The Shields Painting Difference: Perfection with Every Brush Stroke
Many painting companies in Florida rely on flashy marketing and big promises to try and attract new clients. But when it comes time to work, they fall short of their promises. This is often due to a lack of experience, qualified painters, and a drive to overachieve. At Shields Painting, we do things a little differently than other painting companies in Citrus County. We believe that a professional paint job should be as close to perfect as possible. Our goal is to leave you 100% satisfied, whether we're touching up an old residential paint job or performing a complex commercial project. It might sound simple, but we achieve that goal through honesty, hard work, beautiful results, and reasonable pricing.
As a family-owned and operated painting company in Lecanto, FL, we strive to provide personalized, professional, and friendly service. Shields Painting has been in business since 1968 for a good reason. Whenever possible, we go the extra mile to make sure our customers are happy. Unlike some of our competition, we want to know all about your house or business painting project: your vision, your preferences, your challenges, and your goals. When we understand your needs, we can present you with a fantastic final product - one that you're proud to show off to friends and neighbors.
At Shields Painting, we combine our extensive experience with time-tested, meticulous painting processes, resulting in the highest quality painting results around. As a painting contractor in Citrus County, we can take on a variety of residential, commercial, and industrial projects in Florida.
A few of our most popular painting services include:
- Interior Painting
- Exterior Painting
- Residential Painting
- Commercial Painting
- Cabinet Painting
- Ceiling Painting
- Fence Painting
- Sign Painting
- MUCH More!
Our commercial, industrial, and residential painting contractors take the proper steps to protect your property and belongings while we work. Our team will clean up after ourselves, so your property is left clean and free of debris when we're done. After all, we think there's only one way to do a job, and that's the right way.
Eco-friendly & clean work area.
PDCA Certified Member.
Your Go-To House Painting Company in Lecanto, FL
Your home is a haven of relaxation and solitude. It is uniquely you - a place where you can express who you are through style and design. Whether you need interior touch-ups for your crown molding or a new exterior coat of paint, hiring a reliable painting contractor is the best way to get quality results.
At Shields Painting, we know how important it is to have a home that highlights your tastes and personality. That's why we offer an extensive array of residential painting services in Citrus County. As tempting as it might be to try a DIY paint job, without the proper skills and experience, there is a good chance that the results will turn out less than satisfactory.
High-quality painting requires skill, experience, and patience. If you're a homeowner who needs residential painting services but doesn't have the time, patience, or skills to handle the job, look no further than Shields Painting. We offer accuracy, precision, and longevity with each paint job we perform. Our customers choose Shields Painting for their home because they receive:
- Free Quotes with Detailed Project Breakdowns
- Affordable Pricing
- Expert Painting Contractors
- High-Quality Paint Products
- Combo of Traditional and Modern Techniques
- Well-Maintained Tools
- Unmatched Craftsmanship
- Friendly, Personalized Service
- Good Old-Fashioned Hard Work!
The majority of our house painting services come in two forms: interior and exterior.
Interior Residential Painting
As an interior painting contractor with decades of experience, our expert technicians have developed an interior painting process that maximizes quality and emphasizes customer satisfaction. We understand that interior painting goes beyond aesthetics. It protects your ceilings and walls and helps you sustain a healthier place to live for your family. When only the finest craftsmanship will do inside your home, Shields Painting is here for you.
Our seasoned team of painting experts and craftsmen is dedicated to respecting your space and providing you with the look and feel you're craving inside your home. Whether you bought a new house and want to make it your own or need minor touch-ups but have no time, Shields Painting is ready to tackle the job, no matter how small or large.
Unlike some painting companies, our interior house painters take the time to get the details right, every time. For instance, color is only one aspect of your interior paint job. The paint sheen or finish is just as important. Certain finishes are better for living rooms and bedrooms than in kitchens and bathrooms. We'll help you find the right finish and paint colors for your home, so you don't have to worry about touch-ups or repainting.
