September 12, 2008 edition of:

Community Update
A Report on the Activities of Alachua County Government


This Issues Features:

September 18 Hunger Summit addresses the growing problem of hunger in Alachua County
Energy Conservation Strategy Commission delivers recommendations to Board
Alachua County releases FY 09 Adjusted Tentative Budget
Three free financial classes offered by Extension Office
What’s on Alachua County Talks?
Alachua County Victim Services and Rape Crisis Center MySpace page contains resources for sexual assault victims
Three free gardening classes offered by Extension Office
Alachua County awarded $1 million for wildlife preserve
4-H holds Horse Project open house on September 20
Kenmore coffee makers recalled by Sears and Kmart
$100,000 in stimulus payments are unclaimed in County
Commission Meeting Highlights
Alachua County Advisory Boards


September 18 Hunger Summit addresses the growing problem of hunger in Alachua County

The public is invited to participate in the City of Gainesville - Alachua County Hunger Summit, the first step of an initiative to develop a Hunger Abatement Plan (to be developed by April, 2009) for Alachua County. The Hunger Summit will address the growing problem of hunger in Alachua County. It will take place on Thursday, September 18, 2008 from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Martin Luther King Jr. Activity Center located at 1028 NE 14 Street, Gainesville. The Summit is co-sponsored by City of Gainesville, Alachua County, the Alachua County Medical Society, Alachua County School Board, Florida Department of Children & Families (DC&F), and United Way of North Central Florida.

The keynote speaker, Ms. Kate Houston, is the USDA administrator in charge of the Food Stamp program nationwide. Other speakers include Doug Beach, Florida Secretary for Elder Affairs; Don Winstead, Florida Deputy Secretary for DC&F; and Janie Williams, Chair of Alachua County School Board.

Only about half of the residents in Alachua County who are eligible for food stamps receive them, leaving more than $18 million in food assistance benefits “on the table” annually. Tons of food are discarded weekly by restaurants and grocery stores. Only half of the children eligible to eat free and reduced meals at school do so. Elders face special nutritional needs, but frequently do without proper nutrition. Local charities, churches, and other food assistance agencies face vastly increased demand for help, coupled with reductions in donations. Please plan to attend (and bring a non-perishable food item to donate to Bread of the Mighty Food Bank) to learn what the community can do to access existing available resources to make adequate nutrition available to elders, children, families, persons with disabilities, persons with fixed low incomes, and working people throughout the county.

“Other states and communities do a vastly superior job of feeding those unable to feed themselves,” said Alachua County Poverty Reduction Director John Skelly, “The solutions exist and are well known. The planning and will to improve our performance is all that is needed. We urge those interested to be part of the solution, attend and volunteer to participate in the development of the Hunger Abatement Plan.”

In support of the “Hunger Summit”, there will be a “Strike Out Hunger Food Drive” on Tuesday September 16, 2008 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Citizen Field parking area at Waldo Road and 8th Avenue. Hosting this event is Commissioner Rodney Long, Chairman of the Board of County Commissioners, who is inviting the public to join him in a 12 hour hunger strike to bring awareness to the problem of hunger in Alachua County. Citizens and businesses are urged to drop off non-perishable food donations. All donations will be collected and distributed to non-profit food distribution agencies.

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Energy Conservation Strategy Commission delivers recommendations to Board

The Energy Conservation Strategies Commission (ECSC) is drafting a comprehensive report on energy use, its relationship to climate change and local socioeconomic impacts, including actions that can be implemented by the Board of County Commissioners and the community at large. At the September 9, 2008 Board meeting, this interim presentation by ECSC chair Penny Wheat was provided to the Board with an update on their progress and included an interim presentation of four of the ECSC’s recommendation charts.

Background: The Board, at its meeting on December 8, 2006, requested the creation of a citizen commission to be known as the Alachua County Energy Conservation Strategies Commission. Established under the rules of a citizen advisory board, it was tasked with creating a “menu of options” of a short and long term nature for an effective and efficient community wide energy conservation program as well as implementation recommendations.

Click on the following link to view the presentation ECSC presentation.pdf

Click on the following link to view Chair Wheat’s presentation on Video on Demand

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Alachua County releases FY 09 Adjusted Tentative Budget

Alachua County has released its Adjusted Tentative Budget for Fiscal Year 2009.

The total of the adjusted tentative budget is $328.9 million.

