November 15th edition of:

Community Update
A Report on the Activities of Alachua County Government

 

This Issues Features:

County Receives $290,000 Go SOLAR Funding Award
Repurposed Floats at the UF Homecoming Parade
The NW 16th Ave/NW 23rd Ave Resurfacing Project Update
Animal Services November Adoptions
New County Veteran Services Director
Survivors of Suicide Memory Garden Dedication
November Extension Programs
Winter Irrigation Limits Began November 3
Supervisor of Elections Seeking Office and Conditioned Warehouse Space
1st Annual 4-H 5K Little Run on the Prairie
Homeless Veteran Stand Down
New Website to Anonymously Report Sexual Battery
Commission Highlights

County Receives $290,000 Go SOLAR Funding Award

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded the Go SOLAR Florida team a $1.575 million, two and a half year SunShot Initiative Rooftop Solar Challenge II competitive award to make it easier for Floridians to obtain grid-tied solar installations. The purpose of the award is to increase the use of and access to solar energy among the state’s residents and businesses by reducing market barriers, lowering non-hardware related installation costs and providing access to financing options.

The Go SOLAR Florida team is a partnership of Florida counties, cities, the Florida Solar Energy Center and Florida Atlantic University representing approximately 4 million Floridians. Six Florida counties are participating (Alachua, Broward, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Orange and St. Lucie), along with nine Broward County municipalities and the City of Venice in Sarasota County.

As part of the Florida Team, Alachua County will be receiving approximately $290,000 in partnership with the cities of Gainesville and Newberry to develop and implement an online permitting process for small scale residential and commercial rooftop solar installations. Once developed, the system will be available for use by any of the County’s municipalities that choose to participate.

The Rooftop Solar Challenge II program empowers teams to undertake initiatives that make it easier and more affordable for Americans to go solar, reducing soft or “plug-in” costs by streamlining permit processes, updating planning and zoning codes, improving standards for connecting solar power to the electric grid, and increasing access to financing.

The Go SOLAR – Florida team will use the funding to:

The award also allows the team to build on the success of the first Go SOLAR Fest held in January 2013. Go SOLAR Fest II is already scheduled for June 6 and 7, 2014 at the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center in Fort Lauderdale. For more information and to register, please visit broward.org/gogreen/gosolar. A Go SOLAR Fest III will also be planned for 2015. 

For more information on Go SOLAR Florida initiative call 954-519-1260 or email gosolar@broward.org hbanner@alachuacounty.us. For questions about Alachua County’s participation, contact Holly Banner at 352-374-5249 or hbanner@alachuacounty.us.


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Repurposed Floats at the UF Homecoming Parade

The Alachua County Sustainability Program and Waste Alternatives worked with local artists Raymond Rawls and Lorraine Duerden to create carbon-neutral floats for the UF Homecoming Parade.

The artists collected materials from the County waste stream to build carbon-neutral floats and used “pedal power” instead of fossil fuels. The reuse project showed that waste can often be repurposed before becoming trash. Members of several organizations including Gainesville Art Lab, the Repurpose Project, Beautiful People Bike Crew, and the UF Juggling Club rode alongside the artists in the parade.

Waste Management Director Sally Palmi commented, “It’s very inspiring to see that the very things we have thrown away are being used to create art that the whole community can enjoy.”

For more information, contact Alachua County Waste Alternatives’ Fae Nageon de Lestang at 352-548-1283 or fndelestang@alachuacounty.us.


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The NW 16th Ave/NW 23rd Ave Resurfacing Project Update

The NW 16th Ave/NW 23rd Ave resurfacing project bid ranking and construction contract went to the Board of County Commissioners (BoCC) on November 12, 2013. The BoCC approved the bid ranking and construction contract, and the project was awarded to Anderson Columbia Co, Inc. of Lake City, FL for $7.5 million ($7,006,241.07 base bid plus $500,000 contingency funds) and the preconstruction conference will be held on November 18, 2013.

At the pre-construction conference, the contractor will provide the County their planned sequence of construction and the County will issue a Notice-to-Proceed (NTP). Contract time will begin when the contractor begins work or 30 days after the NTP is issued, whichever comes first. After contract time starts, the contractor will have 330 days to finalize the project, plus weather days and any construction delays. There are liquidated damages included in the contract which is an incentive for the contractor to complete the work in a timely fashion. The contractor will be required to place message boards on the corridor to alert motorist of pending construction and to notify motorist of changes to traffic patterns.

