February 25th edition of:

Community Update
A Report on the Activities of Alachua County Government

 

This Issues Features:

2011 ACCESS Spring Classes
Printed Copies of County Annual Report
What’s On “Alachua County Talks”
Long Leaf Pine Planting Project at Poe Springs Park
Free Tax Assistance
Community Emergency Response Team Classes
City of Gainesville Election
Extension Programs
Commission Highlights

2011 ACCESS Spring Classes

The public is invited to participate in the annual Alachua County Civic Education SerieS (ACCESS) classes, which begins April 4, 2011. Alachua County Government invites residents to learn about local government issues and gain access to County operations that most citizens never see. Each ACCESS graduating class will produce a group of citizens equipped to engage in ways that help Alachua County become more representative of its citizenry's needs.

County Manager Randall H. Reid said of ACCESS, "Thomas Jefferson believed an informed citizenry was democracy's greatest safeguard and we agree. Where do you go if you want to make a difference in your community ... ACCESS is the key."

ACCESS runs for seven sessions, and is free, but space is limited. The registration deadline is March 18. For a complete schedule of classes, visit www.alachuacounty.us/access.

For more information, or to register call 352-374-5219.

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Printed Copies of County Annual Report

Printed copies of the Alachua County 2010 Annual Report are now available at the Alachua County Communications Office located on the first floor of the County Administrative Building (12 SE 1st Street, Gainesville).
The report offers citizens a detailed look at County finances, departmental accomplishments, and reductions made in the FY2011 budget. This year's report is in an all-digital format.

To view the digital version of the 2010 Annual Report click here. Use the up and down arrows to advance the pages.

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

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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 Information and Telecommunications Services Director Kevin Smith discuss the the Information and Telecommunications Services Department, its duties, programs, and the services it provides.

Click here to watch Alachua County Community Support Services Director Elmira Warren, discuss the Community Support Services Department, its duties, programs, and the services it provides

Click here to watch Alachua County Public Works Director Richard Hedrick discuss the Public Works Department, its duties, programs, and the services it provides.

Click here to watch Alachua County Administrative Services Director Betty Baker discuss the Administrative Services Department, its duties, programs, and the services it provides.


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Long Leaf Pine Planting Project at Poe Springs Park

On February 5, Current Problems volunteers made the trek to Poe Springs Park to assist the Environmental Protection Department in planting 1,000 long leaf pine seedlings. The weather was not the greatest to bring out volunteers – rainy and cool. Much to our surprise, forty-nine brave souls showed up to plant in the rain. Because so many came, we were done planting in no time.

The area planted is a section of the park inhabited by many gopher tortoises. The addition of the pines will enhance the habitat for the gopher tortoises and return this area to a more natural condition. The area on the west side of the park that was planted also is designated as a preservation zone of the park, and so the pines will contribute to the restoration of this zone. In the future, the county will continue to add longleaf pine and wire grass to the area in its restoration efforts.

Thanks to the volunteers from the Santa Fe Springs Working Group and Eastside High School who assisted with the planting effort. Thanks, as well, to Environmental Protection Department staff and Parks Superintendent Rob Avery and his staff.

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Free Tax Assistance

More workers could be eligible for a special tax credit this year and may not know it. As a result, they may overlook claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit, or EITC, which can put anywhere from $2 to more than $5,600 into their pockets and back into the community. Plus, if you participate in United Way's Free Income Tax Assistance program  you can have your taxes prepared for free.

"Many people will qualify for the first time this year due to economic changes in their incomes," said United Way President and CEO Karen Bricklemyer.

She encourages anyone who earned $48,362 or less from wages, self-employment or farming in 2010 to see if they qualify to have their income taxes prepared for free with United Way's Free Income Tax Assistance program.
"IRS estimates four-out-of-five eligible workers claim their EITC. We want to raise that to five out of five," Bricklemyer said. "You earned it. Now file, claim it and get it. The average Earned Income Tax Credit is more than $1,800."
The program allows IRS trained volunteers to provide free income tax assistance to low-income families. Families who participate in the program and apply for EITC can reap all of the benefits of a refund without spending a cent.
"EITC is a financial boost for working people hit by hard economic times. This is money that can make their lives a little easier, especially families with three or more children who get an extra boost with a larger credit this year," Bricklemyer said.

