November 17 , 2006 edition of:

Community Update
A Report on the Activities of Alachua County Government

 

This Issues Features:

Alachua County's Elections
County's Recycling Program
Small Business Enterprise Program
Affordable Housing in Florida
Garbage and Recycling Collection
Home For the Holidays Adopt-A-Thon
County Offers New Training
Thanksgiving Safety Tips
Commission Meeting Highlights
Get Involved

 

 

Alachua County's Elections

On Tuesday, November 14, the Commission held their annual election of officers for the upcoming year. Commissioner Paula Delaney was unanimously approved as the new Chair. Commissioner Rodney J. Long was unanimously approved as the Vice Chair.

Also on Tuesday, November 14, Commissioner Cynthia Moore Chestnut, Lee Pinkoson and Sadie Darnell were sworn into office.

Cynthia Moore Chestnut, accompanied by her husband and son, was sworn in by the Honorable Judge Stephan P. Mickle.

Sadie Darnell, accompanied by family and friends, was sworn in by the Honorable Judge James Nilon.

Lee Pinkoson, accompanied by his wife, was sworn in by the Honorable Judge James Nilon.

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County's Recycling Program

Recently a citizen inquired about the state of the County’s Recycling program. Below is the response written by Milton Towns, Alachua County’s Waste Collection Manager.

Thank you for writing us with your questions regarding the state of recycling in Alachua County. I believe, by your questions, that you are most interested in our curbside collection program. As I’m sure you know, metal cans, plastic and glass bottles and jars, corrugated cardboard, newspapers, magazines, catalogs, kraft paper bags and phone books are collected as part of the curbside recycling program.

Residents within the County’s curbside collection area recycled 4,701 tons of material in fiscal year 2005-2006 that ended this past September 30th. Of the materials collected, only 1% was discarded by the processor as residuals. All of the other 99% collected was processed and shipped for re-use. I apologize if you were given unclear information in the past that caused you to believe that your recyclables were being collected and land filled. At no time has the bulk of what residents separate and place curbside for recycling been disposed of at a landfill. The highest residual rate we have experienced in the past 10 years was approximately 12% for a short time. This was quickly corrected and decreased to 5%. Alachua County staff, our recycling collector and processor have worked diligently to achieve the 99% recycling rate for materials collected.

Although there are no current plans to expand the County’s program to accept additional commodities, staff continues to evaluate recycling opportunities. There are several local recyclers who will accept materials, such as office paper, that are not collected curbside. Mixed paper can also be dropped off for recycling at any of the five Alachua County Rural Collection Centers (RCCs). Please call the Waste Collection Office at 352/338-3233 if you would like more information about these drop-off locations. In addition to the commingled materials and paper products collected curbside (4,701 tons) and at the collection centers (999 tons), all of the metal appliances collected through the curbside program and metals collected at some RCCs are recycled.

Unique to our yard waste program is that 100% of what is collected curbside (within the 5’ length and 4” diameter size limits) is re-used as a soil amendment at a local farm. In fiscal year 2005-2006 we recycled and re-used 306 tons of metals and 4,294 tons of yard trash from these programs. Additional tons of metals were separated for recycling at the Leveda Brown Environmental Park and Transfer Station. All yard waste taken to the transfer station is chipped into mulch and given to the public free of charge.

The County’s Household Hazardous Waste Center at the Environmental Park accepts hazardous household materials for recycling and proper disposal. I hope this answers your questions about the ‘state of recycling’ in Alachua County. Please do not hesitate to write or call me if you would like additional information.

Sincerely,

Milton Towns, Waste Collection Manager

(352) 338-3233 or MWT@alachuaCounty.us

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Small Business Enterprise Program

The Alachua County Equal Opportunity and Purchasing Divisions will hold a Small Business Enterprise Program Workshop on Wednesday, November 29, 2006 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Alachua County Health Department, 218 SE 24th Street, Gainesville, FL.

Alachua County adopted a new Small Business Enterprise Ordinance which becomes effective January 1, 2007 and brings significant changes to the former Small and Minority Business Enterprise (SMBE) Program. Learn how these changes will affect your business. Jackie Chung, Equal Opportunity Supervisor stated, “We encourage all small businesses interested in doing business with Alachua County government to attend this workshop.”

Workshop highlights include:

• New Small Business Certification zone

• New bid price preferences

• RFP preference points

• Responsiveness

Applications, brochures and other valuable information will be provided. Bring a completed application package and get certified on the spot. The application package is available at: http://www.alachuacounty.us/assets/uploads/images/admin/Small%20Business%20Application%20Form.pdf

Please call 374-5275 to register by November 17, 2006. For more information or for special accommodations contact the Equal Opportunity Office at 352-374-5275, TDD 374-5284 or Fax 338-3205.

