February 16 , 2007 edition of:

Community Update
A Report on the Activities of Alachua County Government

 

This Issues Features:

Sign up for ACCESS
Alachua County Proclamation Celebrating UF’s Championship Seasons
County Meeting Reminder
eCivis and Grants Locator Meeting
Real-time Utility Monitoring
SHIP Special Needs Program
Bid Opportunities Workshop
County Waterways Master Plan
What’s on Alachua County Talks?
Urban Village Subcommittee
Commission Meeting Highlights
Get Involved

 

Sign up for ACCESS

We have all heard the expression, “Think globally; act locally.” But what is the most effective way to act locally?

Thomas Jefferson believed an informed citizenry was democracy’s greatest safeguard and we agree. Where do you go if you want to make a difference in your community, participate as an informed citizen, serve on an advisory board, run for office, learn how to get things done, or learn who does what and how it all works? Where do you start, if you are you interested in becoming more informed, or engaged and involved in the future of Alachua County? If you are new to our beautiful County, how do you learn more about your new home?

ACCESS is the key.

Join us for the Alachua County Civic Education SerieS (a.k.a. ACCESS ), for your ticket to a behind-the-scenes look at Alachua County Government.

You will learn about local government programs and issues, many resulting from global, national or state trends. You will meet the men and women who serve the County and learn about the services they provide, visit key County departments such as the Jail, Public Works and the Courthouse and get a behind-the-scenes look at County operations. You will gain a comprehensive understanding of County government. Each graduating class will produce a group of citizens that are equipped to become engaged in ways that help local government become more vibrant and representative of the needs of its citizenry.

ACCESS begins Monday, March 19, 2007 from 8:30 a.m. to noon, and runs seven sessions. ACCESS is a big commitment, but it will give you the knowledge and understanding to act locally, and be more effective in those actions, for a lifetime. ACCESS will be valuable whether you are already active or are new to government involvement. If you are an employer, please consider the value of you or someone from your business attending and becoming knowledgeable on these matters. Members of the media and other government officials are encouraged to attend. If you have recently attended, help us spread the word and encourage a friend or neighbor.

ACCESS is free but space is limited, so I urge you to sign up today. To reserve your seat, or for more information please call Timica Reaves at (352) 374-5219.

- Randall H. Reid
Alachua County Manager

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Alachua County Proclamation Celebrating UF’s Championship Seasons

U.S. Senator Bill Nelson of Florida, UF Mascots Albert and Alberta, and UF Athletic Director Jeremy Foley were present during a special joint commission meeting between the County and the City of Gainesville on January 29. Senator Nelson showed a video where U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio attempted to do 55 military pushups as the result of losing a wager with Senator Nelson on the National Championship Football Game. The County Proclamation was given by Commision Chair Paula DeLaney. Here is the text of the proclamation:

 

Whereas, the University of Florida traces its roots to the East Florida Seminary, established in Ocala in 1853, and has a history of intercollegiate athletic competition dating at least as far back as 1897, when the first baseball team was established at the University’s predecessor, the Florida Agricultural College; and

Whereas, since the University of Florida was established in 1906 in Gainesville, the Florida Fighting Gators have won 1689 SEC titles, 17 SEC all sports trophies, finished among the nation’s top 10 athletic programs in each of the last 23 years and won 25 national championships; and

Whereas, on September 2, 2006, under the leadership of Head Coach Urban Meyer, the Gator football team (whose assistant coaches and team members are named on the attached roster) proceeded to win 11 of their 12 regular season games, including all home games, and the Southeastern Conference Championship; and

Whereas, Florida head coach Urban Meyer is now just the seventh coach in NCAA history to guide a team to a National Championship in his first or second year at a school, bettering his all-time bowl record to 4-0 as a head coach at the same time; and

Whereas, Florida’s 2006 schedule was ranked as the toughest in the nation by the NCAA this season; and UF finished the 2006 season with a 13-1 record to establish a single-season record for wins; and with this Championship, Florida became the first school in NCAA Division I history to capture national titles in both football and men’s basketball during the same calendar year; and

Whereas, the team’s success exemplifies the University of Florida’s excellent academic standing and future promise, as indicated by the fact that the University of Florida is the state’s only member of the prestigious American Association of Universities, and the only university to rank among the nation’s top 20 public universities; and

Whereas, the entire team embraced the rigorous training and rose to the challenge of their coaches to perform their ultimate best, enabling them to succeed in bringing great pride and admiration to the team and all who love the Gators; and

Whereas, the Gators went to Glendale and served a huge dose of humility to the Ohio State Buckeyes, and taught them the true meaning of the Gator Chomp and Gator Bait, and turned the desert into a Swamp; and

Whereas, this Florida football team is a truly special group of athletes and coaches that embodies all that is good and positive in college athletics, and they represent the skills and spirit of the students, faculty and alumni who are all part of this great Gator Nation.