This year, the program has expanded to include 18 volunteer income tax assistance sites across six counties. To locate a site, determine eligibility or schedule an appointment, participants are encouraged to call 2-1-1, United Way's referral line, or visit the website: www.unitedwayncfl.org

United Way is working in collaboration with a community coalition to expand and enhance the Free Income Tax Assistance program.


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Community Emergency Response Team Classes

Alachua County Emergency Management is enrolling citizens for its Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Program. The seven classes are free and are on Tuesday evenings. Classes begin March 8th, and run through April 19th. Each session runs from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Classes are held at the Alachua County Emergency Operations Center (1100 SE 27th Street, Gainesville). Registration deadline is March 7, 2011.

The seven week class covers the following topics:

If you miss the deadline, or can't make it to the classes listed above, there are three more scheduled classes this year, beginning May 3, July 5, and September 6.

"It is never too early to begin preparing for the 2010 Hurricane Season, and there's no better way than to attend the CERT program." said Ebbin Spellman, Alachua County Emergency Management Coordinator. "CERT teaches citizens how to prepare for, respond to and recover from disasters."

To register, or for more information click here, or call the Alachua County Emergency Management Office at 352-264-6500.

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City of Gainesville Election

Early voting for the city of gainesville election starts Monday, March 7, 2011

All City of Gainesville voters may vote in the At-Large 2 race. Only City of Gainesville voters living in District 2 may vote in the District 2 race. Only City of Gainesville voters living in District 3 may vote in the District 3 race.
Florida Law requires voters to present picture and signature ID in order to vote, or vote a provisional ballot.

Vote by Mail

To request a ballot and Vote by Mail, voters may make their request online at www.VoteAlachua.com or call the Supervisor of Elections Office at (352) 374-5252. Voters will need to make sure their address and signature on file with the Supervisor of Elections are current. Your mail ballot may not count if the signature does not match the signature on your voter record. The last day to request your ballot be mailed is Wednesday, March 9, 2011 by 5 PM.

To request a ballot for another voter, you must be a designated member of the voter's immediate family or a legal guardian. Requests can be made online, in person, by mail, by telephone or by fax. All requests must include the voter's name, residence address, and date of birth. The request must also include the requestor's name, residence address, relationship to the voter and driver's license number if available. Mail or fax request must also include the requestor's signature.

A voter may designate in writing another person to pick up an absentee ballot starting Thursday, March 10, 2011. The designee must have a note signed by the voter, a picture identification of the designee and must complete an affidavit. The affidavit is available for download at www.VoteAlachua.com . The designee may not pick up more than two absentee ballots per election, not including the designee's own ballot and ballots for members of his or her immediate family.

Absentee ballots are available at the Supervisor of Elections Office for voters who may have emergencies that will not allow them to go to their polling place to vote on Election Day.

If your signature has changed, your ballot may not count as we compare the signature in your file with the one on the envelope you return. You may update your signature by filling out a voter registration application form in person or online at www.VoteAlachua.com . All signature updates for use in verifying absentee and provisional ballots must be received in the Elections Office prior to the start of the canvassing of absentee ballots by the Canvassing Board.
All absentee ballots must be received in the Supervisor of Elections Office by 7:00PM Election Day.

Vote at Your Precinct

Any voter may vote in the precinct of their residence between 7:00 AM and 7:00 PM on Election Day. Florida Law requires voters to present picture and signature ID in order to vote, or you may vote a provisional ballot. If you need to locate your precinct, go to www.VoteAlachua.com.

