September 28 , 2007 edition of:

Community Update
A Report on the Activities of Alachua County Government

 

This Issues Features:

Surfaces for dirt roads meeting
Jail Addition Groundbreaking held
ACHD’s Tom Belcuore on rabies panel
Kids visit the Barr Hammock woods
Waterways Master Plan meetings
Lane closures on SW 43rd Street
County Event and Meeting Reminder
Commission Meeting Highlights
Let’s All Get Involved - Alachua County Advisory Boards

 

Surfaces for dirt roads meeting

The Alachua County Board of County Commissioners will hold a special meeting to hear County staff’s presentation on the proposed prioritization methodology for the County’s unimproved road alternative surface treatment program. The meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, October 2, at 5:00 p.m. in the Jack Durrance Auditorium, County Administration Building, 12 SE 1st St., Gainesville. All citizens are invited to attend.

The Board had previously directed County staff to “provide a formal opinion regarding relative maintenance costs for paved versus graded roads with the way the County paves and grades roads and controlling for as much as possible for differences in road conditions.”

In addition to presenting staff recommendation on the ranking methodology for alternative road treatments and staff recommendations based on that methodology, the meeting will also include a presentation by Alachua County Environmental Protection Department staff about environmental issues regarding unpaved roads.

Click here to view the County Public Works staff PowerPoint presentation that will be viewed during the meeting:

http://www.alachuacounty.us/assets/uploads/images/Communications/pr_images/unimproved_roads_10-2-07.ppt

If you have any specific questions regarding the meeting, please contact David Cerlanek, Assistant Public Works Director/County Engineer for the Alachua County Public Works Department at (352) 374-5245.

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Jail Addition Groundbreaking held

The official groundbreaking for the new barracks addition to the Alachua County Jail will took place on Tuesday September 25, 2007 at the Alachua County Jail.

In 2006, the Alachua County Commission approved the funding and the design and construction of the expansion to the Jail. In March 2007, the design contract was awarded to Strollo Architect. In September 2007, the Construction Manager’s Services at Risk Contract was awarded to Peter Brown Construction Company, Inc. The barracks will be approximately 14,700 sq ft and will consist of 168 beds. The total project cost is estimated at $5.4 million and is scheduled for completion in October/November 2008.

The groundbreaking ceremony will included comments from Alachua County Commissioner Lee Pinkoson, Sheriff Sadie Darnell, and County Manager Randal H. Reid.

For more information, contact Alachua County Communications Coordinator Mark Sexton at 352-374 5226.

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ACHD’s Tom Belcuore on rabies panel

What disease kills one person worldwide every 10 minutes for a total of 55,000 annually? Rabies.Alachua County Health Department Director Tom Belcuore will take part in a three-person panel at the One Health Initiative: World Rabies Educational Symposium on Wednesday, October 3rd, 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. at the HPNP Auditorium on the University of Florida Campus.

The Symposium will also include an introduction by Dean Glen Hoffsis, UF College of Veterinary Medicine, and keynote speeches from Dr. Erin Kennedy, DVM, MS (CDC) and Abbigail Tumpey MPH, CHES (CDC). Other panel participants will be Dr. Danielle Stanek of the Florida Department of Health, and Dr. Paul Nicoletti, Professor of Epidemiology

Refreshments will be served following the Symposium. For more information, call the Alachua County Health Department at (352) 334-7900. For directions to the Symposium click here:

http://www.spiritualityandhealth.ufl.edu/events/hpnp_directions.asp

And on Saturday, October, the 26th Annual Dog Days Run: Run For World Rabies Prevention 2007 will take place at Westside Park, Westside Park, 1001 NW 34th St, Gainesville. The dog run will benefit the UF Student Chapter of the American Veterinary Medical Association and the Alliance for Rabies Control.

For more information, go to http://www.active.com/page/Event_Details.htm?event_id=1467794 or call the Florida Track Club at (352) 378-8725.

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Kids visit the Barr Hammock woods

On Saturday September 8, eight children from the Alachua County Sherriff’s Youth Crime Prevention program went on a tour of Alachua County Forever’s Barr Hammock Ledwith Prairie preserve. The tour was coordinated by the Women for Wise Growth (WWG), the Conservation Trust for Florida (CTF) and Alachua County Environmental Protection (ACEPD).

The children are a part of the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office Neighborhood Services Section and hailed from the Tower Oaks Subdivision and the Majestic Oaks Apartment Complex. According to Leesha London, program specialist, the Youth Crime Prevention program “provides these kids with supervised activities and gives them something productive to do that they like. It keeps them off the streets and less likely to witness behaviors that may negatively influence them in the future.”

Accompanying the kids were Ms. London, Gladys Lane, Beverly Hill, Sally Dickinson all from the WWG, CTF’s Ellen Huntley, Volunteers Dan Roundtree and Josh Dickinson, and EPD’s Ramesh Buch and his family.

The 2,300-acre Barr Hammock Ledwith Prairie property, which includes important wetland and prairie habitats, is the largest parcel acquired by the Alachua County Forever land conservation program. Barr Hammock has a long history of human use, starting with prehistoric American Indian cultures, and more recently as a cattle ranch and timber farm. The land was purchased in 2006 with funds from Alachua County Forever, the Florida Communities Trust, and the Southwest Florida Water Management District.