Some of our most popular interior house painting services include:
- Ceiling Painting
- Popcorn Ceiling Removal
- Living Room Painting
- Bathroom Painting
- Basement Painting
- Color Consultations
Citrus County cabinet painting deserves its own section on this page because it requires more time, skill, and quality paint than most sections of your home. If your home's cabinets are built into its woodwork, replacing them can be obnoxiously expensive. Compared to the cost of installing new cabinets, painting your kitchen cabinets is much more affordable.
At Shields Painting, we specialize in transforming old cabinets into new, gorgeous features that are just as usable as they are beautiful. Each step of our cabinet painting process is meticulous and thorough. And we'll take care of the entire job, from cleaning, prep, and sanding to priming, painting, and reassembly. This unique service lets you enjoy a brand-new look in your kitchen without having to go into debt by replacing your cabinets.
Whether your cabinets are new, but you want to change their color or you'd like to transition wood cabinets to a painted finish, Shields Painting has the expertise and experience to give you a new look you'll love.
Exterior Residential Painting
Your home - it's a place that not only keeps your belongings safe. It protects your family and loved ones, too. It's one of your largest investments, and like anything else of value, it should be protected. However, Florida weather can take a toll on your home's structure and paint, lowering your home's value and even putting your family at risk.
While it's true that a beautiful exterior affects your house's value, it shouldn't take thousands of remodeling dollars to make a positive change to your home. There's a fine line between reasonable pricing and top-quality painting, and that sweet spot is what Shields Painting aims for. If you want to transform how your friends and neighbors see your home, never underestimate the power of a professional paint job.
Our exterior residential painting services are designed to boost curb appeal, give your home a fresh look, and help it stand up to Florida's unique weather. But we provide more than that. When you hire Shields Painting for your outdoor painting project, you will enjoy peace of mind in knowing that your home is in truly capable hands. Our goal is to exceed your expectations and help bring out the best in your property, whether you need to re-stain your deck or remove old, peeling paint from your siding.
If you're on the hunt for the very best exterior painting contractor in Lecanto, FL, look no further than Shields Painting.
Some of our most popular exterior house painting services include:
- Vinyl Siding Painting
- Deck Painting and Staining
- Stucco Exterior Painting
- Wood Exterior Painting
- Porch Painting and Staining
- Soffit Painting
- Fascia Painting
- Window Painting
- Front Door Painting
- Thorough Painting Prep
The Premier Commercial Painting Company in Lecanto, FL
When it comes to first impressions, your businesses' appearance plays an important role. Your commercial property's paint job factors into its overall aesthetics. A great-looking, well-maintained paint job can mean the difference between a customer walking in your storefront and passing by. Conversely, an old, worn-out commercial paint job can send the wrong message to prospective customers. If you can't take the time to keep up your property's appearance, why would a customer spend their hard-earned money on your products?
The same goes for your businesses' interior paint. Would you want to do business with a company that has peeling paint or unsightly crown molding? At Shield's Painting, our goal is to create a beautiful environment that your customers and employees will love inside and out. When you work with our business painters, you can rest easy knowing we treat your business like it were our own. We always clean up after ourselves and know that operations cannot come to a halt just because we're painting. As such, we'll work with your busy schedule to ensure the job gets done right the first time without disrupting your day-to-day commitments.
With decades of commercial painting experience, we know the demands of a commercial painting project necessitate a disciplined and focused approach from the start. Our team of business painters is committed to delivering quality, on-time results on every project, every time - no excuses
We offer professional business painting services to a variety of building types, including:
A high level of care and finesse are required to effectively paint an industrial property. At Shields Painting, we know that industrial paint jobs involve much more than aesthetics. That's why our industrial services are customized to your specifications, using industrial-grade materials that stand up to heavy-duty operations.
Retail Store Painting
Our commercial painters apply effective, yet appealing interior and exterior paint that stand up to the daily rigors of busy retail environments.
Small Business Painting
Do you own a restaurant franchise? Have a small "mom and pop" location that needs a fresh coat of paint? Shields Painting has the resources and reliability to efficiently get the job done the first time. That way, you can focus on serving your customers, not having your business repainted.
Healthcare Location Painting
From walk-in clinics to long-term care facilities, Shields Painting is sensitive to your patients' needs. We know you must protect your patient's privacy while maintaining productivity. Our approach to healthcare location painting centers around your schedule to avoid disruptions in care.
