Over the past several months, the Access to the River Committee was formed to find property on the Homosassa River for parks so everyone can have access to the river.
Roger Cullen and his wife Joyce Verce, residents of Old Homosassa and members of the Homosassa Civic Club, the Homosassa River Alliance and the Old Homosassa Heritage Council led the charge to find acquirable property on the Homosassa River. Local residents, business owners, and representatives of all the local community groups came together and formed the Access to the River Committee.
The committee has identified two prime riverfront locations.
The first is on South Boulevard Drive, the Locklar property. This would be a “working waterfront” park. Shelley’s Seafood resides here and shrimp boats dock on this piece of property. After the property is turned into a park, those of you that go to Shelley’s Seafood for the best and freshest seafood anywhere can continue buying there. The Shrimp boats that dock there will continue heading out to the Gulf and returning. The house on the property will be turned into a museum dedicated to Old Homosassa, its history and heritage.
The second is the Renzi Trust property that is right behind the Old Homosassa Water Tower and also known as Sportsman Cove. That will be a place for a boat ramp and all of the other fun things a park should have–especially for our local youth.
The committee intends to turn both of these properties into parks–not one or the other.
All of our local community groups, the Homosassa Civic Club, the Homosassa River Alliance, the Old Homosassa Heritage Council plus the Homosassa Guides Association, have sent letters of support for these two parks to the Citrus County Commissioners. Florida Senator Charlie Dean is already on board. Amendment One money is available for purchasing water-front property. This isn’t the first time that the “locals” have tried to get access to the river but this is the first time that we have the “wind behind our backs”.
Yesterday the Access to the River Committee went in front of the Board of County Commissioners in Inverness to make a presentation to ask for help to get the two parks on the Homosassa River.
More than 100 concerned citizens gathered at the courthouse. Rodney MacRae and Roger Cullins, co-chairs of the committee, gave impassioned speeches plus several others voiced their support. The commissioners unanimously pledged their backing. Which means we will get guidance and assistance from county staff to pursue Amendment One money, grants, and other funds to make this a reality.
Both Senator Dean and Simpson are on our side.
Getting the community together was our first step. The Commissioners referred to this as a true grassroots movement. Getting their approval was the second.
On to the future!