May 26, 2006 edition of:

Community Update
A Report on the Activities of Alachua County Government


This Issues Features:

Area Reaps Financial Benefits of Convention

FCCMA to Present “President’s Award” to County Commission Chair Lee Pinkoson

2006 Sales Tax Holiday for Hurricane Preparedness

Countywide Burn Ban Continues

CR 236 and SW 24th Avenue Road Projects

Summer Day Camps Offered by 4-H Club

‘Spring for Supplies’ Successful

Sexual Assault Campaign Reaches Out to Teens

Alachua County Urges You to Fight the Bite

Commission Meeting Highlights

Get Involved - Alachua County Advisory Boards





Area Reaps Financial Benefits of Convention

Once again the Alachua County Visitors and Convention Bureau, the University of Florida, and the Stephen C. O’Connell Center will be hosting two gatherings of the Christian Congregative of Jehovah’s Witnesses this Memorial Day weekend and on the 4th of July. Based on attendance figures from their two gatherings last year, some 7,500 people will attend over the three day period of Memorial Day weekend.

The direct dollar impact to the Gainesville/Alachua County area from each of their two conventions was significant with over 1,700 hotel rooms being booked for each of the 3 nights of each convention and in excess of $2.2 million in spending during each convention at grocery stores, gas stations, retail stores and restaurants. Additionally, the citizens of Alachua County enjoyed over $120,000 in sales and gas tax revenue.

Hosting the Jehovah’s Witnesses over the next three years will have a significant economic impact for our community. Patience and understanding from faculty, staff and students, as well as the general public, particularly during the morning rush hour on Friday, May 26, is encouraged while we welcome them back, for the ultimate benefit to all. Their future dates will not conflict with the beginning of fall classes.

The Alachua County Visitors and Convention Bureau wants to extend a special thank you to the Board of County Commissioners, Alachua County Legal Department and the Tourist Development Council for the development of a county-wide convention grant that assisted us in our negotiations with the O’Connell Center. We also would like to thank the City of Gainesville for their contribution in bringing these prestigious conventions to the university and to our community.

For more information, citizens can contact the Alachua County Visitors and Convention Bureau at (352) 374-5231.

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FCCMA to Present “President’s Award” to County Commission Chair Lee Pinkoson

The Florida City and County Management Association (FCCMA) will present two “President’s Awards” on Friday, May 26, 2006 at their annual conference, which is being held May 24-27, in Panama City Beach, Florida. One of the awards will be presented to Alachua County Commission Chairman Lee Pinkoson.

The “President’s Award,” so named because it is given at the discretion of the FCCMA president, is not given every year; it is used to recognize an elected city or county official who has shown strong, consistent and public support of the Council-Manager and Commission-Manager form of government in Florida. Over the past decade, the “President’s Award” has been given to mayors, council members, commissioners, and commission chairpersons in recognition of their respective support. It is the highest award given by the FCCMA.

According to the FCCMA, Chairman Pinkoson was selected for the award because of his stalwart support of professional local public management during his tenure on the Alachua County Board of County Commissioners. In Alachua County, the county and several of the cities have this form of government. Chairman Pinkoson is serving his first term, which began in November of 2002 and ends in November of 2006.

The other recipient of the award will be Mayor Canfield of Palm Coast, FL.
In speaking of the awards, FCCMA President William R. Whitson, assistant city manager of Port Orange, FL, remarked, “It is a distinct honor to present two awards during my year as president—and a great pleasure. As the association for professional public management in Florida, we are especially proud to recognize our bosses for their support; not only of our profession, but also their support of the work done by professional management staff across the state. It is important that we recognize our elected officials for this commitment to our profession, and in this way, encourage other elected officials to gain a better understanding of the valued partnership that managers and elected officials have throughout Florida. We can be very proud of Mayor Canfield and Chairman Pinkoson for their belief in what we do.”

The FCCMA is one of the largest state associations for city and county managers, deputies, assistants and other professional management staff. Founded in 1946, the Association will celebrate its 60th anniversary at the annual conference. The Association provides professional development, helps members promote the ICMA Code of Ethics, holds conferences and forums for members, and provides information about the form of government and the profession. The FCCMA works closely with the International City/County Management Association (ICMA), and in ICMA’s voluntary credentialing program for its members, Florida leads the world in the number of credentialed managers, with 117. The FCCMA has over 520 current members, representing over 200 municipalities and 36 counties.

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2006 Sales Tax Holiday for Hurricane Preparedness

For the period beginning 12:01 a.m., May 21, 2006, and ending at midnight, June 1, 2006, the 2006 Florida Legislature enacted and the Governor approved a tax-free period directing that: No sales tax shall be collected on specific items related to hurricane preparedness. The specific items must be in the price ranges specified on the list below.

