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By: Mike Wright | Citrus County Chronicle

Citrus County projects on the chopping block

Some of Citrus County’s biggest legislative priority projects are on the chopping block unless legislative leaders include them in the state budget.

State Rep. Ralph Massullo sent letters to legislative leaders from the House and Senate who will soon meet to propose a final budget.

In the letters, he asked leaders to include several Citrus County projects that are supported primarily in the Senate in some fashion but not in the House. They include:

  • $3 million for King’s Bay restoration.
  • $2 million to begin the Homosassa River restoration project.
  • $584,600 for a pair of septic-to-sewer projects.
  • $1.8 million for a new Crystal River city hall.
  • $400,000 for Three Sisters Springs infrastructure improvements.

The only local project to make it into both the House and Senate budgets is $396,400 for restoration of the Historic Hernando School. The project made it through the Legislature last year but Gov. Rick Scott vetoed it.

Massullo said he was surprised to see the Hernando school project receive House budget support but not the other projects.

“I don’t know if it’s as high a priority as cleaning up our rivers,” he said.

Massullo said funding for water and sewer projects may be found in other sources, such as the springs budget or the Florida Forever program.

He said he didn’t want to count on that funding, through, which is why he sent letters to the leadership prior to negotiations beginning on a final budget.

“It’s always good to try and be proactive,” he said. “I would rather be the squeaky wheel.”

Contact Chronicle reporter Mike Wright at 352-563-3228 or mwright@chronicleonline.com.

Article last accessed here on March 2, 2018.