October 16 edition of:

Community Update
A Report on the Activities of Alachua County Government

 

This Issues Features:

County Adopts Irrigation Ordinance
County Receives $40,000 GRU Rebate
Koppers Hazardous Waste Site (Additional Offsite Soil Samples)
Koppers Feasibility Study Discussion
Long appointed to NACo Board
Census 2010 Complete Count Committee
Survivors of Rape Trauma Support Group
Healing Through Horses
Residents Voice Opinions on Health & Healthcare
ADA Amendments Act Training for Employers
Private Applicator Agricultural Pest Control License Training
ACHD Warns Against Mosquito Borne Diseases
County Update on Channel 12
Free Financial Class
New Environmental Best Management Practices Pamphlets
Victim Services & Rape Crisis Center Observes RAINN Day
Join 4-H
What’s On “Alachua County Talks”
Commission Meeting Highlights

 

County Adopts Irrigation Ordinance

At its October 13, 2009 meeting, the Alachua County Commission adopted the proposed Irrigation Standards and Management Practices Ordinance incorporating the St. Johns River Water Management District’s water restriction rules into a County Ordinance. This ordinance covers the unincorporated areas of Alachua County. The Board also supported encouraging Alachua County’s cities to “opt in” to the ordinance.

To view the staff PowerPoint presentation click here.

To view the ordinance, click here.

                               

Return to Top

 

County Receives $40,000 GRU Rebate

In keeping with the Energy Reduction and Water Conservation Program initiated by the Board of County Commissioners, Alachua County Administrative Services’ Facilities Management Division recently completed a Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) project at the County’s Administration Building. The new system will reduce energy consumption and save over $43,000 annually. The system qualified for GRU’s Rebate Program, and during the October 13, 2009, Regular County Commission meeting, the Alachua County Board of County Commissioners was presented a rebate check for $40,000.

This project includes the replacement of an old and inefficient HVAC system with an energy efficient, and state of the art McQuay Centrifugal Chiller, replacement of the original cooling tower with a more energy efficient one (lowering the power consumption), and the installation of an energy efficient Benchmark Boiler and pumps. The new system reduces both gas and electricity, resulting in a major reduction in energy use at the County’s Administration Building. The installation of this unit stands to ensure noticeable savings in maintenance and repair cost, as well.

During the project design phase, Bryan Schneider, the Capital Project Coordinator, worked with Ms. Atawa Rollins, Large Account Manager with Gainesville Regional Utilities (GRU), qualifying the project under the Customized Business Rebate Program.
“We have already seen a remarkable reduction in energy consumption with the recent completion of the lighting upgrade project involving the exchanging of over 29,000 T8-32 watt bulbs with a the more energy efficient T8-25 watt bulbs,” states Alachua County Facilities Manager, Charlie Jackson. “Just the lighting replacement alone resulted in over $1200/month reduction in electrical use. We should see considerably more savings as we continue to surge with the implementation of more energy conservation measures (ECMs) that are being researched and installed by Charley Balanis, including maximizing the use of technology by enabling staff to control lighting and shut off all nonessential power consuming devices after hours.” Mr. Jackson ends by adding, “Reducing energy costs is a byproduct savings of creating ‘SMART’ buildings and is the right thing to do, as it helps in lowering operating costs while reducing the carbon footprint.”

For more information, contact Facilities Manager, Charlie Jackson at 352-374-5229.

Return to Top

 

Koppers Hazardous Waste Site (Additional Offsite Soil Samples)

The Alachua County Health Department has reviewed the dioxin test results of six additional surface soil samples that were recently analyzed from the right-of-ways of NW 26th, 28th, 29th, 30th, 31st, and 32nd Avenues, Gainesville. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) required this additional testing approximately 300’ feet west of the Koppers hazardous waste site after finding potentially hazardous levels of dioxins in the City of Gainesville easement along the site boundary. The levels of dioxins in three of the samples between NW 26th and NW 29th Avenue are above State of Florida residential standards. These additional samples indicate a continued decrease in the concentrations of dioxins from previous testing in June approximately 200’ west of Koppers and in February 2009, approximately 100’ west of the Koppers site in the same street right-of-ways where levels of dioxins, arsenic and benzo-a-pyrene were above state residential standards.