The following is a list of the specified items that will be tax free. If the sales price of a qualifying item exceeds the allowable threshold amount, the tax exemption will not apply and the total purchase price is subject to tax.

Qualifying items selling for $10 or less:

Qualifying items selling for $20 or less:

Qualifying items selling for $25 or less:

Qualifying items selling for $30 or less:

Qualifying items selling for $50 or less:

Qualifying items selling for $60 or less:

Qualifying items selling for $75 or less:

Qualifying items selling for $200 or less:

Qualifying items selling for $1,000 or less:

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Countywide Burn Ban Continues

Alachua County’s mandatory countywide outdoor burn ban remains in effect. Current forecasts are not predicting any significant rainfall in the coming week and present County drought conditions remain favorable for wildfire. The extended ban, which originally went into effect by County proclamation at 5 p.m. May 8, will continue until formally terminated by a majority of the Alachua County Board of County Commissioners.
The mandatory outdoor burn ban affects all of Alachua County, including rural and municipal areas. The Florida Division of Forestry will also be withholding burn permits on a case-by-case basis, as issued under their jurisdiction within the County.
Any burning within the county will be in violation of Alachua County ordinance 86-1, section 10.08 and 10.09 and section 252.50 of Florida Statutes. It will be considered a second-degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to a 60-day imprisonment and up to a $500.00 fine. All County and municipal law enforcement agencies are authorized to enforce the ordinance.
For more information, please contact ACFR Public Information Officer Megan Crandall at (352) 494-8600.

The countywide mandatory burn ban prohibits:

*** Please note ***
The ban does not affect agricultural burning permitted by the Florida Division of Forestry

Weekend BBQ Safety:

Alachua County remains under a mandatory countywide burn ban. Although this does not prohibit grilling outdoors, our unusually dry conditions require that everyone remain vigilant.

Here are some tips to reduce your risk of fire or explosion with gas grills:
~ Check grill hoses for cracking, brittleness, holes and leaks.
~ Move gas hoses as far away as possible from hot surfaces and hot, dripping grease.
~ Always keep propane gas containers upright.
~ Never store spare gas containers under or near the grill or indoors.
~ Never store or use flammable liquids.

Here are some tips to reduce the risk of CO poisoning from charcoal grills:
~ Never burn charcoal inside your home, vehicle, tent or camper even if you think you have adequate ventilation.
~ Because of the CO produced when charcoal burns, never store your grill indoors with freshly used coals.
~ Use water to ensure that briquettes are completely extinguished and never bury hot coals or place them into a trash can.

For more information on barbecue safety as well as other summer safety tips, please contact Megan Crandall at (352)494-8600.

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CR 236 and SW 24th Avenue Road Projects

The Board of County Commissioners approved a total of $42.3 million for pavement management projects over the next four years. Two of the projects that are currently under construction are NW CR 236 and SW 24th Avenue.

The 24th Avenue Project involves milling and resurfacing 24th Avenue from SW Tower Road to SW 43rd Street. The County has contracted with Hipp Construction at a cost of $1.6 million. Construction resumed on SW 24th Avenue from SW Tower Road to SW 62nd Boulevarde on Monday, May 15, 2006. Drivers should expect intermittent lane closures between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Construction will be completed within 45 days.

The NW CR 236 Project involves full depth reclamation of CR 236 from the I-75 on ramp to NW CR 241. Full depth reclamation is a process that involves pulverizing the existing roadway to a depth of 8” and then recompacting that material to be used as a base. The reclaimed base is then overlaid with several courses of asphalt. This process is more cost effective versus the standard process of roadway reconstruction and provides the same durability; however, this type of roadway construction will require that NW CR 236 be closed to through traffic for a period of time. The County has contracted with Hipp Construction and the estimated cost of the project is $2.8 million. Construction is underway and is expected to be completed by September 2006.

Because of the current construction, NW CR 236 from I-75 to NW CR 241 will be closed for approximately four weeks to through traffic, and should re-open in mid-June. A detour route via US 441 is displayed to the left above and can also be found at

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Summer Day Camps Offered by 4-H Club

Alachua County 4-H is offering educational, hands-on based day camps this summer in a variety of project areas:

Summer Jams and Tees
June 6, 7, 8, 1:00 p.m.-4:30 p.m.
Ages: 8+ as of  9/1/05
Cost: $8.00
Register by May 30
Sew up a pair of jams (shorts) and decorate a tee shirt to match.  Bring fabric for jams and a coordinating solid color tee shirt. Bring a sewing machine, if you have one.

