Monday, February 19, 2018
News Roundup

Brooksville may reinstate fee waiver program

BROOKSVILLE — A popular fee waiver program that once provided financial assistance to organizers of special events in Brooksville could make a comeback Monday if the City Council can decide how the program will be implemented.

Council members, looking to shave as much as they could from last year's budget, chose to eliminate the $7,000 in annual funding for the program, which provided money for such things as police presence, road closures and parade permits. At least part of the reason for the elimination was the inconsistent method of awarding waivers.

Since then, organizers of successful annual events such as the Brooksville Cycling Classic, a Veteran's Day parade and the Brooksville Kiwanis Christmas Parade have had to come up with the money on their own.

Council member Joe Bernardini, who voted to eliminate the waivers, said he did so mainly because the lack of a fair policy often meant the fund was depleted long before end of the fiscal year. That meant that late-comers — even those who had worthy events capable of drawing hundreds of visitors to Brooksville — were often left out.

"We had people applying for the money when we didn't have it to give," he said. "To me, it just wasn't fairly administered."

At last month's final 2012-13 budget hearing, council members voted to reinstate the program after finding an additional $7,000 in the budget. The council instructed City Manager Jennene-Norman Vacha to come up with a policy that would assure certain criteria are met before a fee waiver can be granted.

If approved, the new policy would allow the council to approve either full or partial fee waivers for events that are within the city limits; open to the public; supported by business, community or service groups, and deemed by the council to be positive for the city and its image.

Laura DeWitt, a co-owner of Get Healthy: Brooksville and organizer of next weekend's Brooksville Cycling Classic, said that a return of the fee waivers would enable the charitable event to distribute money to local nonprofit organizations. She said she hoped the council will grant $2,065 in fee waivers for the third annual cycling classic.

"When you're putting on a bike race fundraiser, expenses like police and street closures add up fast," DeWitt said. "Brooksville needs to do whatever it can to support good events that bring visitors to our area."

Logan Neill can be reached at (352) 848-1435 or [email protected]

Comments

High school scoreboard for Feb. 19

Monday’s scoreboardSoftballSpringstead 11, Central 0
Updated: 1 hour ago

Lottery resultsNumbers drawn after 9 p.m. are no longer available by our deadlines. For results, go to tampabay.com/lottery.Pick 2, 3, 4, 5Mon., Feb. 19, midday:46 278 6907e_SRit78769Mon., Feb. 19, evening:59 597 4363e_SRit97936Fantasy 5Mon., Feb. 19...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Updated: 2 hours ago
Water Wars starting to simmer again in Tampa Bay

Water Wars starting to simmer again in Tampa Bay

CLEARWATER — A simmering feud between Tampa and the regional water authority avoided boiling over Monday, but little was resolved.At a Tampa Bay Water meeting, board members requested Tampa work with the agency on the city’s plan to convert tens of m...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Ex-workers at Russian ‘troll factory’ trust U.S. indictment

Ex-workers at Russian ‘troll factory’ trust U.S. indictment

Associated PressST. PETERSBURG, Russia — While Russian officials scoff at a U.S. indictment charging 13 Russians with meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, several people who worked at the same St. Petersburg, Russia, "troll factory" say t...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Man sought in sexual assault of woman, 71, in New Port Richey

Man sought in sexual assault of woman, 71, in New Port Richey

NEW PORT RICHEY — Deputies are searching for a man who they said broke into a home and raped a 71-year-old woman on Monday.The Pasco County Sheriff’s Office said the woman was checking on a home at 7437 Heather St. for the homeowner at about 8:15 a.m...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Trump offers support for limited effort on background checks

Trump offers support for limited effort on background checks

Associated PressWEST PALM BEACH — From the confines of his Mar-a-Lago golf club, President Donald Trump offered support Monday for a limited strengthening of federal background checks on gun purchases while staying largely mum in the past few days ab...
Updated: 3 hours ago

Puerto RicoJudge grants $300M loan for power companyA federal judge on Monday approved a $300 million loan for Puerto Rico’s power company that officials say will help keep the troubled agency operating until late March. The judge had originally reje...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Grief-filled funerals also can be cathartic

Grief-filled funerals also can be cathartic

PARKLAND — Each funeral for the victims of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High massacre is different, yet the same: the mourning relatives, teens walking in clutches wearing black, politicians paying their respects, media cameras pointing at the entran...
Updated: 3 hours ago

U.S. input unlikely on climate rule book

VIENNA — The climate rule book being drafted to keep a lid on Earth’s rising temperatures should be finished by the end of the year — with or without the U.S. government’s help.Countries that ratified the Paris climate agreement will meet in December...
Updated: 3 hours ago