You might notice some changes in this website’s format. I have been trying to speed things up a little and have been experimenting with different “themes”. I think it’s faster but this theme is lacking. There will most likely be more updates before next Friday!
Stuff has been happening.
In last week’s post, I mentioned a farmer’s market at the civic club in the near future. Although they have discussed it with civic club board, Gil and Wendy Watson are putting this together. Old Homosassa Art & Farmers Market will be at the Homosassa Civic Club parking lot starting October 7 and continue the first Saturday of every month. The fee for a booth at the market will be $20. The Watson’s are also creating a website for the market. I’ll post here as soon as I find out what the domain name is!
I’ve written several times about the “Old Homosassa Heritage Park” that the “Access to the River” committee has been working on for the past few years. The state legislature passed a bill for the park to get $850,000. At least one county commissioner has said that the county would match what the state came up with. We had also been told that the park was high priority on the BP Restore Funds that is going to many gulf front communities due to the BP oil spill.
The last BOCC meeting we attended, the BOCC unanimously gave all the “BP Restore Funds” to Crystal River for their River Walk although they all felt that Homosassa did deserve a park. Commissioner Kitchen even said that they would come up with “creative” financing for the park. This week the commissioners completely backed away from the whole thing. They claim to never have offered any money towards the park. They will have their people negotiate with the owner of the property but that’s it.
Seems that the park has been getting some negative publicity from some bitter former civic club members. Two of this group have been trespassed from the property because of their actions. They have been spreading lies and innuendos about the park and inciting the uninformed who do not read the paper nor come to the community group meetings. But many of them do love social media and believe what they read. We should have realized that this was going on because these people can not accept all the positive works that have come out of the Homosassa Civic Club and are quite determined to make it fail.
Terry and I have the policy of not responding to any of the comments on FB. It is a bully pulpit.
As Mark Twain said
“Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.”
Same goes for bullies and liars.
Here are the FACTs:
This is the last piece of “working waterfront” on the Homosassa River. When the park becomes a reality, Shelley’s Seafood and the Shrimp Boats that dock there will remain. They will lease from the Old Homosassa Historical Preservation Society and that money will go into maintaining and improving the park. There will be no swimming at the park because this part of the river is just too busy. There will not be a boat ramp or truck/trailer parking. There will be park benches, picnic pavilions, and a kayak ramp. There is an old building on the property which would be renovated for the Old Homosassa Heritage Museum.
The really important FACT is, if this park doesn’t go through, this property will eventually be sold for development. It’s a perfect place for condos. I understand that it is too expensive to put condos there because of several building requirements. But, it will only be a matter of time before demand for riverfront property will make it worth developing. Then the River Alliance can spend 10s of thousands of dollars fighting the condos.
The committee originally tried to get two parks. The other was the old mobile home park behind the water tower — Sportsmen’s Cove. This would have been a perfect spot with plenty of room for swimming and youth sports along with an existing boat ramp and parking. But, the owner refused to sell.
Okay, if you follow me on Naturecoaster.com, you’ve already read something about this.
But, I cleaned it up for Naturecoaster. None of my pithy comments or wry personal observations.
There are a couple of big draws back here for visitors to Old Homosassa. (besides the Freezer, of course.)
The first is manatee season. No, you can’t catch and eat a manatee. But we do get a lot of tourists back here in the winter that want to swim with the manatees. Or kayak with them. Or touch them. Or ride them. (both of those last two are illegal)
And the other big event is scallop season.
Such a fun time in Old Homosassa for all those that get out into the Gulf and scoop those future delicious morsels out of the sea grass.
Also a boon for our local businesses which is a very good thing for Old Homosassa because they are owned by our friends and neighbors who in turn employ people from our community. No chain restaurants or stores in Old Homosassa!
But everything isn’t sunshine and roses for the local residents.
This pic is from a traffic back up last year. All the way back to the Homosassa Elementary School. This year at 7:30 in the morning on opening day, traffic was backed up all the way to Kevin Jenkins art studio. And vehicles were driving in the wrong lane to get around the jam while other vehicles were heading out of Homosassa. Very scary.
Several years ago Citrus County started having employees from the Parks and Recreation department direct traffic at the county boat ramp in Old Homosassa on the weekends. This alleviated a lot of the congestion and some of the arguing at the boat ramp as visitors attempted to put their boats into the river or pull them out. Kind of made it boring for Terry and I because we used to bike down there on Saturday mornings just to watch the launch battles!
But there were still too many trucks and trailers to park in the county parking lot. A few businesses and several home owners with large yards allow trucks and trailers to park for a fee.
But still, not enough parking on any Saturday during scallop season.
This is supposed to be a two-lane road. Not during scallop season! Wondering how a fire truck would maneuver around these obstacles plus dealing with oncoming traffic if there was an emergency.
And if the fire truck got through? The fire hydrant is blocked! Along with the gates into the elementary school. And they are parked on our SIDEWALK! We don’t have many and they aren’t supposed to be used as a parking lot!
Here’s another one on the sidewalk.
Note the “No Parking Here to Corner”. The corner is where that stop sign is. Two boats and trailers!
The board of directors of the Homosassa Civic Club decided that it was time to come up with a solution for this ongoing problem. After talking with owners of some of the local businesses and a meeting with Sheriff Prendergast, the board decided that part of the civic club property could be used for parking.
Our first youth group benefiting from helping out with the parking is the “Unstoppable Student Ministries” from the First Baptist Church of Homosassa. This Saturday will be their third time–they are raising funds to go to camp next year! They should already be pretty close to their goal!
Terry and I worked the parking lot on one Sunday. One guy, in his $40,000 truck and $30,000 boat objected very loudly to paying $10 to park so went and parked at the school in front of the fire hydrant. Really.
Streets clear, local youth groups earning money for their causes, and the smart scallopers won’t be getting tickets!