 

“This is a great opportunity for all vendors to understand the bidding process and what it takes to do business with Alachua County,” said Larry Sapp, Alachua County’s Purchasing Manager. “In light of Alachua County’s new Small Business Enterprise Ordinance and the significant changes, we are encouraging, all small businesses to attend.”

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Affordable Housing in Florida

Robert Koch, AIA will be giving a presentation titled “Achieving Affordable Housing in Florida’s Growing Economy” on November 28 from 10 a.m. to noon in the Jack Durrance Auditorium on the second floor of the County Administration Building, 12 SE 1st St., Gainesville. The presentation is sponsored by Alachua County, The Shimberg Center for Affordable Housing at the University of Florida, and the San Felasco Section of the American Planning Association’s Florida Chapter. The event is free and open to the public.

The presentation will explore:

• The growing crisis of land and housing costs; its causes and economic consequences on community;

• The challenges that limit or control effective alternatives aimed at maintaining cost effective housing for both rental and ownership occupancies;

• The potential administrative tools in the planning community arsenal for addressing cost efficiencies and public support;

• The design tools for creating effective higher density and lower cost built solutions;

• The challenge ahead and what each individual can do to promote it.

Robert Koch, AIA is a founding partner and Chairman of Fugleberg Koch Architects in Winter Park, Florida. His professional acknowledgments include numerous design awards from AIA (American Institute of Architects), and trade associations such as NAIOP (National Association of Industrial and Office Parks), NHBA (National Home Builders Association), and ARDA (American Resorts Development Association).

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Garbage and Recycling Collection

Curbside residential collection service of solid waste and recycling in the Alachua County curbside collection area will not occur on Thanksgiving Day. These services will be delayed one day for the remainder of the week. Thursday’s services will occur on Friday, November 24th and Friday’s services will occur on Saturday, November 25th. The regular collection schedule will resume on Monday, November 27th.

The five Alachua County Rural Collection Centers and the Leveda Brown Environmental Park and Transfer Station will be closed on Thanksgiving Day. These facilities will reopen on Friday, November 24th.

If you have any questions, please call Milton Towns of the Alachua County Office of Waste Collection at 352-338-3233.

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Home For the Holidays Adopt-A-Thon

The goal of Maddie’s Pet Rescue of Alachua County is to find permanent, loving homes for our community’s abandoned animals and ultimately end euthanasia of healthy and treatable animals Alachua County. As a step towards this goal, the non-profit partner organizations are holding their annual Home for the Holidays Adopt-A-Thon event on Dec. 2 and 3, offering a great opportunity for Alachua County residents to find a perfect pet for their family.

On the South Lawn of the Oaks Mall, just behind Macy’s, the six adoption agency partners of Maddie’s Pet Rescue of Alachua County will have their adoptable cats and dogs ready to find a forever home. Whether you are looking for an athletic, lazy, or super fun pet, there will be a great match for you! Large, small, furry, shaggy, short haired, ranch-loving or apartment-happy —there will be pets at the Adopt-a-thon ideal for any lifestyle and family.

Maddie’s Pet Rescue Project of Alachua County is a community collaboration between Alachua County Animal Services, Alachua County Humane Society, Gainesville Pet Rescue, Inc., Haile’s Angels Pet Rescue, Helping Hands Pet Rescue and Puppy Hill Farm Pet Rescue. The program’s goal is to end the euthanasia of healthy and treatable animals in Alachua County by 2011. In the first four years of the project, the Maddie’s partners were able to significantly increase adoptions and drastically decrease the number of pets euthanized; adoptions have gone up from 692 pets to 2,708, the euthanasia of healthy pets has gone down from 3,664 pets to 61, and total euthanasia has decreased from 8,063 pets to 4,071. To continue this success, and to save as many animals as possible, we need the help of every person in our community.

To continue to save lives, the Maddie’s Pet Rescue partners greatly need your help. By making a donation of any amount, you become an integral part of our mission to save animals in Alachua County. Both monetary and material donations will be accepted at the Adopt-a-thon as well as at the Alachua County Humane Society.

For more information about the Home for the Holidays Adopt-a-thon, Maddie’s Pet Rescue of Alachua County, or the participating pet rescue agencies, contact Chase Wiley at the Alachua County Humane Society, (352) 373-5855, ext. 15.

Home for the Holidays
Adopt-A-Thon

10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 2

noon to 5 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 3.

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County Offers New Training

The Alachua County Division of Emergency Management has scheduled a new Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training class. The CERT training class will meet for seven weeks on Thursday nights, beginning on January 11 and concluding on February22. All classes will meet from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at the Alachua County Emergency Operations Center, 1100 SE 27th Street, Gainesville.
A CERT is a group of citizens that is organized and receives special training (CERT training classes) that enhances their ability to recognize, respond to and recover from a major emergency or disaster situation. When a major emergency overwhelms normally available resources, such as emergency responders, response delays of hours or even days may occur. CERTs are created so that citizens with “basic skills training” should be able to immediately assist those in distress.

