April 20 edition of:

Community Update
A Report on the Activities of Alachua County Government

 

This Issues Features:

Alternative Futures: Community Conversations
Solar Array Information Available Online
Green Infrastructure
CHOICES Community Health Expo
Alachua Brownfield
County Update
Cell Phones for Soldiers
Collaboration Leads to Preparedness
Post-Disaster Redevelopment Plan
Supervisor of Elections and Staff Honored
Great American Clean-Up
Environmental Protection Fee Collection Rate
What’s on Alachua County Talks?
RSVP Luncheon
Scoop the Poop
Animal Clinic
Denim Day
Victims’ Rights Week
National Volunteer Week
Commission Meeting Highlights

 

Alternative Futures: Community Conversations

The Alachua Board of County Commissioners, cordially invites you to “Alternative Futures: Community Conversations.” We hope you will join us for a wide ranging discussion of ideas and realities confronting our community in light of the fiscal restraints and challenges that face our County.
The evening will feature a brief presentation of the County’s budget and financial condition, followed by an interactive simulated budget activity. The activity will allow you to step into a County Commissioner’s shoes to determine the future of your County.
What’s your “Alternative Future” for Alachua County?
Seating is limited, please select (click) one of the following dates to reserve your spot:
Monday April 27, 2009
County Health Department
224 SE 24th Street, Gainesville
6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Monday May 11, 2009
Irby Elementary School
13505 NW 140th St, Alachua
6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Monday May 18, 2009
Gainesville High School
1900 NW 13th St, Gainesville
6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

To reserve a seat by phone,
please call 352-374-5226
Casual Attire Recommended.


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Solar Array Information Available Online

Current data on the energy produced by the new solar array at the Leveda Brown Environmental Park is now available online. Visitors to the site can view the power produced, the CO2 reduced, and the revenue earned by the array.
Click here to see the data.
The solar array at the Leveda Brown Environmental Park became operational on March 3, 2009 and is the first array to be part of Gainesville Regional Utilities’ (GRU) Feed-in Tariff program. With the tariff, energy produced by the solar array feeds directly into the GRU grid. GRU then pays Alachua County 32 cents per kilowatt hour produced by the array.
Expected energy output of the array is an average of 150 kw per day. This represents 15% of the total energy usage of the Transfer station facilities or the energy used by 4 average homes.
For more information, or arrange a tour of the Leveda Brown Environmental Park and Transfer station including the Solar Array project, call the Alachua County Waste Management Division at 352-374-5213.


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Green Infrastructure

The National Association of Counties (NACo) recently released a “Green Infrastructure” brochure designed to promote county investments in this important area.  The brochure shines a spotlight on Alachua County’s efforts in building a strong green infrastructure.
To view the brochure (the Alachua County article is on page 4 of 4) click here
“I am very proud that our efforts are being highlighted by NACo, “County Manager Randall H. Reid said in response to the brochure, “The County Commission, with the support of a majority of County voters, has made protecting and promoting our green infrastructure a priority.”
For more information, contact the Alachua County Communications Office at 352-374-5226.


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CHOICES Community Health Expo

Alachua County’s CHOICES Health Services is holding its second annual CHOICES “Community Health Expo” on Saturday, April 25, 2009 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Martin Luther King Jr. Multipurpose Center (1028 NE 14th St., Gainesville). The event showcases services provided by Alachua County agencies and organizations dedicated to improving the health and quality of life of county residents.
The event includes: prizes, face painting, McGruff the Crime Dog, and activities for adults and children. Guests may attend seminars on “Heart Health”, and “Diabetes Prevention & Management”. Local health professionals will offer free health screenings. Guests can also apply on-site for CHOICES Health Services, Florida KidCare, and food stamps. Alachua County Environmental Protection Department will give away free paint coupons to a limited number of guests (redeemable from April 27th to May 1st, 2009).
For more information, contact Marie Small at 352-264-6739 or mdsmall@alachuacounty.us.

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Alachua Brownfield

The Alachua County Board of County Commissioners will consider a resolution to designate the Phoenix Commercial Park (12801 NW Highway 441, Alachua ) as a Brownfield Area pursuant to the Brownfield Redevelopment Act. The Public Hearing on the resolution will be held on Tuesday, April 28, 2009, 5:00 p.m. at the County Administration Building, Room 209, 12 S.E. 1st Street, Gainesville, Florida.
For more information please call 352-264-6800 or email gus@alachuacounty.us

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County Update

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. Click here to view this month’s show.

