February 12 edition of:

Community Update
A Report on the Activities of Alachua County Government


This Issues Features:

Chestnut Receives Obama Invitation
5th Annual Veterans Award Banquet
Emergency Response Classes Offered
County Update on Channel 12
Alachua County Recognized in Water Quality Scorecard
Owners Perspective Highlights Alachua County Facilities
2010 Census
Health Needs Assessment Visioning Event
What’s On “Alachua County Talks”

Chili Cook-off & Springs Celebration
Animal Services Open House
Extension Classes
Commission Meeting Highlights


Chestnut Receives Obama Invitation

Alachua County Commission Chair Cynthia Moore Chestnut received an invitation to attend the Kick-Off Event for First Lady Michelle Obama’s Childhood Obesity Initiative. The event took place on February 9, 2010 at 11 a.m. at THEARC (The Town Hall Education, Arts & Recreation Campus) located at 1901 Mississippi Ave., SE, Washington, DC 20020. To view the THEARC website click here.

At the event, First Lady Michelle Obama unveiled her nationwide campaign to combat childhood obesity. Members of the Cabinet, as well as media, sports, entertainment, and business leaders, alongside elected officials, the medical community, and others, joined her. The First Lady announced the elements of the nationwide campaign to solve the problem of childhood obesity within the next generation.

Due to weather conditions, Chair Chestnut was unable to attend the event, but said of the invitation, “Last fall, I along with members of the Healthy Communities Dialogue group, began to address this issue in our community. With one-third of children in Alachua County overweight or obese, we stand ready to accept the challenge and join the First Lady’s initiative.”

For more information, contact the Communications Office at 352-374-5204.

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5th Annual Veterans Award Banquet

This year’s Annual Veterans Award Banquet was held on Saturday, January 30th, at the Paramount Hotel. Over 360 veterans and families were in attendance.

The awards given out at this year’s Banquet included:

Jim Lynch, Director of Alachua County Veteran Services, was presented with a Veterans Commemorative Medal by a representative of the Florida Department of Veteran Affairs. Only ten such medal have ever been presented.

Mr.  Lynch was also honored with a scholarship in his name. The Jim Lynch Scholarship is the culmination of efforts by Lt. General John LeMoyne, MG. & Bonnie Sanchez and Mr. Hjalma Johnson, who donated $15,000 to an endowment fund. The State of Florida matched this amount dollar for dollar, which will create a $30,000 endowment fund. Each year, the Bridge Scholarship Committee will reward a deserving UF or Santa Fe Veteran with a $1,500 scholarship provided by the interest from this endowment fund.

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Emergency Response Classes Offered

The Alachua County Public Safety Departments’ Emergency Management Division has begun enrolling citizens for its Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Program. The next CERT class begins on Tuesday, March 2, 2010 and runs through April 13, 2010. All classes are on Tuesday evenings, and each session runs from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Classes are held at the Alachua County Emergency Operations Center located at 1100 SE 27th Street in Gainesville. The registration deadline is February 26, 2010.

The seven-week class is free-of-charge to the public and covers the following topics:

“It is never too early to begin preparing for the 2010 Hurricane Season,” Emergency Management Chief David Donnelly said, “and there’s no better way than to attend the CERT program. CERT teaches citizens how to prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters.”

If you miss the deadline, or cannot make it to the classes listed above, there are two more classes scheduled this year beginning June 1, 2010, and September 7, 2010.

Registration is available online at: http://assets2.alachuacounty.us/CERTapplication/ .

For more information, call Emergency Management at 325-264-6500.

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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

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Alachua County Recognized in Water Quality Scorecard

Alachua County’s green infrastructure framework has been recognized by the United States Environmental Protection Agency in a new report titled “Water Quality Scorecard: Incorporating Green Infrastructure Practices at the Municipal, Neighborhood, and Site Scales.”  Alachua County staff contributed to the development of the report’s Water Quality Scorecard, a tool that helps communities protect water quality by improvement stormwater management and educates stakeholders on local water quality policies and practices.  The report also recognizes Alachua County as a model local government in case studies for Natural Resources Protection and Green Infrastructure Practices.

“Alachua County continues to be nationally regarded for our local commitment to green infrastructure.  This USEPA recognition reflects innovative local policies and practices that have improved our capacity to protect water and other natural resources” said Chris Bird, Alachua County’s Environmental Protection Director.

