY BROWNING, Hernando County Florida Friendly Landscaping
Program Coordinator

Weeki Wachee River by Robert Stein

Did you know that Hernando County has a Fertilizer Ordinance? This is an attempt to mitigate the amount of nitrates entering our water ways. The Weeki Wachee River exceeds its Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) of nitrates. This means it takes in more nitrates than it can process and dispose of. This results in excessive algae growth. Too much algae can lead to a lack of photosynthesis for the underwater plants. As these plants die, they absorb oxygen, creating a lower count of dissolved oxygen in the water and potentially leading to fish-kill.

A review of road paving projects in the county


Road paving from BOCC agenda packet 1/10/17

Assistant County Administrator Brian Malmberg prepared statistics about road paving in the county between 2010 and 2016 to present to the BOCC on 1/10/17.

His presentation explains that when 51% of the citizens in an area are in favor of road paving, a proposal can go in front of the Hernando County BOCC for an MSBU road paving program. The county shares ⅓ of the costs.

Hunters Lake tussock removal anticipated to begin Spring 2017


Hunters Lake, photography by Elizabeth Dentato

Plans are underway to remove 19 acres of tussock from Hunters Lake which is located between Spring Hill Drive and County Line Rd, just east of Commercial Way. In 2015, the lake was estimated to cover 429 acres. It has grown over the years. In 1954, the lake covered 302 acres. A 2009 report indicated 100 acres of invasive tussock which poses a threat to native fish, birds and plants.