Apartment Complex Painting
Erase signs of wear and make your apartment complex or multi-family building a more desirable place to live with a stunning, professional paint job.
Florida's Most Trusted Painting Contractor
Shields Painting has been in the business since 1968. In a world where so much has changed, we are proud to uphold the ideals that make us successful: hard, honest work, getting the job done right, and excellent customer service. Providing you with trustworthy, quality work will always take priority over rushing through a project to serve the next customer. That is just not the way we choose to do business.
As professionals dedicated to perfection, we strive to provide a unique painting experience for every customer - one that focuses on their needs and desires instead of our own. Whether you need residential painting for your home or commercial painting for your business, we encourage you to reach out today to speak with our customer service team. Whether you have big ideas about a new paint project or need our expertise and guidance, we look forward to hearing from you soon.352-212-1533
Latest News in Lecanto, FL
Citrus County substitute arrested for inappropriately touching students, authorities say
Wolfgang Sprenger, 84, is accused of inappropriately touching six students.DUNNELLON, Fla. — An 83-year-old former substitute teacher was arrested on Thursday for "lewd" and "lascivious" behavior during his time at multiple schools across Citrus County School District, according to a news release.Wolfgang Sprenger was removed from his position on Jan. 31 after a staff member from Hernando Elementary reported he inappropriately...
Wolfgang Sprenger, 84, is accused of inappropriately touching six students.
DUNNELLON, Fla. — An 83-year-old former substitute teacher was arrested on Thursday for "lewd" and "lascivious" behavior during his time at multiple schools across Citrus County School District, according to a news release.
Wolfgang Sprenger was removed from his position on Jan. 31 after a staff member from Hernando Elementary reported he inappropriately touched some students, deputies said.
The school district said in a news release it immediately removed Sprenger from all substitute teaching positions within the district after learning about the allegations.
During the sheriff's office investigation, detectives were able to identify multiple student victims, as well as several students who witnessed the acts, the sheriff's office said.
Deputies said the victims state that Sprenger had touched them inappropriately. After completing interviewers, a warrant was issued for Sprenger's arrest, deputies said.
"This case exposes how a predator can and will work themselves into a position of trust to gain access to children," said Sheriff Prendergast.
"Sprenger violated the trust of the children he was supposed to teach and the trust our community placed in him. A classroom is supposed to be a nurturing and safe environment, not a playground for a predator like Sprenger. I hope this arrest will be the starting point on a journey of healing for his victims."
Sprenger was arrested on a warrant for two counts of lewd and lascivious molestation on a child less than 12, four counts of lewd and lascivious conduct, and one count of contributing to the delinquency of a child.
Citrus County School District commented on the arrest, saying that Sprenger underwent a pre-employment drug test and level II background screening, which neither raised any concern.
"We want to assure our community that the Citrus County School District has robust policies and procedures in place to safeguard our students and ensure that our staff members are held to the highest standards of professional conduct," the district said in a news release.
The district said Sprenger was a substitute teacher at the following schools:
"We understand this news will be unsettling for our students, families, and staff," says Superintendent Sam Himmel. "The safety and well-being of our students is our top priority, and we take any allegation of misconduct very seriously."
Ozello residents say RV park will change 'Old Florida' feel
People who drive down Ozello Trail and its back roads know how twisty and narrow they are.It’s hard enough sometimes for a larger vehicle to pass another without some effort.Now imagine a Class A motorhome – which can be as wide as 45 feet – traveling down those roads as they reach their home base off the end of Fishcreek Point. Imagine 37 of these juggernauts and you will know why Ozello residents are upset over a developer’s application to build an RV park-campground off Fishcreek.Resident Barry...
People who drive down Ozello Trail and its back roads know how twisty and narrow they are.
It’s hard enough sometimes for a larger vehicle to pass another without some effort.
Now imagine a Class A motorhome – which can be as wide as 45 feet – traveling down those roads as they reach their home base off the end of Fishcreek Point. Imagine 37 of these juggernauts and you will know why Ozello residents are upset over a developer’s application to build an RV park-campground off Fishcreek.