Click here to view the report.

For more information, contact Alachua County Environmental Protection Director Chris Bird at 352-264-6801.

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Owners Perspective Highlights Alachua County Facilities

The Winter 2009 issue of Owners Perspective Magazine (The Magazine of the Construction Owners Association of America) spotlighted Alachua County Facilities Management and their efforts to reduce energy in an article titled, “The Business Case for Going Green: Alachua County Cuts Down on Energy Consumption.”

The magazine highlights many of the Facilities’ sustainability projects, including:

Concluding, Alachua County Facilities Management Director, Charlie Jackson was quoted saying, “Building green makes good business sense, as it reduces operating cost over the life of the building and ultimately provides the County with another high performing and sustainable building.”

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2010 Census

Click here to view a 30 second PSA about the 2010 Census with University of Florida’s Mens Basketball coach, Billy Donovan

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Health Needs Assessment Visioning Event

On Friday, February 19, 2010, the findings from the “2010 Alachua County Health Needs Assessment” will be presented to the community. The event is in the main auditorium at the Alachua County Health Department (224 S.E. 24th Street, Gainesville). Registration and refreshments begin at 8:30 a.m., and the event begins promptly at 9 a.m. and lasts until noon. Following an overview of the needs assessment information, participants will join in a facilitated discussion to help establish the vision of health and healthcare in Alachua County.

A health needs assessment is a proactive means of addressing health needs. Alachua County, through its Health Care Board and the Alachua County Health Department, has a longstanding tradition of regularly conducting health needs assessments (This is the fourth health needs assessment that has been conducted over the years. The last was completed and presented in 2004).

The 2010 Health Needs Assessment is funded by: Alachua County Health Department, Shands HealthCare, North Florida Regional Medical Center, Alachua County CHOICES Health Program, and Palms Medical Group. These groups have funded the Needs Assessment directly and members of each of these groups comprised the steering committee for the project.

The 2010 Health Needs Assessment includes the following sections:

Beginning on Wednesday, February 17, you may visit www.wellflorida.com and click on “2010 Alachua County Health Needs Assessment Visioning Event” to download a detailed agenda and the data presentation.
For more information, contact Jeff Feller at 352-313-6500, ext. 115 or jfeller@wellflorida.org.

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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 Maggie Labarta, President and CEO of Meridian Behavior Healthcare, Inc., give an overview of the institution and its long history of providing mental illness and addiction treatment in Alachua and surrounding counties.

Click here to watch Neil Seldman, President of the Institute for Local Self Reliance , give an overview of Resouce Recovery Parks and the benefits of potentially locating a resource recovery park in Alachua County.

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Chili Cook-off & Springs Celebration

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s O’Leno State Park will host the celebration of springs and a chili cook-off on Saturday, March 27, 2010, from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. (Chili Cook-off Participants arrive at 9 a.m.). The O’Leno State Park is located on US Hwy. 441 (six miles north of High Springs).

The Friends of O’Leno will sponsor the third annual O’Leno Ole’ Chili Cook-Off while the St. Johns River Water Management District, Alachua County Environmental Protection Department, Santa Fe Springs Working Group and Current Problems Inc. will sponsor a Springs Celebration with displays and activities designed to teach the importance of Florida’s springs.

The registration fee for the cook-off is $20.00, with all proceeds benefitting to the Friends of O’Leno, a nonprofit agency for park improvement projects.

For more information or for advanced registration, contact Harriet Walsh at 386-454-4806 or friendsofoleno@windstream.net.

Chili and other refreshments will be available for purchase while enjoying the live music, interactive water education activities and children’s crafts at the Springs Celebration. To learn more about this event and the importance of our springs visit www.santaferiversprings.com.

This event is free with regular park admission.

To learn more about the park, visit www.FloridaStateParks.org/oleno.

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Animal Services Open House

Alachua County Animal Service invites citizens to an Open House on February 20, 2010, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Animal Services Headquarters (3400 NE 53 Ave., Gainesville). Food will be served and a raffle will be held.

Event prices are:
Dogs and puppies - $45.00
Cats and kittens - $33.00

Alachua County Animal Services Public Education Coordinator, Hilary Hynes says, “If Valentine’s Day doesn’t work out for you this year, Animal Services has just what you are looking for.”