View proposed typical road sections.

View the PDF document, which will be updated monthly with the anticipated project activities.

The project limits begin on NW 23rd Ave at approximately NW 57th Terrace continuing along NW 16th Blvd and NW 16th Ave and ending at the NW 13th St intersection, a total distance of approximately 4.0 miles. The project consists of rehabilitating the roadway pavement, widening the sidewalk, replacement of retaining walls, bicycle accommodations, median modifications, extending the five lane section of NW 23rd west to NW 57th Terrace and modifying the intersection of NW 55th Street.

For more information, contact Alachua County Transportation Engineering Manager, Brian Singleton at 352-548-1306 or bsingleton@alachuacounty.us.


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Animal Services November Adoptions

Alachua County Animal Services invites residents to take advantage of their “Fall in Love with a Shelter Animal” offer.  Throughout the month of November all cats and dogs with an autumn color in their coat (brown, gold, orange or red) are available for adoption at reduced challenge prices:  Cats - $10   Dogs - $15.  Animal Services Headquarters (3400 NE 53rd Ave, Gainesville) is open Tuesday through Saturday, from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. 

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

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


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New County Veteran Services Director

Kim Smith has been hired as the new Alachua County Veteran Services Director. She replaces the recently retired Major Stroupe.

Before coming to work for the County, Kim served honorably in both the United States Navy and the Florida Army National Guard.  She also served as President of the Family Support and Readiness of the 325th and 690th Companies within the Florida Army National Guard. She provided military families counseling about troop deployment, employment and re-employment rights, benefits and entitlements to name but a few of her contributions.

More recently, Kim worked for the State of Florida where she served as both a Disabled Veterans Outreach Specialist (DVOP) and the Lead Local Veterans Employment Representative (LLVER). 
Kim has additional experience in counseling, finance and case management. She received her Bachelor of Arts, with a focus in Human Resources, from St Leo University and an Associate of Arts from the College of Central Florida. She has also attended the National Veterans Training Institute in Denver, Colorado studying various veteran benefits and counseling.

In speaking about her new position, Kim Smith said, “I look forward to working to make a difference in the lives of the various members of the Veteran Community.”

For more information, contact Kim Smith at 352-264-6740 or kismith@alachuacounty.us.


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Survivors of Suicide Memory Garden Dedication

The Friends of the Crisis Center, in conjunction with the City of Gainesville Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department, and the Alachua County Crisis Center dedicated the Survivors of Suicide Memory Garden in the City of Gainesville’s Cofrin Nature Park on Thursday. The Memory Garden was built for, and is dedicated to, those who have lost a loved one to suicide.

Members of the community were invited to attend the dedication. Dedication speakers included individuals involved with the building of the garden, local community leaders and clergy. The event closed with a walk and tour through the Memory Garden, including the labyrinth and a remembrance area containing life-size basalt columns.

The Survivors of Suicide Memory Garden is intended to be a place of comfort, meditation and healing.  Judy Bousquet Broward, project coordinator for the garden who also lost her son to suicide 10 years ago, states, “Although most people have experienced the death of someone they love, suicide death is different.  The loved one seems to have chosen to leave us and trying to come to terms with the questions ‘why’ and ‘what we could have, should have and would have done different’ to change the outcome leads survivors to question themselves.” Broward continues, “Further, the stigma associated with suicide and mental illness may leave the survivor feeling alone.  Now, in Gainesville, we will have a place to connect with others and realize we are not alone.”

Whether a person has lost a loved one to suicide, is experiencing another type of loss or is looking for a peaceful spot outdoors, they can take in the beauty, comfort and reflection offered by the garden

Friends of the Crisis Center, the group responsible for building the garden, will also hold a Candlelight Vigil for Survivors of Suicide on Saturday, November 23, 2013, at 4:30 p.m. 

For more information, visit the Friends of the Crisis Center website or contact Project Coordinator Judy Broward at 352-213-6308 or gatorjudy2@gmail.com.


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November Extension Programs

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).

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.


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Winter Irrigation Limits Began November 3

The Alachua County Environmental Protection Department (EPD) wants to remind residents that as of Sunday, November 3, landscape irrigation is limited to one day a week.

