February 3rd edition of:

Community Update
A Report on the Activities of Alachua County Government

 

This Issues Features:

Criminal Justice, Mental Health and Substance Abuse Reinvestment Program Grant
New Take 5 Video Series
RTS Advisory Board Openings
How Low Can You Go? 2014 Greek Water Challenge
9th Annual Veterans Award Banquet
02-04-14 Special Meetings
What’s on Alachua County Talks
February Extension Programs
City of Gainesville Election Information
Commission Highlights

Criminal Justice, Mental Health and Substance Abuse Reinvestment Program Grant

The Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) has announced the award of a $1.2 million grant to Alachua County, as a part of the Department’s Criminal Justice, Mental Health and Substance Abuse Reinvestment Program. The DCF competitive grant award process evaluated applications submitted by 14 separate Florida counties, and Alachua County was one of eight counties to receive a grant award.

The purpose of the grant is to improve access to and expand treatment services for adults and juveniles who have a mental illness, a substance use disorder, or a combination of such issues and who are involved or at risk of involvement in the criminal justice system. The funds will increase access to treatment and case management services, and reduce costly incarceration.

The grant award provides $400,000 annually for 3 years. The County will match these funds through cash and in-kind support. This grant builds on a foundation laid by Alachua County and private nonprofit partner agencies over the past 6 years.

The County has been the recipient of two prior Reinvestment Grants for 3 years, the first one having been made in 2008.

Key partners in the new Program include: the County and its Department of Court Services; Meridian Behavioral Health Care, Inc.; the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office; the Gainesville Police Department through its BOLD Program; the Departments of Corrections and Juvenile Justice; and the Alachua County Homeless Coalition.

Outcomes to date from the local program have been highly positive, including significant reductions in arrests, recidivism and the costs of jail incarceration. Of 278 participants in the program tracked after a one year period, more than half (61%) had fewer arrests during the 12 months after enrollment. The Program leveraged a total saving of 14,800 jail days over one year as well as other criminal justice system costs projected net annual savings of nearly $400,000.

Alachua Commissioner Robert “Hutch” Hutchinson commented on the news of the grant, “This is great news for Alachua County.  The Program has proven to be a wise investment of scarce funds from the State which are matched with limited County funds. The resulting effort strengthens our ability to help this population receive the treatment they need to stay in the community and increase their potential to lead productive lives.” 

View the formal announcement by DCF of the Reinvestment Grant Award.

For more information, contact Alachua County Court Services Director, Thomas Tonkavich at 352-491-4650.

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New Take 5 Video Series

View Take 5 Video.

Alachua County Take 5 is a new television/internet video series from the Alachua County Communications Office. Each installment will take a quick look at the people, events, programs and services which make Alachua County a great community.

This installment covers the recently completed energy and water system renovations at the Alachua County Jail. The improvements are expected to save the County and taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars each year, and make the County Jail one of the most environmentally friendly correctional institutions in the nation.

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

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

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RTS Advisory Board Openings

Alachua County is seeking to fill three openings on the Regional Transit System (RTS) Advisory Board. These are voluntary positions and the advisory board meets the fourth Wednesday of every odd month at 5:30 p.m. at the RTS Administration Building (100 SE 10th Ave., Gainesville).

The County is looking for RTS regular users, senior citizens, and those with disabilities to volunteer on the board. The board helps with developing and analyzing policies concerning operations, developing approaches for financing RTS on a long-term basis, reviewing ridership, routes, rates and other matters, and considering questions referred to it by the City Commission. This advisory board was established in 1997 to advise the Gainesville City Commission on all matters relating to public transit development in the City of Gainesville and Alachua County.

Apply for the Regional Transit System Advisory Board online.

For more information, contact Alachua County Advisory Board Coordinator, Jeremy Clements at 352-264-6904 or jclements@alachuacounty.us.

