May 01 edition of:

Community Update
A Report on the Activities of Alachua County Government


This Issues Features:

ACHD Monitoring Swine Flu
Alachua County Receives FCCMA Award
Manager Reid’s PM Magazine Article
What's On Alachua County Talks
Waste Alternatives Celebrates Earth Month
County Update
2009 Tax Certification Sale
Good Agricultural Practices Workshop
Senior Services’ Volunteer Programs
Visit “Paws on Parole” Dogs

Recycled Latex Paint Giveaway
Workshop for Vendors
Commission Meeting Highlights


ACHD Monitoring Swine Flu

The Alachua County Health Department (ACHD) continues to address the international outbreak of swine flu. Swine flu is a respiratory disease of pigs caused by a type A influenza virus that regularly causes outbreaks of influenza among pigs.  Swine flu viruses do not normally infect humans; however, human infections with swine flu do occur.

“Symptoms of swine flu include fever of greater than 100°F accompanied by a sore throat, coughing and runny nose” stated Jean Munden, Administrator of the ACHD. “Our surveillance efforts continue and as of today, no confirmed cases of swine flu have been detected in Alachua County. Citizens who have concerns are advised to call 311 for further information.”

As expected, probable cases have begun to appear in Florida but none have been confirmed in Alachua County. People at risk for the disease are those who have traveled to affected areas and/or have been exposed to confirmed cases. For more information concerning swine flu infection, please see the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website:  For specific information on travel precautions and an update on the affected areas, please visit:

For more information, visit or call 352-334-8827.

The Health Department is offering the following recommendations:

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Alachua County Receives FCCMA Award

In April 2009, Alachua County received notification it had won two prestigious awards from the Florida City and County Manager’s Association (FCCMA). To view the notification letters click here.

In speaking of the awards County Manager Randall H. Reid said, “I am very proud of these innovative programs.  One of our most important resources in Alachua County is the intellectual capital of our residents.  These two awarded programs emphasize that resource.”  He continued saying, “The Energy Conservation Strategies Commission (ECSC) Project tapped into the talents and knowledge of our employees and the public to create a more sustainable and secure future for our community.  The ‘All Across Alachua County Student Internship Program’ introduces public service career opportunities to gifted students helping to insure the quality of the next generation of public service professionals.”

For more information, contact the Alachua County Communications Office at 352-374-5226.

The awards include:

  1. The “Energy Conservation Strategies Commission (ECSC) Project” won the Community Sustainability Award, which recognizes innovative City or County government efforts to reduce their communities environmental footprint while enhancing the economic potential of its citizenry.  To learn more about this project click here.
  2. The “All Across Alachua County Student Internship Program”  won the Program Excellence Award for Community Partnership, which recognizes programs or processes that demonstrate innovative, multi-participant involvement between and/or among a local government and other governmental entity, private-sector businesses, individuals or non-profit agencies to improve the quality of life for residents or provide more efficient and effective services.  To learn more about this program click here.

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Manager Reid’s PM Magazine Article

The May 2009 issue of PM Magazine, published by the International City/County Management Association (ICMA), printed an article by Alachua County Manager Randall H. Reid entitled “The Moral Imperative of Sustainability”. 
The article marks the debut of the magazine’s new monthly “Sustainable Communities” column.  The column begins a PM Magazine series of leadership and management articles on the subject. 

To view the article, click here.

In the article Reid states, “Sustainable governance is a process in which all community sectors and individuals willingly collaborate to create respect for people and place.” 

For more information, contact the Communications Office at 352-374-5226. 

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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.

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Waste Alternatives Celebrates Earth Month

Every year as April approaches, people everywhere start to get excited for Earth Day. For the Alachua County Office of Waste Alternatives, the entire month of April is Earth Day.

As Earth Month draws to a close, the excitement of sustainability is still in the air. From reusable shopping bags and paper making, to clocks made from CD’s; the Waste Watcher and the Zero Waste Team were there to spread that enthusiasm to citizens throughout our community.

The 2009 Earth Month started out at the Monteocha New Life Christian Center for their health and fitness fair. The Waste Watcher and the Waste Alternatives team were there to help everyone Embrace Zero Waste, shoot some hoops, provide reusable shopping bags and have a good time.