For more information, contact Alachua County Animal Services at 352-264-6870.

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Extension Classes

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Commission Highlights

Announcements by Mark Sexton, Communications Coordinator

Dating Violence Awareness Month
The Board proclaimed February 2010 as “Dating Violence Awareness Month” in Alachua County, Florida
Dating Violence Awareness.pdf

School Crossing Guard Appreciation Day
The Board proclaimed February 5, 2010 as “School Crossing Guard Appreciation Day” in Alachua County, Florida
School Crossing Guards 2010.pdf

Local Foodways Initiative
The Board heard an update presentation on the Local Foodways Initiative by the Kitchen Incubator and Citizen Co-op including a review of the Market Surveys and Industry Research Report.
MIT Good Food Nation.pdf
Attachment: Kitchen.ppt

Biomass Sustainability Standards

The Board heard a presentation on the Biomass Sustainability Standards for proposed Gainesville Renewable Energy Center and took the following actions:

1) Authorize a letter from Chair Chestnut to Mayor Hanrahan expressing concerns related to biomass harvesting practices,

2) Authorize County staff to continue technical discussions with GRU and GREC representatives to address these concerns.

Attachment: GREC Site Certification Application.pdf
Attachment: Draft GREC Biomass BOCC Chair letter.pdf
Attachment: BIOMASS18.pdf

Fire Special Assessment
During the County Manager’s Report, the Board received an update presentation on the assumptions used to develop a Fire Special Assessment.  The Board gave feedback to Chief Bailey and asked for more details at the next informal meeting.

Ebony Appreciation Awards Banquet Day
The Board proclaimed February 28, 2010 as “Ebony Appreciation Awards Banquet Day” in Alachua County, Florida
Ebony Appreciation 2010.pdf

Unified Land Development Code
Concerning, the Board approved the recommended changes to the Unified Land Development Code and direct staff to proceed with the second and final adoption hearing.
Eastside Staff Report.pdf
Attachment: Eastside Activity Center Powerpoint Presentation.pdf
Attachment: East Side ULDC.pdf
Attachment: Eastside Activity Center.pptx
Attachment: EAC Citizen Comment.pdf

Requested Zoning Change

Concerning ZOM-11-09: A request to rezone from R-1a (Single family residential) district to non-residential PD (Planned Development) district on approximately 1.83 acres the Board headr the item and adopted Resolution Z-10-01 approving the requested zoning change

Attachment: ZOM1109.pptx
Attachment: Alarion Bank PD Report.pdf
Attachment: Resolution for ZOM1109.pdf
Attachment: ZOM1109 Citizen Comment.pdf
Attachment: Alarion Bank PD Traffic Report.pdf
Attachment: ZOM1109 Powerpoint Presentation.pdf
Attachment: ZOM1109 Staff Report.pdf

Alarion Bank PD
The Board approved the Preliminary Development Plan consistent with the timeframes established in the PD phasing schedule, and Preliminary Certificate of Level of Service Compliance with Deficiencies, for Alarion Bank PD, project number 2009101402_P.
Alarion Bank PD_Preliminary_Staff Report.pdf
Attachment: Open Space Plan_2.pdf
Attachment: Alarion Bank PD Preliminary Development Plan Presentation.pdf
Attachment: Alarion Bank Preliminary Dev Plan.pptx
Attachment: Tree Preservation.pdf

Haven Acres Cat Sanctuary

Concerning ZOX-01-10 Minor Amendment to a Special Exception for Haven Acres Cat Sanctuary,  The Board approved of ZOX-01-10 with Conditions and Bases as listed in the Staff Report.

Attachment: ZOX0110.ppt
Attachment: ZOX0110_StaffPresentation.pdf
Attachment: Resx0110.pdf
Attachment: ZOX0110_StaffReportBoCC.pdf

Non-Residential Planned Development

Concerning ZOM-01-10: a request to amend an existing non-residential PD (Planned development) district to increase the maximum permitted height from 35 feet to 50 feet on approximately 5.95 acres, the Board heard the item and adopted Resolution Z-10-04 approving the requested height increase.

Attachment: ZOM0110 Powerpoint Presentation.pdf
Attachment: Resolution for ZOM0110.pdf
Attachment: ZOM0110 Staff Report.pdf
Attachment: ZOM0110.pptx
Attachment: Background for ZOM0110.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: 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.