Interesting Insects
June 6, 7, 8, 8:30 a.m.-noon
Ages: 8+ as of 9/1/05
Cost: $20.00
Register by May 30
Attracting, identifying, proper collecting and mounting of insects will be taught.  Butterfly id and data collection methods will be practiced. Youth will receive the draft Project Butterfly WINGS project book to use and critique and will learn how to use the WINGS website to record their data.

Junior Master Gardeners
June 19-23, 8:30 a.m.-noon
Ages: 5-7 as of 9/1/05
Cost:  $20.00
Register by June 12
Using literature as a springboard, children will learn about plant parts, propagation, insects, what plants need to grow, and much more.

Discovering 4-H
June 19-23, 1:00 p.m.-4:30 p.m.
Ages: 5-7 as of 9/1/05
Cost:  $20.00
Register by June 12
(Children attending the morning and afternoon day camps will have lunch coverage between noon and 1:00 p.m. with supervised outside play time.)
Various hands on activities, indoor and outdoor, will introduce children to the many projects available in 4-H.

Junior Master Gardeners
June 26-30, 1:00 p.m.-4:30 p.m.
Ages: 8-10 as of 9/1/05
Cost:  $20.00
Register by June 19
JMG participants will expand their knowledge of plants and ecology through hands-on learning activities.

City Slickers Adventures
June 20, 21, 22, 9:00 a.m.-noon
Ages: 10+ as of 9/1/05
Cost:  $5.00
Register by June 13
Horses, cows, and more.  Experience Alachua County's rural side up close and personal with guides Gary Brinen and Cindy Sanders.

Crafty Girls Sleepover
July 7, 6:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m. on Sat.
Ages: 8+, female adults welcome also
Cost: $ TBA (under $30) (pay at sleepover)
Register by July 1
Girls get together for games, crafts, food and fun. Dinner, snack, and breakfast will be prepared by the girls.  Bring a sleeping bag, pillow, change of clothes, and personal items.

Where does your water come from?
July 11, 12, 13 9:00 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
Ages 11-13 as of 9/1/05
Cost: $10.00
Register by July 3
Florida has plenty of clean water, right? Find out for yourself--and take action to tell others what you find out. Visit sink holes, evaluate creek water, mark storm drains, and more.

Fashion Revue Summer Workshop I
July 31, 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. and August 1, 9:00 a.m.-noon
Ages: 8+
Cost: $3.00
Register by July 24
Come and learn about the 4-H Fashion Revue Contests! The 2 Fashion Revue contests are: “Clothing Selection” for the non-sewer and “Clothing Construction” for the sewer.
Topics include:

Fashion Revue Summer Workshop II
August 1, noon-till finished, August 2, 3, 4, 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.
Cost: $7.00
For the sewing participant, the workshop continues on with a Tuesday afternoon trip to JoAnn's for each participant to buy their pattern, material and notions. Once each one is done, they are free to go home for the day.

Wednesday through Friday, the participants will have the opportunity to start sewing their new clothing choice. They will learn the basics from reading patterns and cutting out their patterns to hemming and sewing on buttons and zippers, as time allows. All levels of sewers are encouraged to come, as advanced adult sewers will be there to instruct.

Parents are encouraged to attend, as they can continue the learning process for their sewer at home.  If you have a sewing machine, please bring it.

4-H Sportfishing 101
August 9, 10, 8:30 a.m.-noon and 11th 8:00 a.m. -4:00 p.m.
Ages: 10+ as of 9/1/05
Register by:  August 1



To register for any of the day camps, send in the registration form. To request a registration form, contact Lorraine S. Williams, Alachua County 4-H Program Coordinator, at (352) 955-2402 or

For persons requiring special accommodations to 4-H activities, please contact Bill Heltemes at (352) 955-2402 or TDD/TYY (352) 955-2406.  Please call at least five working days prior to the program so that proper consideration may be given to the request.  Upon request, for persons with print-related disabilities, this information is available in alternate formats.

4-H is for youth ages 5-18.  Membership is open to all youth regardless of race, creed, color, sex, national origin, handicap or geographic location within Alachua County.

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Alachua County Urges You to Fight the Bite!

When dealing with West Nile virus, prevention is your best bet. Fighting mosquito bites reduces your risk of getting the diseases carried by mosquitoes. Take the commonsense steps below to reduce your risk:
• Avoid bites and illness;
• Clean out the mosquitoes from the places you work and play;
• Help your community control the disease.


Use an insect repellent contain ing DEET, picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus.

