November 24th edition of:

Community Update
A Report on the Activities of Alachua County Government

 

This Issues Features:

Swearing In Ceremony
ACEPD Awarded EPA Environmental Education Grant
What’s On “Alachua County Talks”
Upcoming Lane Closures
Transfer of Development Rights Application Available Online
World AIDS Day on December 1st
Cold Weather Fire Safety
Cooperative Extension Programs
Memorial Marker Program
Commission Meeting Highlights


Swearing In Ceremony

On Tuesday November 16, 2010, the Alachua County Commission held a special meeting to swear in re-elected Commissioner Lee Pinkoson and new Commissioner Susan Baird and to elect the Chair and Vice-Chair for the upcoming year.

To view the swearing in ceremony in its entirety, click here.

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

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ACEPD Awarded EPA Environmental Education Grant

The Alachua County Environmental Protection Department (ACEPD) was recently awarded a grant to teach students about the impacts of daily activities (such as littering, applying fertilizer and pesticides, and increasing stormwater runoff from developed areas) on water pollution in our creeks and watersheds. Three local schools (Glen Springs Elementary, Williams Elementary, and Kanapaha Middle School) were selected to participate in the pilot project.

The project, titled "Exploring Solutions to Non-point Source Pollution," is funded by the Envirnmental Protection Agency (EPA) Environmental Education Program. It consists of four teaching modules: a hands-on classroom presentation on non-point source pollution, a field trip to a local stormwater treatment wetland, a classroom planning workshop to design and build a rain harvesting exhibit at the school, and finally a workday for the creation of the outdoor exhibit (rain barrels connected to a rain garden).

The grant is coordinated by ACEPD staff, with support from local partners including the Alachua County Extension Office (Wendy Wilber and master gardeners), University of Florida (Dr. Mark Clark and UF Wetlands Club), Gainesville Clean Water Partnership, and Current Problems, Inc.

"We really want the students to immerse themselves in the issues of water pollution and have planned a variety of hands-on activities so they can also be active participants in finding solutions. The hope is that they will put their new understanding to practice and share it with their peers, family, and community," says Eliana Bardi, Senior Planner with ACEPD. "Our hope is to inspire students and the community to adopt some of these practices and techniques in their everyday lives and homes by providing them with resources and low-cost solutions to improve our community's waters. The grant complements the Department's water quality protection goals and new water conservation initiative."

For more information, contact Eliana Bardi at 352-264-6800 or ebardi@alachuacounty.us.

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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 Alachua County Growth Management Director Steve Lachnicht discuss the Growth Management Department, its duties, programs, and the services it provides.

Click here to watch Alachua County Environmental Protection Director Chris Bird discuss the Environmental Protection Department, its duties, programs, and the services it provides.

Click here to watch Alachua County Public Safety Director Ed Bailey discuss the Public Safety Department, its duties, programs, and the services it provides.

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Upcoming Lane Closures

Alachua County Public Works Department is informing residents of upcoming lane closures. Lane closures will begin on SW 20th Avenue and SW 43rd Street beginning at 8 p.m. on November 28, 2010, and ending at 5 a.m. on November 29, 2010, to set up the initial Maintenance of Traffic Plan in association with the SW 62nd Blvd Interim Projects.  If this work is not completed in a one night-time operation, lane closure may occur on November 29 - 30, 2010, from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.

For more information, click here or contact Ha Nguyen, the Alachua County Project Manager at 352-374-5245 ext. 1223.

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Transfer of Development Rights Application Available Online

As part of the reorganization of the County's Growth Management website (click here to view), the "Department Spotlight" on the main page now features a link to the County's Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) program information and application materials (click here to view). Applicants wishing to sell development rights from their property can now fill out the application online to submit to Department staff (click here to view).

The TDR program allows owners of certain agricultural and conservation properties (generally 160 acres or greater) within the County's unincorporated area to offer for sale the development rights for their property. The development rights can then be purchased by anyone wishing to reduce the amount of open space area required as part of their mixed-use or non-residential development project within the County's Urban Cluster (the area targeted for more compact, higher density development surrounding the City of Gainesville). The rights is placed on the 'sending property' restricting its future development and the property owner agrees to a County initiated rezoning of the property to 'TDR Sending District' on the County's Zoning Map.

"When done correctly, a TDR program can be a win-win for everyone involved," said Growth Management Director Steve Lachnicht. "Sellers can keep their land while getting an economic return comparable to what they could get if they sold their land for development, buyers can maximize the developable area of their site for a greater return on their investment, and the County is able to preserve its most significant agricultural and conservation areas at little cost to the public."

