November 26edition of:

Community Update
A Report on the Activities of Alachua County Government


This Issues Features:

Re-elected Commissioners Sworn In
Reid Featured in CitiesGoGreen
County Bonds - A+ Rating
Capital Project Reassessment / Bond Issue Special Meeting
Alachua County Senior Center Awarded $2 Million Grant
Garbage/Recycling Collection for Thanksgiving
County Employee Selected for Exchange Program

Department of Public Safety Raises Money for the MDA
County Update TV on Community 12
Serta Mattress and BatteriesRecall
Can we save the “water” in stormwater?
Countywide Burn Ban in Effect
Turkey/Holiday Safety
How Vulnerable is the Aquifer beneath Your Feet?
What’s on Alachua County Talks?
Victim Services Support Group
Foster Grandparents Recognition Luncheon
Florida Green Lodging Conference
Newberry Village Charrette
Commission Meeting Highlights
Alachua County Advisory Boards


Re-elected Commissioners Sworn In

On Tuesday, November 18, 2008, re-elected Commissioners Mike Byerly, Paula M. DeLaney, and Rodney J. Long were sworn in. To view the swearing-in proceedings click on the link below:

Also that day, immediately following the Commission swearing-in, Commissioner Long was sworn in as the incoming president of the Florida Association of Counties (FAC). The unexpected appointment was a result of FAC President and Suwannee County Commissioner Randy Hatch not being re-elected on Tuesday, November 4, 2008, Commissioner Long will assume the role of Interim President. He will remain in this position until elections are held at the FAC Annual Conference in June 2009.
To learn more about FAC click the following link:

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Reid Featured in CitiesGoGreen

The November issue of CitiesGoGreen Magazine, the national magazine which targets people in local governments focused on sustainability, features an interview with Alachua County Manager Randall H. Reid.  Reid was interviewed in his capacity as the Chair of the International City/County Management Association’s (ICMA) Sustainability Advisory Committee.  The subjects include ICMA’s growing concern with sustainability issues and Alachua County Florida’s efforts in pursuing sustainability.
CitiesGoGreen Magazine editor, Daimon Sweeny talked about the genesis of the article, “A conversation at the ICMA annual conference in Richmond, Va. changed how I think about sustainability.  I was talking with Randall Reid, Chair of the ICMA Sustainability Advisory Committee.  He’s interested in this issue, but in a different discussion he said he’d found that the word “sustainability” doesn’t work for some people while “sustainable community” does.  My take is that “sustainability” is abstract while “sustainable community” is grounded in concrete dimensions of what community means, from organizational and financial sustainability to environmental and, as Reid points out, social sustainability.”

In speaking of the article and the importance of sustainability Reid said, “The serious problems confronting our communities in terms of energy supplies, housing, and environmental protection, makes it essential that every local community thinks about its individual and collective impacts on the environment and the need to strengthen the social fabric of our communities.  The current demand and instability in energy supplies and our economy, requires that we become more sustainable in the areas of alternative energy, conservation efforts, and aggressive technologies. Sustainability to some is viewed as only a “green” or “environmental” issue but to me it is every bit as much about national security and the well being of our citizens.”
To read the article, click the link: CitiesGoGreen Article
To learn more about CitiesGoGreen, click the link:

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County Bonds - A+ Rating

The Fitch Bond Ratings for Alachua County Public Improvement Revenue Bonds were released on November 12, 2008. Alachua County Bonds earned an A+ rating.
In speaking of the rating, Alachua County Manger Randall H. Reid said, “ In the midst of Florida counties and cities struggling with the recession and tax reform, it is gratifying that the reviewing agencies recognize that Alachua County is well managed and financially stable due to the prudence and good sense employed in both our fiscal management and responsible reserve policies”
Click here to view press relase from the Fitch Bond.

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Capital Project Reassessment / Bond Issue Special Meeting

The Alachua County Commission held a special meeting on Tuesday, November 18, 2008 . The agenda included these items:
1.    CIP Capital project Assessment
2.    Update on Fire Services Network
3.    Boundary Adjustment Act Summary
 County Manager Randall H. Reid, circulated the memo and spread sheet as a reassessment the Capital Projects plan and as background for the Board’s discussion. Click the links below to view these documents:
For more information, call the County Manager’s Communications Office at 352-374-5226.

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Alachua County Senior Center Awarded $2 Million Grant

The future Alachua County, City of Gainesville and Elder Care of Alachua County, Alachua County Senior Recreation Center has been awarded a $2 million dollar State grant. Governor Charlie Crist announced this and other grants today at an event in Miami.
In speaking of the grant, Alachua County Manager Randall H. Reid said, “The addition of this grant money to the money that will be raised by the Wild Spaces and Public Places initiative that passed on Nov. 4, will allow for the construction of a much needed Senior Center that will now be able to offer many more opportunities to this historically underserved segment of our community.”
Click here to view The Governor’s Press Office Release.