Features This Month

2009 Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration

Fire Station 10 Ribbon Cutting

New Recreational Facilities

San Felasco Park

Solar Power On! Ceremony

Foster Grandparents Recognition Luncheon

Creating Respect for People and Place: Alternative Futures


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Cell Phones for Soldiers

The Alachua County Tax Collector’s office has collected 6,876 cell phones for the “Cell Phones for Soldiers” program. They invite citizens to help them reach the goal of 7,500 phones by July 4, 2009.
The program collects cell phones, which are sent for recycling. The money raised from recycling is used to purchase calling cards for military personnel. Representatives of the Tax Collector’s office also attend the meetings of the Military Support Group for Alachua County to include the calling cards in “care packages” sent to troops.
You can drop off cell phones for recycling at any of the Tax Collector branch offices.
For Alachua County Tax Collector locations and times, click here.
For more information about the Cell Phones for Soldiers program, click here, or call Stephanie Kelley 352-337-6228 or Roxanne Watkins 352-264-6935.

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Collaboration Leads to Preparedness

magine a cool, March morning with drag race fans gathering to watch the first day of competition. Imagine also a farmer towing a nurse tank filled with anhydrous ammonia being plowed into by a departing race team’s trailer with high octane fuel on board. That’s what local hospital and public safety personnel had to deal with in a recent disaster exercise.
On Tuesday, March 24th, Alachua County Emergency Management conducted a Mass Casualty / Mass Fatality exercise for local hospitals. The scenario began with a famer’s truck being struck by a dragster’s transport trailer. Each vehicle had toxic chemicals on board which, as a result from the accident, created a plume of poison that impacted the crowd at the race track. Panic set in and there were many injuries and deaths.
The objective of the exercise was to test hospital surge capacity, activation of Alternate Medical Treatment Sites and mass fatality plans. During play, hospitals had to decontaminate, triage and treat patients that were sent to their Emergency Rooms. Some had “paper” patients, while others recruited local high school students to be their victims. Additionally, the hospitals transferred previously admitted patients to other facilities that do not have Emergency Departments. In all, 130 patients were simulated.
In addition to the hospitals being tested, the County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) conducted a tabletop exercise which simulated activating to support the Incident Command organization in the field, each hospital as well as the Medical Examiner’s Office and the Alternate Treatment Site.
The exercise was well received. One participant commented “I’ve worked … in 5 different states and by far, what I have seen in Alachua County has been the very best by quite a margin.”

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Post-Disaster Redevelopment Plan

Alachua County is embarking on a community-wide effort to establish a Post-Disaster Redevelopment Plan (PDRP).The plan will address how our community will redevelop after a disaster to maximize post-disaster opportunities in order to maintain or enhance the current quality of life in Alachua County.

The plan will seek to unite growth management and emergency management principles to develop a comprehensive document in collaboration with community stakeholders.  

Additionally, the PDRP will be strategic and holistic in approach, and will serve as the policy and procedural blueprint for short term recovery actions that will affect long-term recovery and post-disaster viability of the community.

To make this planning process successful, participation is needed from all sectors of the community, including the local governments, major industries, business and community groups, educational institutions and the public. 

A kick-off meeting will be held on Monday, April 20, 2009, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Alachua County Health Department Auditorium (224 SE 24th. Street., Gainesville).

For more information about the PDRP or this upcoming meeting, please contact Alachua County Emergency Management Chief David Donnelly at dad@alachuacounty.us or 352-264-6500.


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Supervisor of Elections and Staff Honored

Alachua County League of Women Voters named Alachua County Supervisor of Elections Pam Carpenter as the “Outstanding Elected Official of the Year”. Carpenter received the award at the League’s spring luncheon on April 1, 2009 at Sweetwater Branch Inn.
Rosalie Bandyopadhyay, President of the Alachua County League of Women Voters, recognized Carpenter and her staff for their outstanding service to the citizens of Alachua County for consistent excellence in assuring fair and accurate elections. “It is an honor and a privilege to present our Outstanding Elected Official of the Year Award”, Bandyopadhyay said, “She and her staff conducted impartial and fair elections. We are so appreciative of the outstanding work they have done.”
Bandyopadhyay and League members also held a recognition ceremony for the entire Elections staff at the Alachua County Supervisor of Elections Office on April 14, 2009. Elections staff members each received a certificate recognizing their outstanding service and commitment to the voters of Alachua County. The staff enjoyed a lunch provided by Supervisor of Elections Pam Carpenter and a patriotic red, white and blue flag cake provided by the League.
“It’s an honor for us to be recognized by an organization whose purpose is to make democracy work for all citizens. I’m honored to receive this award and I’m extremely proud of my staff and their enduring commitment to the voters of Alachua County. I thank the League for recognizing that it takes a team, and for honoring those outstanding team members for their service.”
Kim Barton, Outreach Director, Supervisor of Elections Office received the League’s Outstanding Community Service Award.
The League of Women Voters is a non-partisan organization that encourages informed and active participation of citizens in government.
Carpenter has been Alachua County Supervisor of Elections since January 2005.