By placing the application materials online potential sellers can submit their property for consideration by County staff, who will then determine how many development rights are available for sale and place the available rights on a 'Potential Sellers' list. Interested buyers will then be able to contact potential sellers directly to negotiate a purchase.

For more information on the TDR program, contact Missy Daniels (mdaniels@alachuacounty.us) or Holly Banner (hbanner@alachuacounty.us) with the Alachua County Growth Management Department at 352-374-5249.

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World AIDS Day on December 1st

The Alachua County Health Department informs residents of World AIDS Day (December 1st).

World AIDS Day was established by the World Health Organization in 1988 to raise awareness, fight prejudice and improve education. The theme for this year continues to be "Universal Access and Human Rights" ensuring that everyone has access to HIV prevention, treatment and care, recognizing these as basic human rights. CDC recommends "that all Americans age 13-64 years be tested for HIV at least once, regardless of perceived risk for infection."

Florida ranks third nationally in total adult and adolescent HIV/AIDS cases while second in the number of pediatric HIV/AIDS cases.

HIV has not gone away and is still a threat that affects men, women and children. Every nine-and-a-half minutes someone in the United States becomes infected with HIV, this means approximately 56,300 new infections each year. HIV can still be preventable but estimates are that 1 in 5 of the more than one million people in this country living with HIV is not aware of their HIV status. Getting tested and knowing your HIV status is an important step in preventing HIV.

The Alachua County Health Department supports this vital health initiative and encourages community-based organizations, local health departments and health care providers to help stop the spread of HIV.

To find a testing site near you, text your zip code to 477493 or visit http://www.wemakethechange.com/.

General media inquiries should be directed to Bobby Davis at 352-334-7964

For more information, click here or call 352-334-7960.

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Cold Weather Fire Safety

Since the beginning of November, 2010, the Alachua County Department of Public Safety (ACDPS) has responded to several fires that were (likely) caused by common cold weather hazards. ACDPS is reminding residents to be safe and use caution when heating homes.

For the best chance of surviving a fire, homes should have at least one working smoke alarm per level and outside the sleeping areas. Having just changed the clocks, all smoke alarm batteries should have been changed as well. Smoke alarms should be tested monthly to have a reasonable assurance they will function properly when needed. In addition to working smoke alarms, each family should have a home escape plan. The plan should include two ways out of each room, a meeting place, and a method to call 9-1-1 once outside the home. The plan should be practiced so everyone knows what to do before the emergency.

Common Fire Hazards include:

"With your attention to some of these basic fire safety tips the chances of experiencing a fire in your home can be significantly reduced." says ACDPS Fire Marshall, Mark Smith.

For more information, contact the Alachua County Department of Public Safety at 352-384-3101.

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Cooperative Extension Programs

Family & Consumer Sciences Programs

The Alachua County Extension Office is pleased to announce the following Family & Consumer Sciences Programs, for December, 2010. These programs are offered by Dr. Brenda Williams, Family & Consumer Sciences Agent. All of these programs are held at the Extension Office (2800 NE 39th Avenue, Gainesville)

Building Your Financial Future (A Personal Financial Management Program) – December 14, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Attendees will learn 4 basic concepts that will aid in handling financial resources responsibly and building a financially secure future.  This program has been approved to issue certificates evidencing completion of a personal financial management instructional course in compliance with the Bankruptcy Code.

Topics include:

Cost to attend this class is $10.00 (for course materials). Pre-register by November 29, by calling 352-337-6209. For alternate class dates, or view the complete brochure, visit http://alachua.ifas.ufl.edu/calendar.shtml

Food Safety and Quality Program (ServSafe®) – December 15, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

This program is dedicated to providing training which enables food managers and staff to offer Florida consumer's food that is prepared in a clean and safe environment. For further information and to register, please visit http://foodsafety.ifas.ufl.edu, or call toll-free at 1-888-232-8723.

Commercial Horticulture Programs

The Alachua County Extension Office is pleased to announce the following Commercial Horticulture Programs, for December, 2010. These programs are offered by Aparna Gazula, Commercial Horticulture Agent. All of these programs are held at the Extension Office (2800 NE 39th Avenue, Gainesville).

Private Applicator Pesticide License Workshop - December 2, 2010, from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m.

This workshop is designed to provide training in practices related to Private Applicator Pest Control License for anyone working in the agricultural industry.

Training agenda includes: Pests and their control, Regulations and Labeling, Equipment Calibration and Pesticide Arithmetic.

