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Sunday, Mar 29, 2015

County adopts strategic plan


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BROOKSVILLE - County commissioners voted 5-0 Tuesday to give County Administrator Len Sossamon the go-ahead to move forward with a strategic plan designed to create jobs and boost economic development in Hernando County.

Sossamon said the plan was 12 months in the making and was developed, among other sources, from suggestions and comments from more than 800 citizen survey responses from previous town hall meetings.

County Commissioner Chairman Dave Russell said for years the board has been criticized for not having a focused blueprint for the future. Now we have one, he said.

"Here is a vision that follows something very similar to a business plan," Russell said.

County Commissioner Jim Adkins said he doesn't agree with everything in the plan and cautioned the board that some of the initiatives call for a still-unknown funding source.

But it's still a road map, he said.

County Commissioner Diane Rowden said it is their responsibility "to help provide a plan for future growth of Hernando County and make it so people do want to come here with their businesses and their families"

Sossamon said adoption of the plan is only the beginning. What follows will be a series of workshops that will hone in on aspects of the plan before full implementation.

Sossamon said this will require not only staff input but resident participation and asked for citizens to volunteer to work with the county in the coming months.

To view the plan, visit

Also Tuesday:

County commissioners bid farewell to Jesse Goodwin, assistant utilities director for water and sewer, who retired July 5. Goodwin worked for the county for 31 years. He began as a utility worker with the Hernando County Utilities Department.

The board voted unanimously to spend $600,000 to replace 24 fleet vehicles. The money will come from the fleet management replacement reserve fund.

Peter Taylor, director of the Hernando County Mosquito Control Department, gave a presentation on efforts to clamp down on mosquito outbreaks in the area.

Although conditions aren't as bad as last year, when Tropical Storm Debby rolled through, it has been enough to spur insect breeding. Taylor urged residents to remove sources of standing water on their property.

Business Development Manager Mike McHugh updated the board on economic activities, including the launch of a new adult education program at Nature Coast Technical High School.

The courses, for adults age 16 and older, will be offered through the new Suncoast Technical Education Center.

McHugh said Interconnect Cable Technologies Corporation is about ready to hold an open house in its new 43,000-square-foot building along Flight Path Drive.

McHugh also praised the efforts of the tourism development staffers for getting a welcome center open at Weeki Wachee Springs.

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