Citrus County, Florida

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Citrus County, Florida
Citrus Cty Crths Inverness01.jpg
Citrus County Courthouse
Seal of Citrus County, Florida
Seal
Map of Florida highlighting Citrus County
Location in the state of Florida
Map of the United States highlighting Florida
Florida's location in the U.S.
Founded 2 June 1887
Seat Inverness
Largest city Homosassa Springs
Area
 • Total 773.15 sq mi (2,002 km2)
 • Land 583.81 sq mi (1,512 km2)
 • Water 189.34 sq mi (490 km2), 24.49%
Population
 • (2010) 141,236
 • Density 242/sq mi (93.4/km²)
Congressional district 11th
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4
Website www.bocc.citrus.fl.us

Citrus County is a county located in the U.S. state of Florida. Its 2010 population was 141,236.[1] Its county seat is Inverness[2] and its largest community is Homosassa Springs. The Homosassa Springs Micropolitan Statistical Area includes the entire county. Citrus County is sometimes considered a part of the Tampa Bay Area along with the counties to the south.

History[edit]

Citrus County was first occupied about 10,000 years ago and settled about 2,500 years ago by mound-building Native Americans that built the complex that now forms the Crystal River Archeological Site. The site was occupied for about 2,000 years. Why the complex was abandoned is currently unknown.[3]

Citrus County was created in 1887. The Citrus County area was formerly part of a Hernando County. It was named for the county's citrus trees. Citrus production declined dramatically after the "Big Freeze" of 1894-1895. Today, citrus is grown on one large grove, Bellamy Grove. Additionally, some people do have trees on their personal property.

The original Citrus County seat was Mansfield, or Mannsfeld. The county seat was moved to Inverness.

Only a street and a pond remain of the original town.[4]

Sign on the Withlacoochee State Trail marking the site of the "Great Train Wreck of 1956" at Pineola, Florida.

Phosphate mining also played a major part in the history of the County until the end of WWII in which phosphate mining was largely moved overseas.[citation needed] The first newspaper of Citrus County was called the Phosphate Times.[citation needed] Pineola, Florida was the site of the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad's "Great Train Wreck of 18 October 1956."

In the 1960s, Citrus County began to develop and housing developments such as Beverly Hills started to dominate the county.[citation needed]

Citrus County has one local television station that broadcasts County Commission meetings live on the first and third Tuesday of each month. In addition, Citrus County is serviced by Bay News 9, a news outlet provided by Bright House Networks.[5]

There are two local newspapers, the Citrus County Chronicle and the Homosassa Beacon.[6]

Geography[edit]

According to the 2000 census, the county has a total area of 773.15 square miles (2,002.4 km2), of which 583.81 square miles (1,512.1 km2) (or 75.51%) is land and 189.34 square miles (490.4 km2) (or 24.49%) is water.[7]

National protected areas[edit]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1890 2,394
1900 5,391 125.2%
1910 6,731 24.9%
1920 5,220 −22.4%
1930 5,516 5.7%
1940 5,846 6.0%
1950 6,111 4.5%
1960 9,268 51.7%
1970 19,196 107.1%
1980 54,703 185.0%
1990 93,515 71.0%
2000 118,085 26.3%
2010 141,236 19.6%
Est. 2012 139,360 −1.3%
U.S. Decennial Census[8]
2012 Estimate[9]

As of the census[10] of 2000, there were 118,085 people, 52,634 households, and 36,317 families residing in the county. The population density was 78/km² (202/mi²). There were 62,204 housing units at an average density of 41/km² (106/mi²). The racial makeup of the county was 95.05% White, 2.36% Black or African American, 0.36% Native American, 0.76% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.37% from other races, and 1.07% from two or more races. 2.66% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 52,634 households out of which 19.00% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.30% were married couples living together, 7.60% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.00% were non-families. 26.10% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.60% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.20 and the average family size was 2.60.

In the county the population was spread out with 17.20% under the age of 18, 4.60% from 18 to 24, 19.10% from 25 to 44, 26.90% from 45 to 64, and 32.20% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 53 years. For every 100 females there were 92.30 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.60 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $31,001, and the median income for a family was $36,711. Males had a median income of $28,091 versus $21,408 for females. The per capita income for the county was $18,585. 11.70% of the population and 8.50% of families were below the poverty line. 18.10% of those under the age of 18 and 7.00% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line.

Adjacent counties[edit]

Cities and towns[edit]

Incorporated[edit]

Unincorporated[edit]

Former towns[edit]

Transportation[edit]

Airports[edit]

Railroads[edit]

One rail line operates within the county: A freight line to the Crystal River Energy Complex in northern Citrus County. Other lines that used to run through Citrus were either converted into rail trails such as the Cross Town Trail in Crystal River and Withlacoochee State Trail in eastern Citrus County or abandoned.

