Local News

Moody’s Investor Service Upgrades Hernando County Bond Rating

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Moody’s upgraded Hernando County’s Capital Improvement Bonds from A1 to Aa3. Moody’s explains that these bonds are “secured by the county’s portion of the state shared local government half-cent sales tax.” The upgrading was justified by “strong coverage and satisfactory legal protections.”

According to Moody’s, Hernando County’s strengths include:

-a sizeable tax base experiencing new growth
-positive financial projections moving forward
-modest debt with no expected borrowing

The challenges faced include:

Construction Underway to make our Rural Roads Safer

Media Release, Hernando County

The Hernando County Department of Public Works (DPW) announces that the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) approved $552,000 for the design, construction and installation of warning devices to bring curves on 10 rural roadways into compliance with the latest guidelines set forth by the Federal Highway Administration’s Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD). Warning devices include such things as speed advisory signage, roadway striping and reflective pavement markers.

Hernando Clerk of Court Don Barbee on the Forefront of Same Sex Marriage

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by Julie Maglio

Following an order clarification by U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle, Hernando Clerk Don Barbee personally officiated three same sex marriage ceremonies on January 8 2015. In his order clarification, Judge Hinkle stated that it would be unconstitutional for clerks to follow Florida's Constitutional Amendment banning same sex marriages.

Before Judge Hinkle's clarification, Barbee explained that it would be unlikely his previous boss, State Attorney Brad King, would prosecute him for issuing licenses. "But as long as that law exists, I don't feel comfortable" he added.

Bike Trail Alternative Route Study Funded

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by Julie Maglio

Brooksville Council Members voted to reaffirm their support for an alternate route of the Coast to Coast Connector through the City of Brooksville's downtown area. They are highly appreciative of the MPO's support of the alternative route by placing it on the Long Range Transporation Plan (LRTP) and as a priority on the Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP).

An updated version of the route (above) was supported by Council Members.

Human Trafficking Awareness

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by Julie Maglio

Brooksville Council members signed a proclamation on January 5th 2014, recognizing the Tri County Human Trafficking Response Team (for Hernando, Citrus and Sumter Counties). Edie Neal with Florida Department of Law Enforcement stated that Florida is ranked the third worst state in the US for human trafficking. She explained that the problem was first noticed in larger urban areas like Tampa, St. Petersburg and Orlando but has recently been migrating into the more rural areas like Hernando County. She said the most vulnerable are juvenile runaways.

$104k WREC Capital Credit to Hernando County

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by Julie Maglio

Mr. David Gonzalez, West Hernando District Manager of the Withlacoochee River Electric Cooperative, Inc., presented the Hernando County Board of County Commissioners with two checks totaling $104,315.10 on December 16, 2014. Both checks were capital credit checks for 2014. One check of $27,268.32 went to Hernando County Water and Sewer and the other for $77,046.78 to the Hernando County Commission.

BOCC Abolishes Hernando Aviation Authority

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by Julie Maglio

Hernando County Airport

The BOCC (Board of County Commissioners) abolished the Hernando Aviation Authority and created the Brooksville-Tampa Bay Regional Airport Advisory Committee (AAC). The ordinance number :2014 ­ 27 states that all leases are subject to review and approval by the BOCC and FAA (eliminating the Hernando Aviation Authority). Additionally, all assets and liabilities of Hernando County Aviation Authority are transferred to Hernando County BOCC.

A Tale of Two Trails

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by Julie Maglio

Two bicycle trails were accepted by the Hernando-Citrus Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) to close the Hernando County gap in the Coast to Coast Connector bicycle trail connecting St. Pete to Titusville. The gap is between the Suncoast Expressway Trail and the Good Neighbor Trail. The Good Neighbor trail is currently unfinished but will connect downtown Brooksville to the Withlacoochee State Trail several miles east of downtown.

Snow Hill Rd. Winery Meeting Delayed

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by Hernando Sun Staff

Twenty-eight rolling acres on Snow Hill Rd in Brooksville is the site of a proposed winery. Mr. Joseph Sparacia, applied for a special exception use permit, but was denied by the Planning and Zoning Commission on October 13, 2014. Although it was denied by P&Z, the special exception permit could be granted by the Board of County Commissioners. They had the choice to review the application or not and they chose to review at the December 9th meeting.

Cemex Mine Expansion Advances

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by Julie Maglio

Full House at Hernando BOCC to hear Cemex Expansion decision

For background information, read Cemex Expansion. At the December 9th Hernando Board of County Commissioners meeting, Commissioners Dukes, Nicholson, Adkins, and Holcomb voted to send the issue on to the FDEP (Florida Department of Environmental Protection) with Commissioner Rowden voting against it. Shortly before they voted Rowden stated that she did not understand why the Commission did not agree with P&Z Commission findings.

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