“Lawn and landscape irrigation accounts for almost 60% of residential water use in Florida,” said EPD Water Conservation Coordinator, Stacie Greco. She continued, “Minimizing watering promotes healthier lawns and landscapes while conserving Florida’s water resources. We depend on groundwater for our water supply, as do our springs and rivers.”

County EPD wants residents to know that lawns need significantly less water in Florida’s winter months, and that many landscapes need very little or no irrigation during this time of year.

Below is the Eastern Standard Time watering schedule:

No irrigation allowed between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. (as this is when evaporation is the greatest)

The restrictions apply to the use of private wells, city water, and surface water.

Visit the EPD Water Resources website for information on conserving water and water restrictions.

For more information, contact Stacie Greco at 352-264-6829 or Sgreco@alachuacounty.us.


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Supervisor of Elections Seeking Office and Conditioned Warehouse Space

Alachua County is requesting proposals through an Invitation to Negotiate (ITN) in the search for usable office and conditioned warehouse space within the city of Gainesville.  The County, in conjunction with the Supervisor of Elections, is seeking detailed ITN proposals to provide up to three different scenarios to consolidate its existing operations into a single, consolidated facility. 

The three scenarios that the County and Supervisor of Elections are considering are as follows:   

Scenario 1 (Lease Only): Lease a facility that is built-out to the County’s specifications

Scenario 2 (Lease Purchase): Lease a facility that is built-out to the County’s specifications with a guaranteed purchase option OR a purchase option to be determined at a specified date

Scenario 3 (Purchase): Purchase an existing facility  

The Proposed Space is to be ready for occupancy no later than March 23, 2015, with rent commencement to be no earlier than April 1, 2015.

View/download the ITN document (PDF).

Completed ITN responses are due by December 5, 2013, at 11 a.m.  as outlined in the ITN.

For more information or to receive a copy of the ITN, contact Mike Griffin at mgriffin@v-int.com or Alachua County Purchasing Manager, Larry Sapp at 352-374-5202 or lsapp@alachuacounty.us.  Please provide your name, company name (if any), mailing address, and phone number.


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1st Annual 4-H 5K Little Run on the Prairie

The public is invited to join Alachua County 4-H in its first annual 5K run. Proceeds from the run will impact youth through 4-H Clubs, school enrichment programs, and summer camps. Prizes, snacks, T-shirt, and entry to the park are included in the $25.00 entry fee.

The 5K run is on November 16, at Payne’s Prairie Preserve State Park (100 Savannah Boulevard, Micanopy). Registration is from 7:30 a.m. to 8:15 a.m.  The race begins at 8:30 a.m. followed by awards ceremony at 9:45 a.m.

Participants must register by November 2 to guarantee a T-shirt.

View flyer and registration form for more information.

For more information or to register, contact 4-H Youth Development Agent, Matt Benge at 352-955-2402.


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Homeless Veteran Stand Down

The 2013 Homeless Veteran Stand Down was conducted on Thursday, October 31, 2013 and Friday, November 1, 2013.

With 153 veterans served on Day 1 and 55 veterans attending on Day 2, we deemed the effort a success.  Approximately 20 service providers from the community interfaced with the veterans disseminating information and face to face contact on a wide range of needs resolution from transitional housing, family services, mental health and substance abuse, and legal issues.  The Salon @ 716 provided haircuts.   Local massage therapist Woody Blue offered chair massages.  Department of Children and Families had computers and personnel on-site to assist with SNAP (food stamp) applications.

Hot lunch was prepared by the Salvation Army on Thursday and breakfast foods were provided on Friday. Alachua County provided the funds for the purchase of the food as well as mylar blankets and socks. New white crew socks were provided by DAV Gator 90 and the Newberry American Legion Post donated $100.00 that went to the purchase of bottled water for the veterans in attendance.

We received a very generous amount of Army Surplus, which is always greatly appreciated by the homeless veteran recipients.  This year Army Surplus items distributed included tents, sleeping bags, ponchos and general clothing items.


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New Website to Anonymously Report Sexual Battery

On Thursday, the Gainesville Police Department and the Alachua County Victim Services and Rape Crisis Center announced a new website aimed at providing a secure way for victims to anonymously report incidents of sexual assault.

ReportRapeGainesville.org is a collaborative project between the Gainesville Police Department and the Victim Services and Rape Crisis Center designed to assist victims of sexual assault and offer an alternative to a police response in their time of need.