When possible, wear long sleeves, long pants and socks when outdoors.

Take extra care to use repellant and wear protective clothing during the evening and early morning.


Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water, so rid your home and surrounding area of items that hold water.

Keep mosquitoes outside by having well-fitted screens on both windows and doors.


Report dead birds to local authorities, as they may be a sign of West Nile.

Mosquitoes don’t care about fences, so it’s important to control breeding sites all over the neighborhood.


Symptoms may include fever, fatigue, dizziness, headache and confusion.

Physicians should contact the health department if they suspect a mosquito borne illness.

The Alachua County Public Health Department continues to conduct countywide surveillance for mosquito-borne illnesses.


For more information on mosquito-borne illnesses, visit, call the Alachua County Public Health Department at (352) 334-7931, or call the West Nile virus Hot line at 1-888-880-5782.



‘Spring for Supplies’ Successful

Tools for Schools is celebrating the success of its ‘Spring for Supplies’ school supply drive! Tools for Schools teamed up with The University of Florida Department of Housing and Residence Education and several off campus apartment complexes to collect school supplies that students would otherwise toss out after finals. Large collection bins were decorated in bright spring colors and displayed in the lobbies of Beaty Towers, Broward, Jennings, Murphee and Yulee residence halls as well as in the rental offices of The Estates, Campus Club and University Glades. Flyers were passed out on campus as well as sorority houses, local coffee shops and study hangouts.

The drive ran from April 17 through May 8, 2006 and received an enormous response from the student population. The bins were not only full; they were overflowing with wonderful new and used school supplies and materials. Not only have we helped reduce the waste stream that skyrockets during move out time, we have helped put the thousands of still usable items into the hands of children who truly need and appreciate them!

Special thanks to everyone who helped make this effort possible.

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Sexual Assault Campaign Reaches Out to Teens

The Alachua County Victim Services & Rape Crisis Center sponsored a sexual violence awareness campaign targeting high school students called “Decide to End Sexual Violence Summer Safety Contest” during the month of May.

Teens were targeted because they are at an increased risk for dating and sexual violence. A recent study commissioned by the clothing company Liz Claiborne Inc. revealed some startling results. They found that nearly 1 in 4 teenage girls who have been in a serious relationship reported going further sexually than they wanted as a result of pressure. Also, 1 in 2 teens who have been in a serious relationship say they’ve gone against their beliefs in order to please their partner.

The campaign’s goal was to challenge stereotypes and myths, make teens aware of their risk for sexual violence and what they can do to reduce their risk. Students were also provided contact information for agencies that can help in case they have been or are ever affected by dating or sexual violence.

As part of the campaign, kids competed to win prizes, such as gift certificates by taking a quiz on these topics. Lots of great businesses sponsored the prizes such as, Satchels’ Pizza, Domino’s Pizza, Gamer’s Asylum, CiCi’s Pizza, Orion Fitness, Regal Cinemas, Maude’s Classic Cafe, Falafel King, Alley Katz, TGI Friday’s and more.

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Commission Meeting Highlights

Proclamations, Presentations and Recognitions

• The Board proclaimed May 29, 2006 as “Memorial Day 2006” in Alachua County, Florida.
• The Board proclaimed May as “Foster Care Month” in Alachua County, Florida.
• The Board proclaimed June 9, 2006 as the “Sons of the American Revolution Day” in Alachua County, Florida.
• The Board proclaimed June 5-9, 2006 as “Code Enforcement Officers’ Appreciation Week” in Alachua County, Florida.

Advisory Boards

CHOICES Advisory Board:
• Stacey Smith was appointed as a CHOICES Program participant to a term ending in December 2007.
• John Moore was appointed as a small business owner to a term ending in December 2008.
• Mary Hughes was appointed as a citizen-at-large to a term ending in April 2009.
• Evelyn Foxx was appointed as a citizen-at-large to a term ending in April 2009.
• Vivian Filer was appointed as a citizen-at-large to a term ending in April 2009.
• Carrie Parker-Warren was appointed as a citizen-at-large to a term ending in April 2009.

County Attorney

County Manager

Community Planning Group

Commission Comments

Commissioner Byerly

Commissioner Chestnut

Commissioner Long

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Get Involved - Alachua County Advisory Boards

The Alachua County Commission is committed to citizen involvement on its 33 advisory boards
and is soliciting applications for the following vacancies:

Applications are available in the County Manager's Office on the second floor of the County Administration Building, 12 SE First St., Gainesville, or on the Web at:


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Thank you for your continued interest in County Government!

Community Update is produced by the County Manager's Communications Office.