Incidental ingestion (swallowing) of very small amounts of dioxin contaminated surface soil at these three locations is not likely to cause harm. The Health Department continues to recommend area residents practice good general hygiene including hand washing with soap and water after contact with bare soil in areas within 300’ west of the Koppers facility western boundary fence.

These test results do not affect the current Health Department Advisory. The Health Department continues to recommend that children should avoid playing in the 15’-20’ City of Gainesville easement just west of the Koppers facility western boundary fence between NW 26 Avenue and NW 30 Avenue. Children under the age of six are at a higher risk of exposure from incidental ingestion (swallowing).

The Health Department will continue to evaluate the health risks as more test data becomes available.

For more information, contact Alachua County Health Department Environmental Health Director Anthony Dennis at 352-334-7930.

For toxicology information, contact the Florida Department of Health, Health Assessment Team Leader Randy Merchant toll free at 877-798-2772. To contact Scott Miller, United States Environmental Protection Agency Section Chief in charge of this Superfund Site project, call 404-562-9120.

Return to Top

 

Koppers Feasibility Study Discussion

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the “Koppers Superfund Site Feasibility Study of Remedial Alternatives” for stakeholder review and discussion on August 27, 2009. Staff from the City of Gainesville, Gainesville Regional Utilities, Alachua County Environmental Protection Department (EPD), and the Alachua County Health Department are in the process of reviewing the study and formulating comments to be presented to the Joint City and County Commission on October 29th for their consideration.

Prior to the October 29th Joint City and County Commission meeting, staff would like the opportunity to have a discussion with all the interested parties who live and work in the community surrounding the Koppers Superfund site. A special meeting has been scheduled, for staff to present their preliminary comments and receive public input, on Monday, October 19, 2009, from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Alachua County Health Department Auditorium (224 SE 24th Street, Gainesville).

This special meeting will allow the public to provide input to staff prior to the Joint City and County Commission meeting. Final staff comments on the Feasibility Study will be available to the public prior to the Joint City and County Commission on October 29th, at the City and County Clerk offices.

Click here to view an electronic copy of the Feasibility Study.

Click here to view the Alachua County EPD Cabot-Koppers document library.

A paper copy of the Feasibility Study is also available for public review in the City Clerk of Commission Office at City Hall.

For more information, contact John Mousa at the Alachua County Environmental Protection Department at 352-264-6805.

Return to Top

 

Long appointed to NACo Board

National Association of Counties (NACo) President Valerie Brown has appointed Alachua County Commissioner Rodney Long as a member of NACo’s Board of Directors and chair of a NACo subcommittee.

 

The appointment to the board is for two years and the appointment to the Community and Economic Development Steering Committee is for one year. He will chair the steering committee’s subcommittee on Economic Development.

 

Brown made her appointments shortly after being installed as NACo president during the association’s Annual Conference and Exposition in Nashville/Davidson County, Tenn.

 

The role of the board of directors is to manage the business and property of the association, determine NACo’s mission as identified by the members, monitor NACo’s success in fulfilling its mission, and ensure that NACo will be able to continue to fulfill its mission.

 

The Community and Economic Development Steering Committee is responsible for all matters pertaining to general community development and redevelopment; residential, commercial, and industrial development; housing programs; building and housing codes; subdivision regulation; and public works and economic development.

 

Long has been active in NACo since 2004.

Return to Top

 

Census 2010 Complete Count Committee

In 2010, the United States Census Bureau will issue a call to “be counted” to every resident of the United States of America. The official Census questionnaires will be mailed in March 2010; Census Day is April 1, 2010. Census data is a critical basis for the allocation of state and federal funding to Alachua County, electoral redistricting, and as an important tool for making many decisions in our community. Therefore, it is vital that the Census be as complete and accurate as possible.

In preparation for the 2010 Census, it is important to establish a countywide Complete Count Committee - a team of community leaders working to develop and implement a local outreach plan for the 2010 Census. The purpose of this committee is to raise awareness about the importance of the 2010 Census, reach out to hard-to-count groups, and encourage overall participation in the 2010 Census.

Alachua County Commissioner Rodney J. Long has been selected by the Alachua County Commission to be the “champion” for the 2010 Census. Long’s goal is to partner with each municipality, K-12 schools, Santa Fe College, the University of Florida, the media, the business community, service agencies, civic leaders, and faith-based and community-based organizations.

The Complete Count Committee kickoff meeting will be held on Wednesday, October 28, 2009 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Multipurpose Center (1028 NE 14th Street, Gainesville). This meeting is open to the public.

