Gov. DeSantis slashes $15M from Citrus County projects

CR city hall
'This was something that we knew was a possibility.'

Citrus County has seen better days with the Governor’s veto pen.

Gov. Ron DeSantis wiped out $15.4 million in Citrus County projects, including $10 million for a new Crystal River City Hall.

Also slashed were funds for road improvements near the Inverness Airport Business Park, an expansion of programs at Crystal River High School, a trail connector in Inverness and a ladder fire truck.

Some projects made it. Muck-removing restoration projects in the Crystal River and Homosassa rivers will continue.

Crystal River had counted on funding for City Hall, which hasn’t reopened since being flooded during Hurricane Idalia. City government is temporarily housed in the Citrus County Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center.

Mayor Joe Meek, who hosted DeSantis in Crystal River during the days following Idalia, said the city will make do.

“While I’m disappointed in the news, this was something that we knew was a possibility,” Meek said.

“City Council has some decisions to make on how we are going to move forward, and we have options. Our city is blessed to be financially strong, and our current flooded City Hall building has insurance. In addition, we have already been awarded by the state $1.3 million for the planning, design and engineering of a new City Hall, which we have already started that process.”

He added: “Going forward, we will have a discussion on options regarding our City Hall building. We are dedicated to moving forward and finding ways to make Crystal River better, while being financially responsible with citizens’ money.”

Also vetoed:

— $3.6 million for improvements to Watson Road, a narrow residential street that Citrus County officials plan to use as the main access off U.S. 41 to the Inverness Airport Business Park.

— $1.25 million for the City of Inverness to build a trail connector between Whispering Pines Park and the Withlacoochee State Trail. This is the third straight year that legislators funded the project only to have the Governor veto it.

— $350,000 for a Crystal River Fire Department ladder truck.

— $345,833 to expand the Academy of Health Careers at Crystal River High School.

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.


  • Jay Ess

    June 12, 2024 at 7:05 pm

    DeSatan is evil

  • Jay Ess

    June 12, 2024 at 7:06 pm

    DeSatan is evil and a fool!

    • Ed carpenter

      June 13, 2024 at 12:50 am

      You are an idiot. Get educated

  • Furman Martin

    June 13, 2024 at 7:58 am

    When is the county going to do something about the patchwork streets instead of pushing new commercial projects?

  • Carole E

    June 13, 2024 at 8:19 am

    I’d be interested in seeing what was funded too. Not all these projects seem critical to life in CC except perhaps the Fire truck.

    • Michael James

      June 13, 2024 at 9:40 am

      The State just gave the city 5 million dollars for the fire department after the tornado came through. They should have bought a latter truck.

  • Jim

    June 13, 2024 at 8:25 am

    The county could possibly raise the money by increasing the food tax (Restaurants/Fast Food) to 7.5 – 8.0%. It’s not ideal and most people would complain, but if you look at the long term it’s about the only logical decision that will fund just about any project that is beneficial to all county residents.

  • M

    June 13, 2024 at 12:01 pm

    Maybe we should keep spending money fighting Disney and bussing immigrants to other states. Hmmm!!!! Seems like that’s more important 🤔

  • Jim

    June 14, 2024 at 8:01 am

    It’s easy to say DeSantis is an idiot or get educated. This is a tough job, and along with it comes tough decisions. Glad to see we have a governor that can make things happen, albeit not everything as planned. We just need to lead loud and keep pushing to get the improvements back on the table. Good job DeSantis!

  • Alex

    June 16, 2024 at 5:47 am

    Vote him out. He doesn’t care about Florida. Only himself and his image.
    How much did it cost to send all those migrants to Martha’s Vineyard? How can you come see the flooding personally and then spit in our faces and say we don’t need the help….

Comments are closed.


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