October 25th edition of:

Community Update
A Report on the Activities of Alachua County Government

 

This Issues Features:

Commission Supports Water and Land Amendment
Fire Rescue Mass Casualty Bus
County Collects Waste Vegetable Oil for Biodiesel at Fairs and Festivals
Health Officials in Alachua County Issue Mosquito Borne Illness Advisory
Animal Services Special Hours
The Alachua County Foster Grandparent Program Shutdown
November Extension Programs
15th Annual Trashformations Recycled Art Competition
Free Cat Adoptions
Commission Highlights

Commission Supports Water and Land Amendment

At the Oct. 22, 2013 Alachua County Commission approved a resolution supporting the Florida Water and Land Conservation Amendment to the State’s Constitution. Read the Resolution. This Resolution demonstrates the Alachua County Commission’s recognition of the importance of preserving conservation lands and working landscapes and its support for the Amendment.

A coalition of the state’s leading conservation organizations have united under the banner of “Florida’s Water and Land Legacy” in support of this amendment.  The group is gathering the necessary signatures and support to place the constitutional amendment question on the November 2014 ballot.

For information on this initiative including how to sign receive the petition electronically go to http://floridawaterlandlegacy.org/.

View the very informative PowerPoint presentation.


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Fire Rescue Mass Casualty Bus

Alachua County Fire Rescue is more prepared today to handle large scale disasters and catastrophic incidents thanks to the recent addition of a nearly 42-foot-long medical service ambulance bus equipped to handle mass casualty situations. The medical service unit was obtained through a federal Urban Areas Security Initiative grant, and through County Fire Rescue’s longstanding cooperative relationship with Jacksonville Fire Rescue.

County Fire Rescue received the $495,000 medical service unit ambulance at no cost to the County.  In large scale disaster situations the unit could be deployed throughout the region and possibly even outside of the state. 

“What the County is responsible for now is just the routine care and maintenance on the vehicle, and if it’s called for regional deployment, then we send our personnel with it,” said Alachua County fire Rescue Chief Ed Bailey.

The bus is one of only two such buses in the state.  The other is stationed in Jacksonville. In the event of disaster the unit in Jacksonville could also be deployed to Alachua County.

“It’s going to be an asset to our department. It’s going to be an asset to the community. It’s going to be an asset to the state also,” added Alachua County Fire Rescue Captain Charles Tannachion.

Click to view the video.


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County Collects Waste Vegetable Oil for Biodiesel at Fairs and Festivals

Alachua County is collecting waste vegetable oil for producing biodiesel fuel at the Alachua County Fair occurring October 18-26, 2013.  Special collection drums have been provided by the Alachua County Environmental Protection Department’s Hazardous Waste Collection program for use by food vendors at the Fair for the collection and recycling of waste vegetable oil.  Alachua County will also provide waste vegetable oil collection and recycling drums at the City of Gainesville’s Downtown Festival and Art Show on November 16 and 17, 2013, and at the Hoggetowne Medieval Faire on January 25 and 26 and January 31 through February 2, 2014.

The County plans to expand collection efforts to include additional community fairs and festivals in the next year.  Recently, the Kanapaha Spring Garden Festival and the Micanopy Fall Festival have participated in waste vegetable oil collection events.  Over 700 gallons of waste vegetable oil have been collected by Alachua County for biodiesel production from community events over the past two years.
Alachua County’s biodiesel production from waste vegetable oil project was restarted in July 2013, following changes in State of Florida fuel tax regulations which removed cumbersome tax reporting and inventory requirements from local governments.  These changes in state law were supported by the County’s local legislative delegation made up of Senator Bradley, and Representatives Perry and Watson.

Since starting initial biodiesel production in late 2010, Alachua County has produced over 3,200 gallons of biodiesel fuel for use in County fleet vehicles and electrical generators.

For more information, contact Alachua County Pollution Prevention Manager, John J. Mousa at 352-264-6805 or jjm@alachuacounty.us.


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Health Officials in Alachua County Issue Mosquito Borne Illness Advisory

The Florida Department of Health (DOH) in Alachua County announced a locally acquired case of West Nile virus in a 64-year-old male resident. Alachua County health officials urge residents and visitors to take basic precautions to limit exposure to mosquitoes. 

The Department continues surveillance and prevention efforts throughout the County.  To prevent mosquitoes from living and multiplying around your home or business, remember to drain and cover.  \

DRAIN standing water:

COVER skin with clothing or repellent

COVER doors and windows with screens to keep mosquitoes out of your house

Tips on Repellent Use

For more information on what repellent is right for you consider using the EPA search tool to help you choose skin-applied repellent products.