Contact Ivy Bell, Senior Planner in the Alachua County Department of Growth Management at 352-374-5249 or imb@alachuacounty.us on or before Monday, October 19, 2009 to confirm your attendance or if you have questions or need additional information.

Return to Top

 

Survivors of Rape Trauma Support Group

Beginning October 12, The Alachua County Victim Services and Rape Crisis Center will be offering a special 10 week support group for female survivors of sexual assault. The group will incorporate a special Support and Yoga Group for women survivors of rape.

Meeting weekly for 10 weeks on Mondays from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., group members will engage in discussion about healing from sexual violence which leaves victims with complex feelings of grief, anger, confusion, fear, helplessness, isolation, uncertainty, injustice, and a profound sense that one’s world may never be the same again. Group members may join in an optional yoga session afterwards that is open only to the group. The Yoga instructor, Kristen Neill, is a 200 hour Registered Yoga Teacher. Her teaching style focuses on mindfulness, stress reduction, breathe awareness, and proper alignment, in a non-competitive atmosphere in the style of Classical Hatha Yoga.

There is no charge to participants. Please call Linda Murray, Victim Advocate Therapist, at 352-264-6768 to be screened or discuss your interest.

Return to Top

 

Healing Through Horses

Alachua County Victim Services and Rape Crisis Center is partnering with HorseMpower and HOPE (HOrses helping People) to offer a free equine-facilitated psychotherapy group for adult female survivors of sexual violence. The group will use human-horse interactions and activities to work through victimization issues. Participants need not have experience with horses. Sessions will be conducted by Dr. Marilyn Sokolof, Licensed Psychologist and Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor, and Memree Stuart, Certified Therapeutic Riding

Instructor, and will be held at HOPE’s therapeutic riding facility in Archer. The group will begin October 30, 2009, and end January 22, 2010.

Click here for the workshop flyer.

For more information, Contact Rita Lawrence, Sexual Assault Program Manager at 352-264-6764 or toll free at 1-866-252-5439.

Return to Top

 

Residents Voice Opinions on Health & Healthcare

Alachua County residents are invited to share their views about health and healthcare in their community through focus groups, phone surveys, interviews and a “community visioning” event. This community input will be used to document current and future health needs of Alachua County and to create solutions for those needs. The Alachua County Health Department has partnered with CHOICES Health Services, North Florida Regional Medical Center, Shands HealthCare and Palms Medical Group to engage WellFlorida Council, the region’s local health council, to elicit community input on health issues as part of a community health needs assessment.

Focus groups on health and healthcare in Alachua County will be held throughout October and November. Eligible participants will receive a $20 gift card for participating in these group discussions. Residents can determine if they are eligible to participate in a focus group by calling Kim Gokhale at WellFlorida at 352-313-6500, ext. 127.

In addition, WellFlorida will be coordinating a telephone survey of 500 Alachua County residents in late fall. Structured interviews with key informants will also provide a range of perspectives on community health issues.

Results from the focus groups, surveys and interviews, along with health outcomes and healthcare data, will be used by WellFlorida to create the “2009 Alachua County Community Health Status and Access Assessment” for the Alachua County Health Department. The report will be available in January 2010.

As a follow-up to this report, members of the community are encouraged to attend a “community visioning” event in January 2010. Based on the report’s findings, attendees will identify possible initiatives and activities that will address the leading health and healthcare concerns in Alachua County.

For more information, call Jeff Feller at WellFlorida at 352-313-65000 ext. 115.

WellFlorida’s mission is to forge partnerships in planning, research and service that build healthier communities.

Return to Top

 

ADA Amendments Act Training for Employers

In September 2008, Congress passed the ADA Amendments Act of 2008. The new law, which became effective on January 1, 2009, significantly expands coverage of the Americans with Disabilities Act and will require changes by employers to ensure compliance. The ADA applies to organizations with 15 or more employees, including part time and temporary workers.

As a business owner or operator, or someone thinking about opening a business, you may have wondered what you have to do to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This educational seminar will explain how the ADA applies to businesses and will allow you the opportunity to train and update managers & HR personnel.

The Alachua County Equal Opportunity Office is partnering with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to provide free training on the Americans with Disabilities Act to local employers. Training for businesses will be held on Wednesday, November 18, 2009, from 9 a.m. to Noon at the Alachua County Health Department. The general public is invited to attend an afternoon workshop from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. This is an opportunity to discuss your workplace concerns with a representative from the EEOC.

