December 12th edition of:

Community Update
A Report on the Activities of Alachua County Government

 

This Issues Features:

ECSC Final Report Published
Reid proposes “Alternative Futures”
Commission Endorsed Climate Action Blueprint
New Sustainability Website
ACEPD Receives $108,295 Grant
County Update TV on Community 12
Local Food Stamp Hotline Starting

What’s on Alachua County Talks?
Free copies of The Long Road available
Performance Quarterly Newsletter
Public Comment Open for LEED
Public Safety Dept. Goes 4/10
Public Workshop on Development Review Process
Animal Services’ Pet Sale
Commission Meeting Highlights
Alachua County Advisory Boards

 

ECSC Final Report Published

In speaking of the report Alachua County Manager Randall H. Reid said, “The report is an analysis of how Alachua County can be made a more energy resilient and sustainable community. It is written in such a manner to both raise awareness of the problems facing our communities as well as propose solution and implementation strategies. It was researched and prepared by a dedicated group of citizens, academics and professionals who made up the ECSC.”
Click here to view the complete report. Click on the “Fullscreen” button at the upper left corner of the screen to increase booklet size. Put your curser on the right or left edge of the booklet to turn pages. The middle arrows on the page edge turn one page, the top arrows jump to the beginning or end. Click in the text to magnify.

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Reid proposes "Alternative Futures"

In his FY09 budget message to the County Commission and Citizens of Alachua County, Florida, County Manager Randall H. Reid directed every department to prepare for a prolonged period of economic instability.
Reid stated, “In an era of perpetual fiscal crisis and continuously rising costs, we must prepare for and proactively plan for the future. It is vital to recognize that this time contains opportunities to change how we operate and allows us to respond to challenges in a positive way.”
At Manager Reid’s direction, Alachua County has embarked upon a non-traditional assessment of its service delivery models. This effort has been named the “Alternative Futures” project.
“These difficult economic times have compelled us to implement the traditional responses such as across-the-board cuts, hiring freezes, employee bonuses instead of raises and deferring capital projects such as the Court Services building,” Reid stated, “but ultimately these traditional responses don’t create a sustainable and healthy organization. We must fundamentally change our business plans.”
County departments will be submitting “Alternative Futures” business proposals to Manager Reid for presentation to the County Commission in February of 2009.
To view the “Alternative Futures” presentation click here:
Reid proposes “Alternative Futures”
Any citizen wishing to submit ideas to the County Manager concerning the “Alternative Futures” project, and how the County should or could change the way services are delivered is encouraged to send an email by January 15th, 2009 to AlternativeFutures@alachuacounty.us. These will be discussed by the County Commission and staff in February 2009.
Under Florida law, all information, including e-mail, written letters, documents and phone messages, sent to Alachua County is subject to Public Records law. This includes the sender’s e-mail address, home address or phone number if shown in the message, the content of the message and any associated attachments to the email.
For more information, call the Communications Office at 352-374-5226.
Working


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Commission Endorsed Climate Action Blueprint

The Alachua County Board of County Commissioners joined with local elected officials across the country last week to urge President-elect Obama and the incoming Congress to invest stimulus dollars in local climate action as a quick and effective way to create new green jobs, revitalize the economy and promote energy independence. December 8-15 is national Local Climate Action Week. At their December 9th meeting, the County Commission endorsed collectively what they have already endorsed individually, a national Climate Action Blueprint that emphasizes the need for federal funding for local energy conservation projects www.climatecommunities.us/endorseblueprint.html.

“We were pleased that candidate Barack Obama supported investment in energy-saving projects to create jobs and spur economic recovery,” said County Commission Chair Mike Byerly. “Now, we want President-Elect Obama and Congress to know that, with their help, we’re ready to put hundreds of Alachua County citizens to work reducing our dependence on fossil fuels and cutting greenhouse gas emissions.” Byerly cited the County’s Energy Conservation Strategies Commission

Commission Endorsed Climate Action Blueprint(ECSC) report released last week as an example of Alachua County’s innovative commitment to energy conservation, greenhouse gas reductions, and job creation.
“Supporting local government action should be a top priority as Washington develops new economic stimulus, climate and energy policies,” said Byerly. “Local governments deal directly with building code, transportation, and land use policies, and are on the front line coping with hurricanes, floods, wildfires, droughts, and other consequences of global climate change.”