DOH continues to conduct statewide surveillance for mosquito borne illnesses, including West Nile virus infections, Eastern equine encephalitis, St. Louis encephalitis, malaria, and dengue. Residents of Florida are encouraged to report dead birds via the web site for Surveillance of Wild-bird Die-offs.

For more information, visit DOH’s web site or call the Alachua County Health Department at 352-334-7900.


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Animal Services Special Hours

Alachua County Animal Services Headquarters (3400 NE 53rd Ave, Gainesville) is closing at noon on Thursday, October 31, 2013. They will resume regular hours on Friday, November 1 (Tuesday through Saturday, 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.).

The office is closing early to facilitate an internal staff retreat.

For more information, contact Animal Services at 352-264-6870.


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The Alachua County Foster Grandparent Program Shutdown

The Alachua County Foster Grandparent Program (FGP) felt the effects of the government shutdown in a profound and personal way.  Due to the shutdown, the 92 volunteers were furloughed for roughly 2 weeks returning to their volunteer sites on Monday October 22, 2013 following the reopening of the federal government.

The Mission of the Foster Grandparent Program is to engage persons 55 and older, particularly those with limited incomes, in volunteer service to meet critical community needs and to provide a high quality experience that will enrich the lives of the volunteers.  Program funds are used to support Foster Grandparents in providing supportive, person-to-person service to children having exceptional or special needs. Currently, FGP serves 92 low-income elderly citizens who volunteer at 32 station sites composed of schools, day cares, afterschool, and Headstart programs throughout Alachua County.  Some of our partners include the Alachua County School Board, Early Learning Coalition, and Alachua County Headstart. 

This program, like many others, came to a sudden halt with the government shut down.  It was disheartening to staff, volunteers, and station sites alike upon learning of the shut down and its potential implications.  Still, those most affected were the many young boys and girls who eagerly look forward to seeing “Grandma” and “Grandpa” upon arriving at school.

These children missed having someone to read with them, teach them basic skills, and give them a comforting smile.  Fortunately, for all involved, the Foster Grandparents were allowed to return to school and were greeted with happy little faces.

To find out more information about becoming a Foster Grandparent, contact FGP Program Coordinator, Sheryl Baker at 352-264-6731 or sbaker@alachuacounty.us.


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November Extension Programs

November Extension Programs
Commercial Horticulture Programs

These programs are being offered by Aparna Gazula, Commercial Horticulture Agent, at the UF/IFAS Extension Alachua County Office (2800 NE 39 Avenue, Gainesville).

Limited Commercial Landscape Maintenance – November 5, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

This class includes six hours of the required training for LCLM license applicants.  Participants needing recertification can attend the first four hours of class, but are encouraged to take the Advanced Landscape Training Workshop instead. The LCLM license exam will be given the same day as the class.  Participants must have all license application paperwork completed to sit for the exam.

Continuing Education Units will be offered in the following categories: 3 General Standard/Core, 3 Ornamental & Turf, 3 Private Applicator Ag, 3 Limited Lawn & Ornamental, 3 Limited Landscape Maintenance and 3 Commercial Lawn & Ornamental.

The registration fee is $30.00 includes program materials, refreshments and lunch for the day.

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

Green Industries Best Management Practices – November 13, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

This workshop is designed to provide training in Best Management Practices for anyone working in the lawn, landscape, pest control, or municipal grounds areas. 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.

Best Management Practices are focused on reducing non-point source pollution resulting from fertilization or pesticide application.  In some areas, applicators need to be certified in the BMPs to be able to bid on jobs or have commercial customers.  It will be mandatory throughout the state in the near future. 

Cost $25.00 includes materials and lunch.

View the program brochure.

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

Environmental Horticulture Programs

These programs are being offered by Wendy Wilber, Environmental Horticulture Agent, at the UF/IFAS Extension Alachua County Office (2800 NE 39 Avenue, Gainesville).

Raised Bed Vegetable Gardening – November 6, from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Learn what crops to grow in fall gardens and about the efficient technique of growing vegetables in raised beds.

Growing Peaches and Nectarines – November 7, from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Peaches and nectarines can grow in North Central Florida with good variety selection and proper pruning. Learn the techniques for success in this class.

Converting to Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ to Save Water – November 20, from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Learn to make changes in landscapes that will save water and protect ground water. Plant selection, micro-irrigation and rain barrels will be covered.

Perennials and Your Florida-Friendly Yard – November 21, from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Perennial plants can add low maintenance, color, and attract butterflies and hummingbirds. Learn how to create a perennial garden that is beautiful and Florida-Friendly.

There is no cost to attend these classes. Please pre-register at least 3 days prior to classes by calling 352-337-6209 (voicemail).]