The training is free but space is limited and requires advance registration. The deadline to register is Friday, November 6, 2009.

To register or for more information, contact the Alachua County Equal Opportunity Office at 352-374-5275.

Return to Top

 

Private Applicator Agricultural Pest Control License Training

The Alachua County Extension Office is pleased to offer a Private Applicator Agricultural Pest Control License Training session on October 23, 2009, from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Alachua County Extension Office (2800 NE 39th Ave., Gainesville).

This workshop is designed to provide training in practices related to Private Applicator Agricultural Pest Control License for anyone working in the agricultural industry. Following completion of this training, attendees will be given a post-test and evaluation form to determine knowledge learned, and quality of training. Attendees earn CEUs for pesticide license holders ((2) CORE, (2) Private Applicator Ag.). For CEUs, get form signed before you leave.

Attendees Will Receive:

Click here for a complete calendar of Alachua County Extension programs.

The registration deadline is October 20, 2009, and costs $5.00. To register, call 352-337-6209.

For more information, call The Alachua County Extension Office at 352-955-2402.

Return to Top

 

ACHD Warns Against Mosquito Borne Diseases

The Alachua County Health Department (ACHD) has detected mosquito borne diseases in the County. “Our sentinel surveillance system indicates that disease transmission is occurring,” stated Anthony Dennis, Environmental Health Director at the ACHD. “Taking a few simple steps can drastically reduce the chances of contracting a mosquito-borne illness.”

Symptoms of West Nile virus (WNV) infection and Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) may include headache, fever, fatigue, dizziness, weakness and confusion. Physicians should contact their county health department if they suspect an individual may have a mosquito-borne illness. DOH laboratories provide testing services for physicians treating patients with clinical signs of mosquito-borne diseases.

The ACHD continues to advise citizens to remain diligent in protecting themselves from mosquito bites by following the “5 D’s,” which include:

For more information on mosquito borne illnesses, visit the ACHD website at www.AlachuaCountyHealth.com, the DOH Web site at www.myfloridaEH.com, the CDC Web site www.cdc.gov or contact the ACHD at 352-334-7930.

The goal of the Alachua County Health Department is to promote, protect, maintain and improve the health and safety of all citizens and visitors.

Return to Top

 

County Update on Channel 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. Click here to view this month’s show.

Features This Month

Return to Top

 

Free Financial Class

The Alachua County Extension Office is pleased to announce an upcoming free financial class. The class is titled “Making Credit Work for You, and will be held on October 26, 2009, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Alachua County Extension Office (2800 NE 39th Ave., Gainesville).

Credit laws are changing, and this class will teach these new changes and other tips to build a better credit profile.

For more information, contact Brenda C. Williams, Ed.D at 352-955-2402.

Return to Top

 

New Environmental Best Management Practices Pamphlets

The Alachua County Environmental Protection Department (ACEPD) and the Gainesville Clean Water Partnership have updated their nine Best Management Practices (BMP) pamphlets. The pamphlets are designed to clearly demonstrate how to prevent pollution from our homes and businesses from polluting our local water resources.

The new BMPs include information on:

To view the pamphlets click here, or call ACEPD at 352-264-6800.

For more information, contact Stacie Greco, Alachua County Environmental Protection Department at 352-264-6829 or email sgreco@alachuacounty.us.

To learn about other water related news subscribe to The Wader, our quarterly newsletter, by sending an email to sgreco@alachuacounty.us.

Return to Top

 

Victim Services & Rape Crisis Center Observes RAINN Day

RAINN (Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network) Day is a national event where rape crisis centers distribute information about sexual assault on college campuses. 

The 16 to 25 year old age group is statistically the most vulnerable for sexual violence, and may not have much experience with behaviors that can reduce their risk.  Alachua County Victim Services and Rape Crisis Center (ACVSRCC) traditionally tables at Santa Fe College for RAINN Day, and this year they brainstormed a new way to attract attention.  They received a lot of good feedback about the “Free Beer” sign used to attract those who would never stop for Rape Awareness information. 

While no one got free beer (the small print on the sign actually read “Free message in a beer bottle”), lots of Santa Fe students did get a free donut and a Get Carded card. This is a wallet-sized card with information on sexual assault, risk reduction, what to do if the unthinkable happens, and how to help a friend who has been sexually assaulted.

