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Levy County

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County left out of talks while family mired in red tape, sewage

By David Davis

Levy County was left out of the conversation for several months in 2017 while a state and federal agency talked among themselves about finding a solution to a problem; a solution that could place the county in legal jeopardy.

Levy County Attorney Anne Brown said in a recent interview that her office filed a public records request under the Freedom of Information Act to find get correspondence from the Florida Department of Equal Opportunity and the US Department of Housing and Urban Development.

She stated in an email dated Nov. 9, 2017, that the county has expended countless hours throughout the years to find a solution to the septic and other issues.

Brown wrote that it was her understanding that DEO and HUD would be working on a solution and would inform the county of the results of those efforts after various funding sources and options had been reviewed by DEO and HUD.


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EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the first in a series concerning the U.S. Department of Urban Development, Florida Department of Equal Opportunity, Levy County, and Roberto and Debby Tarafa.

Five years later, family is mired in red tape, sewage

By David Davis

Roberto and Debby Tarafa moved to their home in Levy County in 2004 and began noticing wet spots in the lawn as soon as they began mowing the grass. The mower left ruts, but the couple said they could never see the water.

“It was below the surface, but that was it,” Roberto [Bo] said. “We knew we had an issue, we just weren’t sure what it was.”

“No toilets backed up — nothing to make us think — and nothing was running anywhere, in the street or anywhere at that time,” Debby said. “It was just wet and mushy in the middle.”

Their neighbors were all snowbirds at the time, so there was no one to ask. There was an old man who lived across the street. He has since died, but Debby used to ask him why it was so wet? He just responded with a smile, Debby said.


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Rate remains at 9.0 mills

County adopts tentative millage rate

By Sean Arnold

Levy County was on its way to being unable to pay its bills by the end of 2019, according to budget figures presented by Finance Officer Jared Blanton at the tentative millage meeting Thursday, Aug. 3, in Bronson.

Recent moves by the county commission – most notably, an uptick in millage, a new gas tax, department cuts and reallocations, and, going forward, a cap on employee insurance plans – have helped paint a more optimistic financial future for the county.

The board passed a tentative millage resolution at the meeting that will keep the millage rate at 9.0. The resolution passed unanimously, on a motion by Matt Brooks, backed by Rock Meeks.

The final millage rate can be lower than the tentative rate, but it can’t exceed that number. While it’s the same rate, it will generate $641,000 (approx. 3.1 percent) in additional tax revenue – and costs to taxpayers – thanks to rising property values.

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Levy EMT recognized for life-saving act

By Sean Arnold

A first-responder’s job really never ends, whether or not he or she is on duty.

Previous
Play
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Levy County Public Safety firefighter-EMT Hunter Kline recently proved that when he saved a life at a local establishment while off duty.

The Levy Board of County Commissioners recognized Kline for his life-saving efforts at its meeting June 6 in presenting him with a certificate of appreciation.

Kline, who has been with LCPS since 2009, has also been nominated for a Valor Award.

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County's proposed gas tax increase not final

By Sean Arnold

When the Board of County Commissioners expressed support at their meeting on March 21 for a five-cent per gallon increase on non-diesel fuel, it did not finalize a tax increase.

Rather, the move, which simply required a signal of support by a consensus of commissioners, put in motion a “fact-finding” process aimed at leading to a final ordinance.

The action didn’t require a motion or official vote.


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County updates advertising on vehicles regulations

By Sean Arnold

Levy County updated its policy to advertise on its vehicles, allowing for replacement vehicles to fulfill advertising agreements when county vehicles displaying advertisements are no longer in use.


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County introduces more flexible advertising agreement for its vehicles

By Sean Arnold

Levy County updated its policy to advertise on its vehicles, allowing for replacement vehicles to fulfill advertising agreements when county vehicles displaying advertisements are no longer in use.

Transportation director Connie Conley said the proposed resolution came about after the County had three of its 25 buses with Haven Hospice advertising go inoperative, causing a shortage in advertisements according to the agreement.

The resolution (2017-006) was passed unanimously last Tuesday.


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In their words: Candidates take gloves off as primary nears

By Lou Elliott Jones, Editor

Almost two weeks ago the Bronson Area Chamber of Commerce political rally was a pretty calm affair with candidates talking about themselves and what they would do to be elected.
Last Friday, in a political rally sponsored by the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5625 the words were more heated in several races.


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Office Hours are 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday

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Levy County unemployment rate inches up

By The Staff

Unemployment in Levy County in June was up to 9.7 percent up 0.6 percent from May, according to Workforce Connection, the state's regional career agency for Levy, Marion and Citrus counties. But the small dip is nothing new as the state has a summertime dip in employment rates, according to employment officials. And the good news is that it is lower than the same time last year when it was 11.7 and in June 2010 when it was 12.1 percent.


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County Commission organizes its to-do list for 2012

Time clocks, technology, insurance get priority

By Lou Elliott Jones, Editor

County operations could enter  the 21st Century if the Levy County Commission accomplishes everything on the priority list it informally adopted during a workshop on Tuesday.
Each commissioner presented a list of the priorities for the coming year and then spoke about what they wanted accomplished. After 90 minutes they agreed to focus on technology improvements, insurance coverage for county employees, a special events permit ordinance, local preference ordinance in purchasing, centralized purchasing, asset management and time clocks for county employees.


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