September 19th edition of:

Community Update
A Report on the Activities of Alachua County Government

 

This Issues Features:

1st Senior Center to Open Sept. 22
Reid Hires Economic Development Coordinator
New Assistant Public Works Director
What's On "Alachua County Talks"
Supervisor of Elections Changes Mailing Address
MV Connector Service
High Springs Joins Dispatch Service
Support Group for Rape Trauma
Permit Extensions
September Extension Programs
Commission Highlights

1st Senior Center to Open Sept. 22

Until now, Alachua County was among the few counties in Florida that did not have a dedicated multiservice senior center to provide for the needs of our senior citizens. That is about to change. Local officials are preparing to celebrate the grand opening of the City of Gainesville/Alachua County Senior Recreation Center at Northside Park with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 11 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 22, 2011. Senior citizens in Gainesville and Alachua County will soon be able to gather in a new state-of-the-art senior recreational center located at 5701 NW 34th St. in Gainesville, Fla. that will provide area seniors a well-deserved place to exercise, interact socially, and access vital medical services.

"The Senior Recreation Center at Northside Park represents a significant investment in the human capital of Gainesville and Alachua County senior citizens that we can all take pride in," said Gainesville Mayor Craig Lowe. "I am pleased that Gainesville and county residents voted to build this needed center for our seniors, in part through their support of the Wild Spaces-Public Places funding initiative."

The Senior Recreation Center is build to energy-efficient, LEED silver certification standards. A portion of the center is a hardened facility capable of withstanding Category 3 hurricane winds, which allows the center to operate as an emergency shelter resource. The building's senior-centric construction features a practical design that maximizes access to variety of activities for all seniors. The $5 million, 17,000-square-foot recreation and activity center will also house ElderCare of Alachua County and other community agency staff.

"This Center demonstrates what can be accomplished for our most vulnerable populations when we harness the collaborative resources of state, county, city, and non-profit agencies to accomplish the greater good for our community," said Alachua County Commission Chair Lee Pinkoson. "This wise investment in our community will yield exponential dividends for years to come."

Funding for the Senior Recreation Center is the result of a close working partnership between the City of Gainesville, Alachua County, ElderCare of Alachua County, and the Florida Department of Elder Affairs. The City of Gainesville and Alachua County each contributed $1.5 million to the project from revenue generated by the Wild Spaces-Public Places funding initiative approved by voters in 2008. The Florida Department of Elder Affairs awarded a $2 million state grant to help complete funding for the project. ElderCare of Alachua County will operate the facility and provide management and coordination for on-going senior programs, activities, and services.

"It takes many people working together within our community to bring a center like this from a vision to reality, and still more people to provide the full range of services it will offer for our deserving seniors," said Anthony Clarizio, Director of ElderCare of Alachua County. "This facility is a milestone in the development of community assets to provide meaningful support to a growing senior citizen population in Gainesville and Alachua County."

The Senior Recreation Center is compliant with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) guidelines and is equipped with comfortable, functional furniture that complements the soothing color palette selected for the facility. Other amenities include: professionally landscaped building exteriors; Wi-Fi accessibility throughout the facility; a welcoming reception area and cozy library space complete with fireplace; a spacious multipurpose room that can function as a ballroom, auditorium, exercise space or subdivide into as many as three meeting rooms; a professional caterer's kitchen; a fully equipped computer lab; a state-of-the-art monitored exercise room; six instructional classrooms; a recreational activity room equipped with table tennis and pool tables; and office space for center staff.

The center's Northside Park location enables the city's Regional Transportation System to provide ADA-compliant bus service to the center's front door via RTS bus route no. 8, which travels a route from Shands Hospital on Southwest Archer Road to the Northwood Village area and back. Additionally, MV Transportation, the community transportation coordinator for all local para-transit services, will also provide door-to-door service to those eligible to receive this transportation service.

In Alachua County, more than 38,000 people are age 60 or older and estimates are that 25 percent live alone. Nearly 15 percent (5,087) of Alachua County seniors age 60 or older live at or below 125 percent of the federal poverty level. These numbers are expected to increase considerably as aging baby boomers move into their golden years. The new Senior Recreation Center will serve as an active space where seniors can engage in activities, socialization and experience an enhanced community connectedness that can prevent depression, decrease isolation, and increase their quality of life.

For more information, please contact Anthony Clarizio of ElderCare of Alachua County, Inc., at 352-265-9040 or by email at Eldcare@shands.ufl.edu.

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Reid Hires Economic Development Coordinator

Alachua County Manager Randall H. Reid is pleased to announce his hiring of Edgar Palafox to the position of Economic Development Coordinator. He will begin on October 17, 2011. The position pays an annual salary of $60,000.00.

