The nine FEMA trucks loaded with food and disaster relief supplies that have been parked at the Inverness Airport since last week are moving to another location.

On Monday, the Citrus County Fair Board voted to allow the New Church Without Walls and the Rev. Doug Alexander to move the trucks to the fairgrounds to stay for the duration of hurricane season, which ends Nov. 30.

Alexander told a Chronicle reporter last week that he thought he had the county’s permission to park the trucks at the airport.

However, when Andrew Chen of Right Rudder Aviation LLC, the airport’s fixed-base operator who oversees the day-to-day operation of the airport for the county, saw the trucks parked inside the airport gate one day last week, he didn’t know how they got there.

After a bit of a commotion between Alexander and the county, Alexander immediately began searching for a new location for the trucks.

“When the story in the newspaper came out, we had at least 12 businesses and other places offer to let us use their places to park the trucks,” Alexander said Tuesday. 

He added that they will be moving to the nearby fairgrounds south of Inverness on Wednesday morning.         

“The fairgrounds is already designated as a disaster preparedness area, and it makes sense to have the trucks here, inside a secure fence,” said Hal Porter, general manager of the fair association. “We are glad to help out a great cause that will only help Citrus County.”

The trucks will remain in Citrus County until the end of November in case of a storm-related or other emergency.

“If there’s still food left in the trucks after November, we’ll work out a plan when the time comes,” Alexander said.   

 

Contact Chronicle reporter Nancy Kennedy at 352-564-2927 or nkennedy@chronicleonline.com.

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