May 27th edition of:

Community Update
A Report on the Activities of Alachua County Government

 

This Issues Features:

The Alachua County CHOICES Program
What's On "Alachua County Talks"
SW 43rd St. Detour/Closure
High School Voter Education and Registration Program
Memorial Day Ceremony
CAPP Advisory Board Vacancies
NSP3 Application Available For Public Comment
Fish Kill at Bivens Arm Lake
New Changes in Election Laws
Memorial Day Waste Collection
Home Composter Sale
Commission Highlights

The Alachua County CHOICES Program

At the Regular Commission meeting on May 24, 2011, the Alachua County Commission decided by a 3/2 vote to continue the CHOICES Healthcare Service Program unchanged.  The CHOICES ¼-cent surcharge will end in December of 2011.  This decision means that the program will continue unchanged and the approximately $41 million fund balance will be spent down.  The program will end when the funds are depleted.

The Board heard details on two other plans involving setting up a trust fund and using the earnings to provide health services, at a much-reduced level, through either the Health Department or the Alachua County Department of Community Support Services.  They rejected these plans in favor of the CHOICES Advisory Board recommendation to continue the program as it is currently operating.  

The Board also voted to approve the eligibility of Santa Fe College students for CHOICES.

To view the broad discussion and decisions about the CHOICES program, click here.  Under the view screen scroll down to and click the jump point entitled, "Item #42 CHOICES Enrollment Update" to jump to that point in the video.

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What's On "Alachua County Talks"

The new edition of "Alachua County Talks" features an in-depth interview with Marty Mesh, the Executive Director of the Florida Certified Organic Growers & Consumers Inc. (FOG)

In speaking of the interview host Mark Sexton said, "Mr. Mesh has been instrumental; locally, nationally and internationally, in advancing the organic farming industry and teaching folks how to help build a sustainable future through local food production."

To view this edition of Alachua County Talks immediately on Video on Demand, click here

To view the complete Channel 12 schedule, click here.

The latest editions of Alachua County Talks air at 7 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. every night except Thursday, and at 7 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. and 11:30 p.m. and 12 a.m. every day.  Special or regular County Commission and Gainesville City Commission meetings may preempt any showing.

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

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SW 43rd St. Detour/Closure

The Alachua County Public Works Department announced a detour and road closure on SW 43rd St. (North of SW 24th Ave. to SW 20th Ave.) for road paving and curb & sidewalk construction in association with the SW 62nd Blvd interim projects.

The detour and road closure began on Tuesday May 24, 20011 at 7 a.m. and end on Tuesday June 7, 2011 at 5 p.m. Traffic will be detoured to SW 38th Ter. Local traffic needing to access the detoured segment of SW 43th St. from SW 20th Ave. to SW 24th Ave. will do so from the SW 43rd Street/SW 24th Ave. intersection.

For more information, please contact Project Manager Ha Nguyen at 352-374-5245 ext. 1223.

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High School Voter Education and Registration Program

Over 500 High School Students Register To Vote While Participating in the Supervisor of Elections High School Voter Education and Registration Program

This program is developed in cooperation with the Alachua County School Board and is designed for maximum effectiveness in reaching and educating high school students who are eligible to pre-register or register to vote.

Students not only learned about the electoral process and the importance of every vote, but were provided an opportunity to practice their new voting skills. By using demonstration ballots and the optical scan voting equipment used in Alachua County elections, students participated in a hands-on voting experience. Students were also given voter education materials along with "I Registered to Vote" and "Future Voter" stickers.

Over 65 students elected to become even more involved by signing up to serve as poll workers on Election Day.

High schools visited during this campaign include Gainesville, Eastside, Buchholz, Santa Fe, Hawthorne, Newberry and the Professional Academies Magnet at Loften School.

For more information on this program or to become a poll worker, please contact the Supervisor of Elections at (352) 374-5252.

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Memorial Day Ceremony

The Alachua County Veteran Services Office invites citizens to attend the Memorial Day Ceremony on May 30, 2011, beginning at 10:00 a.m. at Forrest Meadows Cemetery East (3700 SE Hawthorne Rd, Gainesville).

This year's theme is, "Honoring our Fire Rescue Veterans." Forest Meadows Funeral Home and the Department of Veteran Affairs host this community event. It will feature participation by various groups including; Alachua County and the City of Gainesville Fire Rescue, Young Marines, students of Buchholz High School, and others. A static display of fire and rescue equipment, a special display of war time history as well as various veterans' organizations displays will available to the public in honor of our war dead. The ceremony will be followed by a picnic on the grounds.

For more information, contact the Alachua County Office of Veteran Services at 352-264-6740.


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CAPP Advisory Board Vacancies

The Alachua County Board of County Commissioners is seeking applications for its Community Agency Partnership Program (CAPP) Advisory Board for the FY2012 funding process. The CAPP Advisory Board evaluates poverty reduction program funding applications and makes award recommendations to the County Commission. There are currently five Citizen-at-Large positions open.

The Board's first meeting is Wednesday, June 15, 2011, at 2 p.m. Members will then evaluate applicant oral presentations the week of July 25, 2011, Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Click here for an online application.