Mr. Palafox comes to Alachua County from El Paso, Texas where he served as a Senior Economic Development Specialist for the City of El Paso. He attended the University of Arizona where he received a Bachelor's degree with a double major in Entrepreneurship and Economics. In addition to extensive economic development experience, he has experience in marketing and attraction strategies, research and grants, incentive programs, and green energy specialization.

"There is a renewed spirit of innovation spreading through Alachua County these days," commented Alachua County Manager Randall H. Reid. "With the hiring of Mr. Palafox we now have someone waking up each morning whose whole focus is economic development and job creation."

Reid added, "Mr. Palafox will be able to assist our smaller municipalities and businesses in identifying opportunities for economic expansion, promote county industrial areas, and explain our internal county processes. I am confident he will fit well within the collaborative effort here in Alachua County among partners focused on making our community ready for economic recovery through innovation, workforce development, and business retention."
One of the partners Reid spoke of is the Gainesville area Chamber of Commerce/Council for Economic Outreach, which participated in the interview process for the position.

"We're excited that Alachua County has taken an aggressive step for business by bringing the economic development coordinator position on board," said Brent Christensen, President, and CEO of the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce and Council for Economic Outreach. "We look forward to a continued strong relationship with County staff by growing and nurturing our area businesses and industries."

For more information, call the Alachua County Manager's Office at 352-374-5204.

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New Assistant Public Works Director

Sally Palmi has been named the new Alachua County Assistant Public Works Director for Waste Management. Before joining Alachua County, Ms. Palmi worked with the City of Gainesville's Waste Management Division. In 1995, she started with Alachua County as a Recycling Specialist and has since served as a Recycling Coordinator and the Waste Alternatives Manager. She brings more than 20 years of experience in recycling and solid waste to the position.

Ms. Palmi also served two terms as Chair of Recycle Florida Today, Inc., and is a long-standing member of the Solid Waste Association of North America. She currently serves on the executive board of directors of Keep Alachua County Beautiful and Sustainable Alachua County.

Ms. Palmi has been serving as the interim Assistant Director for the past year. She and her team are currently in the process of transforming the current collection and disposal system to a viable business model that enhances resource recovery. The goal is to reach the state recycling goal of 75% by the year 2020 and ensure a future sustainable solid waste management system.

Richard Hedrick, Director of Public Works notes, "Sally brings a lot of knowledge, vitality, and energy to the position and I'm confident she will help us continue in our mission in enhancing a sustainable future for Alachua County."

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What's On "Alachua County Talks"

A new edition of "Alachua County Talks" is out and features an in-depth interview with Ed Poppell, Vice President for Business Affairs and Economic Development at the University of Florida. The subject is the new Innovation Square District.

In speaking of the interview, host Mark Sexton said, "Mr. Poppell has a wealth of information on the Innovation Square District and viewers will learn a great deal about this transformational project located in the heart of Gainesville."
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.

Click here to view this episode.

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

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Supervisor of Elections Changes Mailing Address

No, we have not moved, but our mailing address has changed due to the closing of the United States Post Office in downtown Gainesville. The Supervisor of Elections will no longer have a Post Office Box address. Please address all future mail to our current street address at (please update your records to reflect this change):

Alachua County Supervisor of Elections
111 SE 1st Avenue
Gainesville, FL 32601-6819

For additional information, call the Alachua County Supervisor of Elections Office at 352-374-5252.
 


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MV Connector Service

Alachua County has partnered with MV Transportation and is offering the MV Connector. This bus service transports citizens from Alachua, High Springs, Archer and Newberry to the City of Gainesville.
The MV Connector can be boarded at stops designated by an Alachua County MV Connector sign at regularly scheduled times (similar to RTS bus stops). For those unable to get to a stop on the Connector route, Premium Curbside Service can be requested. The Premium Curbside Service will pick up citizens (and drop off) within 3/4 of a mile from the regular service route. These routes are included in attached brochures below.

For a complete brochure for each route (including schedules and detailed route information), click the desired location:

Alachua/High Springs Newberry Archer

Fixed point stop fares are $1.00 each way. Premium Curbside Service fares are $2.00, and require a reservation at least 2 hours in advance (or up to three day).

For more information and reservations, call 352-375-2784. Reservations are taken Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Reservations for pick-ups before 8 a.m. must be made the previous day by 5 p.m.


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High Springs Joins Dispatch Service

The City of High Springs Police Department is entering into an agreement with the Alachua County Sherriff's Office for dispatch services.

Beginning September 1, 2011, the Combined Communications Center will no longer transfer 9-1-1 calls to the High Springs Police Department but rather process the calls immediately and dispatch High Springs Police. The best method for contacting the High Springs Police Department for a non-emergency event is to call the Combined Communications Center at 352-955-1818.