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How Low Can You Go? 2014 Greek Water Challenge

The Alachua County Environmental Protection Department and the University of Florida Office of Sustainability (with support from Gainesville Regional Utilities and the UF Physical Plant Division) are coordinating the “How Low Can You Go?” 2014 Water Challenge, in which participating Greek houses engage in a friendly competition to see which house can best reduce their water use. Sorority and fraternity houses on the University of Florida campus have a chance to win a $250 donation to their chosen philanthropic organization.

The challenge will run from January 20 to February 28. It is open to the sixteen Panhellenic sorority houses and the twenty-five Interfraternity Council fraternity houses on UF’s campus. Points will be awarded weekly based on each house’s overall percent reduction in water use. Additionally, there will be weekly challenges for earning bonus points, including competing for the lowest per capita water usage among chapter members, attending a water conservation presentation with Alachua County staff, and asking chapter members to visit the Sustainability Hut on campus. The chapter with the most combined points will receive a $250 donation to their philanthropic organization. Second and third place houses will receive prize packs from Ginnie Springs Outdoors or Blue Springs Park.

The competition aims to raise awareness about the importance of water conservation for protecting springs and future water supplies and is sponsored in part by Blue Springs Park and Ginnie Springs Outdoors.

Stacie Greco, Water Conservation Coordinator with the Alachua County Environmental Protection Department says, “It is important for everyone to understand that the water that comes out of our taps and sprinklers is from the same source that our rivers and springs depend upon.”

Kappa Kappa Gamma won the 2013 competition, which was open only to sorority houses on campus. Pi Beta Phi won second place, and Delta Zeta won third place.

Visit the Greek Water Challenge Facebook Group.

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

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9th Annual Veterans Award Banquet

The Alachua County Veterans Advisory Board held their 9th Annual Veterans Award Banquet on Saturday, January 25, 2014, at the Paramount Plaza with more than 200 guests in attendance.
Dick Davis was selected as the 2013 winner of the Jim McCawley Veteran of the Year award.  Dick serves as the Commander of the Korean War Veterans Association (KWVA). He is the primary fundraiser for veteran causes and organizes numerous patriotic events.  Dick coordinated the KWVA chapter’s $8,000 donation to the Gainesville Fisher House and is very active in the “Tell America Program” in local schools. 

Ronna Jackson and Don Sherry were co-recipients for the Veteran Supporter of the Year. 

Ronna is a Gold Star Mother, a member of the American Legion Auxiliary and the Military Support Group of Alachua County.  Ronna is currently working with her son’s high school to create a scholarship in his honor (SSG John Reiners, US Army was killed in action in Afghanistan in 2010).  She gathers items and distributes “blessing buckets” containing basic need items to homeless veterans.

Don Sherry served 10 years on the Alachua County Veterans Advisory Board, the last four years as Chairman.  His efforts with the Advisory Board assisted with County Commission for the construction of the Freedom Community Center at Kanapaha Park.  He is also the past Commander of the Korean War Veterans Association, the 1st Vice Commander at the American Legion Post 16, and a member of the VFW.  Don is a long-time member of the “Park Rangers”, who clean and protect the Veterans Memorial at Kanapaha Park

Terri Turner was chosen as the VA Medical Center Employee of the year.   Terri is a Patient Advocate with the OIF/OEF/OND transition program.  She serves as the Director’s liaison between the Medical Center, military treatment facilities, the patient, VA hospital employees, and community stakeholders regarding patient’s rights and advocacy.  She is an active member of the society for consumer healthcare advocacy and participates in many local veterans’ events.  Terri is currently the 2nd Vice Commander of the American Legion Post 16.  

The Carbaugh-Fogel family was selected as the All American Patriotic Family for 2013.    Ronald Carbaugh, a Korean War veteran who served with the First Cavalry Division, accepted the award on behalf of his family.  His family has a long history of service.  Great, great grandfather Harvey was a Silver Star recipient in the Spanish American war. The Carbaughs and the Fogels fought on both sides of our Civil War and have participated in World War I, World War II, Korean, Vietnam, and still serve today in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.