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Garbage/Recycling Collection for Thanksgiving

The Thanksgiving holiday will not affect curbside residential solid waste and recycling collection services scheduled for Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday in the Alachua County curbside collection area. Thursday and Friday services will be delayed one day. For Thanksgiving week, Thursday’s collection will occur on Friday and Friday’s collection will occur on Saturday. The regular collection schedule will resume on Monday, December 1st.

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 re-open on Friday, November 28th. The Hazardous Waste Center at the Leveda Brown Environmental Park will be closed on Thursday and Friday. It will reopen on Saturday November 29th.

For more information, contact Milton Towns, Waste Collection Manager, Alachua County Office of Waste Collection at 352- 338-3233.


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County Employee Selected for Exchange Program

Gainesville’s Rotary Club recently sponsored Sean McLendon, Alachua County Sustainability Program Manager’s application for a professional exchange between United States and the Netherlands. Selected in October through written and oral examinations by Rotary District 6970 to be a part the Group Study Exchange 2009 team, Mr. McLendon will travel with a five person team to the city of Eindhoven on May 16, 2009 and stay through June 14, 2009.
As a part of the team, McLendon will represent Alachua County, the Rotary Club of Gainesville, Rotary District 6970 and The Rotary International Foundation on this month long ambassadorship between United States and the Netherlands. Group Study Exchange participants act as representatives for their respective communities while experiencing the culture and occupational practices in other countries. Exchange members are selected through a competitive process of oral and written submissions and must be non-Rotarian young professionals.

Dana Nemenyi President, 2008-2009 Rotary Club of Gainesville said of McLendon “We believe his commitment to this exchange will foster a significant exchange of information, culture and ideas while building precious relationships between the people of our Rotary District and that of the Netherlands.”

A focus of the exchange will be placed on city and community service issues such as clean water and conservation, waste and recycling, environmental concerns, building and zoning, economic development, educational planning for population increase, in addition to social planning services. This fits well with McLendon’s recent appointment as the County’s Sustainability Program Manager. In his new position, located in the County Manager’s Office, he will utilize this experience to expand upon his work on the Energy Conservation Strategies Commission.

All expenses will be paid by Rotary. McLendon continues Alachua County’s tradition of international recognition on community planning issues. Juna Papajorgji, of Alachua County Growth Management traveled to Rome, Italy in 2004 to accept the Pirelli International Award for her work in the field of GIS.

To read the more about the Rotary GSE program please click here.
For more information, contact the County Manager’s Communications Office at 352-374-5226.

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Department of Public Safety Raises Money for the MDA

Alachua County Department of Public Safety fire fighters had an outstanding response to this year’s Muscular Dystrophy “Fill the Boot’ campaign.  This year’s goal was to raise $30,000, $3000 more than last year’s goal. The community’s response was tremendous with $35,000 being raised, $5000 over the goal!  The money raised stays in North Central Florida, assisting many families dealing with Muscular Dystrophy.  Some of the funds help send children to a Muscular Dystrophy summer camp where they can enjoy a week of outdoor fun and adventure.

The International Association of Firefighters and the MDA co-sponsor the “Fill the Boot” campaign.  The Union Local 3852 of the IAFF supports the local campaign. Union members, Chad Smith and Kristina Patten were the coordinators for this year’s campaign. Chad Smith has been a firefighter for 14 years and is starting his 3rd year as a coordinator and Kristina Patten has been a fire fighter for 4 years and is starting her 2nd year coordinating the campaign. They estimate that close to 1100 manpower hours go into the campaign. The annual “Fill the Boot campaign” has been held in Alachua County for close to 15 years.

The Alachua County Board of Commissioners issued a proclamation in honor of for the MDA and Fire Rescue Professionals of Alachua County in October.  The IAFF Union has permission to conduct the “Fill the Boot” drive for the Friday-Monday weekend of Labor Day.  Chad and Kristina are appreciative of the efforts of their fellow fire fighters, the support of the community and the County Commission. Together, a difference can be made in the lives of people with neuromuscular diseases.

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County Update TV on Community 12

• Butterfly Rain Forrest at the Museum of Natural History
• Alachua County Fire Rescue’s Family Fun Nights at McDonalds
• Veterans’ Day Celebration
• Alachua County Veterans Memorials Booklet
• Alachua County Forever Phifer Flatwoods Property
• County Road 1474 resurfacing
• Electric cars
• Ida Rawls Retirement: Creating Respect for People and Place


What’s on Alachua County Talks?

Click to watch Alachua County Commissioner Rodney J. Long talk about Poverty Reduction in Alachua County

Click above to watch Alachua County Animal Services Director David Flagler talk about the Animal Services Update

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.

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aintain and improve the health and safety of all citizens and visitors.