For more information about these programs, call 352-955-2402. Visit the Extension Office calendar for additional programs offered by the UF/IFAS Extension Alachua County.

Family and Consumer Sciences Programs

These programs are being offered by Brenda C. Williams, Family and Consumer Sciences Agent, at the UF/IFAS Extension Alachua County Office (2800 NE 39 Avenue, Gainesville) unless otherwise indicated.

Financial Fitness – November 7 and 14 (with two additional dates on December 5 and 12), from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., at Catholic Charities (1701 NE 9th Street, Gainesville).

This is a four-part series to teach savings tricks, how to make a spending plan, how to make credit work, and how to get out of debt or build an emergency fund. Assistance from a Florida Money Mentor is available.

This series is free. A light supper meal will be provided and childcare is available upon request.

Please pre-register by calling 352-372-0294.

Healthy Cooking: Five Meals to Master – November 12, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Intended for novice cooks (busy professionals and others) that would like to have five tested meals to serve family and friends. Demonstrations of techniques will be presented with taste samples of finished products. Turkey preparation tips also included.

Cost is $3.00 payable at the door. Must pre-register one week prior to class by calling 352-337-6209 (voice mail). 

View the program brochure.

Required Financial Management Class for those filing for bankruptcy – November 13, from 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 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. Attendees must bring a case number to class.

Topics include: Develop a 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 November 8, by calling 352-955-2402.

View the program brochure.

For more information about these programs, call 352-955-2402. Visit the Extension Office calendar for additional programs offered by the UF/IFAS Extension Alachua County.


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15th Annual Trashformations Recycled Art Competition

From a turtle made from magazines to a peacock made from soda cans, reused and recyclable materials are finding their way to the Florida Museum of Natural History.

The Alachua County Board of County Commissioners, the Office of Waste Alternatives and the Florida Museum of Natural History announce an open call to all Alachua County middle school, high school and college students for entry into the 15th annual Trashformations Art Show and Competition. The competition begins at 5:30 p.m. on November 22, 2013, at the Florida Museum of Natural History (in the University of Florida Cultural Plaza, SW 34th Street and Hull Road, Gainesville).

The Trashformations exhibit is free and open to the public. Applications must be turned in to the Office of Waste Alternatives no later than November 8, 2013, by 5 p.m. (View and download a printable application/brochure). There will be a special awards ceremony and reception for all participating students, their families and teachers after the judging is complete.

Trashformations is a judged student art show and competition which helps expand awareness and involvement of young people in our community with recycling. All artwork entered in the contest must be comprised of 70% or more recycled/recyclable/reused materials. Cash prizes will be awarded for winning entries in middle school, high school and college categories. There will also be additional award categories judged and given out the night of the competition.

For more information visit the Trashformations website, or contact the Alachua County Office of Waste Alternatives at 352-374-5245.


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Free Cat Adoptions

Alachua County Animal Services currently has a surplus of cats and kittens. In order to reduce the number of felines at Animal Services Headquarters, they are offering cats and kittens for adoption to good homes free of charge until October 31, 2013. Animal Services Headquarters (3400 NE 53rd Ave, Gainesville) is open Tuesday through Saturday, from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

All cats are examined, vaccinated, and spayed or neutered prior to leaving Animal Services.

Dogs are also available for adoption at their regular fees (view the adoption fee schedule).

For more information contact Animal Services at 352-264-6870.


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Commission Highlights

Veterans’ Day
The Board proclaimed November 11, 2013 as “Veterans’ Day” in Alachua County, Florida.
Attachment:
Veterans Day 2013.pdf

Robert W. Wilford Day
The Board proclaimed November 1, 2013 as “Robert W. Wilford Day in Alachua County, Florida.
Attachment:
Robert W. Wilford Day 2013.pdf

Hospice and Palliative Care Month
The Board proclaimed November 2013 as “Hospice and Palliative Care Month” in Alachua County, Florida.
Attachment:
Hospice and Palliative Care Month November 2013.pdf

Advisory Committee on Rural Concerns
The Board heard a presentation on the accomplishments and goals of the Advisory Committee on Rural Concerns
Attachment:
RuralC_201314workplan_20130917.pdf
Attachment:
RuralConcernsReport_2013.pdf

Commission Policy Statements
The Board authorized the County Manager to create a county website section entitled, “Commission Policy Statements” for any Commissioner who wants to utilize this feature to post written information concerning their stances on issues.

Wetland Protection Policies and Practices
The Board heard an update on Alachua County Wetland Protection Policies and Practices. They decided to conduct a workshop in the future and invite all stakeholders to attend.