ReportRapeGainesville.org was created to be a source of information while also providing a way to securely submit a report of sexual assault anonymously. The report will allow the Gainesville Police Department detectives who investigate sexual assaults, and victim advocates who work with the Rape Crisis Center, to get a truer picture of the incidences of sexual assault in our city.

Another primary goal of the website is to encourage victims to seek confidential help through the Alachua County Victim Services and Rape Crisis Center, or from any of the many resources listed on the website. The extent to which a victim heals from a sexual assault is sometimes directly related to talking to the right person about it.

Sexual assault victims are granted certain rights under Florida Law, which includes having any information about the investigation kept confidential and exempt from public records. ReportRapeGainesville.org contains a wealth of information for victims available from the privacy of their own computer.

Loretta Golden, Director of Victim Services for Alachua County commends the Gainesville Police Department for the innovative approach using modern technology to reach out to victims to get help, utilize available services, and encourage reporting. “Common reactions to sexual assault such as anger, fear and embarrassment often result in victims not reporting to law enforcement” Golden said. “Victims are afraid to reach out for help, do not know what to expect or where they can receive services. We believe the ability to make an anonymous, online confidential report will result in more sexual assault victims seeking services and an increased awareness of sexual violence in our community.”

GPD Captain Lynne Benck, the Commander of the Criminal Investigations Bureau said the experience working with the Alachua County Office of Victim Services on this project has been great. “This type of anonymous reporting website is being used by a few law enforcement agencies around the country, mostly in university cities” Benck said. “Gainesville needs this resource also because we know only a fraction of sexual assault victims are making reports to police. We are not going to try to learn the identity of anyone who makes a report; we plan to respect their choice. Our hope is to give victims and their loved ones an idea of what their options actually are and an avenue by which they can record the information and begin healing.”

The ReportRapeGainesville.org went live Thursday, and local authorities hope it helps victims when they need it most.


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Commission Highlights

New Commission Chair and Vice-Chair
The Board elected Commissioner Lee Pinkoson as the new Chair and Commissioner Susan Baird as the Vice-Chair

Mr. Baker Medical and Indemnity Benefits
The Board approved the proposal that provides that Mr. Baker will provide to the County and the County’s excess carrier 13% of the past medical and indemnity benefits and a 13% offset against future medical and indemnity benefits.

State Legislative Agenda
The Board heard the State Legislative Agenda Update by Mark Sexton, Communications Coordinator.

Employment Agreement for the New County Attorney
The Board: 1. Reviewed the application materials of the applicants who met the minimum qualifications for this position and selected those that they wish to bring in for interviews. 2. Determined how the interview process will be structured. 3. Reviewed the draft Employment Agreement for the new County Attorney and set the benefit levels you will offer.
Attachment: county attorney applications for board review 10-31-13.pdf
Attachment: 
Co Atty Agreement draft for new atty oct 2013.pdf
Attachment: 
county attorney spreadsheet bar information.pdf

Quarterly Hiring Activity Report
The Board accepted the Quarterly Hiring Activity Report for the 4th quarter of FY 2012 - 2013 and accepted the FY 2013 Hiring Activity Report.
Attachment: 
bocc eo annnual reportAlachua County Workforce Demographics Report 9 30 13.pdf
Attachment: 
FY2013 QTR 4 final.pdf
Attachment: 
2013 annual report final.pdf
Attachment: 
FY13 4th Qtr Report Targeted Positions Filled and Advertising Efforts.pdf

NW 16th Avenue Resurfacing Agreements
Concerning the NW 16th Avenue Resurfacing Agreements and Memorandum of Understanding. with Gainesville Regional Utilities, the Board: 1. Approve the Ranking and Finance Report for Bid 14-490; Project No 6362 - CR 172 Milling and Resurfacing 2. Approve the Capital Construction Agreement with Anderson Columbia Co., Inc. for Project No. 6362 - CR 172 Milling and Resurfacing in the amount of $7,506,241.07 ($7,006,241.07 base bid plus $500,000 contingency). 3. Approve the Memorandum of Understanding with Gainesville Regional Utilities for utility work to be completed with the resurfacing project and for payment reimbursement for the utility work. Amount: $7,506,241.07 (includes contingency)
Attachment: FinanceReport.pdf
Attachment: 
Anderson 16th Ave Final.pdf
Attachment: 
MOU GRU Final.pdf