Serta Mattress and BatteriesRecall

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with Serta International Mattress Co, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed.
Name of Product: Serta Zipper-Covered Foam Core Mattresses
Units: About 6,100
Manufacturer: Serta International Mattress Co., of Hoffman Estates, Ill.
Sold at: Mattress retailers nationwide from December 2007 through May 2008 for up to $2,500
Hazard: The mattresses fail to meet the mandatory federal open flame standard for mattresses, posing a fire hazard to consumers.
Incidents/Injuries: None reported.
Mattress Name: Model Number Serene Signature Zip: 810098, 810298, 810198, 810598 Accord Zip: 830098 Perpetual Zip: 830298, 830498 Solara Zip: 830798 Solara II Zip: 830898 Compass Zip: 830198, 831598 Bellbrook Zip: 830398 Elysian Zip: 830698 Allington Zip: 831098 Araceli Zip: 831498 Royce Select Zip: 831698
Contact Serta to determine if your serial number is included in the recall.
Description: The recalled mattresses have a zipper cover over a foam core. The mattresses were sold in twin, full, queen, king and California king sizes. They were manufactured between November 30, 2007 and May 20, 2008. The mattress name, date of manufacture, model, and serial numbers are located on label attached to the mattress. Only specific serial numbers are included in the recall. The recalled mattresses are listed in the chart below.
 Remedy: Consumers should immediately contact Serta to determine if their mattress is included in the recall, and if it is, to receive a free replacement mattress cover. Consumers can install the cover themselves or request free installation by a qualified repair technician.
 Consumer Contact: For additional information, contact Serta toll-free at (866) 675-3853 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, or visit the firm’s Web site at

 WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the firms named below, announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed.
 Name of Product: Lithium-Ion Batteries used in Hewlett-Packard, Toshiba and Dell Notebook Computers
Battery Cell Manufacturer: Sony Energy Devices Corporation, of Japan
 Hazard: These lithium-ion batteries can overheat, posing a fire and burn hazard to consumers.
 Incidents/Injuries: There have been 19 reports of the batteries overheating, including 17 reports of flames/fire (10 resulting in minor property damage). Two consumers experienced minor burns.
 Description: The recalled batteries were included with, and sold separately for use in, the following notebook computer models:
Hewlett-Packard - sold from December 2004 through June 2006
Toshiba - sold from April 2005 to October 2005
Dell - shipped between November 2004 and November 2005
 Remedy: Consumers should immediately remove the recalled battery from their notebook computer, and contact their computer manufacturer to determine if their battery is included in the recall and to request a free replacement battery. After removing the recalled battery from their notebook computer, consumers may use the AC adapter to power the computer until a replacement battery arrives. Consumers should only use batteries obtained from their computer manufacturer or an authorized reseller.
For additional information, consumers should contact the manufacturer of their notebook computer:
Hewlett-Packard Co. -  
Toshiba -  
Dell -

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Can we save the “water” in stormwater?

Stormwater can be a great resource. It is wasteful to water our landscapes with our diminishing drinking water resources, when we can collect stormwater using rain barrels or cisterns and use it instead. These are the types of practices promoted by Low Impact Development (LID). LID is an approach to land development that uses land planning, design, and construction techniques to conserve and protect natural resources- including water.

In traditionally designed neighborhoods, rain water that hits paved surfaces such as roofs, driveways, and roads, is quickly directed to a series of underground pipes, called the storm sewer system. Stormwater contains pollutants and is often directly discharged into our creeks with no treatment. Newer developments have stormwater basins that can reduce the amount of pollutants before any discharges occur.

LID developments recognize the importance of putting all of this rainwater to good use rather than just storing it in a basin or polluting our creeks with untreated water. At the development planning stage, efforts are made to treat the water and allow it to infiltrate close to where it hits the ground rather than sending it off to a centralized basin. This means that LID treatment techniques are scattered throughout a site so that water can infiltrate in many locations, mimicking the way natural systems behave. For example, water that hits our paved driveways and roads can be stored and treated nearby in rain gardens (small landscaped depressions) or swales. Roof water can be collected in rain barrels or cisterns to irrigate the landscape. Runoff from roads is easily treated by swales filled with vegetation and organic soils that work effectively to remove pollutants. In our commercial developments, parking lot tree islands would become landscaped depressions that collect water from the large paved area, and so on.

While the environmental benefits of incorporating these types of techniques are clear – better water quality, reuse of water resources, preservation of trees and natural areas – quite often there are also measurable economic benefits, as many of these techniques have low installation costs and make more efficient use of the land. As professionals and citizens continue to become more knowledgeable about the effectiveness and low cost alternatives of LID, Alachua County residents should expect to see more of these practices used throughout new developments in the county. To learn more about LID and see what kind of techniques you can use in and around your home, visit website.

For more information, contact Stephen Hofstetter, Environmental Protection at 352-264-6800.

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Countywide Burn Ban in Effect

After reviewing Alachua County’s current wildland fire conditions and the area weather forecast, Chief Will Gray May, Jr., Director of Alachua County Emergency Services, recommended a mandatory Countywide burn ban to the Alachua County Board of County Commissioners. The Alachua County Board of County Commissioners subsequently instituted by County proclamation a mandatory Countywide burn ban, effective November 25, 2008, until formally terminated by a majority of the Alachua County Board of County Commissioners.

Due to the combination of an extended period without precipitation, daily weather conditions contributing to the potential for extreme wildland fire behavior, and an abundance of easily ignitable fuel (abundant freeze and frost-killed vegetation), Alachua County is imposing a countywide ban on all outdoor fire activity.