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New Sustainability Website

Alachua County Manager Randall H. Reid, Chair of the International City/County Management Association Sustainability Advisory Committee, the County has set up a sustainability website.
On this site citizens will find resources to programs dedicated to, or having an important role in promoting sustainability within Alachua County. Citizens are encouraged to read Alachua County’s “Declaration for a Resource-Efficient and Resilient Community” statement. ( It represents a summation message of sustainability that is being shared and discussed at an international level based on this community’s collective work.
“Counties must take a leadership role in advancing sustainability,” Reid said, “This website represents one more tool to help educate and engage citizens.”
To peruse the site click on the following link:
http://www.alachuacounty.us/government/sustainability
For more information, contact Alachua County Sustainability Program Manager Sean McLendon at 352-374-5204.

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ACEPD Receives $108,295 Grant

The Alachua County Environmental Protection Department (ACEPD) has received a $108,295 grant from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) Region 4 to perform environmental testing in Springstead Creek and selected drainage ditches in the vicinity of the Cabot-Koppers Superfund site in Gainesville. In addition, the grant will allow ACEPD to continue on-going field oversight and technical review support for USEPA.
Since 2002, through the efforts of ACEPD Pollution Prevention Manager Dr. John Mousa and Professional Geologist Robin Hallbourg, Alachua County has provided field technical support and local technical review for investigation and remediation activities at the Cabot-Koppers Superfund Site under a USEPA Cooperative Assistance Agreement. Sediment sampling activities will include a field survey or reconnaissance of Springstead Creek from N. Main Street to the confluence with Hogtown Creek to look for potential impacts from any past discharges associated with the Cabot-Koppers Superfund site. Survey and sediment sampling activities in Springstead Creek are scheduled to occur in the December 2008 through February 2009 time frame depending on favorable weather conditions. Two separate storm water sampling events are also planned in the vicinity of Springstead Creek and the Cabot-Koppers site during the winter and summer months of 2009. The timing of the storm water sampling events will depend on the occurrence of sufficiently strong rainfall events. Sediment and storm water samples will be tested for organic and metal compounds of concern associated with the Cabot-Koppers Superfund site.
“We are pleased that USEPA has responded to ACEPD’s request to provide funding for Alachua County to conduct the sediment and storm water sampling near this Gainesville Superfund site”, stated Chris Bird, Director of the ACEPD, “This new round of sampling should provide additional data to hopefully address some of the long standing concerns raised by citizens in the neighborhoods near Springstead Creek and the Cabot-Koppers site about offsite impacts. I want to commend Dr. John Mousa and Robin Hallbourg for their success in developing an effective working relationship with USEPA that recognizes the need to address local environmental concerns such as the condition of Springstead Creek.”
For more information, contact Dr. John Mousa or Robin Hallbourg at 352-264-6800.


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County Update TV on Community 12

County Update is a half hour news program providing in-depth information on County programs, services and initiatives. County Update airs on Community 12 and the Video On Demand website.
Features This Month
• 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
                                                                                                                                     

 

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Local Food Stamp Hotline Starting

The Alachua County Board of County Commissioners have agreed to provide a one-time emergency allocation of $14,973 to the state DC&F (Department of Children & Families), to provide funds for a local hotline to answer questions about applying for Food Stamp Benefits (now named SNAP - Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program). The local phone number is 352-955-5338. It will be in operation through June 30, 2009. The County Commission hopes that, by the end of June, the State of Florida will either provide funding for a local number, or improve their call center system.

This action was taken to assist local residents who want to apply for Food Stamps. Phoning the statewide call center is currently the only way to speak to DCF about applying for Food Stamp benefits. Only about 24% of calls in which a caller tries to speak with an agent in order to get answers, actually gets to speak with an agent, due to a huge volume of calls and inadequate staffing. Only 55% of residents eligible for Food Stamp benefits receive them.