Now, therefore, through the authority vested in me by the Board of County Commissioners of Alachua County, Florida, I do hereby proclaim “University of Florida Football Team’s Championship Season” in Alachua County, Florida.

Duly proclaimed this 29th day of January, A.D., 2007.

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County Meeting Reminder

Public Meeting of the Urban Village Subcommittee of the Metropolitan Transportation Planning Organization (MTPO)

 

Bid Opportunities Workshop 2007-2008

 

Overview of eCivis and the Grants Locator Program

 

Community Meeting about the Eastside Activity Center Master Plan

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eCivis and Grants Locator Meeting

Alachua County and the City of Gainesville will be conducting a meeting on Friday, March 2, to give an overview of eCivis and the Grants Locator Program, as well as other grant funding and resources available in our community. The meeting will be held in the Grace Knight Conference Room on the second floor of the County Administration Building, 12 SE 1st St., from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., with limited seating available to non-profits, community-based organizations and interested City and County staff. At 3:30 the Alachua County Office of Management and Budget (OMB) will conduct eCivis training for interested attendees.

Participants will include OMB, Parks and Recreation, Community Support Services’ CAPP, Tourist Development, Alachua County Library District and the City of Gainesville Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs office.

To make reservations, please call (352) 384-3000 or email vvargo@alachuacounty.us

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Real-time Utility Monitoring

Alachua County Facilities Energy Management is currently working on real-time monitoring of utilities pertaining to the Criminal Courthouse, Civil Courthouse, and the Jail. This is a feature that will allow access to data over the Internet and other standard communication networks, via computer, of the consumption of power, gas, and water both in real-time and historically. The project is quite far along with the installation of meters, conduit, associated peripherals and a server in the Wilson Building.

Real-time monitoring has many purposes:

Gainesville Regional Utilities has cooperatively installed gas meters and given permission for the County to parallel to their water meters. There are two more water meters to program, and real-time monitoring be up and running.

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SHIP Special Needs Program

Alachua County and the City of Gainesville have been awarded State Housing Initiatives Program (SHIP) funds from the State of Florida Fiscal Year 2005-2006. Collectively, the City and County will contribute $200,000 to support the Special Needs Housing program.

These funds are available through awards made to eligible sponsors. Sponsor organizations must be a quasi-government agency or a non-profit entity with current 501 (c) (3) tax exempt status who submit applications for the construction and rehabilitation of temporary, transitional or long term housing addressing the housing needs of low and very-low income persons in one or more of the following special needs group; persons or groups may include, but are not limited to, persons with developmental disabilities; persons with mental illness or chemical dependency, persons with Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (“AIDS”) and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (“HIV”) disease, runaway and abandoned youth, homeless, elderly and disabled adults.

Applications for the Special Needs Housing Program may be obtained after February 12, 2007 at the Alachua County Department of Growth Management, 111 SW 1st Street, Gainesville, FL 32601.

Completed applications will be accepted between March 12, 2007 and June 15, 2007 Applications must be submitted by hand delivery to the Alachua County Department of Growth Management located at 111 SW 1st Street, Gainesville, FL 32601. Funds will be awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis to eligible sponsors for eligible properties until all funds have been committed.

For more information, contact Ashon Nesbitt, Assistant Housing Programs Manager, Alachua County Department of Growth Management at (352) 337-6284.

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Bid Opportunities Workshop

The Alachua County Equal Opportunity and Purchasing Divisions will present a 2007-2008 Bid Opportunities Workshop on February 28, from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. at the Alachua County Cooperative Extension Office, 2800 NE 39th Ave., Gainesville.

The workshop will highlight how the Alachua County Small and Minority Business Program has changed. Participants will learn how these changes will affect their businesses. Topics of discussion will include:

Applications, brochures and other valuable information will be provided. For more information or for special accommodations, please contact the Equal Opportunity Office at (352) 374-5275 voice, (352) 374-5284 TDD or (352) 338-3205 Fax.

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County Waterways Master Plan

The Parks & Recreation Division of the Public Works Department of Alachua County, in conjunction with a team of consultants from the University of Florida, is working to develop the Countywide Waterways Master Plan to guide the management of the County’s water bodies as population and waterways use increase.

The UF consultants are now gathering information and soliciting public input to assist the County in developing this plan. During February and March, the University of Florida Waterways Master Plan Team will contact residents to assess their recreational water use needs and desires using a scientifically designed survey.