The mandatory 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.

The Countywide mandatory burn ban prohibits all of the following:

All outdoor burning that has not been specifically permitted by the Florida Division of forestry is prohibited*.
The use of any fireworks, sparklers, flares, or other pyrotechnic devices except as provided by law for public displays requiring a permit is prohibited.
*Please note that the ban does not affect agricultural burning permitted by the Florida Division of Forestry for land clearing or prescribed burning purposes.

Although the use of LPG/LNG grills and charcoal grills is permitted, the public is encouraged to keep a constant watch for any stray sparks or embers while cooking outdoors. Additionally, due to the potential for accidental ignitions, the use of motorized equipment such as ATVs and dirt bikes is not suggested during times of high wildfire risk. Please bear in mind that lawnmowers, both push and riding, also pose accidental ignition risks.

Citizens are asked to exercise extreme caution during the burn ban. Working together, Alachua County’s citizens and local fire suppression agencies may avoid a repeat of the 1998 wildfires which scorched 7,100 acres locally.

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 the Alachua County Department of Public Safety at 352-384-3101.

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Turkey Frying/Thanksgiving Safety

The following tips are designed to ensure our citizens have a safe and enjoyable holiday season. 


Thanksgiving is a time of celebration and cooking as millions of people across the United States come together to share food and good cheer.  A variation of cooking the traditional Thanksgiving turkey has gained in popularity in recent years.  Deep frying a turkey can be done safely, but there are some safety tips that should be followed.  Post the following deep frying tips near your favorite deep frying turkey recipe.  


• Oil inside turkey fryers can overheat, splash onto the fryers’ open flame and ignite causing house fires and property damage.

• Fryers overfilled with oil may spill when the turkey is placed into the cooking pot causing severe burns and possibly starting a fire that can swiftly engulf the entire fryer and spread.

• Turkey fryers should always be used on a flat surface, outdoors and at a safe distance from buildings

• Never use turkey fryers on wooden decks or in garages.  It can be tempting to fry your turkey on the porch if the weather is inclement, but this is very dangerous and can result in a house fire which could ruin your holiday

• Never leave the fryer unattended. Most units do not have thermostat controls, so you must watch the fryer carefully to keep an eye on the oil temperature.  Remember that the oil will continue to heat until it catches fire 

• Generally, it is best to keep the temperature at 350°F.  If any smoke at all is noticed coming from a heating pot of oil, the oil is overheated and the burner should be turned off immediately.  According to the National Turkey Federation, cooking oils with high smoke points should be used when frying turkeys.  Peanut oil, which has the highest smoke point (425°F) is highly recommended

• Keep children and pets away from the fryer when in use. Even after use, bear in mind that the oil inside the cooking pot can remain dangerously hot for hours after use.

• To avoid oil spillover and splashing, do not overfill your fryer and be extremely careful when lowering your turkey into the pot
• Use well-insulated potholders or oven mitts when touching pot or lid handles and wear safety goggles to protect your eyes from oil splatter.

• Make sure the turkey is completely thawed and be careful with marinades. Oil and water don’t mix, and water may cause the hot oil to spill over, igniting a fire or even creating an explosion hazard.

• Keep an all-purpose fire extinguisher nearby and know how to use it

• Never use water to extinguish an oil or grease fire and immediately call 9-1-1 for help if a fire should occur


Thanksgiving is just a week away and extensive cooking can result in kitchen fires and other dangerous mishaps like burns and scalds. Serving a traditional 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. 

• Start your holiday cooking with a clean stove and oven.
• 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.
• Nearly 50% of house fires across the nation start in the kitchen, so never leave your cooking unattended, even for a moment.
• Have a working fire extinguisher nearby and know how to use it.
• In the event of a fire or medical emergency, always call 9-1-1.

As Thanksgiving approaches, The Alachua County Department of Public Safety and Gainesville Fire Rescue encourages everyone to have a safe and happy holiday. For more information concerning fire safety or fire prevention, call 352-384-3101.  


How Vulnerable is the Aquifer beneath Your Feet?