Over 21,000 Alachua County residents currently receive Food Stamp benefits, but another 17,000 to 18,000 residents are eligible. If all eligible residents received Food Stamp benefits, Florida Impact, Inc. (a non-profit food assistance research firm in Tallahassee) estimates that an additional $18,000,000 would be spent in Alachua County each year for nutritional assistance. The United States Department of Agriculture reports that for every dollar in Food Stamp expenditure in a county, there is a $1.84 in economic impact created. Thus, even if the county only increases the number of eligible residents who actually receive benefits by 20% (increase the percent of eligible residents receiving benefits from 55% to 75%) the projected economic development impact within the county would be in the range of $6 million to $8 million in additional food assistance. The projected overall local economic impact would be in the range of $11 million to $14 million.

DC&F will report quarterly to the County commission regarding the use of the local phone number and the number of new applications assisted through this effort.


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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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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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Free copies of The Long Road available

Alachua County Victim Services and Rape Crisis Center is proud to announce that copies of The Long Road:  Images and Words by Survivors of Sexual Violence are available free of charge to citizens. 

This anthology originated as a product of a Survivors of Rape Trauma Support Group that focused on writing as an exploratory and healing tool. Members completed writing exercises throughout the 10 week group, and then chose pieces for inclusion in the printed work that they felt best conveyed what they needed or wanted to share with others. After the group, survivors from the public were also invited to share images and writing. The final version includes an array of themes common to survivors of sexual violence at all stages of the healing journey. Both male and female survivors (people hurt as adults and as children, and people hurt within the context of a relationship) express their thoughts about both supporters and those who were not supportive. The Center is pleased to have met the three goals of this anthology: to give survivors a space to voice their experiences, to reach out to survivors who feel as if they are alone and disconnected after the violence, and to educate the public at large so that more people can understand and offer support to survivors. 
Some of the language and subject matter in the anthology is mature in nature.

Copies are available at The Community Support Services building, 218 SE 24th Street, Gainesville, or by calling 352-264-6764.

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Performance Quarterly Newsletter

Each quarter, in-house and guest writers tell their story related to program outcomes in the Performance Quarterly newsletter. “Telling Our Story with Words and Numbers” is important to help our employees and our citizens understand the impact this agency makes on the goal of excellence in county government and improving the quality of life in Alachua County.
The Performance Quarterly newsletter is published electronically in January, April, July, and October by the Office of Management and Budget through the Aligning for Success program.
If you have any questions about the Performance Quarterly newsletter please contact Donna Bradbrook, Strategic Performance Manager at 352-278-1090 or dbradbrook@alachuacounty.us

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Public Comment Open for LEED

LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), is a nationally recognized certification system that ranks a property’s overall sustainability by awarding points for a wide variety of sustainable features. The LEED-ND (for Neighborhood Development, also known as the “smart growth” LEED) was developed through a partnership of the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Congress for the New Urbanism, and the US Green Building Council.

The national rating system for the LEED-ND is open for public comment through January 5, 2009. The new standards, along with online public comment instructions, may be accessed at: http://www.usgbc.org/LEED/LEEDDrafts/RatingSystemVersions.aspx?CMSPageID=1458

The Brytan project in southwest Alachua County is the first development in North Central Florida and one of only six developments in Florida to participate as a LEED-ND Pilot Project. Alachua County is currently evaluating ways of better encouraging developers to incorporate LEED-ND standards into their project designs through land development policies and regulations.

For more information about the LEED-ND and “green” development, contact Stephen Hofstetter at the Alachua County Environmental Protection Department at 352-264-6811.

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Public Safety Dept. Goes 4/10

The Alachua County Department of Public Safety is implementing a modified work schedule of four, ten hour days.  The new schedule is effective on Monday, December 8, 2008. This schedule will benefit the County and its citizens.  By closing the Headquarters and Emergency Operations Center on Fridays, energy consumption will be reduced recognizing a significant cost savings.   The extended hours will be beneficial to citizens who may not have been able to visit the Headquarters or Emergency Operations Center during traditional business times.  