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02-04-14 Special Meetings

The Alachua County Commission will conduct two Special Meetings on Tuesday, February 4, 2014. The first meeting is at 10 a.m., and the second is at 1:30 p.m. Both meetings will be held in the Grace Knight Conference Room, located on the second floor of the Alachua County Administration building (12 SE 1st Street, downtown Gainesville).

The 10 a.m. meeting agenda includes:
1. Boundary Adjustment Act Workshop – The Boundary Adjustment Act is a special local law for Alachua County adopted by the State in 1990 relating to coordination among municipalities and the County in planning for annexations by cities. On January 10, 2014, the Alachua County State Legislative Delegation voted to introduce a bill to repeal the Boundary Adjustment Act. The County Commission Workshop will include review and discussion of the purposes, history and major aspects of the Boundary Adjustment Act. This will include comparison with the general annexation law governing annexation in the State of Florida, highlighting the things relating to intergovernmental coordination in the Boundary Adjustment Act that would be eliminated if the Florida Legislature were to repeal the Act. This Workshop is in preparation for discussion of policy concerns with Alachua County League of Cities at a joint meeting scheduled for Tuesday, February 18, at 1:30 p.m.

View more information about the Boundary Adjustment Act.

2. Fairgrounds discussion

The 1:30 p.m. meeting agenda includes:
1. Alachua County Fire Rescue Station 19 Discussion
2. Emergency purchase and installation of a modular building for temporary housing of EMS No. 9

Citizens are encouraged to attend this meeting. Due to a previously scheduled City of Gainesville meeting, the County Special Meeting will not be broadcast live on Cox Channel 12, but will broadcast on the County’s Video on Demand website (click on meeting in Upcoming live events box).

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

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What’s on Alachua County Talks

Boys and Girls Club of Alachua County

FloridaWorks/CareerSource North Central Florida

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February 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) unless otherwise indicated.
Success with Potatoes – February 12, from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Soil preparation and potato variety selection will be covered in the class. Included are cultural techniques and how to harvest and cure potatoes.

Growing Shiitake & Oyster Mushrooms – February 20, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. (with Aparna Gazula, Commercial Horticulture Agent)

This workshop will teach how to grow mushrooms. Shiitake mushrooms are grown on hardwood logs and oyster mushrooms can be grown on straw.  Oyster mushroom production kits will be available for $8.00 per kit (limit 1 per household for first 50 registrants). The kit includes: mushroom spawn, a grow bag, straw, lime, and other resources materials.

There is no cost to attend these classes, space is limited; pre-register at least 3 days prior to class by calling 352-337-6209 (voice mail).

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).

Becoming a Hobby Beekeeper Short Course – February 8, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (with Barton Wilder, Agriculture & Natural Resources Agent)

Explore the world of honey bees and steps to becoming a beekeeper at the “Becoming a Hobby Beekeeper Short Course.” This course will allow the participants to receive a complete perspective of the process and expense involved with keeping honey bees as a hobby or alternative farm enterprise. It should allow the participant to decide if this is something they want to do. For others, it offers an excellent opportunity to learn about this useful, often misunderstood insect so important to the food supply. Topics include: bee equipment and how to set up a hive, packaged bees & queens and sources for help, installing bees and how to get them off to a good start, honeybee pests, the Africanized honeybee, honey collection and extraction techniques.

The registration fee is $15.00 and includes program materials, refreshments, and lunch for the day.

Growing Shiitake & Oyster Mushrooms – February 20, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. (with Wendy Wilber, Environmental Horticulture Agent)

This workshop will teach how to grow mushrooms. Shiitake mushrooms are grown on hardwood logs and oyster mushrooms can be grown on straw.  Oyster mushroom production kits will be available for $8.00 per kit (limit 1 per household for first 50 registrants). The kit includes mushroom spawn, a grow bag, straw, lime, and other resource materials.