Have you ever wondered why the eastern portion of Alachua County has an abundance of creeks and wetlands (Figure 1), while the western portions are high and dry?  The east is wet because there is a clay confining layer between the land surface and the Floridan aquifer. Water can’t penetrate through the clay, so it stays close to the surface. The Floridan aquifer is confined in these areas and is labeled as having a “lower vulnerability” to contamination and pollutants since the clay layer keeps pollutants out of the Floridan aquifer.
In the western portion of the county, rain water quickly soaks deep into the ground because there is no clay confining layer above the aquifer.  Pollutants on the lands surface can travel through the sand and into the Florida aquifer, which is considered unconfined in this region.  This means the aquifer in western Alachua County has a “high vulnerability” to pollutants.  We also call this area a high recharge area, since rain water can soak into the water and replenish the aquifer.
The Floridan aquifer in the central region of the county is semi-confined. This means that there is a clay confining layer protecting the aquifer in some areas, but not all. The aquifer is considered “vulnerable” to pollutants in this region.  Many streams in this area end in sinkholes or swallets, recharging our groundwater
Pollutants such as fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, sewage, and oils can also contaminate the aquifer via our creeks. Many of the creeks in Alachua County (Sweetwater Branch, Hogtown Creek,  and Mill Creek- to name a few)  eventually become groundwater via sinkholes.  We refer to these systems as “stream to sink” basins. This direct path to the aquifer  is just one more reason why we need to think about what we do on the land surface and  how to minimize our personal pointless pollution.
Since a picture is worth a thousand words, Alachua County has made a map that displays the vulnerability of the aquifer. You may already be familiar with the yellow, brown, and green three color map that was adopted in the Comprehensive Plan. While this 1998 map is a good map, the new “Floridan Aquifer High Recharge Areas” map (Figure 2) utilizes more recent data to define the vulnerability of the aquifer.  In creating the new map four data layers were evaluated: overburden thickness above the Floridan aquifer, karst features (sinkholes, swallets, etc), soil permeability, and water level difference between the surficial and Floridan aquifer. Stream-to-sink watersheds were overlain on the aquifer protection zones map to provide additional protection of the Floridan aquifer in the Santa Fe River Basin and its tributaries and in the smaller closed basins in the central portion of Alachua County. These basins are important since these watersheds, and their pollutants, eventually end up in the aquifer.
The map of Floridan aquifer high recharge areas will be adopted into the Alachua County Comprehensive Plan as part of the first round of Large Scale Comprehensive Plan amendments in 2009.The definition of high aquifer recharge and minor text changes will be made to clarify use of the new map. This map will affect the location of new high risk hazardous materials facilities and the design of stormwater basins in the unincorporated area of Alachua County.   However, regardless of the vulnerability of the aquifer beneath you- it is always important to do your part to minimize pollution, as it is going to end up somewhere!  To learn more about these maps you can contact Robin Hallbourg, Environmental Protection Department  or Robert L. Norton, Growth Management Department . You could also attend one of the following public meetings:
5:00-6:00 PM- December 10, 2008- Alachua City Hall, Commission Chambers,
15100 NW 142nd Terrace, Alachua, FL  32615

5:00-6:00 PM- December 11, 2008- Micanopy Town Hall, Second Floor Activity Room, 706 NE Cholokka Blvd., Micanopy, FL  32667.   


Victim Services Support Group

Beginning January 2009, Alachua County Victim Services & Rape Crisis Center will be offering a free and confidential support group to survivors of anti-gay and transgender victimization on Tuesday afternoons. This group is a 6-week program consisting of group counseling sessions, with the option of additional individual therapy. All counseling sessions will all be held at Alachua County Victim Services and Rape Crisis Center, 218 SE 24th Street, Gainesville.

Please contact Alachua County Victim Services at 352-264-6760 or toll free at 1-866-252-5439 if you are interested in participating.

Foster Grandparents Recognition Luncheon

Alachua County’s Foster Grandparent Program will recognize its volunteers at a luncheon beginning at 10:30 a.m. Friday, December 12 at the Best Western Gateway Grand in Gainesville. Storm Roberts of WKTK will be the Master of Ceremonies, and entertainment will be provided by local musical group Victorious. The luncheon is by invitation only, but the media is invited to cover it.
The Foster Grandparent Program was established in Alachua County in 1973. It is part of the Corporation for National and Community Service and is sponsored locally by the Board of County Commissioners. Volunteers serve throughout the county in child care centers, elementary schools, the Boys and Girls Clubs, and other sites. In exchange for their service, the volunteers receive a tax-free stipend of $2.65 per hour, meals, assistance with transportation, and supplemental insurance.
The program is accepting applications for new volunteers. Applicants must be Alachua County residents 60 or over. They must be in relatively good health, enjoy working with children and meet federal income guidelines.
For more information and an application, contact the Foster Grandparent Program Office at 352-264-6757.


Florida Green Lodging Conference

Gainesville successfully kicked off the inaugural Florida Green Lodging Conference on November 10-12, 2008. The purpose of the conference was to bring Florida hoteliers as well as tourism and environmental experts together, to educate and update the audience about going green, saving green and making green. The demand for this conference increased tremendously after the Department of Environmental Protection Green Lodging Program was created in 2004. The Department of Environmental Protection Green Lodging Program has set a standard of environmental practices for hotels to document and maintain a three tiered hierarchy of sustainability. This hierarchy is known as one, two and, at the highest level, three palm designation. The three palm designations separate those hotels that have environmentally sustainable practices and those who do not.

As the green movement and corporate responsibility comes to the forefront of the conference industry and consumer decision making, this distinguished separation is imperative for future business. Not only did the Department of Environmental Protection Green Lodging Program impact the focus of the conference, but also the passing of Governor Crist Executive Order 07-126, which has since become a state law, underscored its importance. This new law placed a requirement on hotels to have a palm designation, if they want to house government meetings and conferences. Since government meeting professionals have taken this stance, other non-government related meeting planners are beginning to follow suit, using only those properties that have a green designation.