The Alachua County Department of Public Safety Headquarters and Emergency Operations Center will be open to the public Monday through Thursday from 7:00 am to 5:30 pm.  Both offices will be closed for business on Fridays.  The new office hours will not affect any of the services provided to our citizens by fire and medical emergency personnel.

If you have any questions, please contact the Department of Public Safety Public Information Officer Carol Davis at 352- 384-3110 cell: 352-258-9966.

 

 

Public Workshop on Development Review Process

 

There will be a Development Review Process and Unified Land Development Code (ULDC) update public workshop on January 5, 2009 in the Grace Knight Conference Room, County Administration Building, Second Floor at 4:00 p.m.

This will be the fifth public workshop to discuss changes in the development review process, related code and other pertinent topics. Staff presented draft documents to the Board of County Commissioners at a special meeting on December 2, 2008 and would like to receive additional public input prior to scheduling adoption hearings. This will be a continuation of previous discussions and any new proposed revisions will be presented as well.
Some of the topics to be discussed are as follows:
- Concurrency and development plan extension
- Roadway cross sections
- Street trees
- Open Space stormwater design
- Miscellaneous ULDC revisions

This has been an interdepartmental effort to facilitate a more efficient development review process and to address confusing or conflicting code language and regulations. Draft documents are available for review. For further information, you may contact the Alachua County Growth Management Department at 352-374-5249.

  

 

Animal Services’ Pet Sale

Alachua County Animal Services is having a reduction in price for the Holiday’s. With today’s economy we understand times are tough. Animal Services is here to help you and your family adopt your new four legged family member. The animals will all be at “New Hope” prices on December 20, 2008, from 9:30am until 5:30pm, at 3400 NE 53 Ave in Gainesville. Dogs will be $45.00 and Cats are $33.00.

Animal Services wants you to know that if you are looking to adopt, make sure the animal you choose is the right one for your lifestyle. New pets will need time, patience, and a sense of humor. Allow them time to fall into your routine. Our staff has many years of experience in animal care and handling. Ask us about other reduced or free services, which are available.

For more information call 352-264-6870. Animal Services is located 3400 NE 53 AVE Gainesville FL. Our hours of operation are Tuesday through Saturday from 9:30am to 5:30pm.




Commission Meeting Highlights

Announcements - Mark Sexton, Communications Coordinator

The Chair presented retirement plaques to Carl Wilson and Randy Scott 

The Board proclaimed Tuesday, December 9, 2008 as "Rhonda Wilson Day" in Alachua County, Florida in honor of her 2008 Annual Award from the Gainesville/Alachua County Cultural Affairs Board.
Attachment: Rhonda Wilson Day 2008.pdf

The Board proclaimed Tuesday, December 9, 2008 as "Mary Hausch Day" in Alachua County Florida in honor of her Cultural Affairs Board Lifetime Achievement Award.
Attachment: Mary Hausch Day 2008.pdf

The Board endorsed "Empowering Local Government Climate Action: Blueprint for the New President and 111th Congress" and declare "Local Climate Action Week" December 8-15, 2008
Attachment: blueprint_fact_sheet.pdf
Attachment: Climate Action Blueprint.pdf
Attachment: Local Climate Action Week 2008.pdf

The Board received the Summer HeatWave Youth Report and decided to fund the program for another year at the $60,000.00 level
Attachment: Heatwave Final Report.pdf

The Board asked the staff to return with cost estimates for installing  landscaping in front of Kanapaha, Forest and Jonesville Parksto discourage unauthorized parking in the right-of-way.
Attachment: parks_presentation.ppt

The Board executed the Mitigation Agreement, Easement Agreement, Conservation Easement, and Escrow Agreement to allow Delcala Corporation to restore 5.18 acres of wetlands on Barr Hammock Preserve.
Attachment: Exhibit 2 Delcala Easement Agrmt Final.pdf
Attachment: Exhibit 5 BHP Delcala SJRWMD Permit No 40831107151.pdf
Attachment: Map 1 Barr Delcala Mitigation.pdf
Attachment: Exhibit 4 Delcala Escrow Agrmt Final.pdf
Attachment: Exhibit 2 Delcala Easement Agrmt Final.pdf
Attachment: Exhibit 1 Delcala Mitigation Agrmt Final.pdf
Attachment: Exhibit 3 Delcala Conservation Easement Final.pdf