Training includes the following topics:
Disaster Preparedness
Fire Safety
Disaster Medical Operations
Light Search and Rescue
Disaster Psychology and Team Organization
Terrorism and CERT

Upon successful completion, each team member will receive a FEMA/EMI Training Certificate. Only team members 18 years of age and older will be eligible for the certificate, but children aged 14 and up may participate in the classes if accompanied by a parent or guardian
The registration deadline for the CERT class is October 20. Class size will be limited to 25, so interested parties are encouraged to register early.
Persons interested in participating can visit the CERT page on the Division of Emergency Management website at http://www.alachuacounty.us/government/depts/fr/em/getready/cert/ to obtain an application and read about the CERT program.
For more information, or to enroll in a CERT class, citizens can contact Eric W. Bertsch, Emergency Management Operations Coordinator, at (352) 264-6530 or email him at ebertsch@alachuacounty.us.

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Thanksgiving Safety Tips

Thanksgiving is just a week away and many families are already looking forward to the highlight of the holiday … a wonderful dinner with loved ones and friends. However, extensive cooking can result in kitchen fires and other dangerous mishaps like burns and scalds. Moreover, many people just can’t celebrate Thanksgiving without a delicious turkey gracing the table; but, serving a turkey requires extra attention to safety. The following tips are meant to lessen the chance of common holiday accidents or injuries occurring in your home.

• Thaw your turkey in the refrigerator over several days or in cold water only and do not store a thawed turkey for more than 1-2 days.
• Wash your hands and all utensils, cutting boards and countertops immediately after handling raw poultry.
• Start your holiday cooking with a clean stove and oven.
• Lessen the possibility of unnecessary injuries and accidents by keeping the kitchen off limits to children and adults who are not helping with food preparation.
• Turn pot handles toward the rear of the stove.
• Don’t wear dangling jewelry or clothing with loose sleeves when cooking. Sleeves can catch on fire and jewelry can snag on pot handles causing spills in addition to severe scalds and burns.
• Never leave your cooking unattended, even for a moment - nearly 50% of house fires across the nation start in the kitchen.
• Have a working fire extinguisher nearby and know how to use it.
• Always call 9-1-1 in the event of a fire or medical emergency.

These are only a few of the many safety tips everyone should keep in mind over the Thanksgiving holiday. For more information on these and other Thanksgiving safety tips, please call Alachua County Fire Rescue Public Information Officer Megan Crandall at (352) 494-8600.

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Commission Meeting Highlights
11-14-06

Recognitions, Proclamations and Presentations

 

Advisory Board Appointments

Victim Services & Rape Crisis Center Program Advisory Board

• Norma J. Charles was appointed to a term ending in May of 2008.
• Cammie Cromie was appointed to a term ending in May of 2008.
• Michelle R. Cripe was appointed to a term ending in May of 2008.
• LeAnn Egeto was appointed to a term ending in May of 2007.
• Jay Frederick Herron was appointed to a term ending in May of 2007.
• Cathie E. Jessupwas appointed to a term ending in May of 2008.
• Randolph F. Jones was appointed to a term ending in May of 2007.
• Brent Messer was appointed to a term ending in May of 2007.
• Susan Nelson was appointed to a term ending in May of 2007.

 

County Attorney

 

County Manager’s Reports

 

 

Community Planning Group

 

Legistlative Items

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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:

• Bicycle/Pedestrian Advisory Board: One citizen-at-large

• Citizens Disability Advisory Committee: Three citizens-at-large

• Community Agency Partnership Program: One citizen-at-large

• Community Development Block Grant Advisory Committee: Three citizens-at-large, one alternate

• Cultural and Environmental Funding Advisory Board: One Heritage organization member, one Alachua County resident alternate

• Economic Development Advisory Board: One representative of UF

• Environmental Protection Advisory Board: One alternate and four citizens-at-large

• Fair Housing Human Rights Board: One lending institution representative, one alternate

• Gainesville/Alachua County Cultural Affairs Board: Two citizens-at-large

• Historical Commission: One alternate

• Health Care Board: One Alachua County Dental Association representative

• Health Facilities Authority: Two citizens-at-large, one alternate

• Poverty Reduction Advisory Board: One representative of Alachua/Bradford Workforce Board, one citizen-at-large with a disability, one citizen 55 or older, two low income citizens

• Regional Transit System Advisory Board: One senior citizen

• Recreation and Open Space Advisory Committee: Four citizens-at-large, one alternate

• Rural Concerns Advisory Committee: One member from an unincorporated town

• Veterans Service Advisory Board: One Citizen who is a Veteran

• Victims Services and Rape Crisis Center Advisory Council: Two citizens-at-large, one alternate

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: http://boards.alachua.fl.us/app/application.aspx

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Thank you for your continued interest in County Government!

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