Earn CEUs for pesticide license holders. (2) CORE & (2) Private Applicator Ag.

Registration fee is $5.00 per person. Please pre-register by calling 352-337-6209.

For more information contact Aparna Gazula, Commercial Horticulture Agent, 955-2402. A registration form for these programs can be downloaded from: http://alachua.ifas.ufl.edu/calendar.shtml


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Memorial Marker Program

In order to control activities within the right-of-way and increase public awareness in regards to highway safety, the Alachua County Public Works Department has established the Memorial Marker Program to commemorate those who have died because of a vehicle related accident on the County road system.

The markers will consist of a round 15" in diameter, aluminum sign panel. The signs have a white background and black letters mounted to a 5 ft. steel u-channel post. All markers are uniformly inscribed "Drive Safely, In Memory" followed by the decedent's name. They are manufactured at the County sign shop at no cost to the requestor for the construction, installation, or maintenance of the markers. They will remain on the right-of-way for a minimum of one (1) year, but the Department will reserve the right to have them removed due to construction or other maintenance needs.

County staff will evaluate each request in a timely manner. The requestor will be contacted with the results of the evaluation and given a timeline for the installation of the Memorial Marker.

To view the sign specifications click here.

To view the sign request form click here.

For more information, contact Brian Singleton at (352)-374-5245 or bsingleton@alachuacounty.us


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Commission Highlights

Tools for School
The Board recognized the Tools for School business, employees, and department donors.

Sheriff Sadie Darnell
The Board heard Sheriff Sadie Darnell’s request for end of year savings to be applied towards her FY2010-2011 budget.  The Board discussed the request and chose to continue the discussion at a December 7th special meeting.

Rural Concerns Advisory Committee’s FY 09-10 Annual Report
The Board received the presentation of Rural Concerns Advisory Committee’s FY 09-10 Annual Report and Work Plan for FY 10-11
Attachment: 
RuralConcernsReport2010.pdf
Attachment: 
RuralConcernsppt2010.pdf

Sustainable Solid Waste Program
The Board received the presentation from staff concerning the “Achieving 75 percent Recycling/Building a Sustainable Solid Waste Program”  and endorsed sustainable solid waste management program including materials recovery facility, organics recycling facility and flow control.  The Board instructed staff to make efforts to get this information out to the public and solicit feedback.

Attachment: Recycling poster.pdf
Attachment: 
Organic recycling report.pdf
Attachment: 
Feasibility study.pdf
Attachment: 
recycling presentation.pptx

Extension of GRU Wastewater
The Board received the report on the draft Interlocal Agreement with the City of Waldo, Gainesville, and GRU relating to proposed extension of GRU wastewater force main to Waldo, and provided input to staff on preparation of the Agreement for approval by the Parties.  The Board instructed staff to include the language specifying a 10-inch pipe.
Attachment: 
Presentation Waldo Interlocal Agreement.pdf
Attachment: 
Letter from Chair Jan262010.pdf
Attachment: 
FDEP 2006 Consent Order.pdf
Attachment: 
FDEP 2009 Consent Order Modification.pdf
Attachment: 
Draft Interlocal Agreement Waldo GRU.pdf

County Sponsorship Dollars
The County Manager brought up the issue of non-profit organizations asking the County for sponsorship dollars for events.  The Commission agreed that in these difficult fiscal times, the County would not participate in these events.

Neighborhood Stabilization Property Conveyance Ordinance
The Board held the Public Hearing and adopted the Neighborhood Stabilization Property Conveyance Ordinance.
Attachment: 
NSP Ordinance.pdf
Attachment: 
Neighborhood Stabilization Property Conveyance Ordinance Presentation.pdf

Alachua County Forever
The Board chose not to accept and exercise the Option Contracts to Purchase the Alachua County Forever San Felasco Hammock Additions - Rolling Meadows Tract.  They instructed staff to refer the item to the Land Conservation Board to generate a prioritized list of conservation land parcels to consider for purchase. 
Attachment: 
Exhibit 2 Rolling Meadows Investments Evaluation.pdf
Attachment: 
Exhibit 6 Recorded PD Documents.pdf
Attachment: 
Exhibit 1 Rolling Meadows Final.pdf
Attachment: 
Exhibit 4 1st Amend FDEP Lease Rolling Meadow final.pdf
Attachment: 
Exhibit 3 San Felasco Hammock Additions Assessment.pdf
Attachment: 
Exhibit 5 Cost Estimates.pdf
Attachment: 
BoCC101123 ACF Rolling Meadows.pptx

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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.