Grants & Cost-Share Funding Available for Growers – February 24, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. (with Cindy Sanders, Director/Livestock Agent)

This program offers information about different grants and cost-share funding available through federal and state agencies. The class is free of charge.

Limited Commercial Landscape Maintenance – February 25, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (with Barton Wilder, Agriculture & Natural Resources Agent)

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 Standards/Core, 3 Ornamental & Turf, 3 Private Applicator Ag, 3 Limited Lawn & Ornamental, 3 Limited Landscape Maintenance, 3 Commercial Lawn & Ornamental.

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

Pre-register at least 3 days prior to classes by calling 352-337-6209 (voicemail).

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).

Before You Tie the Knot – February 10 & 17, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Before You Tie the Knot is a premarital preparation course.

Topics include: Communication, Conflict Management and Resolution, Financial Responsibility and Spending Plans, and Children and Parenting Responsibilities.

Completion of this course is required to receive a $32.50 reduction on marriage license fee in Alachua County. Attendees will receive a certificate of completion and a copy for the Clerk of the Court.

There is no cost to attend this two evening class.

View the program brochure (PDF).

Please pre-register at least 5 days in advance by calling 352-337-6209 (voicemail), subject to cancellation if less than 3 couples registered.

French Cooking Class – February 22, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Charmes de la France & UF/IFAS Extension Alachua County Office are hosting French cooking classes showcasing seasonal delights from the French regional cuisine. Run by French Chef Michel Maloiseau, the cooking classes include step-by-step recipes that are followed by tasting sessions. Brenda Williams will provide nutrition comments during the program. The classes can fit up to 25 people and reservations need to be made on the Charmes de la France website.

Visit http://www.charmesdelafrance.com/event.html to reserve a place, pre-pay or for more information on the cooking classes. The class fee is $35.00 per person and must be paid in advance.  Subject to cancellation if less than 15 registered.

View the program flyer (PDF).

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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City of Gainesville Election Information

City of Gainesville Election
Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Voter Registration Deadline
Monday, February 10, 2014

Early Voting
March 3rd – March 8th, 2014
Monday through Saturday
9 AM – 5 PM

2 Early Voting Locations
Supervisor of Elections Office
County Administration Building
12 SE 1st Street

Millhopper Branch Library
3145 NW 43rd Street

Monday, February 10, 2014 is the last day to register to vote for the March 11, 2014 City of Gainesville Election.    You must be a City of Gainesville resident to vote in the Gainesville City Election.  Voters are encouraged to verify and update their registration status online at VoteAlachua.com by clicking on the link, “My Registration Status.”   The Supervisor of Elections Office is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 AM until 5:00 PM to accept voter registration applications.  The office is located at 111 S.E. 1st Avenue and has an after-hours mail drop located at the main entrance.  Voter registration applications received through the mail drop will be accepted up until midnight on February 10th for the City of Gainesville Election.

Registration forms are available online at VoteAlachua.com. You may use this form to register to vote, update your voter information, or to update your signature by downloading the application, and returning the completed form to our office. You may also register to vote in person at the Supervisor of Elections Office or by mail.  For a list of other facilities in the county where voter registration application forms may be obtained, please visit our website or call the Supervisor of Elections Office at (352) 374-5252.  To vote in the City of Gainesville Election, mail-in applications must be postmarked no later than the February 10th deadline.

For more information, visit our website at VoteAlachua.com or call the Alachua County Supervisor of Election Office at (352) 374-5252.