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Great American Clean-Up

“Great American Clean-up” volunteers from the Trinity United Methodist Church lend a hand to an Alachua County Forever preserve on Newnan’s Lake.
On Saturday March 21st, 2009 a group of 30 volunteers removed 4.7 tons of solid waste from an Alachua County Forever (ACF) preserve as part of a “Keep Alachua County Beautiful: 2009 Great American Clean-up” event. The 25-acre preserve is located on the southwestern corner of Newnan’s Lake and features beautifully wooded slopes and floodplains featuring majestic cypress. The removal of this “legacy trash” consisting of rusty car parts, car tires and household waste was an important step in restoration and management of the preserve.
The clean-up event was a community partnership. The volunteers from the Trinity United Methodist Church of Gainesville contributed the labor to remove the debris from the woods. Keep Alachua County Beautiful and Emerald Waste supplied the two 20 cubic yard dumpsters free of charge. The Alachua County Leveda Brown Transfer Station accepted the 1,360 lbs of tires for recycling. In addition, private land owners adjacent to the preserve allowed access through their property for efficient clean-up activities.
When participation from supporters is this strong, Alachua County and ACF make great advancements.

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Environmental Protection Fee Collection Rate

The Alachua County Environmental Protection Department (EPD) runs a fee-supported regulatory program as authorized by of the Alachua County Hazardous Materials Management Code (HMMC). This year, EPD collected 99% of possible HMMC fees. More than 1100 businesses were invoiced. Only 28 failed to pay. Payments amounted to $215,092 on fees of $217,665 (98.8%).
This year’s billing effort marks the growth of process improvements started in fiscal 2007. Before 2007, the collection rates routinely were between 85% and 90%. The 2007 and 2008 rates were 96% and 97%.
Among the improvements that mattered:

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What’s on Alachua County Talks?

Click here to watch Angela Pate, Executive Director of the Florida Works Board discuss the Florida Works Program.
Click here to watch Dr. Stephen Mulkey discuss carbon sequestration, a technique for mitigating carbon in the atmosphere.

Check out the latest editions of Alachua County Talks on Community 12 TV by viewing the Channel 12 Show Schedule.

 

RSVP Luncheon

The Retired and Senior Volunteer Program of Alachua County (RSVP) is celebrating their 35th Annual Recognition Luncheon at the Paramount Hotel and Suites (2900 SW 13th Street, Gainesville) on April 22, 2009 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.  The theme for this year’s event is “RSVP Volunteers Are Priceless!”  Our Master of Ceremonies will be Bob Williams, Community Service Manager for WCJB TV-20.  Entertainment will be provided by The Eastside High School Jazz Band Ensemble, directed by David M. Jones, Band Director.
The event is by invitation only, however, the media is invited to cover it.
The RSVP Program was established in Alachua County in 1973.  It is part of the Corporation for National and Community Service and has been sponsored locally by the Board of County Commissioners since June of 1974.  RSVP of Alachua County matches persons ages 55+ who would like to share their skills, knowledge, and talents, with others by volunteering. RSVP has partnerships established with over seventy non-profit, government, and health care agencies where people can volunteer to make positive impacts to communities. RSVP is an excellent way to put into action what is important to you.
For more information about RSVP, click here, or call 352-264-6732.