Poll Workers Needed

If you are interested in serving as a Poll Worker, you may call the Supervisor of Elections Office at (352) 374-5252 or you may complete the Poll Worker Application on our website at www.VoteAlachua.com.
Polling place changes for the March 15, 2011, City of Gainesville election

The following polling place changes will be in effect for the March 15, 2011 City of Gainesville Election:

PRECINCT 48 and 18
Precinct 48 and Precinct 18 voters who reside in the City of Gainesville will be voting at:
Doyle Conner Building
1911 SW 34th Street, Gainesville

PRECINCT 41
Precinct 41 voters who reside in the City of Gainesville will be voting at:
Gainesville Hotel & Conference Center
7417 W. Newberry Road, Gainesville

PRECINCT 32
Due to construction, please note that Precinct 32 Polling Place has temporarily been changed for the March 15, 2011 City of Gainesville Election. Voters who reside in the City of Gainesville will be voting at:
Gainesville Hotel & Conference Center
7417 W. Newberry Road, Gainesville

Voters may check their voter registration status, update their voter information or signature, find their precinct polling place, and view their sample ballot online at www.VoteAlachua.com and click on the link, "My Voter Information Page" (My VIP) .

If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact the Supervisor of Elections Office at (352) 374-5252.
Audio Sample Ballots Available Online

City of Gainesville voters may view their sample ballot for the March 15, 2011 City of Gainesville Election online at www.VoteAlachua.com and click on the link, "My Voter Information Page" (My VIP).

If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact the Supervisor of Elections Office at (352) 374-5252.

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Extension Programs

March Environmental Horticulture Programs

The Alachua County Extension Office is pleased to announce the following Environmental Horticulture Programs, for March, 2011. These programs are offered by Wendy Wilber, Environmental Horticulture Agent. These programs will be held at the Extension Office (2800 NE 39 Avenue, Gainesville).

Edible Landscaping in Alachua County – March 22, from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Fruit & vegetable gardening can be rewarding and a little bit challenging. This class will help you plan your home garden and orchard.

Landscaping the Florida-Friendly™ Way – March 29, from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Learn landscaping techniques to save water, and spend less on fertilizers and sprays.

There is no cost to attend these classes. Pre-register by calling 352-337-6209. For more information about any of these programs, call the Extension Office at 352-955-2402.

Family & Consumer Sciences Programs

The Alachua County Extension Office is pleased to announce the following Family & Consumer Sciences Programs, for March, 2011. 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).

Canning Workshops – March 14, 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Demonstrations and tips on pressure canning, boiling water canning, making jams and jellies and pickling will be presented.

Cost to attend is $3.00 for materials/recipes. Pre-register by March 8 by calling 352-337-6209.

Getting Financially Organized – March 15, 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Design your spending plan, Organize your important papers and Make credit work for you are some of the topics covered in this class. No cost. Call 352-337-6209 to preregister (required).

Building Your Financial Future (A personal financial management program - for those filing bankruptcy only) – March 17, 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. You must bring your case number with you.

Topics include: Develop Your Budget, Money Management Skills, Use Credit Responsibly, and Consumers Rights and Responsibilities.

Cost to attend this class is $10.00 (cash only) for course materials. Pre-register by March 11 by calling 352-955-2402. For alternate class dates, or view the complete brochure, visit http://alachua.ifas.ufl.edu/calendar.shtml

Food Safety and Quality Program (ServSafe®) – March 16, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
This program is dedicated to providing training which enables food managers and staff to offer Florida consumers 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.

Before You Tie the Knot – March 21 & 28, 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Before You Tie the Knot is a premarital preparation course.

Topics include: Communication, Conflict Management & Resolution, Financial Responsibility & Spending Plans, and Children & Parenting Responsibilities.
Completion of this course is required to receive a $32.50 reduction of marriage license. Attendees will receive a certificate of completion and a copy for the Clerk of the Court. There is no cost to attend this two evening class. Pre-register by March 17 by calling 352-337-6209.

For more information about these programs call 352-955-2402. Visit http://alachua.ifas.ufl.edu/calendar.shtml for additional programs offered by the Extension Office.