Major roads[edit]

  • US 19.svg U.S. Route 19 is the main local road through western Citrus County, running south to north.
  • US 41.svg U.S. Route 41 is the main local road through eastern Citrus County, running south to north. North of CR 48 in Floral City, the road is also shared by the DeSoto Trail.
  • US 98.svg U.S. Route 98 runs northwest to southeast from Hernando County, Florida, and joins US 19 in Chassahowitzka on its way to Perry.
  • Florida 44.svg State Road 44 runs east and west through the northern part of the county from Crystal River into Sumter County. A county extension south of the western terminus runs into Fort Island.
  • Citrus County 48.svg County Road 48 runs mostly east and west through Southeastern Citrus County. It spans from US 41 Floral City winding southeast along the Withlacoochee River, which it eventually crosses on the way to Bushnell and Center Hill in Sumter County, and Howey-in-the Hills in Lake County. The segment in Bushnell between I-75(Exit 314) and US 301 becomes a state road. Throughout Citrus County, County Road 48 is also shared by the DeSoto Trail.
  • Citrus County 480.svg County Road 480 is the southernmost county road in Citrus County. It runs east and west from Chassahowitzka with a short concurrency with US 98, then through the Withlacoochee State Forest where it eventually terminates at US 41 in Floral City, south of CR 48.
  • Citrus County 490.svg County Road 490 runs east and west from the Gulf of Mexico along the south side of the Homosassa River until it briefly joins US 19-98 in downtown Homosassa Springs only to head northeast towards SR 44 in Lecanto.
  • Citrus County 491.svg County Road 491: A Bi-County road that begins in unincorporated northwestern Hernando County, then runs north and south along the western side of the Withlacoochee State Forest, and into Lecanto and Beverly Hills where it curves east in northern Citrus County and crosses US 41 in Holder, only to terminate at SR 200 near the Citrus-Marion County Line.
  • Citrus County 581.svg County Road 581: Runs north and south along the eastern side of the Withlacoochee State Forest from County Road 481 in Lake Lindsey, into Inverness where it joins SR 44 east towards US 41, only to branch off on its own as a dead end street on the banks of the Withlacoochee River.

Public Safety[edit]

Citrus County is protected by Sheriff Jeff J. Dawsy as of January 2013. Citrus County Sheriff and Fire Rescue are combined into one department. The local ambulance service is Nature Coast EMS which is an ALS company. Citrus Sheriff/Fire Rescue is a BLS department with 7 career fire stations and approximately 8 volunteer fire stations. This department is closely modeled after Broward Sheriff/Fire Rescue.

Politics[edit]

Citrus County leans Republican in national, state and local races, it once elected a mix of some local Conservative Democrats and Republicans, but now elects Republicans to most positions in local elections. Presently Republicans occupy all seats on the Citrus County Commission and the State and Federal legislative delegations for Citrus County.[16] The Sheriff, Jeff Dawsy, is the county's most prominent Democratic office holder; he was first elected in 1996. In terms of voter registration Republicans have nearly a 10,000 registered voter advantage as of February 2013.[17]

Presidential elections results
Year Republican Democratic Other
2012 60.2% 38.4% 1.4%
2008 57.1% 41.1% 1.8%
2004 56.9% 42.1% 1.0%
2000 52.1% 44.6% 3.3%
1996 40.6% 44.4% 15.0%
1992 36.7% 35.6% 27.9%
1988 63.0% 36.4% 0.7%

Attractions[edit]

According to the US Fish & Wildlife Services' Aerial Manatee Surveys, as many as 400 of these unique creatures can be found in Citrus County at one time. This typically occurs only during the coldest months of the year.

Manatees can also be viewed in the underwater observatory at Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park. Most of the park's residents are injured animals undergoing rehabilition or unable to return to the wild.[18] The notable exception is Lucifer, an African hippopotamus. When a permanent home could not be found for the retired actor, then-Governor Lawton Chiles created Lucifer an honorary citizen of the state.[19]

Citrus County also has within its territorial boundaries a number of uninhabited and/or sparsely inhabited coastal islands that can be accessed via watercraft.[20] While some of the Citrus County islands are state lands thus available for public use for recreational opportunities, many other Citrus County islands are private property and are either wholly or partially owned by private parties.[21] A number of the interior islands have private vacation homes and cabins situated along the waterfront.[citation needed]

Media[edit]

Citrus County's newspaper of record is the Citrus County Chronicle, published by Landmark Media Enterprises.

Citrus County also has one local TV Station, WYKE-CD. Citrus County also has a dedicated online only newspaper called Citrus Daily. The county is part of the Nielsen-designated Tampa-Saint Petersburg-Sarasota television market.[22] Bright House Networks and Comcast serve different areas of Citrus County, with Bright House serving the western part of the county, including Crystal River; and Comcast serving Inverness, and the eastern county communities; these systems offer most Tampa Bay stations, plus selected channels from the Orlando and Gainesville markets.

Radio stations in Citrus County are part of the Arbitron-designated Gainesville/Ocala Radio market.

Library[edit]

The Citrus County Library System consists of 5 branches.

Location Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Central Ridge 10:00-7:00 10:00-7:00 10:00-7:00 10:00-7:00 10:00-5:00 10:00-5:00 Closed
Coastal Region 10:00-7:00 10:00-7:00 10:00-7:00 10:00-7:00 10:00-5:00 10:00-5:00 Closed
Floral City Closed 10:00-7:00 10:00-5:00 10:00-7:00 10:00-5:00 10:00-4:00 Closed
Homosassa 10:00-7:00 10:00-7:00 10:00-7:00 10:00-7:00 10:00-5:00 10:00-5:00 Closed
Lakes Region 10:00-7:00 10:00-7:00 10:00-7:00 10:00-7:00 10:00-5:00 10:00-5:00 Closed

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Government links/Constitutional offices[edit]

Special districts[edit]

Judicial branch[edit]

Tourism links[edit]

Other[edit]

Coordinates: 28°51′N 82°31′W / 28.85°N 82.52°W / 28.85; -82.52