The Alachua County Forever program was approved by Alachua County voters in 2000 to acquire, improve and manage environmentally significant lands in the County. Since its inception, the program has acquired nearly 12,000 acres of land in the County, leveraging $18 million in public dollars into $55 million in land purchases.

CTF is assisting the County coordinate other tours and educational programs at Barr Hammock. Busy Shires-Byerly, CTF’s Executive Director said, “Barr Hammock is a beautiful area and by providing educational tours to the public, we can share this beauty with others.

To arrange a tour for prospective groups, or to join a scheduled tour, interested parties should contact CTF at (352) 466-1178. For more information about Barr Hammock Ledwith Prairie Preserve, visit the Alachua County Forever Website: http://www.alachuacounty.us/government/depts/epd/land/ or call (352) 264-6800.

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Waterways Master Plan meetings

Five public meetings are scheduled in October to present recommendations and obtain input on a proposed Waterways Master Plan for Alachua County.

The draft plan was developed over the past year and a half for the Parks & Recreation Division of the Public Works Department of Alachua County by a team of consultants from the University of Florida.

The UF Waterways Master Plan Team has scheduled four meetings in quadrants of the County and one in Gainesville to get input from residents and waterways users.

The recommendations were developed based on input from a random telephone survey, an open access Web-based survey, meetings with individual stakeholder groups, a field survey taken at boat ramps, and a series of meetings aimed at achieving consensus on recommendations.

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.

After hearing from the public at the five meetings, the Waterways Master Plan Team may revise the recommendations and include them in a final report to the Alachua County Commission in November. The public is invited to any of the following meetings:

Meeting 1

Meeting 2

Meeting 3

Meeting 4

Meeting 5

For more information, please contact Larry Schnell, researcher, at (352) 336-6920, or Robert Avery, Alachua County Parks Superintendent, at (352) 374-5245.

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Lane closures on SW 43rd Street

Lane closures began on SW 43rd Street at the intersection of SW 24th Avenue on Monday, September 24. The lane closures will continue to be in effect 7:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and will last for approximately two weeks from the start date. Construction crews will be placing infrastructure for stormwater and utilities associated with the SW 24th Avenue two-lane construction. Anyone traveling through this area should expect delays.

For more information, please contact Jennifer Spagnoli, P.E., Civil Engineer, Alachua County Public Works Department, at (352) 374-5245 or jspagnoli@alachuacounty.us.

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County Event and Meeting Reminder

$mart Financial $tart

5 Waterways Master Plan meetings

2 National Flood Insurance Workshops

Garden Tours of Local Florida Friendly Landscapes

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Commission Meeting Highlights

Presentations, Proclamations and Recognitions

County Manager

The Board had a discussion concerning the possible expansion of the Eastside Community Redevelopment Area (CRA) in the City of Gainesville so as to include the County’s current Fairgrounds Property. The Board authorized the Chair to send a letter to the City of Gainesville expressing the County’s interest in being included in an expanded Eastside CRA pending further discussion with the City concerning the disposition of the tax increment generated by the redevelopment of the current Fairgrounds.

Attachments:

The Board approved the Agriculture Education and Promotion Facility Grant application for submittal to the State of Florida Department of Agriculture and approved the Chair’s signing the grant request.

Attachment:

 

Community Planning Group

The Board approved the Construction Contract for the Signalization of NW 143rd Street at NW 39th Avenue with PAH Constructors, for the County Project 6346. Amount: $143,815.00

Attachments:

The Board heard the Suwannee River Water Management District Presentation on water use permitting and minimum flows and levels. The Board wanted more information on the peer review and the scientific basis for the minimum flows and levels.

The Board agreed to add Members to the Energy Conservation Strategies Commission. They approved and the resolution adding the additional members to the Energy Conservation Strategies Commission. They authorized staff to bring candidates back to the Board of County Commissioners for appointment.

Attachment:

 

Community Services Group

The Board approved the Cultural and Environmental Funding Advisory Board’s funding recommendations for the Cultural and Environmental portion of the Community Agency Partnership Program

 

Advisory Board Appointments

Tourist Development Council
The Board appointed Vipul Patel to a term ending Nov. 2007 (partial), then to a full term ending Nov. 2010.
The Board appointed Robert Todd to a term ending Nov. 2007 (partial), then to a full term ending Nov. 2010.

Housing Finance Authority
The Board appointed Margie Krpan to a term ending Aug. 2011.

Cultural & Environmental Funding Advisory Board
The Board appointed Judith Wingate to a term ending Jul. 2008 (partial), then a full term ending Jul. 2010.
The Board appointed Sharon Yeago to a term ending Jul. 2008 (partial), then a full term ending Jul. 2010.

Code Enforcement Board
The Board appointed John Hansen to a term ending Apr. 2010.

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Let’s All 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:

Get Involved - Click here for an application: http://www.alachuacounty.us/government/bocc/advisoryboard.aspx

Applications are also available at the County Manager’s Office on the Second Floor of the County Administration Building, 12 SE 1st St., Gainesville. For more information, call (352) 264-6904.

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Thank you for your continued interest in County Government!

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