FY 2009 Adjusted Tentative Budget General Information

FY09 Adjusted Tentative Budget Facts

To view the entire budget document click the following link:

For more information call the Alachua County Office of Management and Budget at 374-5262

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Three free financial classes offered by Extension Office

The Alachua County Extension Office is now accepting registration for the three, free, important classes. All classes will be held at the Alachua County Cooperative Extension located at 2800 NE 39 Avenue, Gainesville. Please register two weeks in advance.

Getting Financially Organized

Important papers, what to keep, where, and for how long. Preparing a household inventory and net worth statement. Building a spending plan. How and where to establish a family business center.

September 22, 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

September 24, 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

October 30, 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Making Credit Work for You

Obtaining your free credit reports. Reading the fine print in credit offers. Improving your credit score and guarding against identity theft.

September 29, 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

October 1, 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

November 6, 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Basic Estate Planning

Planning for health care issues including long-term care insurance and disability insurance. Getting your assets where you want them to go.

October 8, 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

October 20, 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

November 13, 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

For more information, call 352-955-2402. To register call 352-337-6209 (voice mail registration).

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What’s on Alachua County Talks?

Check out the latest editions of Alachua County Talks on Community 12 TV by viewing the Channel 12 Show Schedule. Or click on the images to the right to view streaming video of the episodes.

Click to watch Alachua County Advisory Board Coordinator Mary Lowry describe how interested citizens can take part in creating recommendations for the County Commission.

Click to watch Emergency Management Chief David Donnelly give an overview of Alachua County Emergency Operations.

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Alachua County Victim Services and Rape Crisis Center MySpace page contains resources for sexual assault victims

Alachua County Victim Services and Rape Crisis Center is pleased to announce that in August 2008, it launched a MySpace webpage with the mission of providing online services to victims of sexual assault and other violent crimes. The new webpage will cater to internet savvy users and those who do not feel comfortable talking with someone in-person. The new page offers victims the opportunity to chat confidentially online with a counselor using MySpace Instant Messenger, send messages, and obtain helpful information, all online from the comfort of their homes.

Click here to visit the page: .

Victim Services and Rape Crisis Center is a division of Alachua County’s Community Support Services Department.

For more information, contact Laura Kalt or Tony Sarkees of Alachua County Victims Services and Rape Crisis Center at 352-264-6760 or toll-free at 866-252-5439.

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Three free gardening classes offered by Extension Office

The Alachua County Cooperative Extension announced today that the following three free classes will be offered in September:

Raised Bed Vegetable Gardening

September 17 from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

The fall is a great time to garden in Florida. This class will go over vegetable gardening basics and teach you how to use raised beds for increased efficiency.

Landscaping the Florida Yards and Neighborhoods Way

September 25 from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Learn landscaping techniques to save water, and spend less on fertilizers, and sprays. The Florida yards and neighborhoods program is considered the “green building” landscaping program because it saves water, energy and protects natural resources.

A Newcomers Guide to Gardening and Landscaping in Alachua County -

September 26 from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

If you are new to the area growing plants here may seem to be a challenge. Learn to make peace with sandy soils, insects, monsoon rains, and armadillos. We will also go over the top tens of trees, shrubs and perennials in this class.

All classes will be held at the Alachua County Extension Office at 2800 NE 39th Ave. To register for your spot in this free class or for more information, call 352-337-6209.

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Alachua County awarded $1 million for wildlife preserve

Alachua County was recently awarded $1 million for Phase II of the North Florida Wetlands Conservation Project (NFWCP). The NFWCP is a multi-phase effort to protect critical habitat for migratory birds and other wetland-dependent species in north central Florida. Phase II adds the 3,139-acre Whitehurst-Levy Lake tract to the NFWCP, bringing the preserved total to 6,467 acres of wetlands and adjacent uplands, within five miles of the City of Gainesville.

The North American Wetlands Conservation Council and the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission approved the application which continues the successful local land conservation partnership born from the Phase 1 $1 million award last year. The partners include Alachua County Forever, Alachua Conservation Trust, The Conservation Trust for Florida, the Conservation Fund and several private individuals. Through this project the partners leverage each other’s resources and efforts to protect Alachua County’s critical migratory bird wetland habitats—vital to resident bird populations as well. The purchase and conservation of the Whitehurst-Levy Lake tract and the NFWCP and will assure that these species continue to have wintering grounds, important staging areas, and permanent foraging and nesting habitat.

Click here for the two-page summary from the application. Click here for the complete 3 MB application . For more information, contact Alachua County EPD Land Conservation Manager Ramesh Buch at 352-264-6800.