County Manager Reports

  1. Public Hearing for January 13, 2009: Due to the legislative Delegation Hearing being held earlier this year, December 4, 2008, the presentation of Alachua County’s 2009 Legislative Program was tentative due to issues still in progress. The Legislative Delegation was informed that once the tentative issues became finalized, the formal legislative policy request would be transmitted to them as soon as possible.
  1. Retreat Agenda: A retreat will be held this Friday December 12, 2008 from 10:00AM until 2:00PM. Issues to be discussed include:
  2. Financial Outlook
  3. Guiding Vision Statements
  4. Budget Approach- Civic Education
  5. Alternative Futures
  6. Organizational Issues
  7. Energy program

 An agenda will be provided to you at the Evening session tonight.

  1. Federal Stimulus Package Response: The Manager is directing staff to prepare additional information to submit for consideration in the final version of any public works stimulus package. The Manager has already submitted SW 62nd Avenue. Additional projects the Manager may wish to submit include the Court Support Building, our Environmental Park and Fairgrounds infrastructure and additional roadways.
  2.  Hawthorne Fire Request: TheManager has received an email from City Manager Chad Shryock requesting that we meet to develop an agreement for contracting unincorporated fire services with Hawthorne. There have been discussions that the County would contact the cities individually and would address their issue through the MFA or offer a Waldo type agreement. The Manager will respond with a meeting is advising the Board that separate negotiations are now underway with the City of Hawthorne and City of Alachua.

 
The Board adopted the Resolution of Intent to use the uniform method of collecting non-ad valorem assessments for collection, disposal, recycling and management of solid waste throughout Alachua County and for community maintenance in the Sugarfoot Oaks/Cedar Ridge Preservation and Enhancement District for Fiscal Year 2009-10.
Attachment: ResIntent_09_10.pdf
The Board approved the ordinance amending the County Administrative Code and authorized the Chair to sign.
Attachment: AdminCode2008.pdf
The Board executed the Option Agreement to purchase the Alachua County Forever Barr Hammock Whitehurst Tract, authorize the Chairman's signature and authorize staff to execute additional documents as necessary to close the transaction.
Attachment: Exhibit 5 Whitehurst WRP Easement Deed Final.pdf
Attachment: Exhibit 2 BAR Whitehurst evaluation.pdf
Attachment: Exhibit 3 Barr Hammock Assessment.pdf
Attachment: Exhibit 4 Whitehurst acq costs.pdf
Attachment: Exhibit 6 Whitehurst BoCC081209.pdf
Attachment: BoCC0801209 ACF Whitehurst.ppt
Attachment: Exhibit 1 Whitehurst Barr Hammock Option Final.pdf
The Board did not approve the 60% plans for the NW/SW 91st Street Resurfacing and Traffic Calming Projects as proposed and directed staff to bring the item back at a later date.
Attachment: public comments.pdf
Attachment: Plans.pdf
Attachment: Presentation.pdf
Attachment: SW 91st Street_120908_final.ppt
The Board approved a text amendment to define community uses on the Town of Tioga Zoning Master Plan and adopt Resolution Z-08-24 approving the requested minor PD amendment
Attachment: Tioga PD ZMP.pdf
Attachment: Town of Tioga Background.PDF
Attachment: Tioga PD ZMP Amendment Request.pdf
Attachment: ZOM1508 Staff Report.pdf
Attachment: ZOM1508.ppt
Attachment: Town of Tioga Legal Description.PDF
Attachment: ZOM1508 Powerpoint.pdf
Attachment: ZOM1508 Resolution.PDF

 

 

Advisory Board Appointments

Ms. Sallyese D. Lee was appointed to the Rural Concerns Advisory Council as an Alternate to a term ending September 30, 2009.

Mr. Kevin T. Riordan was appointed to the Bicycle/Pedestrian Advisory Board as a Citizen-at-large to a term ending August 31, 2010.


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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: 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.