June 28th edition of:

Community Update
A Report on the Activities of Alachua County Government


This Issues Features:

Will Lower Santa Fe and Springs Get Life Preserver?
SWAG Family Resource Center on Alachua County Talks
Hay Field Day
Alachua County Water Conservation Program Wins National Award
Road and Bridge Division Summer Operations Update
July Extension Programs
Independence Day Waste Collection Schedule
Commission Highlights

Will Lower Santa Fe and Springs Get Life Preserver?

On Sunday, June 23, the Gainesville Sun ran an important article about the Santa Fe and Ichentucknee Rivers, which features County Environmental Protection Department Director, Chris Bird.
Below is a segment of that article:

The springs help give this area its personality, and residents know they’re vulnerable, said Chris Bird, director of the Alachua County Environmental Protection Department. Some Florida springs have dried up in this lifetime and might never be revived.

Talk to people who spend a lot of time on the Lower Santa Fe River and they’ll tell you the water flows are declining.

“They’re not necessarily using measurement devices, but they go out there a lot, and they have a feel for the river,” Bird said. “I think the sense we get when we talk to people that use the river is that they have noticed a decline.

“And so, you know, the question is: ‘Can you even put a price on that?’ ” he said. “It’s like one of those commercials about it being priceless.”

Click to read the article in its entirety.

Return to Top


SWAG Family Resource Center on Alachua County Talks

A new edition of Alachua County Talks featuring an interview with Southwest Advocacy Group Family Resource Center Manager Katie Fields is available. Fields discusses SWAG’s efforts to enrich the Linton Oaks neighborhood and surrounding community through the Family Resource Center, and looks back at the center’s founding and first year of operation.

In speaking of the program Alachua County Talks host Mark Sexton said, “The SWAG Family Resource Center is a text book example of how private and public sector organizations can work together to better the lives of citizens.”

View Alachua County Talks: SWAG Family Resource Center.

For more information on SWAG visit the Southwest Advocacy Group website or call 352-505-6823.

Click to subscribe to the County’s YouTube channel (and receive updates when new videos are published).

View the complete Channel 12 Schedule.

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

Return to Top


Hay Field Day

The Northeast Florida Livestock Agents Group is hosting the UF/IFAS Extension “Hay Field Day” on Wednesday, July 10, 2013, from 9 a.m. (registration begins at 8:30 a.m.) to 1 p.m., at Santa Fe River Ranch (29220 NW 122 Street, Alachua). There is a $5.00 registration fee (pay at the door) – to cover materials and a lunch (prepared by Farm Credit).

The field day will provide updates on various topics related to hay production along with field demonstrations. Topics include: body condition scoring, hay testing, pasture integrated pest management, pasture weed management and new Bahia grass varieties: TifQuik and UF Riata.

View the event flyer.

For more information or registration, contact Alachua County Cooperative Extension Director/Livestock Agent, Cynthia Sander at 352-955-2402.

Return to Top


Alachua County Extension Agents Recognized Nationally

Barton Wilder and Aparna Gazula are the national winners of the National Association of County Agricultural Agents Search for Excellence Award in Farm Health and Safety.  The award was for their Worker Protection Standard: Train the Trainer Workshops. 

The Worker Protection Standard was created by the Environmental Protection Agency to improve the safety of agriculture workers and pesticide handlers.

Return to Top


Alachua County Water Conservation Program Wins National Award

A horticulturist with Alachua County’s UF/IFAS Extension office will be recognized for her educational program by the National Association for County Agriculture Agents.

Wendy Wilber was selected as the national winner for the Search for Excellence Award in Landscape Horticulture for her development and implementation of the Florida-Friendly Landscape program in Alachua County.

She will receive the award and present her work in September at the association’s national conference in Pittsburgh.

The voluntary program promotes water quality by teaching and encouraging water conservation and pollution reduction at home. Started in 2007, the program has also hosted and inspired 580 participants on annual educational tours of Florida landscapes.