All Extension Programs and Services are open to all without regard to race, color, age, sex, religion, national origin or handicap.  For persons requiring special accommodations, please contact the Extension office at (352) 955-2402 (voice) or TDD/TYY (352) 955-2406 or at the Alachua County Extension Service, 2800 NE 39th Avenue, Gainesville, FL  32609.  Please contact the Extension Office at least five working days prior to the program so that proper consideration may be given to the request.

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Commission Highlights

Announcements
The Board
heard announcements by Mark Sexton Communications Coordinator concerning an article By Alachua County Manager Randall H. Reid and City of Gainesville Manager Russ Blackburn about government agencies response to the Dove outreach proposed Koran burning.  Mr. Sexton also gave the Board and citizens information on the ACCESS civic education classes coming up.

America Saves Week
The Board proclaimed February 20 - 27, 2011 as “America Saves Week” in Alachua County, Florida.
Attachment: 
America Saves Week.pdf

Criminal Justice, Mental Health, & Substance Abuse Grant Planning Committee
The Board extended the Criminal Justice, Mental Health, and Substance Abuse Grant Planning Committee sunset date to April 30, 2014.
Attachment: 
CJMHSAG Minutes January 13 2011 DRAFT.pdf
Attachment: 
DRAFT CJMHSAGPC Resolution 2011 Revised 02082011 for Final Approval.pdf

Quarterly Hiring Activity Report
The Board accepted the Quarterly Hiring Activity Report for the 1st Quarter of Fiscal Year 2010/2011.
Attachment: 
BOCC Quarterly Reports FY2011 QTR 1.pdf

Florida Department of Transportation
The Board approved the priority list for transportation projects funding request, transmittal to the Florida Department of Transportation.  They flipped items one and two on the priority list.
Attachment: 
2011LaCrosseApp.pdf
Attachment: 
ArcherCR241App.pdf
Attachment: 
FDOTPrioritiesFY1213thru1617.pdf
Attachment: 
LaCrosse Map.pdf
Attachment: 
FDOTPrioritiesPP2013thru17.pdf

Cabot-Koppers Superfund Site

Concerning the overview of the USEPA Record of Decision Clean-up Plan for the Cabot-Koppers Superfund Site the Board decided to:
1. Direct staff to draft a letter for the Mayor and Chair’s signatures to urge the United States Environmental Protection Agency to:
a. Complete off-site soil delineation and remediation as soon as possible.
b. Complete Consent Decree and implement the Record of Decision as soon as possible.
c. Expedite indoor dust evaluation.
d. If indoor dust and/or health surveys indicate site-related problems, EPA should take appropriate action, including permanent relocation.
e. Include an expression of disappointment that contaminated soil is not being removed from the site.

2. Resend a letter to the Local Realtors’ Association regarding Superfund site disclosure obligations. Include information regarding Superfund site disclosure in mailing occupational licences to realtors.
3. Request that the USEPA provide community access to new cleanup documents and updates.
4. Request that the Property Appraiser review valuations.
5. Encourage property owners to select soil removals.
6. Direct the County Attorney to report back to the Board as to the authority and viability of cost recovery claim against Beazer and any cause of action against Beazer.

Attachment: 1658 LIT ROD Pres to City County Comm County Vers 2152011.pdf

GRU Wastewater Force Main Extension

Concerning the GRU Wastewater Force Main Extension along Waldo Road, the Board approved the  Draft Interlocal Agreement and authorized signature of cover letters by the Chair, and transmitting the Draft Agreement to the Mayors of Gainesville and Waldo.  After review of the Draft Agreement by the Cities of Gainesville and Waldo, the Agreement will be brought back to the Board for final approval and signature at a future meeting.

Attachment: Comparison of Alternatives.pdf
Attachment: 
Project Timeline Waldo GRU Interlocal.pdf
Attachment: 
Chair Letter Waldo.pdf
Attachment: 
Draft Interlocal Agreement Waldo GRU.pdf
Attachment: 
Powerpoint Waldo GRU Interlocal.pdf
Attachment: 
Chair Letter Gainesville.pdf

Surplus Vehicle

Considering the request to donate surplus vehicle CT005 a 2000 E-250 Van to Archer Community Access Center, the Board decided:
Not to donate van
To ask staff to come back with a policy regarding the disposal of surplus property to dispose of property through normal channels and not give property away individually to non-profit organizations. 

