Most Citrus County projects escape Governor’s veto

inverness airport
Inverness was denied a 2nd straight year funding for a connector to the Withlacoochee State Trail.

Gov. Ron DeSantis vetoed funding for two Citrus County projects but let stand another $26 million, including funds to help meet the county’s top economic development goal.

DeSantis vetoed $1.125 million to extend the Withlacoochee State Trail to Whispering Pines Park in Inverness. He vetoed a similar amount last year.

He also axed $700,000 for the Tsala Apopka Chain of Lakes restoration project.

The lion’s share of Citrus County’s projects, however, received the Governor’s green light, including:

— $9 million to prepare the 75-acre Inverness Airport Business Park for development. Citrus County officials said this request was for their biggest economic-development project.

— $4 million for the Homosassa River restoration project and $2 million for King’s Bay cleanup. While King’s Bay restoration has enjoyed ongoing state budget success, it’s been hit-and-miss for Homosassa.

— $1.35 million to design and permit a new city hall in Crystal River. The city is planning to keep its current site on U.S. 19, but elevate the building to avoid flood damage.

— $1 million to the city of Inverness to relocate the Whispering Pines Park entrance from Forest Drive to U.S. 41 opposite the Inverness Regional Shopping Center. The move is to coincide with the state’s widening of U.S. 41 in that area, expected to start this year.

— $3.9 million to retrofit the county’s Sugarmill Woods sewer plant to provide reclaimed water for area golf courses.

— $2 million to LifeStream Behavioral Center for construction of a Baker Act facility in Citrus County, plus $1.5 million in annual operating funds. Both Citrus and Hernando counties have pledged $2 million each, though the details are still being discussed.

— $308,500 for Citrus High School construction academy.

— $500,000 for the Citrus County Fair.

— $2.3 million to Citrus County for a Halls River Road multipurpose path in Homosassa.

Mike Wright

Mike Wright is a former reporter with the Citrus County Chronicle, where he had covered county government and politics since 1987. Mike's skills as an investigative reporter earned him first-place awards in investigative writing. Mike also helped the Chronicle win the Frances Devore Award for Public Service in 2002.


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