Click here for a downloadable PDF application.

Click here for more information about CAPP.

Click here for more information about Alachua County Advisory Boards.

For more information, contact Lee Roberts, CAPP Program Manager, at 352-264-6707 or ldroberts@alachuacounty.us.

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NSP3 Application Available For Public Comment

Alachua County's Draft Application for the Neighborhood Stabilization Program 3 (NSP3), is available for the public to review. The document was posted on the County's website on Thursday, May 12, 2011.

Click here to view the draft application.

Last month, The Alachua County Board of County Commissioners notified the State of Florida Department of Community Affairs of its intent to apply for a federal grant in the amount of $1,029,844 to stabilize neighborhoods which have been adversely impacted by foreclosure. This program is designed to reduce the inventory of foreclosed properties on the market, which currently is adversely impacting local housing market conditions.

According to the National Association of Realtors, "While new construction is the traditional driver of supply in real estate, foreclosures now have a strong impact on inventories, particularly at the local level. Rising inventories, through construction or foreclosure, place downward pressure on the median home prices... The longer foreclosed or abandoned properties stay on the market, the greater the threat on the community's vitality."

This program is funded by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010. Using funds from NSP 3, Alachua County proposes to purchase and repair seven foreclosed properties in the eastern portion of Alachua County. Homes will be made available for resale or as rental property to income eligible households. Proceeds from the sales of NSP homes would be used to acquire and rehab additional homes, reducing the inventory of foreclosed properties in Alachua County, while as a secondary benefit, providing housing affordable to low to moderate income households. The NSP 3 grant application went before the Alachua County Board of County Commissioners and was approved at its May 24, 2011 meeting.

For more information, click here or contact Tom Webster at 352-337-6285.

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Fish Kill at Bivens Arm Lake

A reported fish kill at Bivens Arm Lake in southwest Gainesville has been caused by weather related high temperatures.

Chris Bird, Alachua County Environmental Protection Director, said, "Extended periods of hot and sunny weather heat up the lake's water temperature, reducing dissolved oxygen below levels that fish need to survive.

Bivens Arm is the most vulnerable area lake to "heat stress" fish kills because it is very shallow and prone to algal blooms, which further reduce dissolved oxygen levels. This lake receives an excessive amount of nutrient and sediment loadings due to untreated stormwater flow from urban Gainesville's Tumblin Creek watershed.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission maintains a fish kill hotline 1-800-636-0511 and website http://myfwc.com/research/saltwater/health/fish-kills-hotline/. Fish kills as well as fish with parasites, or other fish abnormalities may be reported to the toll-free hotline.

For further information, contact Chris Bird, Alachua County Environmental Protection Director, at 352-264-6800.

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New Changes in Election Laws

CS/CS House Bill 1355 has been signed into law by Governor Scott. Below are some of the major changes in election laws effective May 19, 2011:
Presidential Preference Primary Election
The change in law eliminates the current date (January 31, 2012) for the Presidential Preference Primary and creates a 10-member Presidential Preference Primary Date Selection Committee, which will establish the (PPP) date every four years to fall between the 1st Tuesday in January and no later than the 1st Tuesday in March. The date must be selected by October 1st of the year preceding the presidential election.

Primary Election
The change in law provides that the Primary Election be held on the Tuesday 12 weeks prior to the General Election instead of 10 weeks. The Primary Election will be held on August 14, 2012. Due to the change in date for the Primary Election, candidate qualifying will also be two weeks earlier.

Early Voting
The change in law provides for an 8-day early voting period beginning on the 10th day before an election that contains state or federal races and ends on the 3rd day before the election. Early Voting shall be provided for at each site no less than 6 hours and no more than 12 hours per day.

Address Changes
The change in law provides voters who move from county to county the same options for updating their address other than by voter registration application (i.e., in person, by phone, by mail, by e-mail, by fax, or by written signed notice) provided that the change is made directly to the Supervisor of Elections of their new residence. Otherwise they will be required to make their change of address on a voter registration application.

Except for an active uniformed services voter or a member of his or her family, an elector whose change of address is from outside the county may not change his or her legal residence at the polling place and vote a regular ballot; however such elector is entitled to vote a provisional ballot.

Third Party Voter Registration Organizations
Before engaging in any voter registration activities, a third-party voter registration organization must register and provide to the Division of Elections the name and address of the organization's registered agent in the state and all other information designated by law.

Provides that each registered agent employed or volunteering for the organization be required to sign a sworn statement that they will obey all state laws and rules regarding the registration of voters. Such statement must be on a form containing notice of applicable penalties for false registration.

All voter registration application forms must contain information identifying the organization to which the forms are provided.

The Third Party Voter Registration Organization shall deliver voter registration applications to the Division of Elections or Supervisor of Elections within 48 hours after the applicant completes the application form, or the next business day if the appropriate office is closed for that 48-hour period.

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Memorial Day Waste Collection

Residential curbside collection service for solid waste, recycling and yard trash will be delayed by one day due to the Memorial Day holiday. The regular schedule for these services will not occur on Memorial Day, Monday May 30, 2011. Monday's regular collection will occur on Tuesday, and so on through the week ending with Thursday's collection on Friday. Regular collection schedules will resume on Monday June 6th.