Attachment: RighttoFarm.pdf
Attachment:
WetlandCode.pdf
Attachment:
AgLandsPractices.pdf
Attachment:
CompPlanPolicies.pdf
Attachment:
BOCCwetlandPresentationOct222013.pptx
Attachment:
BOCCwetlandPresentationOct222013.pdf

SE 43rd Street Roadway Modifications
The Board approved the 30 percent design plans for SE 43rd Street Roadway Modifications and directed staff to finalize design and proceed with construction bidding. They requested staff to consider bus pull-outs where applicable.
Attachment:
Presentation.pdf
Attachment:
Plans.pdf

Florida Water and Land Conservation Amendment
The Board adopted the attached Resolution to supporting the Florida Water and Land Conservation Amendment to the State Constitution, and authorized the Chair’s signature.
Attachment:
Exhibit 1 131022 Resolution.pdf
Attachment:
Exhibit 2 FS 201 Distribution of Excise Tax on Documents.pdf
Attachment:
Exhibit 5 Campaign FAQs and Presentation.pdf
Attachment:
Exhibit 3 taxhandbook2013 Excerpt.pdf
Attachment:
Exhibit 4 SHIP Statute2007FINAL.pdf

SHIP Program

The Board approved and authorized Chair to sign the SHIP Program State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2013-2014 Funding Certification
Amount: $226,684.00

Attachment: Senate Bill 1852.pdf
Attachment:
SHIP FY 2014 Cert Final.pdf

Fair Housing Public Information Presentation
The Board allowed staff to conduct a brief Fair Housing Public Information Presentation.
Attachment:
Fair Housing Presentation AC Housing Office.pdf

Alachua County Housing Authority
The Board designated the Alachua County Housing Authority as the Alachua County NSP 3 Rental Subrecipient, and directed staff to prepare an NSP 3 Subrecipient Agreement for Board approval.
Attachment:
Alachua County Housing Authority Letter of Interest.pdf

Hospice and Palliative Care Month
The Board proclaimed November 2013 as “Hospice and Palliative Care Month” in Alachua County, Florida.
Attachment:
Hospice and Palliative Care Month November 2013.pdf

Rural Cluster Policies
The Board conducted on the Rural Cluster policies in the Comprehensive Plan. They directed staff to direct staff to return with suggestions on an alternative process with an opt in provision for communities that wish to take part in the process for considering the Rural Cluster Boundaries that involves community input; and for staff to develop a process of notification for areas within the circle that won’t meet the criteria.
Attachment:
ULDC Special Area Plan Process.pdf
Attachment:
Staff Presentation Rural Clusters 102213.pdf
Attachment:
Staff Recommended Amendments Draft 102213.pdf

Countryside Forest Unit 4, Lot 69
The Board approved the proposed replat of Countryside Forest Unit 4, Lot 69 based on the recommendation by the Development Review Committee and a finding of consistency with Florida Statues, the Alachua County Comprehensive Plan and the Alachua County Unified Land Development Code.
Attachment:
CF_Unit_4_Plat.pdf
Attachment:
CF_Lot_69_GMSR.pdf
Attachment:
CF_L_69_Presentation.pdf
Attachment:
CF_Lot_69_Replat.pdf
Attachment:
CF_Lot_69_Chair_SR.pdf
Attachment:
CF_Lot_69_survey.pdf

Finley Woods Planned Development Phase 1a
The Board approved the proposed final plat of Finley Woods Planned Development Phase 1a based on the recommendation by the Development Review Committee and a finding of consistency with Florida Statues, the Alachua County Comprehensive Plan and the Alachua
County Unified Land Development Code.
Attachment:
FW1_OSM_Plan.pdf
Attachment:
FW1a_Chair_SR.pdf
Attachment:
FW1a_Plat_1.pdf
Attachment:
FW1a_Presentation.pdf
Attachment:
FW_MasterSitePlan.pdf
Attachment:
FW1_ZMP.pdf
Attachment:
FW1a_GM_SR.pdf
Attachment:
FW1a_Plat_2.pdf

Finley Woods Planned Development Phase 1b
The Board approved the proposed final plat of Finley Woods Planned Development Phase 1b based on the recommendation by the Development Review Committee and a finding of consistency with Florida Statues, the Alachua County Comprehensive Plan and the Alachua County Unified Land Development Code.
Attachment:
FW1_ZMP.pdf
Attachment:
FW1b_Plat_1.pdf
Attachment:
FW1b_Presentation.pdf
Attachment:
FW1_OSM_Plan.pdf
Attachment:
FW1b_Chair_SR.pdf
Attachment:
FW1b_Plat_2.pdf
Attachment:
FW_MasterSitePlan.pdf
Attachment:
FW1b_GM_SR.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.