Transportation Alternatives Program
The Board approved the Priority Project List for the Transportation Alternatives Program as presented by staff
Attachment: 
TAP2019AppNewberryCrosswalks.pdf
Attachment: 
2020TAPAppWaldoRdExtPh1.pdf
Attachment: 
FDOTTAPPrioritiesPP2020.pdf
Attachment: 
TAP2019AppNewberryOakviewCrosswalk.pdf
Attachment: 
FDOTTAPFY15.pdf
Attachment: 
FDOTTAPPrioritiesPP2020.pptx

Wagmore Foundation’s Gift for Field Vehicle Laptops Project

The Board approved the Wagmore Foundation’s Gift for Field Vehicle Laptops Project, adopted the resolution for unanticipated revenues, approved budget amendment, and approved to accept the liability under the Agreement. The Board finds that accepting this liability is in the best interests of Alachua County.
Amount: $65,556.00
Attachment: Laptop Calculations.pdf
Attachment: 
BA Wagmore.pdf
Attachment: 
Wagmore Resolution.pdf
Attachment: 
Wagmore Grant Accept Final.pdf

Children’s Grief Awareness Day
The Board proclaimed
November 21, 2013 as “Children’s Grief Awareness Day” in Alachua County, Florida.

Attachment: Children’s Grief Awareness Day November 21 2013.pdf

Survivors of Suicide Memory Garden Dedication Day
The Board proclaimed November 14, 2013 as “Survivors of Suicide Memory Garden Dedication Day” in Alachua County, Florida.
Attachment: 
Survivors of Suicide 2013.pdf

World Diabetes Day
The Board proclaimed November 14, 2013 as “World Diabetes Day” in Alachua County, Florida.
Attachment: 
World Diabetes Day 2013.pdf

Budget Amendments to FY14 Budget
The Board conducted public hearing, adopted resolutions, and approved budget amendments to amend FY14 budget for carry forward, re-appropriations, and other fund balance adjustments.
Attachment: 
10 FY14 CF Consolidated BA.pdf
Attachment: 
4 Reserve adjustments for Fund 001 FY14.pdf
Attachment: 
12 Summary by Fund.pdf
Attachment: 
9 FY14 Carry Forward Non Encumbered Narratives FINAL.pdf
Attachment: 
13 Summary by Dept.pdf
Attachment: 
2 Resolution for FY14 Carryforward MSTU Fire Protection Services Budget.pdf
Attachment: 
11 Encumbrance Update List.pdf
Attachment: 
1 Resolution for FY14 Carryfoward General County Budget.pdf
Attachment: 
8 Reserve adjustments for Fund 334.pdf
Attachment: 
6 Reserve adjustments for Fund 126 FY14.pdf
Attachment: 
7 Reserve adjustments for fund 178 FY14.pdf
Attachment: 
3 Resolution for FY14 Carryfoward MSBU Refuse Collection Budget.pdf
Attachment: 
5 Reserve Adjustments for Fund 011 FY14.pdf

Oakmont Planned Development
He Board
approved the proposed final plats, with staff condition, of Units 1b, 1c and 1d of the Oakmont Planned Development, Phase 1 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: 
Okmt_1B_4_of_7.pdf
Attachment: 
Okmt_1B_7_of_7.pdf
Attachment: 
Okmt_1C_1_of_3.pdf
Attachment: 
Okmt_1D_1_of_4.pdf
Attachment: 
Okmt_1D_4_of_4.pdf
Attachment: 
Okmt_1B_6_of_7.pdf
Attachment: 
Okmt_1D_3_of_4.pdf
Attachment: 
Okmt_Plats_GM_SR.pdf
Attachment: 
Okmt_1B_2_of_7.pdf
Attachment: 
Okmt_1B_1_of_7.pdf
Attachment: 
Okmt_1B_3_of_7.pdf
Attachment: 
Okmt_1B_5_of_7.pdf
Attachment: 
Okmt_1C_3_of_3.pdf
Attachment: 
Okmt_1D_2_of_4.pdf
Attachment: 
Okmt_1B_1C_1D_Presentation.pdf
Attachment: 
Okmt_1C_2_of_3.pdf
Attachment: 
Okmt_Plats_Chair_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.