Many citizens of High Springs may be familiar with the non-emergency telephone number to the High Springs Police Department of 386-454-1415. This number will continue to be answered at police headquarters during normal business hours.

Additionally, City of High Springs has joined the Countywide Addressing Program. The City of High Springs and the City of Gainesville have seventy identical addresses. This duplication potentially adds critical time to dispatching emergency units and locating the emergency.

"Changing an established address is inconvenient," commented Alachua County E-9-1-1 Coordinator Keith Godwin," but the advantages of being part of a single system to ensure expeditious call taking and emergency response outweigh the temporary inconvenience."

For more information, please contact the E-9-1-1 Office at 352-338-7361 between 7 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, or the Combined Communications Center at 352-264-6665 between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.


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Support Group for Rape Trauma

Beginning September 30, 2011, The Alachua County Victim Services & Rape Crisis Center will be offering a 10 week support group for female survivors of sexual assault. During the weekly meetings, group members will engage in discussion about healing from sexual violence which often 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.

There is no charge to participants.

Call Barbie Hechavarria, Victim Advocate Counselor, at 352-264-6763 to be screened or to discuss your interest.

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Permit Extensions

The Alachua County Department of Growth Management is now accepting applications for 2 year extensions to approved development orders.  Development Plans with an expiration date from January 1, 2012 through January 1, 2014 are eligible for this extension. 

This extension is in addition to any existing permit extension, but the total extensions granted pursuant to law cannot exceed 4 years in total.  The holder of a valid permit must notify the Department of Growth Management in writing by December 31, 2011. 

For more information, contact Alachua County Growth Management at 352-374-5249.

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September Extension Programs

Commercial Horticulture Programs
These programs are offered by Aparna Gazula, and include

Green Industries Best Management Practices - September 22, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Basics of Turfgrass Pest Management - September 28, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Click here to read more information about these programs.

Agriculture & Natural Resources Program
This programs are offered by Barton Wilder, and include:

Natural Areas & Right of Way Weed Control Workshop, Wednesday, September 21, 9 a.m.to noon

Click here to read more information about these programs.

Family & Consumer Sciences Programs
These programs are offered by Dr. Brenda Williams and include:

Fall Canning Workshop - September 26, 2011, 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Building Your Financial Future (A personal financial management program - for those filing bankruptcy only) – September 29 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Click here to read more information about these programs.

Environmental Horticulture Programs
These programs and are offered by Wendy Wilber and include:

Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ Tour of Landscapes – September 24

Click here to read more information about these programs.

Join 4-H
Youth between the ages of 5 and 18 are eligible and encouraged to participate in 4-H. The 4-H year began on September 1, 2011. Visit the Alachua County 4-H website or click here to fill out an enrollment form.

Eligible participants can join a 4-H club or sign up as an individual 4-H member. Most clubs meet on a monthly basis, although some meet more often. Florida's four 4-H camps host special programs throughout the year as well as summer camping.

For more information, contact Matt Benge, 4-H Agent at 352-955-2402 or mbenge@alachuacounty.us.

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

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Commission Highlights

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

National Senior Recreation Center Month
The Board proclaimed September 2011 as “National Senior Recreation Center Month” in Alachua County, Florida.Attachment: Senior Center Proclamation for county.pdf

Delta Sigma Zeta Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Day
The Board proclaimed September 21, 2011 as “Delta Sigma Zeta Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Day” in Alachua County, Florida.
Attachment: 
Delta Sigma Zeta Proclamation.pdf

Historic Evinston Post Office Day
The Board proclaimed September 13, 2011 as “Historic Evinston Post Office Day” in Alachua County, Florida.
Attachment: 
Evinston PO.pdf

Evinston Post Office
The Board approved the Chair letter noting the importance of the Evinston Post Office to the rural community in SE Alachua County.
Attachment: 
Chr11 103 Support of Evinston Post Office.pdf

Gainesville Renewable Energy Center
The Board accepted the $25,000 compliance verification grant from the Gainesville Renewable Energy Center, adopt the resolution, approve the budget amendment, and authorize Chair acceptance letter
Attachment: 
GREC RESOLUTION.pdf
Attachment: 
GREC Budget Amendment.pdf
Attachment: 
chr11 102 GREC grant acceptance letter.pdf
Attachment: 
GREC Settlement Agreement Letter.pdf

SW 1st Place Multi-Use Path
The Board directed staff to proceed with construction of SW 1st Place Multi-Use Path
Amount: $35,000.00
Attachment: 2011 07 07 SW 1st Place Memo to BoCC.pdf