The next weekend saw the Zero Waste Team and the Waste Watcher at the Martin Luther King Jr. Center helping out at the Great American Cleanup. Residents and staff from the City of Gainesville, the County and other local organizations spent that Saturday picking up litter, removing graffiti and helping to keep Alachua County beautiful. The team provided compostable drink ware and plates, partnered with a local coffee roaster to provide coffee and assisted “Keep Alachua County Beautiful” in extending the sustainability message to participants. An environmental fair and lunch followed the clean up.

The Florida Museum of Natural History and The Harn Museum of Art both hosted Earth Day events on the weekend before Earth Day. The Zero Waste Team and the Waste Watcher were both in attendance to provide re-usable shopping bags, make clocks from old CD’s and give waste-reduction information to all of the visitors.

April 22 was officially Earth Day and the Waste Alternatives team brought their message to events at the University of Florida and Shands Hospital. Both events had the Team distributing reusable bags and jar openers made from recycled tires to more than 1,000 engaged participants.

The Team also took the Earth Day message to the Greathouse Butterfly Festival in Melrose, the 5th Ave. Art Festival, the Grove Park Community Day, the Choices Health Fair, and each of the local farmers markets, not to mention classroom presentations and tours all month reaching thousands of Alachua County residents.

While Earth Day is a great time to green your routine, saving the planet is an everyday activity where everybody can do their part by embracing zero waste, conserving our natural resources and living in a sustainable way. The Waste Watcher and the Zero Waste Team will be there to help, always.

For more information on waste reduction, composting, recycling or sustainability in general, contact the Alachua County Office of Waste Alternatives at 352-333-5213 or log on to

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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

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2009 Tax Certification Sale

Alachua County Tax Collector, Von Fraser invites citizens to participate in the “2009 Tax Certificate Sale” for the 2008 delinquent real estate taxes. This sale will be held online. Since there will not be a live auction, all bids will be placed by registered bidders on the certificate sale website which will be available by May 14, 2009. This site is jointly hosted by the Alachua County Tax Collector and Registration and bidding will begin Thursday, May 14, 2009 and continue until the sale closes Friday, May 29, 2009. Certificates will be offered in a series of six batches that will begin closing out at 9 a.m. and continue at one hour intervals until 2 p.m. Certificates will be awarded to those bidders entering the lowest bids with ties awarded based on a computer generated random selection algorithm. Our office will provide computers and limited assistance for registered bidders who do not have internet access and want to participate in the tax certificate sale.

The tax certificate sale process ensures that a majority of the 2008 unpaid property taxes are collected and distributed to the various taxing authorities, allowing for the continuation of services. Last year’s sale netted $9,245,397.47 from the sale of 3,957 individual certificates.

Training for bidders and interested parties will be held Friday, May 8, 2009 at 2 p.m. in the Grace Knight Conference Room located on the second floor in the County Administration Building (12 SE 1st Street, Gainesville).

Please note the internet tax certificate sale has a mandatory bidder deposit requirement. Since bidders will not be physically present the day of the auction, we are requiring a 10% deposit of your total intended purchases ($100 minimum). Please see our website or attend training for detailed information regarding deposits and bidding.

The delinquent real estate advertisement will be published in the “Alachua County Today” newspaper May 14th, 21st & 28th. The advertising list will also be available on our website and can be downloaded.

To avoid a certificate being issued, property owners with delinquent taxes are advised to pay at any of our three locations before 5:30 p.m. May 28, 2009. Cash or certified funds are required. Credit card payments can be made online, or by telephone 1- 866 -729-2282. (A 2.5% convenience fee will be added to credit card payments).

For more information regarding the tax certificate sale, please visit the Alachua County Tax Collector’s website at or call 352-374-5236.

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Good Agricultural Practices Workshop

The Alachua County Extension Office is pleased to announce an upcoming program for Fruit and Vegetable Growers and persons who sell produce to the public. The program “Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs): Developing a Food Safety Program for Fruits & Vegetable Growers” will be held at the Alachua County Extension Office (2800 NE 39th Avenue, Gainesville), on May 11, 2009 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The cost is $10 (includes lunch). Participants will receive a Certificate of Training, educational materials and signs (available in English & Spanish). The program is presented (in part) by Aparna Gazula, Commercial Horticulture Agent along with University of Florida specialists.