Attachment: ArcherdonationReqVan.pdf
Attachment: 
Surplus Vehicle reso pg 2.pdf
Attachment: 
Surplus Vehicle reso pg1.pdf

Spay Day
The Board proclaimed Tuesday, February 22, 2011 as “Spay Day” in Alachua County, Florida.
Attachment: 
Spay Day_1.pdf

Vacation of Hague Street
The Board adopted the Resolution to vacate that portion of Hague Street within the plat of the Town of Hague and execute the County Deed to Kimberley Wilcox.  They authorized the Chair to execute any additional documents approved by the County Attorney, necessary to complete the transaction.
Attachment: 
Hague_St_closing_WILLCOX_CD.pdf
Attachment: 
Hague_St_closing_WILLCOX_Resolution.pdf
Attachment: 
HAGUE_STREET_VAC_2011.pdf

Whistling Pines
The Board approved the Settlement Agreement and Consent Order for a five-year phase out of the land application of biosolids on acres known as Whistling Pines by Gainesville Regional Utilities.Attachment: BiosolidsStaffReport_11_22_10.pdf
Attachment: 
PlanningCommission_Minutes_10_17_07.pdf
Attachment: 
EPACComments12_05_07.pdf
Attachment: 
Exhibit _A _Property Map_to_Settlement_Agreement.pdf
Attachment: 
GRUBiosolidsManagementPlan.pdf
Attachment: 
GRUBioaerosolReport.pdf
Attachment: 
GRUMicroconstituentsReport.pdf
Attachment: 
ZOX_05_07_Application.pdf
Attachment: 
ZOX_05_07_PretreatmentReport1.pdf
Attachment: 
2010_WEF_RBConf_GRU_Paper.pdf
Attachment: 
ECSCComments08_19_08.pdf
Attachment: 
ZOX0507_2_22_11_Presentation.pdf
Attachment: 
Exhibit_B_Whistling_Pines_Groundwater_Monitoring_Plan.pdf
Attachment: 
GRUDispersionModelingReport.pdf
Attachment: 
PlanningCommission_Staff_Report.pdf
Attachment: 
2006BiosolidsSummaryReport.pdf
Attachment: 
ZOX_05_07_CitizenComments.pdf
Attachment: 
ZOX_05_07_PretreatmentReport2.pdf
Attachment: 
Biosolids_Agreement_Final_1_3_11.pdf
Attachment: 
EPACComments11_03_10.pdf

Rural Conference Center, Cemetery & Wildlife Management Area
The Board Staff approved the item on request for PD district for a rural conference center, cemetery and wildlife management area and adopted Resolution Z-11-02 approving the request.
Attachment: 
ZOM1110 Powerpoint Presentation.pptx
Attachment: 
ZOM1110 Public Comments.pdf
Attachment: 
Prairie Creek PD Application Attachments Part 2.pdf
Attachment: 
Prairie Creek ZMP.pdf
Attachment: 
Resolution for ZOM1110a.pdf
Attachment: 
Prairie Creek PD Application Attachments Part 1.pdf
Attachment: 
Prairie Creek PD Application Justification Report.pdf
Attachment: 
ZOM1110 Staff Report.pdf
Attachment: 
Prairie Creek PD Application and Neighborhood Meeting.pdf

Shands Medical Office Buildings
The Board approved the Preliminary Development Plan for Shands Medical Office Buildings, project number 2010092202_P.
Attachment: 
ShandsMOB_MP.pdf
Attachment: 
ShandsMOB_Prel_SR.pdf
Attachment: 
Shands_Aerial.pdf
Attachment: 
ShandsMOB_OSpace.pdf
Attachment: 
ShandsMOB_MP2.pdf
Attachment: 
ShandsMOB_Ph1_DP.pdf
Attachment: 
Shands_Location.pdf
Attachment: 
ShandsMOB.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.