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4-H holds Horse Project open house on September 20

An Alachua County 4-H “Horse Project Open House” will be held on September 20, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the UF Horse Teaching Unit located at 1934 SW 63rd Ave, Gainesville. 4-H, the Youth Development Program of Alachua County, and the Institute of Agricultural Sciences at UF, offers youth, ages 8 and up, a variety of activities related to horses Some activities do not require riding or owning a horse.

There will be horse show class demonstrations, horse judging, hippology, a quiz bowl, demonstrations by local equine professionals, “Ask the Vet”, games and crafts for children, door prizes, and more. Horse lovers are encouraged to attend.

In addition to the “Horse Project Open House”, the first Alachua County 4-H “Open Horse Show” will be held at 9 a.m. on October 25 at the Canterbury Equestrian Showplace, outdoor arena, located 9 miles west of I-75 on Newberry Road.

4-H also offers over fifty other types of projects for youth to participate in.

For more 4-H information contact the Alachua County Cooperative Extension office at 352-955-2402 or at .

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Kenmore coffee makers recalled by Sears and Kmart

The following is an important recall notice from the Alachua County Department of Public Safety:

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with Sears Roebuck and Kmart, has announced a voluntary recall of Kenmore and Kenmore Elite Coffee Makers. Consumers should immediately stop using the coffee makers and take them to their nearest Sears or Kmart store to obtain a free replacement coffee maker. The wiring in the coffee maker can overheat, posing burn and fire hazards to consumers.

This recall involves 12-cup Kenmore coffee makers sold in black, white, and red with the following model numbers: 100.80006 (black), 100.81006 (white), and 100.82006 (red). The recall also involves 12-cup Kenmore Elite coffee makers with thermal carafe (model number 100.90007) and 14-cup Kenmore Elite coffee makers (model number 100.90006). The model number can be found on the bottom of the unit. There is a Kenmore or Kenmore Elite logo on the front bottom of the maker.

The coffee makers were sold at Sears, Sears Hardware, the great indoors, and Kmart stores nationwide, as well as and, from August 2007 through April 2008 for between $30 and $100. About 145,000 have been sold.

Sears has received 20 reports of coffee makers overheating, including 12 fires, causing damage to counter tops, cabinet damage, and plastic melting on the floor. No injuries have been reported.

For additional information, contact Sears at 1-800-978-7615 between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. CT Monday through Saturday, or visit the following Web sites:,, or

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$100,000 in stimulus payments are unclaimed in County

This past spring, Congress and the White House forged a deal to provide economic stimulus tax rebates of $600 to $1,200 to most tax filers in the U.S. There are over $100,000 of these payments unclaimed in Alachua County.

All citizens who have not received their payments yet can take part in a free program sponsored by United Way, Common $ense Prosperity Campaign, and the Internal Revenue Service. IRS trained and certified volunteers will help citizens who qualify complete the forms to file for their stimulus payments.

Citizens may qualify if they:

Filed a 2007 tax return and had Earned Income.

Had a Federal Income Tax Liability.

Have a child under 17 (as of December 31).

Qualify for Social Security.

Qualify for Railroad Benefits.

Qualify for Veterans Benefits.

Had Earned Income.

Citizens should call 211 or 352-332-4636 for an appointment. Appointments are available for September 11-13.

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Commission Meeting Highlights

Presentations, Proclamations and Recognitions

Announcements - Mark Sexton, Communications Coordinator

The Board h eard the update on the Court Support Building to include space allocation, future needs, parking, and energy/water savings ideas.

The Board proclaimed September 2008 as "United States Constitution Month" in Alachua County, Florida.
DAR Constitution Proclamation.pdf

The Board proclaimed September 15, 2008 through September 21, 2008 as "Alachua County Pollution Prevention Week" in Alachua County, Florida.
Pollution Prevention 2008.pdf

The Board proclaimed September 15, 2008 through October 15, 2008 as "Gainesville Latino Film Festival Month" in Alachua County, Florida.
latino film festival 2008.pdf

The Board ordered the 2008 Tax Roll to be extended prior to completion of the value adjustment hearings

The Board heard the Energy Conservation Strategies Commission (Advisory Board) update to the Board of County Commissioners with an interim presentation of four of the ECSC’s recommendation charts.
ECSC presentation.pdf