The Florida Green Lodging Conference sessions were developed to address sustainable practices, by teaching the hoteliers how to retrofit their services, market their property as green, and disseminate their overall corporate responsibility focus. Each delegate had the opportunity to attend both tracts and connect with exhibitors showcasing green products or services. There was a roundtable session for the delegates to speak with experts and fellow palm designated hoteliers who already traveled the green path.

The 220 attendees ranged from hoteliers, Convention and Visitors Bureaus representatives, and lodging associations from throughout Florida. Locally and internationally renowned speakers presented a wealth of information on balancing indoor quality strategies with energy efficiencies, and understanding the triple bottom line of sustainability; economic prosperity, social responsibility, and environmental protection.

Many green practices were used to make the conference’s environmental impact minimal. The overall carbon dioxide output was calculated and neutralized by the distribution of energy saving Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFL), to those who attended. In addition to the CFL distribution, other green practices were initiated. In an innovative green effort, a local florist, Prange’s Plantscape, donated 20 beautiful centerpieces arranged from the disposed clippings of the host hotel’s landscaping. The conference also reused nametag holders, minimized paper by not producing a program, passed out flash drives for downloading sessions, and collected recyclable samples for Alachua County Tools for Schools.

Overall, from the 220 attendees, approximately 2052 lodging properties were represented. If each of these properties takes what they have learned and implement the changes, their practices will have a significant positive impact on Florida’s energy use. The curriculum and tools provided at this conference combined with those of the Department of Environmental Protection Green Lodging Program provide a strong foundation for Florida to be the leading state in the sustainable movement.

For more information, contact Colleen Smith, VisitGainesville at 352-374-5231.

Newberry Village Charrette

Citizens are invited to attend the Newberry Village Charrette to determine the future of Newberry Village, Alachua County ’s first planned transit-oriented development, and learn about the Santa Fe Bus Rapid Transit plan.
There will be a series of discussions and visioning sessions organized by the developers and hosted at Santa Fe College in Building R - Room R-01 on December 11, 12, and 13, 2008, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. County Growth Management staff has worked with the developers on the Comprehensive Plan amendment creating Newberry Village and will be participating in the charrette. Other participants include Santa Fe College, the City of Gainesville, the University of Florida, the Florida Department of Transportation, the Metropolitan Transportation Planning Organization, the Regional Transit System, and the Bicycle/Pedestrian Advisory Board.
Click on the following link for the daily schedule for the charrette:
Charrette Schedule for Newberry Village.pdf
For further information, contact the Alachua County Growth Management Department at 352-374-5249.

Commission Meeting Highlights


4. Announcements - Mark Sexton, Communications Coordinator (Amended)
Amount: N/A
Recommended Action: N/A

Time Certain Items
Public Comments (9:30 AM)

5. 9:30 AM Public Comments
Amount: N/A
Recommended Action: Hear Public Comments

Community Outreach
Recognitions, Proclamations and Presentations

6. Length of Service Milestone Recipients (Amended)
Amount: N/A
Recommended Action: Recognize County Employees that have reached a Length of Service or Career Milestone in October, 2008.
Attachment: October 18 emp.pdf
7. Proclamation: "The Great American Smoke Out Day" in Alachua County, Florida. (Amended)
Amount: N/A
Recommended Action: Present a proclamation declaring Thursday, November 20, 2008 as "The Great American Smoke Out Day" in Alachua County, Florida.
Attachment: Great American Smoke Out 2008.pdf
Appointments to Advisory Boards and Committees

8. FloridaWorks nominee confirmation (Amended)
Amount: N/A
Recommended Action: Confirm the nomination of one citizen to the FloridaWorks Board, term ending June 2011 (Private Sector Seat #1).
Attachment: FloridaWorks attendance 10 08.pdf
Attachment: McintoshT app and nomination letter.pdf
Attachment: Florida Works Mbr Rstr Nov 08.pdf
Attachment: FloridaWorks Tally Sheet.pdf
9. Regional Transit System Advisory Board appointments
Amount: N/A
Recommended Action: Appoint one citizen to the Neighborhood/Homeowners Association representative position, and one citizen to the Person with a Disability position. Both have terms ending in May 2011.
Attachment: RosenkrantzV.pdf
Attachment: RTS Tally Sheet.pdf
Attachment: RTS Member Roster.pdf
Attachment: GeathersS.pdf
Attachment: RTS Attendance Report.pdf

Governmental Units
County Attorney

10. Charter Amendment prohibiting the sale or conversion to other uses of certain lands acquired or used for conservation, recreation, or cultural purposes (Amended)
Amount: N/A
Recommended Action: Adopt the resolution enacting a charter amendment prohibiting the sale or conversion to other uses of certain lands acquired or used for conservation, recreation, or cultural purposes.
Attachment: Forever Really Enactment Final.pdf
Community Planning Group