The five Alachua County Rural Collection Centers, the Leveda Brown Environmental Park and Transfer Station and the Hazardous Waste Center will also be closed for Memorial Day, Monday, May 30th, and will return to regular hours on Tuesday May 31st.

For more information, contact Milton Towns, Alachua County Office of Waste Collection at 352-338-3233.

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Home Composter Sale

The Alachua County Office of Waste Alternatives and the Florida Master Gardeners are hosting a truckload sale of the "Earth Machine" home composter Saturday, May 28, 2011, on a first come, first served basis. The sale takes place at the Home Depot (5150 NW 13th St., Gainesville) from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., or until supplies run out.

The Earth Machine home compost bin, which normally retails for $100.00, is on sale for $47.00 with tax included. Only cash or checks are accepted.

For more information about the Earth Machine home composter, click here.

The Office of Waste Alternatives reminds citizens that free mulch, which can be used for compost, is available at the Leveda Brown Environmental Park (5115 NE 63rd Ave, Gainesville).

For more information about the sale, contact Alachua County Public Works at 352-374-5213.


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Commission Highlights

Announcements
The Board
heard announcements by Mark Sexton Communications Coordinator
Attachment:
Announcements

Memorial Day
The Board proclaimed May 30, 2011 as “Memorial Day” in Alachua County, Florida.
Attachment: 
Memorial Day 2011.pdf

Take 25 Day
The Board proclaimed May 25, 2011 as “Take 25 Day” in Alachua County, Florida.
Attachment: 
Take 25 Day.pdf

CHOICES Advisory Board Presentation
The Board heard the CHOICES Advisory Board Presentation and adopted the recommendation to continue the existing service delivery plan.

CHOICES Surtax Use Plan
The Board approved the change to the CHOICES Surtax Use Plan to allow Santa Fe Students to be eligible
Attachment: 
CHOICES Surtax Use Plan Santa Fe.pdf
Attachment: 
CHOICES Surtax Use Plan Santa Fe Redline.pdf

2011 Hurricane Season Briefing
The Board received the presentation of the 2011 Hurricane Season Briefing
Attachment: 
2011 hurricane season briefing BoCC.pdf
Attachment: 
The EOC for Elected Officials April 2011.pdf

Bonita Springs Retirement Village
The Board approved the resolution to approve issuance of bonds by the Alachua County Health Facilities Authority to finance capital improvements (amount not to exceed $165,000,000) for Bonita Springs Retirement Village, Inc., and authorize Chair to sign. Authorize the County Attorney to submit an invoice for $5,000.00 for County services to Bonita Springs Retirement Village, Inc.
Attachment: 
Invoice.pdf
Attachment: 
2_reso.pdf

EAR-based Comprehensive Plan Amendments
The Board heard the presentation to describe the ULDC update currently underway to implement the recently adopted EAR-based Comprehensive Plan Amendments
Attachment: 
ULDC_Update_Presentation.pdf

Alachua County Eastside Community Redevelopment Area

Concerning the  Alachua County Eastside Community Redevelopment Area, the Board authorized staff to proceed with data collection and analysis, field work and documentation of community conditions necessary to: prepare a Finding of Necessity for the conceptual study area; Develop the Resolutions necessary to establish an Alachua County Community Redevelopment Agency; and, bring the Finding of Necessity and Resolutions to the Board of County Commissioners with a request for authorization to advertise the Public Hearing to consider adoption of the resolutions.

Attachment: Eastside CRA Report May 24 2011.pdf
Attachment: 
CRA Workplan Memo Jan 11.pdf
Attachment: 
Eastside CRA slideshow May 24 2011.pdf

FY11 Capital Improvement Program
The Board accepted the FY11 Capital Improvement Program 2nd Quarter Report and authorized amendments.
Attachment: 
Binder FY11 CIP Q2 Report.pdf

Sustainable Solid Waste System
The Board adopted the resolution for Establishment of an eight (8) member technical advisory committee to include five (5) regular members, two (2) ex-officio members and one (1) alternate to review alternative potential organics recycling technologies for the Sustainable Solid Waste System.
Attachment: 
Resolution Creating Technical Advisory Committee.pdf

Plat of Rochelle
The Board adopted the Resolution to vacate portions of certain platted streets within the plat of Rochelle and execute the four (4) County Deeds to Reginald L. and Lanita H. Brown; Thomas H. and Cleo B. Jenkins; Rollin J. and Joan M. Hogan and Franklin S. and Cynthia J. Morgan.  The Chair was authorized to execute any additional documents approved by the County Attorney, necessary to complete this transaction.
Attachment: 
CD_Hogan_ROCHELLE.pdf
Attachment: 
Resolution_ROCHELLE.pdf
Attachment: 
CD_Morgan_ROCHELLE.pdf
Attachment: 
CD_Jenkins_ROCHELLE.pdf
Attachment: 
CD_Brown_ROCHELLE.pdf
Attachment: 
Power_Point_ROCHELLE.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.