The Board a pproved the conceptual master plan for the new Alachua County Fairgrounds and granted direction to proceed with zoning application and final development plan for the Fairgrounds site and proceed with the parallel Request for Proposal process for the Architectural and Engineering Services and Construction Management Firm for the Fairgrounds facilities in phase I.
Alachua County Fairgrounds August Master Plan Final.pdf
Fairgrounds and Industrial Park Conceptual Master Plan.pdf
FairgroundsConceptual Construction CostsLEED.pdf

The Board approved the revised Alachua County Equal Opportunity Handbook as recommended.
EO Handbook Final Draft Aug08.pdf

The Board authorized the advertising for a public hearing of an ordinance which would expand the scope of health care services to CHOICES Enrollees. 2. Review Draft of CHOICES Indigent Care Surtax Use Plan
CHOICES Ordinance DRAFT 08.pdf
CHOICES Indigent care surtax use plan FY2009.pdf


Public Hearings

The Board approved the Purchase of the Alachua County Forever Austin Cary (Bloom and Frank) project with the St. Johns River Water Management District and authorize staff to execute documents as necessary to close the transaction.
Exhibit 2 Purchase and Sale Agreement.pdf
Exhibit 4 Cost Estimates.pdf
Exhibit 6 BoCC080909 ACF Bloom.ppt
Exhibit 1 Bloom fka Altomare Evaluation.pdf
Exhibit 3 Participation Agreement.pdf
Exhibit 5 BoCC080909 ACF Bloom.pdf

The Board adopted the Final Assessment Resolution for Fiscal Year 2008-2009 and authorize Chair to certify the non-ad valorem assessment roll to the Tax Collector.
Solid WasteReso.pdf

The Board - 1) Approved the Alachua County FFY 2008 Florida Small Cities CDBG housing rehabilitation grant application as amended; direct staff to submit application to the DCA by the Sept. 29, 2008, deadline. 2) Adopted the following resolutions necessary to submit the CDBG application: A) Resolution 08-__ authorizing the submission of Alachua County’s FFY 2008 Florida Small Cities CDBG housing rehabilitation grant application. B) Resolution 08-__authorizing the expenditure of $250,000 SHIP funds as leverage to obtain the FFY 2008 CDBG funds. C) Resolution 08-___ adopting the Alachua County CDBG Housing Assistance Plan.
2008 Alachua County CDBG Housing Application 8218.pdf
2008 CDBG HAP Resolution.doc pdf.pdf
2008 CDBG Enabling Resolution.doc pdf.pdf

The Board conducted the public hearing and adopted the resolution establishing and imposing the non-ad valorem special assessment, and approved the budget.
proof of publication Gville Sun.pdf
Sugrafoot Non AV Assesment Final.pdf

The Board approved the purchase the Conservation Easement on the Kanapaha Prairie’s “Frederick and Spalding Tract, execute the Deed of Conservation Easement and execute documents to close the transaction and receive the grant.
Exhibit 1 Part B Fredeicks Spaulding Option Final.pdf
Exhibit 5 Frederick & Spalding acq costs.pdf
Exhibit 3 Frederick Spalding Evaluation.pdf
Exhibit 4 Grant agreement.pdf
Frederick NRCS easement 080820.pdf
BoCC080909 ACF Frederick&Spalding.ppt
Exhibit 2 Request Advance reimbursement Final.pdf
Exhibit 1 Part A Fredeicks Spaulding Option Final.pdf

The Board a pproved the Final Plats for Lennox Mill: Phases 1, 2 and 3 Single Family Residential Subdivision.
Lennox_Mill_Open Space.pdf

The Board approved ZOM-12-08: A request to amend an existing mixed-use planned development (PD) district (Blueberry Hill PD) to revise the zoning master plan and allow
Blueberry Hill PDApp 063008.pdf
ZOM1208 Staff Report.pdf

The Board approved ZOX-04-08: A request for a special exception to allow a large animal veterinary clinic on approximately 13 acres in the Agricultural (A) zoning district (Amended)

Springhill Special Exception.pdf
ZOX0408 Powerpoint.pdf
ZOX0408 Staff Report.pdf
Citizen Comments ZOX0408.pdf

The Board approved ZOM-11-08: A request for a minor amendment to a non-residential planned development (PD) district (First Baptist Church) to allow a 90 foot high steeple and amendments to the existing phasing schedule (Amended)

First Baptist Church of Gainesville Minor PD Amendment.pdf
ZOM1108 Powerpoint.pdf
ZOM1108 Staff Report.pdf

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Alachua County Advisory Boards

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

Get Involved - Click here for an application:

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.