11. Water Resources Issues Update (Amended)
Amount: N/A
Recommended Action: Receive Water Resources issues update. Authorize Environmental Protection to conduct community outreach regarding local pollution reduction strategies and proposed fertilizer ordinance.
Attachment: Water Resources Issues Presentation.pdf
12. RFP 09-188: Annual Management of Poe Springs Park. (Amended)
Amount: N/A
Recommended Action: Approve the Finance Report to rank and award RFP 09-188: Annual Management of Poe Springs Park and authorize staff to negotiate an agreement(s) with the top ranked firm(s).
Attachment: 09 188 FR.pdf
Community Services Group

13. PRAB recommends $14,973 for DCF staff (Amended)
Amount: $14,973.00
Recommended Action: Approve the recommendation from PRAB and approve Budget Amendment to transfer monies from Reserves to Poverty Reduction Programs budget.
Attachment: DCF Scan 10 21 08.pdf
Attachment: BA Fla DCF Final.pdf
Attachment: Reserve adjustments for FY09.pdf
County Manager Reports

14. County Manager's Report
Amount: N/A
Recommended Action: Hear County Manager's Report

Closing Comments
Public Comments - 15 minutes

15. Closing Comments
Amount: N/A
Recommended Action: Hear Closing Comments
Commission Comments

16. Commission Comments
Amount: N/A
Recommended Action: Present Commission Comments

Evening Community Outreach
Public Comments - 30 minutes, then resume Public Hearing (5:30 PM)

17. Public Comments (Amended)
Amount: N/A
Recommended Action: Hear Public Comments

Public Hearings
Regular Matters

18. Public Hearing: CHOICES Ordinance (Amended)
Amount: N/A
Recommended Action: 1) Conduct a public hearing to approve CHOICES Ordinance and adopt the ordinance 2) Approve the surtax use plan and CHOICES Summary of Services and Benefits (attached).
Attachment: CHOICES Summary of Services and Benefits.pdf
Attachment: Indigent Care Surtax Use Plan FY09.pdf
Attachment: CHOICES Actuarial Report OCT08.pdf
Attachment: CHOICESAmendOrd08.pdf
19. FY09 Fee Schedule Update for Development Review Fees (Amended)
Amount: N/A
Recommended Action: Review and discuss fee study and related fee schedule to allow public input on the revised fee schedule effective January 1, 2009. Board will adopt resolution for updated fee schedule during the December 9, 2008 meeting
Attachment: Maximus Executive Summary Final Report 08.pdf

Quasi-Judicial/Zoning Items
Summary Items

20. Farms of Kanapaha PD, Replat of Lot 52 (Amended)
Amount: N/A
Recommended Action: Approve the replat of lot 52 Farms of Kanapaha PD to create two lots.
Attachment: FKL52CHAIRSR.pdf
Attachment: Plats11252008.pdf
Attachment: FKLT52GMSR.pdf
Attachment: Plats11252008.ppt
Attachment: FKReplat52.pdf
21. Star Fields Rural/Agriculture Subdivision (Amended)
Amount: N/A
Recommended Action: Approve the final plat of a single family residential subdivision containing 24 lots on 155.03 acres for Star Fields Rural/Agriculture Subdivision .
Attachment: Plats11252008.pdf
Attachment: SFCHAIRSR.pdf
Attachment: SFGMSR.pdf
Attachment: SFOSPlan.pdf
Attachment: SFOSMPRPT.pdf
Attachment: Plats11252008.ppt
Attachment: SFFinalPlat.pdf
Attachment: SFHOA.pdf
New Business

22. ZOM-14-08: A request for a minor planned development amendment to allow outdoor storage as a permitted use on Lot 18 of the Tower Hill Office Park planned Development (Amended)
Amount: N/A
Recommended Action: Staff recommends that the Board hear the item and adopt Resolution Z-08-23 approving the minor PD amendment request
Attachment: ZOM1408 Resolution.PDF
Attachment: ZOM1408 Staff Report.pdf
Attachment: ZOM1408.ppt
Attachment: Alltel Tower Hill Zoning Master Plan.pdf
Attachment: ZOM1408 Powerpoint.pdf
Attachment: Alltel Background Materials.pdf

Evening Community Outreach
Proclamations, Recognitions and Presentations

Award Presentation: 1000 Friends of Florida (Amended)
Amount: N/A
Recommended Action: Hear award presentation by 1000 Friends of Florida
Proclamation: "Friendship Month" in Alachua County, Florida. (Amended)
Amount: N/A
Recommended Action: The Alachua County Board of County Commissioners present a proclamation declaring November as "Friendship Month" in Alachua County, Florida.
Attachment: Friendship Month 2008.pdf
Public Comments - 30 minutes, then resume Public Hearing (5:30 PM)

PM Public Comments (Amended)
Amount: N/A
Recommended Action: Hear Public Comments

