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Hernando and Citrus: Transportation Merger Continues to Move Along

Transportation merger talks between Hernando and Citrus county officials are moving along. At a recent metropolitan planning meeting, there was agreement the merger would be beneficial, but there are still some bumps in the road regarding how many seats should be allocated to respective municipalities. The final apportionment plan must be approved by the MPO Board with subsequent resolutions of support passed by each of the member local governments. According to media reports, Ron Pianta, Hernando assistant county administrator for planning and development, said each jurisdiction must now vote in favor of the plan before it’s sent to the state for ultimate approval. Lee Royal, FDOT community liaison, went on the record endorsing a Hernando/Citrus merger. “This is a cooperative effort,” said Royal. “The department is strongly encouraging a regional MPO for this area.” Citrus County is looking at major roads, such as U.S. 19 and the Suncoast Parkway, as conduits for economic growth, and officials feel a union with Hernando County would help.