Brooksville fire assessment fees increasing

Hernando Sun Staff

Tier 2 fire assessment rates have increased significantly in recent yearsTier 2 fire assessment rates have increased significantly in recent years

While the City of Brooksville council members approved the rollback millage rate (of 6.6426), resulting in a 0% increase in the city's tax rate, they did decide to raise the non-ad valorem fire assessment rate again for the upcoming fiscal year.

The FY 2017 fire department budget for the city of Brooksville is $1,760,687 which includes reserves. Less money will be coming out of the general fund for FY 2017 to support the Fire Department. The general fund contribution is $904,581, which is $68,482 less than FY 2016.

Unanimous vote to maintain current millage

Hernando County Government

At the September 6, 2016 tentative budget hearing, the Hernando County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) voted to maintain its existing 6.9912 millage rate and approved a tentative budget of $399,219,825. The final budget hearing will be held September 20, 2016, 5:01 p.m., at the Government Center located at 20 N. Main Street in Brooksville.

A first for county department: volunteer firefighters

Hernando County FIre Rescue

Hernando County is beginning a volunteer fire rescue program, the first of its kind for the county department.

Currently there are 5 volunteers who have joined the program and the department is looking to get as many as 20, explained Alex Lopez, Division Fire Chief. After an application is filed, a background check is performed and an interview is setup for qualified candidates.

"The responsibilities [of a volunteer firefighter] are actually quite similar to a regular firefighter," explained Lopez. "The biggest difference is whether they are paid or not."

Portion of Union Street to be remaned after boxing legend

the boxing lengend

As previously reported by the Hernando Sun, the Brooksville City Council voted 3-2 (during the 06/20/16 meeting) to change Union Street to Muhammad Ali Boulevard in honor of the boxing legend. Property owners were to be contacted and advised of the changes they would need to make if the street name change was approved in August.

$100,000 grant for soccer field improvements at Anderson Snow Park

Anderson Snow Park

Three weeks into her new job, Barbara Roberts, the manager at Weeki Wachee Springs State Park, came before the BOCC to share the results of a grant program which is administered by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP). The FDEP oversees a program called Florida Recreation Development Assistance Program (FRDAP). Roberts explained that the program purchases and/or pays for improvements to land used for recreation.

County is $2 million short of balanced budget

Hernando County Government

(Brooksville, FL) In preparation for the September 6, 2016 tentative budget hearing, the Hernando County Board of County Commission (BOCC) departments have reduced their proposed FY2017 budgets to balance the General Fund. The final budget will be approved by the BOCC at the September 20 final budget hearing. Both hearings will be held at 5:01 p.m. at the Government Center located at 20 N. Main Street in Brooksville.

County plans transit system upgrades

An Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) is coming to Hernando County, but it may take a while to get here. Purchasing and Contracts Manager Tony Garzione asked the BOCC to approve the ranking of proposals submitted by RouteMatch Software and ETA Transit Systems, and then to negotiate a contract with the highest ranked firm, which was RouteMatch. RouteMatch, a company from Atlanta, Georgia, currently provides services to 16 Florida counties as well as other locations across the United States. In our region, RouteMatch has provided hardware and software to Citrus and Pasco Counties.

'Bulldogs,' Hernando county sales tax accountability committee

Greg Laskoski presented the update for the Sales Tax Accountability Committee. Voters approved the sales tax, Laskoski said, because of the promise of accountability and the system of checks and balances. The committee is made up of volunteers from various backgrounds, and some of those were opposed to the sales tax, which Laskoski believes offers another layer of balance to the process. At their quarterly meetings, the committee scrutinizes all the figures and expenditures "like bulldogs," he said.

Trash Talk with Scott Harper

Solid Waste Services Manager Scott Harper knows a thing or two about trash. “I love garbage,” he told the BOCC on Aug. 9, 2016.

John Locklear, president of Locklear & Associates, Inc. presented information about what has been happening in solid waste collection over the past year and what the County will need to consider for the future. He suggested creating a citizen’s advisory board within the next year so that information can be gathered and submitted to the BOCC before the current contract with Republic Services ends in December 2018.