Rocky roads

An increase in the Citrus Springs MSBU will mean more funds for residential road resurfacing, officials say.

Citrus Springs residents will pay $10 more next year for a beautification fund that includes money for residential street resurfacing.

County commissioners on Tuesday voted unanimously to increase the annual fee from $25 to $35 for improved lots, and $20 to $30 for owners of vacant lots.

It’s the first increase since the Citrus Springs Municipal Services Benefit Unit, or MSBU, was enacted in 1993, said Joan Dias, chairwoman of the MSBU board of directors.

The MSBU raises money for community beautification, such as maintenance on the water fountain at the community’s entrance, and mowing rights of way.

It also adds $300,000 annually to the county’s funds for resurfacing neighborhood roads, which in Citrus Springs are considered the worst in the county.

Unlike the county’s road resurfacing program, which uses a formula based on density and road condition, the Citrus Springs MSBU funds resurfacing based solely on road condition and not density because owners of vacant lots also pay into the fund.

Although the Citrus Springs MSBU board unanimously recommended the fee increase, about a dozen community residents attended Tuesday’s county commission meeting to oppose the fee.

“My road has never been paved,” said Stephen Konya, a 30-year Citrus Springs resident. “I can’t see paying another dime until you pave my street.”

Glen Robertson, however, noted that costs have risen since 1993 while the MSBU rate has not.

“If you didn’t get a raise from your employer from over 20 years, you’d be upset,” he said.

Commissioner Ron Kitchen Jr. said of the increase: “We’re talking about $10 a year.”

 

Contact Chronicle reporter Mike Wright at 352-563-3228 or mwright@chronicleonline.com.