Public Hearings
Regular Matters

Public Hearing: CHOICES Ordinance (Amended)
Amount: N/A
Recommended Action: Public Hearing to approve an Ordinance to amend the County Code which would allow for the expansion of the scope of health care services to CHOICES Enrollees
Attachment: CHOICESamend82008.pdf
Public Hearing to amend the FY 09 budget for carryforwards, re-appropriations and other fund balance adjustments (Amended)
Amount: Various
Recommended Action: conduct public hearing, adopt resolutions and approve budget amendments to amend FY 09 budget for carry-forward , re-appropriations and other fund balance adjustments
Legislative items

Public School Concurrency Amendments to Unified Land Development Code: Hearing to consider amendments to the Concurrency Management regulations and other sections of the Unified Land Development Code(Amended) (Amended)
Amount: N/A
Recommended Action: 1. Convene as the Land Development Regulation Commission and find the proposed ordinance consistent with the Comprehensive Plan. 2. Adopt the ordinance amending the Alachua County Concurrency Management regulations and other sections of the Unified Land Development Code.
Attachment: Art12SchConc.pdf
Attachment: FinalSCOrd.pdf
Attachment: SCslideshow.pdf
Attachment: SCSlideshow.ppt

Quasi-Judicial/Zoning Items
New Business

ZOM-13-08 A Minor Amendment to extend the phasing schedule for Phase 2 of the existing South Pointe Planned Development, located on approximately 110 acres at the 11800 block of Newberry Road. (Amended)
Amount: N/A
Recommended Action: Approve ZOM-13-08 proposed minor amendment that would extend the end date of Phase 2 for South Pointe Planned Development.with the conditions and bases as listed in the Staff Report.
Attachment: Resm1308.pdf
Attachment: ZOM1308.pdf
Attachment: ZOM1308 Powerpoint.pdf
Attachment: ZOM1308 Revised ZMP.pdf
Attachment: ZOM1308.ppt
Attachment: ZOM1308 Application.pdf
Attachment: ZOM1308 Resolution Exhibit A.pdf


Advisory Board Appointments

Ms. Jennifer Flinn was appointed to the Board of Adjustments as a Citizen-at-large to a term ending October 31, 2012.
Ms. Jessica Johnson was appointed to the Fair Housing/Human Rights Board as a Citizen-at-large to a term ending June 30, 2011.
Ms. Shirley Ayers was appointed to the Fair Housing/Human Rights Board as an Attorney to a term ending June 30, 2011.

Mr. Marcus Monroe was appointed to the Fair Housing/Human Rights Board as a Citizen-at-large to a term ending June 30, 2011.

Mr. Vinay Raj was appointed to the Fair Housing/Human Rights Board as a Lending Institution Representative to a term ending June 30, 2011.

Mr. Alton McDilda was appointed to the Recreation and Open Space Advisory Committee as a Citizen-at-large to a term ending September 2009, then September 30, 2011.

Mr. James Curington was appointed to the Recreation and Open Space Advisory Committee as a Citizen-at-large to a term ending February 2009, then February 2011.

Ms. Holly Blumenthal was appointed to the Recreation and Open Space Advisory Committee as a Citizen-at-large to a term ending February 2009, then February 2011.

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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:

  • Alachua County Housing Authority: One Alternate Tenant-Commissioner; this position requires residency in public housing or that applicant is on the Alachua County Housing Authority’s Section 8 Voucher Program
  • Alachua County Historical Commission: Two citizens-at-large, one citizen-at-large
  • Bicycle/Pedestrian Advisory Board: One citizen-at-large
  • CHOICES Health Services Advisory Board: One CHOICES program participant, one CHOICES program participant (Alternate), one Pharmacist, one managed care employee, one hospital employee, one physician, one small business owner
  • Citizens Disability Advisory Committee: Four citizens-at-large
  • Code Enforcement Board: One architect, one citizen-at-large, one alternate
  • Cultural and Environmental Funding Advisory Board: One Alachua County resident alternate, one member with a demonstrated interest in history and/or local heritage, one member with a demonstrated interest in the visual arts, one member with a demonstrated interest in culture and the performing arts
  • Economic Development Advisory Board: Four persons actively engaged with economic development organizations, one person actively engaged in Banking or finance in connection with economic/business development, one person actively engaged as a real estate professional in connection with economic/business development
  • Environmental Protection Advisory Committee: Four citizens-at-large, one alternate
  • Fair Housing Human Rights Board: One residential rental manager
  • Gainesville/Alachua County Arts in Public Places Trust: One interior designer, when possible
  • Health Care Board: One health care professional, one low income consumer, one low-income health care consumer; one health care consumer, one community advocacy group member
  • Health Facilities Authority: One citizen-at-large
  • Housing Finance Authority: One citizen-at-large, one alternate, one citizen-at-large knowledgeable in the areas of labor, finance or commerce
  • Land Conservation Board: One Natural Resources professional, two citizens-at-large, one alternate, one Natural Resources professional
  • Original Florida Tourism Task Force: One citizen-at-large, one citizen-at-large (alternate)
  • Poverty Reduction Advisory Board: Three representatives: Non-profit organization, one representative: Faith-based organization, one low income citizen
  • Rural Concerns Advisory Committee: One alternate
  • Victim Services and Rape Crisis Center Program Advisory Council: One alternate

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.