Return to Top

 

Join 4-H

Kids looking to make new friends, learn about topics that interest them, and help others in their community, are invited to join 4-H. 4-H members learn about: photography, livestock, horses, pets, nutrition, aerospace, and other subjects.

Alachua County 4-H is open to youth ages 5-18. Membership is free and open to all youth regardless of race, creed, color, sex, national origin, handicap or geographic location within Alachua County. 4-H clubs can be found throughout the County: Alachua, Hawthorne, Gainesville, Micanopy, Archer, Newberry, and LaCrosse.

For more information, contact Matt Benge at mbenge@alachuacounty.us or 352-955-2402.

Return to Top

 

What’s On “Alachua County Talks”

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

Click here to watch Karen Deeter, Alachua County Assistant Public Works Director discuss the new contract for solid waste, recyclable materials and yard trash collection.

Click here to watch Alachua County Pretrial Services Manager Gerie Crawford discuss pretrial services, including community supervision and case management services provided to defendants to ensure compliance with release and court appearance orders.

Return to Top


Commission Highlights

Announcements
Announcements by Mark Sexton Communications Coordinator
Attachment:
Announcements

Displaced Homemaker Program Appreciation Day
The Board proclaimed Thursday, October 29, 2009 as “Displaced Homemaker Program Appreciation Day” in Alachua County, Florida.
Attachment: 
Displaced Homemaker Program.pdf

National 4-H Week
The Board proclaimed October 4th through October 10th, 2009 as “National 4-H Week” in Alachua County, Florida.
Attachment:
 National 4H Week 2009 Edited Version 1.pdf

United Nations Day
The Board proclaimed Thursday, October 22, 2009 as “United Nations Day” in Alachua County, Florida.
Attachment: 
UN Day 2009.pdf

Shands AGH Recognition Day
The Board proclaimed Friday, October 9, 2009 as “Shands AGH Recognition Day” in Alachua County, Florida.
Attachment:
 Shands AGH Recognition Day 2009V2.pdf

$40,000 GRU Rebate Check Presentation
The Board heard a presentation by the Administrative Services Department on Building Energy Savings in Alachua County.  The presentation included presenting a $40,000.00 Gainesville Regional Utility rebate check to the Board.

2009-2010 Annual Work Plan
The Board received a presentation by Ward Scott, Chair of the Rural Concerns Advisory Committee, of the 2009-2010 Annual Work plan.
Attachment: 
RuralConcernsReport_2009.pptx
Attachment: 
RuralConcerns2009Workplan.pdf
Attachment: RCReportPresentation09.pdf

Alachua County Forever Santa Fe River-GRU Tract
The Board authorized the Chair to send a letter to the City of Gainesville regarding the County’s purchase of the Alachua County Forever Santa Fe River-GRU Tract. The Board has two questions:

Since the property was acquired via eminent domain did prior owners of property have right of first refusal?

Since the City and County share same conservation values, will city consider reduced selling price for public purpose?

How will the City will handle Coggan grass eradication?

Permit Extensions
The Board adopted the ordinance that establishes administrative procedures, fees, requirements and limitations to carry out permit extensions authorized 360, Chapter 2009-96 Laws of Florida.
Attachment: 
Ch2009_96Sec14LawsofFlorida.pdf
Attachment: SB360_Ordinance.pdf

Irrigation Standards and Management Practices Ordinance
The Board adopted the proposed Irrigation Standards and Management Practices Ordinance incorporating the St. Johns River Water Management District’s water restriction rules.
Attachment:
 LandscapeIrrigationOrdinancePresentation.ppt
Attachment: Irrigation_Signed_FINAL.pdf

Rezoning Request
The Board adopted Resolution Z-09-12 approving the rezoning request.
Attachment:
 ZOM_08_09_Public_Comment.pdf
Attachment: 
ZOM0809.pptx
Attachment: ZOM0809 Powerpoint Presentation.pdf
Attachment: ZOM0809 Staff Report.pdf
Attachment: Rezonign App and Background Materials.pdf
Attachment: Rezoning Exhibits.pdf
Attachment: Rezoning Report.pdf
Attachment: ZOM_08_09_Resolution.pdf

 

Return to Top

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.

Return to Top

 

Thank you for your continued interest in County Government!

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