In a follow-up survey of last year’s tour members, 56 percent of respondents reported adding or intending to add a rain barrel after their tour, each saving up to 600 gallons of water annually. More than half said they had eliminated at least one day a week from their lawn watering schedules.

The survey respondents reported total savings of about 3.6 million gallons of water and more than $83,000 from reduced water bills in 2012 alone.

In addition to Florida-Friendly Landscape, Wilber also coordinates the Master Gardener and 4-H Junior Master Gardener programs. As Alachua County’s environmental horticulture agent, she promotes the creation and maintenance of environmentally friendly landscapes.

Return to Top


July Extension Programs

All of these programs are held at the Alachua County Cooperative Extension Office (2800 NE 39 Avenue, Gainesville).

Family and Consumer Sciences Programs

These programs are being offered by Brenda C. Williams, Family and Consumer Sciences Agent.

Food Safety and Quality Program (ServSafe®) – July 10, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 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 Food Safety and Quality website, or call toll-free at 1-888-232-8723.

View program brochure.

Required Financial Management Class for those filing for bankruptcy – July 16, from 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

This program has been approved to issue certificates evidencing completion of a personal financial management instructional course in compliance with the Bankruptcy Code. Attendees must bring a case number to class.

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

View program brochure.

Cost to attend this class is $10.00 (cash only) for course materials. Pre-register by July 11, by calling 352-955-2402.

Agriculture & Natural Resources Program

This program is offered by Barton Wilder, Agriculture & Natural Resources Agent.

Right of Way & Natural Areas Weed Control Workshop – July 24, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

This workshop will prepare pesticide applicators for the Right of Way and Natural Area Weed Management Exams.

Registration fee is $5.00 (includes light refreshments). Please register by calling 352-337-6209 (voicemail) no later than July 22. For more information call the Extension Office at 352-955-2402.

Commercial Horticulture Program

This program is being offered by Aparna Gazula, Commercial Horticulture Agent.

Green Industries Best Management Practices – July 30, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

This is a required training class for all commercial and institutional fertilizer applicators in Alachua County according to the Alachua County Fertilizer Standards and Management Practices Code.

Pre-register by calling 352-337-6209 (voicemail) at least three working days prior to program.

View the program brochure.

For more information about these programs, call 352-955-2402. Visit the Extension Office calendar.

Return to Top


Independence Day Waste Collection Schedule

Residential curbside collection service for solid waste, recycling, and yard trash will be delayed by one day due to the observance of Independence Day, on Thursday, July 4, 2013. Collection regularly scheduled for Thursday will be picked up on Friday and so on through the week. The regular schedule will resume on Monday, July 8.

The Hazardous Waste Collection Center, and the Leveda Brown Environmental Park’s Transfer Station will be closed on Thursday, July 4, and will reopen on Friday, July 5 during regular business hours. The Office of Waste Collection will be closed on Thursday, July 4, and will reopen on Monday, July 8.

The five Alachua County Rural Collection Centers will be closed (as always) on Wednesday and Thursday and will reopen on Friday, July 5.

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

Return to Top


Commission Highlights

2013 ACCESS Class
The Board recognized the 25 graduates of the 2013 ACCESS Class and presented them with a Certificate of Completion and a copy of the 2013 class photo.
Attachment: ACCESSGraduates2013.pdf

Mobile Outreach Clinic
The Board heard the Mobile Outreach Clinic update report from Dr. Nancy Hardt
Attachment: ROI for mobile clinic 2013.pptx

Capital Improvements Program
The Board heard the Capital Improvements Program (CIP) presentation and discussed the County’s ongoing CIP projects and the direction for the upcoming 5-year CIP. No action is being requested on this item.