Proposed FY12 Millage Rates
The Board conducted the public hearing and approved the proposed FY12 millage rates and adjusted tentative budgets for the General County, MSTU - Unincorporated Services, MSTU - Law Enforcement Funds, MSTU - Fire Protection Services and Alachua County Forever Debt Service Funds.  They adopted the FY12 Financial policies, adopted the FY12 Schedule of Fees and Charges for Services, and approved the FY12-16 Comprehensive Capital Improvement Program.
Attachment: 
2b FY12 Adopted - Comprehensive Financial Policies.pdf
Attachment: 
6a 11 98 MSTU Uninc Millage Reso 12 1st PH.pdf
Attachment: 
1 Agenda First Public Hearing Sept 13 2011.pdf
Attachment: 
4 FY12 to FY16 Five Year CIP.pdf
Attachment: 
7b 11 101 MSTU Law Enf Budget Reso 12 1st PH.pdf
Attachment: 
3a 11 95 Reso Fee Schedule 1st PH.pdf
Attachment: 
5a 11 96 General County Millage Reso 12 1st PH.pdf
Attachment: 
7a 11 100 MSTU Law Enf Millage Reso 12 1st PH.pdf
Attachment: 
10 FY12 Adjusted Tentative Budget.pdf
Attachment: 
5b 11 97 General County Budget Reso 12 1st PH.pdf
Attachment: 
8b 11 103 MSTU Fire Budget Reso 12 1st PH.pdf
Attachment: 
2a 11 94 Reso Financial Policies 1st PH.pdf
Attachment: 
6b 11 99 MSTU Uninc Budget Reso 12 1st PH.pdf
Attachment: 
8a 11 102 MSTU Fire Millage Reso 12 1st PH.pdf
Attachment: 
11 Adjusted Tentative Budget FY12 Millage Rates updated 090111.pdf
Attachment: 
9 FY12 Budget Decision Package Tier 1 as of Sept 1.pdf
Attachment: 
3b FY12 Schedule of Fees and Charges for Services.pdf

Non-ad Valorem Assessment Roll

The Board adopted the Assessment Resolution for Fiscal Year 2011-2012 and authorized Chair to certify the non-ad valorem assessment roll to the Tax Collector.
Amount: Revenue: $49,980.00

Lochloosa Florida Subdivision
The Board adopted the Resolution to vacate the portions of platted streets as requested within the plat of Lochloosa Florida subdivision and execute the 4 County Deeds. That the Chair be authorized to execute any additional documents approved by the County Attorney, necessary to complete this transaction.
Attachment: 
LOCATION MAPS.pdf
Attachment: 
RESOLUTION LOCHLOOSA ST VAC.pdf
Attachment: 
FOUR COUNTY DEEDS.pdf
Attachment: 
LOCHLOOSA ST VAC PPT.pdf

Solid Waste Final Assessment Resolution
The Board Adopted the Solid Waste Final Assessment Resolution for Fiscal Year 2011-2012 and authorize Chair to certify the non-ad valorem assessment roll to the Tax Collector.
Amount: Revenue: $9,183,791.00
Attachment: Resolution_FINAL_FY11_12_with_Exhibits.pdf

5 Comp. Plan Amendments on 9-27-11
The Alachua County Commission will hold a public hearing on Tuesday, September 27, 2011 starting at 5 p.m. to consider final adoption of five Comprehensive Plan Map Amendments. The hearing will take place in Room 209 of the County Administration Building located at 12 SE 1st Street, Gainesville, Florida. 

If adopted, the Comprehensive Plan Amendments (CPAs) would allow properties owned by Alachua County to be re-designated from Rural/Agriculture (R/A) to Preservation (P) on the Future Land Use Map 2030 of the Comprehensive Plan 2011-2030 for the following:

CPA 02-11 (or Tax parcel 02851-0-0 on approximately 36 acres located in Northwest Alachua County north of the City of Alachua on CR 236)

CPA 03-11 (or Tax Parcel 02725-0-0 on approximately 47 acres located about 7 miles north of High Springs on County Road 241)

CPA 04-11 (or Tax Parcel 16893-0-0 on approximately 242 acres located about 4 miles west of Waldo at intersection of County Roads 225 and 1475)

CPA 05-11 (or Tax Parcels 18405-1-1, 18374-2-1, 18376-1-0,  18377-0-0, 18378-3-0, and 18377-1-0 on approximately 662 acres located between Lake Alto and Lake Santa Fe)

CPA 06-11 (or Tax Parcels 02711-6-0 near Watermelon Pond on SW 250th Street, parcels 02707-0-0 and 02711-6-12 off SW 119th Avenue on approximately 520 acres located in southwestern Alachua County between Archer and High Springs)

The Alachua County Forever Program acquired these properties for protection of natural resources as described in their individual management plans.

Public participation in the hearing process is encouraged.  All materials related to this application are available for review at the Office of Growth Management. 

For more information, contact the Alachua County Growth Management Department at 374-5249 or Robert Norton at rln@alacuchuacounty.us for further information.


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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.