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Scoop the Poop

Alachua County Environmental Protection (ACEPD) has begun a pet waste public outreach campaign this spring. The campaign is funded by the Gainesville Clean Water Partnership and has the goal of making cleaning up after your pet a community norm.
With over 140,000 dogs in Alachua County producing roughly 46,000 pounds of dog waste every day it doesn’t take long to pollute our waterways. Pet waste left on the ground within urban areas often gets washed into the stormdrain when it rains. Most stormdrains lead to creeks or lakes without any treatment, while some in more recently developed areas go to stormwater basins. Pet waste contains nutrients that can reduce oxygen levels and lead to fish kills, algal problems, and excessive plant growth. Pet waste also contributes to the high fecal coliform levels in our creeks that often exceed State Water Quality Standards.
Impaired waterways aren’t the only reason ACEPD wants you to scoop it, bag it, and trash it. According to Anthony Dennis, the Environmental Health Director at the Alachua County Health Department, “Prompt removal of pet waste can greatly reduce the possible risk of infection from the protozoans Cryptosporidium and Giardia and the bacteria Campylobacter and E.coli. These pathogenic organisms can contaminate both surface and drinking water resulting in gastrointestinal illness if incidentally consumed. Roundworms and hookworms are intestinal parasites that can present a risk of infection if soil becomes contaminated.”
Pet waste left on the ground can also spread diseases among pets. Dr. Greiner with the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine hopes to see less pets that have become sick from pet wastes on the ground, “the bottom line is if we pick up the feces passed by our dogs and cats, we can reduce the level of environmental contamination and possibly reduce the risk of dog and cat infections and the possible involvement of the human population.”
To help citizens clean up after their pets while they are out and about in the community, ACEPD is distributing bag containers to attach to leashes. Come check out their information table at one of the following events and visit www.AlachuaCountyWater.org to learn more.

Scoop the Poop tabling events

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Animal Clinic

Alachua County Animal Services invites citizens to attend their upcoming Animal Clinic.
April 18, 2009, 11 a.m. until 4 p.m.
“Bring your fuzzy four legged best friend in to get caught up on shots” says Hilary Hines, Public Education Program Coordinator, Alachua County Animal Services
Alachua County Animal Services’ hours of operation are Tuesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. The upcoming events are located at their headquarters (3400 NE 53rd Avenue, Gainesville).
For more information, call Animal Services at 352-264-6870.

Services offered at clinic include:

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Denim Day

Alachua County Victim Services & Rape Crisis Center is sponsoring “Denim Day”, April 22, 2009 as part of Sexual Assault Awareness Month (April).
The community is encouraged to wear denim as way to support work done to challenge stereotypes and myths about sexual violence. Denim Day was conceived after the Italian Supreme Court overturned a conviction on a rape case saying that the victim wore tight jeans.
For more information on the history of Denim Day click here.
For more information about the event, contact Laura Kalt at Alachua County Victim Services & Rape Crisis Center at 352-264-6760.

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Victims’ Rights Week

Alachua County Victim Services & Rape Crisis Center is hosting the “Annual Victims’ Rights Week Candle-Lighting Ceremony”, Thursday, April 30, 2009 from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Squirrel Ridge Park (1603 SW Williston Rd., Gainesville). This event is free and open to the public. This year’s national theme for Victims’ Rights Week is “25 Years of Rebuilding Lives”.
“Over 30 years ago, Alachua County was on the forefront of a national movement to recognize the impact crime has on the victim’s life, and that victims should have a voice in the criminal justice system.” said Laura Kalt, Alachua County Community Education & Risk Reduction Coordinator. “This year when we gather in the park, we will honor and remember the lives lost and the families forever changed by violence, and we will honor the work Alachua County has done to support them”
In addition to the candle-lighting ceremony, family members can participate in tile painting. These tiles then become part of a permanent installation in the park. The Alachua County Sheriff’s Office will provide free child fingerprinting. This is for family records, in case a child is ever missing.
For more information, please call Laura Kalt (Alachua County Victim Services & Rape Crisis Center) at 352-264-6760.

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National Volunteer Week

National Volunteer Week is April 19th through the 25th, 2009. We would like to take this opportunity to introduce you to the Watershed Action Volunteer (WAV) program. This is an activity oriented volunteer group organized by the St. Johns River Water Management District (SJRWMD). Local funding partners include the Alachua County Environmental Protection Department (EPD) and the Gainesville Clean Water Partnership.
WAV volunteers participate in water quality and water conservation activities ranging from educating the public to collecting data and performing in-stream biological assessments. During 2008, Alachua WAV volunteers participated in over 50 educational activities, reaching over 7,400 members of our community during presentations to school, scout and neighborhood groups. The education focus for 2009 is water conservation.
For volunteers who would rather be outside, there are storm drain markings, special events, and cleanups. WAV is currently looking for new volunteers for a cleanup of the Lochloosa Conservation Area on Saturday April 25th, 2009 from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m.
National Volunteer Week is a perfect time to commend the efforts of one of WAVs outstanding volunteers, Gordon Brown. He has worked at numerous WAV events over the years and is a natural leader. His participation has included: arranging and giving aquifer presentations to middle school science students, representing WAV with the University of Florida Engineer’s Fair, and introducing WAV to teachers and students. He is currently completing his studies in Environmental Engineering Sciences at the University of Florida and will soon be leaving the Gainesville area. Thank you to Gordon for his years of hard work and dedication to WAV.
Alachua County EPD would like to recognize current coordinator Linda Krause for her efforts coordinating the program and all of the volunteers.
To volunteer with WAV, contact Linda at 352-264-6826 or WAVAlachua@sjrwmd.com.