Jail HVAC System
The Board approved and execute Owner Change Order 6 additional maintenance services needed on the existing Jail HVAC System, to increase the GMP in the Agreement with Peter Brown Construction, Inc.
Amount: $297,019.31
Attachment: Brown Jail HVAC CO6 Final.pdf 

Jail HVAC and Roof Replacement Project Phase II
The Board approved and executed the Owner Change Order 7 to the Agreement with Peter Brown Construction, Inc. for the Installation of the Jail HVAC and Roof Replacement Project Phase II
Amount: $101,990.60
Attachment: Brown Jail HVAC CO7 Final.pdf

Freedom Community Center
The Board adopted the Resolution revising the Freedom Community Center rental rates in the Fee Schedule.  They asked staff to consider adding a half day rate.
Attachment: FCC Exhibit A Fee Schedule Revised.pdf
FCC Operating Cost Analysis.pdf
FCC Exhibit A Fee Schedule Revise with strike through.pdf
FCC Resolution Fees Revised.pdf

Poe Springs Park
The Board adopted the Resolution adding the Poe Springs Park rental rates to the Fee Schedule
Attachment: Resolution Fee Amendment.pdf
Costs Analysis.pdf
Exhibit A Fee Schedule Poe Springs Lodge.pdf 

Kanapaha Park
The Board adopted the Resolution adding the rental rates to the Fee Schedule for the soccer field lights at Kanapaha Park
Attachment: EXHIBIT A FEE SCHEDULE Kanapaha Soccer Field Lights.pdf
Resolution Fee Amendment.pdf
Lighting Cost Analysis.pdf 

Affordable Housing Impact Fee Relief Program
The Board chose to end the Affordable Housing Impact Fee Relief Program at the end of the current fiscal year.
Attachment: Impact Fee Assistance Report.pdf
Affordable Housing Impact Fee Relief Program Section of the Impact Fee Administration Manual.pdf
Affordable Housing Impact Fee Relief Program brochure.pdf

NSP Real Estate Offer
NSP Real Estate Offer to Sell 2828 NE 17th Terrace, Gainesville
Recommended Action: Approve the NSP Real Estate Offer for the sale of 2828 NE 17th Avenue, Gainesville, FL in the amount of $80,000 to John Schwartz, and approve the Form of the Deed Amount: $80,000.00
Attachment: McGill 2828 NE 17th Terrace Residential Contract.pdf
John Schwartz NSP Sale 2828 NE 17th Terr Final.pdf

Human Rights Ordinance
The Board directed the County Attorney to advertise a public hearing of the proposed amendments to Chapter 111 of County Code (Human Rights Ordinance). Directed staff to revise the County’s personnel policies to extend protections on the basis of gender identity or expression from discrimination or harassment in the workplace. (Sexual orientation is currently a protected basis in the personnel policies). Direct staff to update the personnel policies and Equal Opportunity Handbook to reflect changes in equal employment opportunity laws, such as the ADA and GINA.
Attachment: Comparison Chart Local Human Rights Ordinances.pdf
Human Rights Final 6_18_13_at 5_25 PM.pdf 

Comprehensive Plan Amendments
The board approved the transmittal of CPA-03-13, Comprehensive Plan Amendments to the Public School Facilities Element and Capital Improvements Element to address changes Relating to Public School Concurrency, to the State Land Planning Agency and other agencies for review and comment.
Attachment: CPA 03 13 Threshold Report Exhibit 4.pdf
CPA 03 13 PSFE Amendment Exhibit 1.pdf
CPA 03 13 ILA Maps NoSig Exhibit 3.pdf
CPA 03 13 BoCC Presentation June 25 2013.pdf
CPA 03 13 Staff Report BoCC Transmittal.pdf
CPA 03 13 CIE Amendment Exhibit 2.pdf

Proposed Unified Land Development Code Updates
The Board conducted the first of two public hearing on Proposed Unified Land Development Code Updates to correct scriveners errors and allow separate well and sepic systems for accessory dwelling units and authorized staff to proceed to the second public hearing.
Attachment: 2013_ULDC_Draft_Ordinance.pdf

Return to Top

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.

Return to Top


Thank you for your continued interest in County Government!

Community Update is produced by the County Manager's Communications Office.