Good agricultural practices (GAPs) at the farm level involve multi-faceted efforts at ensuring that foods are safe for human consumption. Food safety has become a serious issue in our society because of pathogens and food contamination. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are responsible for recalling contaminated foods, but because food can become contaminated at all levels of the food production system, it is essential to keep food safe through GAPs.

GAP guidelines are necessary for all agricultural operations. Food safety programs should be instituted to prevent foodborne illnesses and food contamination throughout the whole production process from farm to consumers.

For more information online, click here. Please pre-register by calling 352-337-6209 (voicemail) or 352-955-2402.

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Senior Services’ Volunteer Programs

Alachua County Division of Senior Services wants to make citizens aware of recent changes to two National Service programs, the Foster Grandparent Program (FGP) and the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP).

On March 31, 2009, the House of Representatives passed the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, after the Senate passed the House’s “GIVE” (Generations Invigorating Volunteerism and Education) Act and renamed it after the Massachusetts Senator. Signed by President Obama on April 21, 2009, the bill reauthorizes Senior Corps for the first time since 1993. 

For more information, contact Norma Berger, Program Coordinator, Alachua County Foster Grandparent Program at 352-264-6730.

Reforms that will impact these programs include:

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Visit “Paws on Parole” Dogs

Alachua County Animal Services invites citizens to meet the first Academy of “Paws on Parole Graduates.” These dogs will be at Earth Pets Natural Pet Market (500 NW 60th Street, Gainesville) on Saturday May 2, 2009 from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m.
This group of dogs will officially graduate the “Paws on Parole” program May 8, 2009, and will have a Canine Good Citizen Certificate. They have been training with inmates from the Gainesville Correctional Institution Work Camp. The inmates learn the methods and train the dogs in the American Kennel Club’s Canine Good Citizens Course.

Alachua County Animal Services is located at 3400 53rd Ave., Gainesville. Their regular hours of operation are Tuesday through Saturday from 9:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m.

For more information about Paws on Parole, click here or call Hilary Hynes (Public Education Program Coordinator, Alachua County Animal Services) at 352-264-6881.

For more information about the American Kennel Club’s Canine Good Citizen certification, click here.

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Recycled Latex Paint Giveaway

The Alachua County Environmental Protection Department is holding the 15th Annual Recycled Latex Paint Giveaway on Saturday, May 2, 2009. It will run from 8 a.m. until all paint is given (no later than noon) at the Alachua County Hazardous Waste Collection Center, located at the Leveda Brown Environmental Park, 5125 NE 63rd Avenue, Gainesville (2 miles north of 39th Avenue, off Waldo Road).

The event will distribute 3,600 gallons of 75% post consumer recycled latex paint to community organizations, civic groups and people with special needs, free of charge. The paint is used for homes and businesses that cannot afford the cost of new paint. The recycled paint is given away on a first-come, first-served basis and will be available in 5 gallon pails with six colors to choose from: off white, beige, gray, terra cotta, green and blue. There is a 10 gallon limit per resident.

“A total of over 46,000 gallons of recycled paint has been provided to Alachua County residents since the inception of the program in 1994, ” said Kurt Seaburg, Hazardous Waste Coordinator for the Alachua County Environmental Protection Department. “The program began as a means of assisting homeowners and businesses beautify their property while recycling a product that still has value,” stated Seaburg. The cost to recycle the paint is only slightly more than the cost to dispose of the unwanted paint by a solidification process.

For any resident that is not able to attend the event, free paint of varying quality and quantity, which is dropped off by residents who no longer need it, is available at the Alachua County Hazardous Waste Collection Center’s Recycle/Reuse Area. Residents can pick this paint and other household products during normal business hours: Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. until 5 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. until noon.

For more information, please call the Alachua County Hazardous Waste Collection Center at 352-334-0440.

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Workshop for Vendors

On May 21, 2009 the Alachua County Department of Administrative Services, Purchasing Division is sponsoring a vendor workshop session open to any vendor wishing to learn about conducting and obtaining business with the Alachua County Board of County Commissioners and the Alachua County Library District. The workshop will be held from 9:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. at the Alachua County Cooperative Extension Office located at 2800 NE 39th Avenue, Gainesville. There will also be an opportunity available to sign up and learn more about the Small Business Program.

For more information, please call the Alachua County Purchasing Division at 352-374-5202.