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Commission Highlights

Children’s Well-Being and Education Day
The Board proclaimed January 28, 2014 as “Children’s Well-Being and Education Day” in Alachua County, Florida
Attachment:
Childrens Well-Being and Education Day 2014.pdf

School Crossing Guard Appreciation Day
The Board proclaimed February 7, 2014 as “School Crossing Guard Appreciation Day” in Alachua County, Florida
Attachment:
School Crossing Guard Appreciation Day 2014.pdf

Tolling Agreement with Beazer East
The Board approved and execute the Tolling Agreement with Beazer East to extend the deadline for filing suit, to provide additional time for the parties to negotiate a settlement.
Attachment:
County_Beazer TollingAgreement_Beazersigned_011614.pdf
Attachment:
Ltr to C McChesney re Gainesville 030413.pdf
Attachment:
Ltr to C McChesney 110113.pdf

Lower Santa Fe River and Springs Minimum Flows and Recovery Strategy
Concerning the Proposed Lower Santa Fe River and Springs Minimum Flows and Recovery Strategy, the Board: (1) Authorized staff to submit comments that support adoption of the State’s proposed Chapter 62-42, F.A.C. rule.(2) Authorized the County Attorney, in consultation with the County’s Environmental Protection Department, to hire outside legal and environmental experts to assist the County in preparation to participate in a rule challenge administrative hearing process.
Attachment: Presentation.pdf
Attachment:
Draft Chapter 6242.pdf
Attachment:
Draft Recovery Strategy.pdf
Attachment:
Staff Comments.pdf
Attachment:
Administartive Hearing Strategies.pdf

Hold Harmless Clause
The Board accepted the Hold Harmless clause and allowed Animal Services to be a contestant in the 2014 ASPCA Rachael Ray $100K Challenge
Attachment:
ASPCA_100K_CHALLENGE_2014_RULES.pdf
Attachment:
ACAS_aspca_100Kchallenge_agreement_2014_SIGNED.pdf
Attachment:
kstats_100K_2013_summ.pdf
Attachment:
aspca_100Kchallenge_app_as_submitted_2014.pdf
Attachment:
W9_for_BOCC_Signed_2013.pdf

SW 8th Ave Connector
The Board approved the 30% Design of SW 8th Ave Connector with underground utilities, expedited design to move to construction, coordination with stakeholders and bid construction on the project. Approved traffic calming recommendations with center island medians, main street and pedestrian facilities.
Attachment:
Sign In Sheet and Comment Form.pdf
Attachment:
Presentation SW 8th Avenue.pdf
Attachment:
30 Design Plans.pdf

Celebration Pointe Community Development No. 1
The Board adopted the ordinance expanding the Celebration Pointe Community Development District No. 1 by incorporating the use and land of Celebration Point Community Development District No. 2and an additional 1.89 acres.
Attachment:
PowerPoint_Celebration_Pointe_CDD.pdf
Attachment:
Applicant_Letter_CP_CDD.pdf
Attachment:
Application_CP_CDD_2.pdf
Attachment:
Staff_Report_Celebration_Pointe_CDD.pdf
Attachment:
Ord_CDD_1_Expanded.pdf
Attachment:
Application_CP_CDD_1.pdf

Celebration Pointe Community Development District No. 2
The Board approved the ordinance dissolving Celebration Pointe Community Development District No. 2 (CDD No. 2)
Attachment:
Staff_Report_Celebration_Pointe_CDD.pdf
Attachment:
Application_CP_CDD_2.pdf
Attachment:
Application_CP_CDD_1.pdf
Attachment:
PowerPoint_Celebration_Pointe_CDD.pdf
Attachment:
Applicant_Letter_CP_CDD.pdf
Attachment:
Ord_CDD_2_Dissolved.pdf

Chapter 407, Article 3
The Board approved the ordinance adopting changes to Chapter 407, Article 3, Signs. Attachment: Staff_Report_ULDC_Ch407_Art3_Amendments.pdf
Attachment:
ULDC_CoverLetter_112513.pdf
Attachment:
Sign Area Studies_Revised_20131204_AC.pdf
Attachment:
Presentation_ULDC_Ch407_Art3_012814.pdf
Attachment:
ULDC_ch407ordinance_applicant_012814.pdf
Attachment:
ULDC_ch407ordinance_staffalt_012814.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.