Resident Barry Schwartz calls it a recipe for disaster.
“We can’t see (them) navigating those roads on an almost-daily basis without disrupting the quality of life and being safe,” Schwartz said.
Plus, he said, the proposed campground would be “out of character with the neighborhood.”
Schwartz said the majority of residents feel the same and plan to let their voice be heard when the Citrus County Planning and Development Commission (PDC) meets Thursday to hear a request from Sunshine RV Campground LLC to change the current land use designation and zoning on a 16-acre parcel of land on South Fishcreek Point.
The proposed Fishcreek Glampground & Ramp would consist of 37 RV sites, 23 glamping (luxury campsites) and five traditional camping sites.
The application calls for a store, tiki hut, kayak launch, garden boat trailer parking, pool and pool house, dog park, laundry buildings and a new pavilion.
To make this project work, the applicant would need to change the future land use map on the 16-acre property from CL (low-intensity coastal and lakes district) to RVP (RV park and campground district).
It would also need a zoning change to one that allows RVs and a campground with a planned unit development.
Resident Robert Evans said he cannot imagine the county would go along with that.
“I’m wondering how the county can allow this because it’s such a major change,” Evans said.
Plus, the property is adjacent to a state-protected 25,000-acre aquatic preserve and prone to flooding, he said.
“The property was never designated as an RV site,” resident Peter Vandenbergh said. “It’s zoned for mobile homes. “It’s a residential neighborhood so in order to bring RVs in they have to go through three residential streets.”
People walk dogs on those streets. Kids ride bikes. It would be unsafe, he said.
Ozello is “Old Florida,” he added, and people come there to experience a way of life that is disappearing.
Vandenbergh’s advice to planning commissioners on Thursday: “Make wise choices based on people who understand the area for what it is and what it should be.”
Vandenbergh said a large number of Ozello residents will show up Thursday to air their concerns.
The Planning and Development Commission meets at 9 a.m. in room 166 of the Lecanto Government Building, 3600 W. Sovereign Path.
Michael D. Bates is a staff writer with the Citrus County Chronicle and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lecanto's Alexander relieved of coaching duties
Just a month after completing the most successful season in school history, the Lecanto football program was rocked on Friday when head coach Wyndell “Chop” Alexander was relieved of his coaching duties due to a violation of an unknown FHSAA policy.FHSAA officials did not respond to requests regarding the violation. Get more from the Citrus County Chronicle The Panthers went 8-4 this season, including the program’s first ever playoff victory, a 45-14 blowout victory Nov. 12 at Pasco in the Class 3S re...
Just a month after completing the most successful season in school history, the Lecanto football program was rocked on Friday when head coach Wyndell “Chop” Alexander was relieved of his coaching duties due to a violation of an unknown FHSAA policy.
FHSAA officials did not respond to requests regarding the violation.
Get more from the Citrus County Chronicle
The Panthers went 8-4 this season, including the program’s first ever playoff victory, a 45-14 blowout victory Nov. 12 at Pasco in the Class 3S regional quarterfinals. The record-breaking season came to a close a week later with a regional semifinal loss at Zephyrhills.
Alexander went 16-14 in three seasons at Lecanto, including a perfect 6-0 mark against county rivals Citrus and Crystal River, as the Panthers won the county championship the past three seasons.
A press release from Lindsay Blair, spokeswoman for for the Citrus County School District, stated:
“Lecanto High School head football coach, Chop Alexander, has been relieved of his duties as head football coach, effective immediately. Principal Jason Koon informed players and coaching staff early this morning. This corrective action is the result of a violation of FHSAA policy. Alexander was hired as the football head coach in 2019. Alexander will remain in his instructional position at Lecanto High School. The Citrus County School District is working with FHSAA on this issue until it is resolved. The Citrus County School District and Lecanto High School will have no further comments on the matter at this time.”
Alexander did not want to talk about the violation due to it being an ongoing issue but did have plenty to say about his time as head football coach at Lecanto and everyone who played a part in the success of the program.