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Commission Highlights


Mark Sexton, Communications Coordinator

Attachment: Announcements


Doyle Rehberg’s Retirement Recognized

The Board Recognized the of Retirement of Doyle Rehberg, Assistant Road Superintendent, Public Works


Fire Prevention Escape Plan & Poster Contest Winners
The Board recognized the Fire Prevention Escape Plan and Poster Contest Winners and Program Sponsors

National Drug Court Month

The Board proclaimed May 2009 as “National Drug Court Month” in Alachua County, Florida.

Attachment: National Drug Court Month 2009.pdf

Corrections/Detention Employee’s Appreciation Week
The Board proclaimed May 3rd through May 9th, 2009 as “Corrections/Detention Employee’s Appreciation Week” in Alachua County, Florida.
Corrections and Detention Employee’s Appreciation Week 2009.pdf

Police Memorial Day
The Board proclaimed May 15, 2009 as “Police Memorial Day” and May 10, 2009 through May 16, 2009 as “National Police Week” in Alachua County, Florida.
Police Memorial Day and National Police Week 2009.pdf

Hang Out Your Laundry Month
The Board proclaimed May 2009 as “Hang Out Your Laundry Month” in Alachua County, Florida
Hang out your laundry month 2009.pdf

Public Defender’s Budget Presentation
The Board
heard presentation by Richard Parker, Public Defender, Re: Budget Capital Request

MSTU Boundaries Advertisement
The Board
authorized an advertisement of the ordinance amending the MSTU boundaries to include the City of Hawthorne for Law Enforcement and Fire Services and the City of Waldo for Fire Services.

Budget Amendment
The Board approved the budget amendment to transfer the General Fund Reserves funds to a General Fund professional services line item to assist with the County’s ongoing energy conservation initiatives and Energy Conservation Strategies Commission recommendations.
Amount: $63,883.00
Reserve adjustments for FY09.pdf
Attachment: Budget Amendment Energy Coordinator.pdf

Joint Participation Agreement

The Board Executed the Joint Participation Agreement between Alachua County and the St. Johns River Water Management District for the Austin Cary Flatwoods-Gladstone Tract and authorized Staff to execute additional documents as necessary to close the transaction.
Amount: $157,700.00

Attachment: Exhibit 1 SJRWMD Gladstone Prtcp Agrmt Final.pdf
Attachment: Exhibit 2 Gladstone Map.pdf
Attachment: Exhibit 3 Austin Cary Project Assessment.pdf
Exhibit 4 Purchase Agreement.pdf
Attachment: Exhibit 5 SJRWMD Board Memo.pdf
Attachment: Exhibit 6 Gladstone Costs and Schedule.pdf
Attachment: BoCC090428 Gladstone JPA.ppt

Phoenix Commercia Park
The Board approved the Resolution designating the Phoenix Commercial Park as a Brownfield Area and authorize the Chair’s signature
Phoenix Brownfield Reso 4 23 09.pdf
Attachment: BrnFldrequestLetterPhx.pdf
Attachment: FDEP Brownfields Summary.pdf
Attachment: FDEP Brownfield Summary2.pdf
Attachment: Phoenix Commercial Park Location Map.pdf

Planar Energy Devices Inc.

The Board approved the Resolution supporting Planar Energy Devices, Inc.’s participation in the QTI Program and Brownfield Redevelopment Bonus Program and authorized the Chair’s signature.
Amount: $192,500.00

Attachment: PlanarGPO2009.pdf
Attachment: PlanarFlorida Energy Storage Initiative addedbackup.pdf
Attachment: 2009 Project Plana          r Matrix FINAL.pdf
Attachment: PBF ltr.pdf
Attachment: PlanarQTI.pdf
Attachment: Planar resolution.pdf

PREIT Discussions
The Board rejected the staff recommendation to direct the County Manager and County Attorney to continue discussions with PREIT representatives subject to the suspension of litigation activities during the period during which the discussions occur.
Springhills Map.pdf
Attachment: PREIT letter.pdf

Seminole Woods
The Board
approved the replat of Lot 15 Seminole Woods, Unit No. 2
Attachment: SW2Rp15CHAIRSR.pdf
Attachment: Plats042809.ppt
Attachment: SW215 Replat.pdf
Attachment: SW2Rp15GMSR.pdf


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Alachua County Advisory Boards

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

Get Involved - Click here for an application:

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

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Thank you for your continued interest in County Government!

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