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Commission Highlights

Announcements

Mark Sexton, Communications Coordinator

Attachment: Announcements

 

Administrative Professionals Day

The Board proclaimed Wednesday, April 22, 2009 as “Administrative Professionals Day” and April 19, 2009 through April 25, 2009 as “Administrative Professionals Week” in Alachua County, Florida. 
Attachment: 
Administrative Professionals Day and Week 2009.pdf

National Public Safety Telecommunications Week
The Board proclaimed April 12-18, 2009 as “National Public Safety Telecommunications Week” in Alachua County Florida.
Attachment: 
Public Safety Telecommunications.pdf

Fair Housing Month
The Board proclaimed April as “Fair Housing Month” in Alachua County, Florida.
Attachment: 
Fair Housing Month 2009.pdf

Library Appreciation Month
The Board proclaimed April as “Library Appreciation Month” in Alachua County, Florida.
Attachment: 
Library Appreciation Month 2009.pdf

Jazz Appreciation Month
The Board proclaimed April as “Jazz Appreciation Month” in Alachua County, Florida.
Attachment: 
Jazz Appreciation Month 2009.pdf

30th Fifth Avenue Arts Festival
The Board proclaimed April 18-19, 2009 as “The 30th Fifth Avenue Arts Festival Celebration” in Alachua County, Florida.
Attachment: 
30th Annual 5th Ave Arts Festival 2009.pdf

Food Stamp Hotline
The Board heard a presentation by the Department of Children and Families (DCF) regarding Food Stamps Hotline Performance.
Attachment: 
chr09 024Crist re DCF edited.pdf
Attachment: DCF from Bocc Food Stamps.pdf
Attachment: 
FS Assistance Line Call Tracking Report RAW DATA SHEET.pdf
Attachment: FS Hotline Presentation March 2009.ppt
Attachment: 
Crist Food stamps letter to Bocc.pdf

Fair Housing/Human Rights Board
The Board accepted the FY08 Annual Report of the Alachua County Fair Housing/Human Rights Board as presented.
Attachment: 
FHHRAnnualReportFY08.pdf

Construction Contract

The Board approved the Construction Contract with A and E Contractors for County Project No. 6333 Guardrail, Concrete, and Flashing Beacon for NW CR 241 from NW CR 235 to NW CR 236.
Amount: $333,139.00
Attachment: 
JEA Final Plans.pdf
Attachment: CR241 Guardrail Final.pdf
Attachment: 241 bid docs AE General contractors.pdf
Attachment: PW plans.pdf

 

Bus Service

The Board approved the agreements and budget amendment and authorized the Chair to sign the budget amendment and the agreements with the City of Gainesville for bus service for FY 09, for Base Level Service and Service for Route 75.
Amount: $1,049,423.00

Attachment: Reserve adjustments for FY09 Fund 149.pdf
Attachment: RTS Funding Contracts FY09.ppt
Attachment: 
Reserve adjustments for FY09 Fund 008.pdf
Attachment: Gas Tax MSTU Budget Amendment.pdf
Attachment: RTS Rt 75 Final.pdf
Attachment: RTS Base Services Final.pdf

Summer Heatwave

The Board approved the 2009 Summer Heatwave Agreement and Budget Amendment
Amount: $60,000.00

Attachment: Budget Amendment.pdf
Attachment: Summer Heatwave 2009 Agreement.pdf
Attachment: Summer Heatwave Reserve adjustments for FY09.pdf

County Manager’s Report
The Board approved May 5, 2009 for Shands at AGH special meeting; notify all interested parties of the public meeting, including advisory boards & doctors & nurses & Alachua County Medical Society; coordinate requests for presentations by interested parties; advertise as broadly as possible

 
 

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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.