“Administration, every single one of them, they’re all first class and have always supported me with everything I needed to be successful here at Lecanto,” he said. “And I want to thank all our teachers for being supportive with our kids and understanding that it’s tough being student-athletes. And being able to work with me to help them achieve the goal of graduating. I want to thank our parents and everyone who has ever sponsored our program. And all my coaches. My wonderful coaching staff.
“I have to give props to my wife. She’s my backbone. I couldn’t do anything without her. She’s a huge reason why any of this stuff happens. She’s the key component why everything was as smooth as it was. And I want to give the glory to God to leading me here.
“And these are all kids who came up through the system and bought in. They trusted that what we were coaching was going to lead to them being successful. I just have to give my props to those kids. These kids are awesome.”
Prior to becoming head football coach at Lecanto, Alexander was football defensive coordinator and head boys weightlifting coach at Citrus High. Alexander guided the weightlifting team to the Class 1A State Championship in 2019, the first ever weightlifting team title in the county. The Hurricanes crowned one individual state champion that season, had three more finish as runners-up and four more medalists to run away with the team title.
“That led to me getting the opportunity to step up and being the head coach here at Lecanto. I love this school. I always feel like it’s a great day to be a Panther,” Alexander said. “I promised Mr. Koon and I promised the school that anytime I decided to leave the program or had to step down I was going to leave it way better than it was before I stepped in, and I feel like we accomplished that.
“There’s no ill will. My relationship with administration and everybody here on staff is still very amicable. I spoke to the kids this morning and it’s all just going to be love. I’m a homegrown Citrus County boy. I’m 44 years old and I was born in Citrus Memorial Hospital. I love this area. This is God once again nudging me in another direction. This is my opportunity to write the next chapter of my life.”
A pair of county football teams are now looking for new head coaches. McKinley Franklin recently stepped down at Citrus High after his third season in charge.
ClearSky Health to break ground for Lecanto rehabilitation center
Fred Hiers Chronicle Reporterhttps://www.chronicleonline.com/news/local/clearsky-health-to-break-ground-for-lecanto-rehabilitation-center/article_6e85d1d1-4564-523c-b9d3-0e5b8e3c4290.html
Each year 20 percent of America’s older adults get hurt and go for rehabilitation help.And with a third of Citrus County’s residents 65 years old or older, there’s no shortage of those needing either physical, occupational, or speech therapy after an injury, stroke, or disabling disease such as Parkinson’s.ClearSky Health Inc. saw the need for help and will break ground next week on a 40,000-foot facility that will house 30 patient beds, have 100 staff, and treat an estimated 650 patients annually....
Each year 20 percent of America’s older adults get hurt and go for rehabilitation help.
And with a third of Citrus County’s residents 65 years old or older, there’s no shortage of those needing either physical, occupational, or speech therapy after an injury, stroke, or disabling disease such as Parkinson’s.
ClearSky Health Inc. saw the need for help and will break ground next week on a 40,000-foot facility that will house 30 patient beds, have 100 staff, and treat an estimated 650 patients annually.
The facility is slated to open early next year. It will be ClearSky’s first Florida facility. It currently has a total of five in Texas, Louisiana, and New Mexico. The company plans to open facilities in Arizona, Kansas and additional facilities in Texas.
Cathy Alonzo, the company’s vice president of marketing and business development, said Lecanto was a good fit for ClearSky’s venture into Florida.
“We felt there was a need for specialized rehabilitation care,” Alonzo told the Chronicle.
The facility will offer physical, occupational and speech therapy, she said.
The staff will include nurses and physicians specializing in rehabilitation care, as well as case managers, who will work with patients after they leave the facility.
Alonzo said ClearSky’s Lecanto facility will be geared to provide rehab services to patients living with disabling injuries or illnesses such as strokes, brain injuries, hip fractures, spinal injuries, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and other medically complex conditions.
Having a facility in Lecanto where Citrus County residents live will allow them to stay close to home and will help with the “financial and emotional burden” of rehabilitation, Alonzo said.
“There’s nothing like having family and friends to ... help heal,” Alonzo said.
Alonzo said ClearSky plans to open 10 more facilities in the U.S.
Alonzo said the typical patient length of stay is seven to 14 days with three hours of intense therapy five days a week or 15 hours of therapy over every seven days.
