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Blueberry Festival may have booze after all

Published:   |   Updated: April 6, 2013 at 05:15 PM

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Patrons to this year’s Blueberry Festival may be able to buy beer and wine after all.

County commissioners Tuesday will consider reversing an earlier 3-2 vote and allow patrons to consume both during the May 4-5 event at Hernando Park in downtown Brooksville.

For that to happen, the board would have to waive an ordinance that prohibits the drinking of alcoholic beverages on county property.

County Commission Chairman Dave Russell said the discussion will focus on some type of profit-sharing system that would accommodate both sides. For example, the county could ask that all or a portion of the profits of the beer and wine sales go into county coffers.

Such an arrangement would help Hernando County offset the costs of helping put on the festival, he said.

Michael Heard, president of the Florida Blueberry Festival Inc., plans to address the board at its Tuesday meeting regarding the matter.

Heard, in a memo to commissioners, said the entertainment budget for this year’s event is $85,000, to cover staging, sound equipment and lighting.

Organizers are also trying to land 30-year-old country performer Easton Corbin, whose hails from Gilchrist County Florida and has had two albums out.

“It is the festival committee’s belief that Mr. Corbin’s presence will help draw a significant crowd, making the festival even more successful,” Heard wrote.

All entertainment will be free, except for Corbin’s performance.

Heard also asked for the use of one county mass transit bus to transport people during the festival.

The county's transit operator agreement with McDonald Transit Associates allows for the operation of special events at a previously agreed upon an hourly rate. Fares are not eligible to be collected during the event.

To learn more about Corbin and get a taste of his music, visit

Bayfront Medical Services informed the county that the corporate name under which Bayflite operates will change effective April 1, 2013 and the new name will be HMA Bayflite Services, LLC.

Although the names of the officers and directors of the corporation will change, it will not affect the company’s certificate of public convenience and necessity with Hernando County. Bayflite will continue to be the name it is known by and under which it will continue to operate the aircraft and program.

To view the entire agenda, visit

The county commission meeting will begin at 9 a.m. Tuesday at the Hernando County Government Center, 20 North Main St. in downtown Brooksville.

Also on the agenda of Tuesday’s meeting:

County commissioners will discuss last week’s controlled burn that got out of control and endangered lives and property at Glen Lakes.

Commissioners want to hear an explanation from the officials involved in the event, including the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission which conducted the burn.

Commissioners will consider discontinuing the practice of loaning traps to citizens for the purpose of trapping stray and feral cats.

Currently, Hernando County Animal Services loans out traps to citizens for the purpose of capturing stray and feral cats. Those cats are brought to HCAS for impoundment and most are euthanized at taxpayers' expense. Sometimes, pet owners outdoor cats are caught in the traps.

(352) 544-5290

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