Contacts include urban and rural residents, boaters, and shore-side residents from throughout the County. Those persons contacted are urged to complete the telephone survey so that the final master plan reflects a cross section of County residents.

The surveys aim is to determine if residents use Alachua County waterways, and if so how. The surveys also assess what water activities they engage in, when, and in which water bodies.

The survey is an opportunity for residents to identify problems or issues they have concerning the waterways and to suggest solutions.

The primary goal of the Countywide Waterways Master Plan is to insure that the County’s natural water resources continue to provide enjoyable and productive experiences for residents, recreational users, and commercial users. The plan will also provide a blueprint for safe and sustainable use of the waterways now and in the future.

Since 1999, boat registrations in the county have increased by more than 18 percent to nearly 11,000. The County ranks eighth among Florida’s 32 interior counties in the number of registered boats and first in registered canoes. These rankings do not reflect the large number of boaters from outside the County who use the waterways.

Public input is an essential part of this project. Waterways users and residents have provided valuable information during stakeholder meetings. Another avenue for public input is the consulting team’s website, at www.alachuawaterways.org, where a calendar of events and an online web-based survey is posted. The e-mail address for the consulting group is info@alachuawaterways.org.

For more information, please contact Larry Schnell 336-6920, Bob Swett, Ph.D., (352) 392-6233 or Robert Avery, Alachua County Parks Superintendent (352) 374-5245.

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What’s on Alachua County Talks?

Tune into Alachua County Talks on Community 12 Your Local Government Channel

This week’s guests are Alachua County Facilities Manager Charlie Jackson, who talks about Capital improvement Projects, and Alachua County Housing Manager Tom Webster, who talks about the State Housing Initiatives Partnership (SHIP) program.

To view show times click here: http://www.alachuacounty.us/government/depts/comm/schedule.aspx

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Urban Village Subcommittee

Property owners in the Urban Village Study Area (shown on the map below) are encouraged to attend a Public Meeting of the Urban Village Subcommittee of the Metropolitan Transportation Planning Organization (MTPO) on February 28 at 6:00 p.m. in Room 209 of the Alachua County Administration Building. 12 SE 1st Street, Gainesville.

The Subcommittee will review transportation model results of several land use scenarios for future redevelopment of the Urban Village Study Area. This is a combined effort of Alachua County, The City of Gainesville, University of Florida, and the MTPO.

For more information: http://www.ncfrpc.org/mtpo/index.html or call Mike Escalante, Transportation Planner: (352) 955-2200 ext 114.

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Commission Meeting Highlights

Presentations, Proclamations and Recognitions

The Board proclaimed February 11-17 as United Way 211 Week in Alachua County
http://www.alachuacounty.us/documents/bocc/agendas/2007-02-13/Proclamation%202-1-1%20Week.pdf

The Board proclaimed March 2007 as Women’s History Month in Alachua County.
http://www.alachuacounty.us/documents/bocc/agendas/2007-02-13/WomensHistoryMonth%202007.pdf

 

County Manager

The Board adopted the Resolution Authorizing Issuance of Development revenue Bonds for the Oak Hall Private School Project.

http://www.alachuacounty.us/documents/bocc/agendas/2007-02-13/9EB8F455-24A8-4314-BF9D-EDF5854C0841-58EC9699-2CE7-44BC-B7CB-B5C32054B1B3.HTM

 

Community Services Group

The Board authorized staff to implement the second phase of the CHOICES implementation plan. The Board asked that a complete list of services, including added expanded services, be brought back within 60 days. Commissioner Chestnut asked that the Alachua County Health Care Board look into why the cost of using the Emergency Room vs. Urgent Care center is so expensive.

http://www.alachuacounty.us/documents/bocc/agendas/2007-02-13/9EB8F455-24A8-4314-BF9D-EDF5854C0841-8E6FE680-0C81-45E3-ACF9-9B4C0B48EF9A.HTM

 

County Manager’s Reports

The Board decided against convening a broad based focus group to make recommendations on a comprehensive program to fund transportation improvement. They asked the County Manager to provide a matrix on all available revenue options.

 

Commission Comments

Commissioner Long expressed interest in a civic center as a possibility for a fourth cent Bed Tax project. The Board asked for an update from TDC on the added tax for Zoo and MLK Center. Does the consultant feel these projects will promote tourism?

Commissioner Chestnut wanted further information on the Cost Containment of arrestees and asked the Manager to look at protocol in working with arresting officers in regards to transportation of arrestees to hospitals.

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Get Involved
Alachua County Advisory Boards

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.