The ground breaking will be 10:30 a.m., Wednesday, July 13 at 3967 W. County Road 486, Lecanto.
“Our highly trained team, specialized equipment, dedicated facility, and integrative approach will set ClearSky Lecanto apart,” said Darby Brockette, CEO of ClearSky Health, in a news release. “Our staff will go above and beyond normal service expectations to provide patients with optimum outcomes for their recoveries.”
Brockette said the Lecanto facility will be:
Licensed and accredited
Use an interdisciplinary team approach to care
Have a physician with specialized training in rehabilitation supervise medical services
Provide rehabilitative nursing 24 hours a day, seven days per week.
Studies also show that rehabilitation facilities have better outcomes than traditional skilled nursing homes.
In the 2014 study titled the Assessment of Patient Outcomes of Rehabilitative Care Provided in Inpatient Rehabilitation Facilities and After Discharge, concluded that patients getting care at inpatient rehabilitation facilities returned home two weeks earlier than those at skilled nursing facilities.
They had an 8 percent lower mortality rate and 5 percent fewer emergency room visits per year than those who went to skilled nursing facilities.
Brockette said that case managers will also work with patients after discharge to ensure they receive the help they need to be as independent as they can be and be successful during their recoveries.
“Our goal is to help patients get home quickly with as much independence as possible so they can get back to their daily lives,” Brockette said.
Mike's Musings: Bus tour shows off Citrus County; Texas Roadhouse coming
Citrus County is getting a Texas Roadhouse, on the northwest corner near the County Road 491 and County Road 486 intersection – by the planned Lecanto Target.Joe Cappuccilli, broker at Gulf to Lakes Real Estate Inc., broke the news Thursday on a tour bus.Texas Roadhouse is a popular steakhouse that specializes in steaks in a Texan and Southwestern cuisine style.Now that I have your attention, let me tell you about that and other developments from Thursday.I took a break from my Chronicle cubicle and spent th...
Citrus County is getting a Texas Roadhouse, on the northwest corner near the County Road 491 and County Road 486 intersection – by the planned Lecanto Target.
Joe Cappuccilli, broker at Gulf to Lakes Real Estate Inc., broke the news Thursday on a tour bus.
Texas Roadhouse is a popular steakhouse that specializes in steaks in a Texan and Southwestern cuisine style.
Now that I have your attention, let me tell you about that and other developments from Thursday.
I took a break from my Chronicle cubicle and spent the entire work day on a bus.
Not the Greyhound. This was a specially-chartered, luxury bus provided by the Citrus County Chamber of Commerce.
And I had a great time learning even more about this fabulous county.
The chamber annually hosts its Business Appreciation Month Familiarization tour (BAM-FAM) and invites local politicians, business and community leaders on an all-day bus ride to economic development hot spots. Also invited was a Chronicle reporter – yours truly – and I enthusiastically accepted.
This was my third time on the tour and I have to say, this one was one of the best.
Here are my four big takeaways:
Citrus County is on the move, as evidenced by the exciting new entrepreneurial enterprises springing up from east to west.
Private enterprise is stepping up to accommodate more working-class folks
There are some new economic engines in place to broaden the county’s tax base and bring national attention to Citrus County.
There are just some really cool places here and more are on the way.
“There’s a lot happening here,” Ardath Prendergast, chamber vice president of operations and the Business Retention and Expansion program, told the 42 guests as we took off around 8:30 a.m. from Copp Brewery & Winery/Prohibition Grill in Crystal River.
Fish, solar panels and boats
Our first stop early Thursday morning was the Duke Energy Crystal River Mariculture Center & Bay Trail Solar Plant.
Built in 1991, the mariculture center at what is now the Duke Energy Crystal River Energy Complex was required at its conception to help offset impacts of energy production on marine life by hatching and raising fish to resupply Gulf waters.
The new solar plant is particularly impressive. We drove through the solar ‘farm’ and saw the 200,000 panels that will help generate power to up to 23,000 homes at peak production. Think of walking through a field of corn, only in this case it’s filled with rows and rows of panels on 500 acres.
It’s hidden off U.S. 19 north of the power plant so you’ve probably driven by it without knowing it’s even there.
From the solar farm it was on to Pete’s Pier Marina and learned about the Anglers Inn, best described as floating, five-star resorts moored at Pete’s Pier.
Anglers Inn is planning to have customers in the houseboats by December. They are being remodeled now and I got the chance to see one of these beauties.
Chronicle, WTC and Woodspring
The next stop was a place kind of familiar to me: the Citrus County Chronicle, to tour the printing presses and learn how the priceless prose I write actually gets on the printed page and delivered to you.
I’m still blown away when I look at the reams and reams of newsprint stored away. Tom Feeney, the director of production for the Chronicle, told the crowd the newspaper uses 2,000 miles of newsprint each month for all of its Florida newspapers.
As Chronicle Publisher Trina Murphy pointed out, the newspaper reaches 44,054 people through the print product and 66,161 online. The newspaper, she said, is expanding its reach to accommodate all kinds of folks who get their news through different avenues.
Other tour spots:
A look at the welding, industrial machinery and controls area at Withlacoochee Technical College.
Attendees got to see these young people learning tools of the trades they will eventually make their living from.
The under-construction Woodspring Suites, a 72-room hotel, just blocks from Citrus Memorial Hospital and the Inverness Government Center being developed by local physician and entrepreneur Paresh Desai. This will be Citrus County’s only extended-stay hotel.
Mahi-mahi and airplanes
We took a break for lunch at Oscar Penn’s in Inverness. Owner Jason Counsil and staff served us delicious mahi-mahi and she-crab soup – quite a change from my normal fare of bologna sandwiches.
Counsil set up a special outdoor tented area for the bunch of us and also announced an expansion in the future. More on that at a later date.
From Oscar Penn’s, it was off to Right Rudder Aviation at the Inverness Airport.
This stop really fired me up. Right Rudder’s chief operating officer Andrew Chan recently discussed how Citrus County will soon be on the national map when it becomes the home of 29 new state-of-the-art aircraft as part of a joint partnership between Right Rudder Aviation and Arizona-based Mesa Airlines.
Pilots from all over will be coming here to train and get certified. While here, they will be renting homes and spending money.
Habitat building affordable homes
I’ve written about Habitat at Citrus Springs, but got my first look at the affordable housing development during a tour stop.
Habitat for Humanity of Citrus County president and CEO George Rusaw showed us the dozen or so homes going up in the first phase, consisting of 180 residential lots on 65 acres. Rusaw said Habitat plans to build 20 to 30 homes per year. Market value of the homes will be $150,000 to $180,000.
Homeowners purchase their homes after completing a qualification process and 350 hours of sweat equity. The purchase price is financed with Habitat for Humanity of Citrus County. They are not government-subsidized.
“We anticipate these homes will primarily be occupied by the workforce of Citrus County,” Rusaw said
He said 40 families are already qualified to move in.
Craft beer and more
I could say more about other stops, including the progress at Holder Industrial Park, and the site of the under-construction ClearSky Rehabilitation Hospital of Lecanto scheduled to open next year.
But I have to save something for future stories.
We ended the bus tour where we started, at the new Copp Brewery & Winery/Prohibition Grill, which opened in May.
The Copp name is well-known in Citrus County, having opened the original location in 2007 by the Crystal River Post Office. Copp remodeled a building along State Road 44 and now has a full-service restaurant, The Prohibition Grill.
In one word: impressive.
Owner Fran Copp delighted us with a quick lesson on how craft beer is made in giant vats.
End of the road
It was a fun day and I believe all of us on the tour learned at least one valuable thing: Citrus is a county on the move and business, government and community leaders are doing their best to make it a smooth move.
Chamber president/CEO Josh Wooten pointed out during the tour some of the projects planned, proposed or under construction. Once they reach fruition, they will spur the economy and contribute to county growth.
“We’re planting seeds that are eventually going to produce dividends,” he said.
Michael D. Bates is a staff writer with the Citrus County Chronicle and can be reached at email@example.com.
Michael D. Bates is a staff writer with the Citrus County Chronicle and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.