February 28th edition of:

Community Update
A Report on the Activities of Alachua County Government

 

This Issues Features:

2013 Annual Report Available
Take 5: Survivors of Suicide Memory Garden
2014 ACCESS Spring Classes
The End of An Era – County Attorney Dave Wagner Retires
Map Genius Application
Pole Barn Ribbon Cutting
Department of Health Celebrates 125 Years of Florida Public Health
County’s Rental Deposit Program Now Accepting Applications
03-04-14 Special Meetings
Storm Spotter Class
March Extension Programs
Youth Fair and Livestock Show
City of Gainesville Election Information
Commission Highlights

2013 Annual Report Available

Alachua County Manager Betty Baker is pleased to announce the release of the Alachua County 2013 Annual Report. The report offers citizens a detailed look at County finances, and departmental accomplishments. It is available in an all-digital format.

In a letter for the report, Manager Baker wrote, “You, our citizens, are at the top of our organizational chart, and it is important that we track and report to you our accomplishments and address our challenges.” She continued, “I urge you to take time and read this document in its entirety.”

A limited number of print copies are available for pick up at the Alachua County Communications Office (12 SE 1st Street, downtown Gainesville).

View the interactive digital version of the 2013 Annual Report.

View the single page per view, larger type pdf, 2013 Annual Report (PDF)

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

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Take 5: Survivors of Suicide Memory Garden

This edition of Take 5 highlighting the Alachua County Crisis Center and the recently completed Survivors of Suicide Memory Garden at the City of Gainesville’s Coffrin Nature Park.

View Alachua County Take 5: Survivors of Suicide Memory Garden.

In speaking of the garden, Alachua County Communications Coordinator Mark Sexton said, “The Survivors of Suicide Memory Garden is intended to be a place of comfort, meditation and healing. 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.”

The garden is the result of the collaborative efforts of the Friends of the Crisis Center, the City of Gainesville Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department, and the Alachua County Crisis Center.

For more information visit the Friends of the Crisis Center online.

Call the Alachua County Crisis Line at 352-264-6789.

Contact the Alachua County Crisis Center online or call 352-264-6785.

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


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2014 ACCESS Spring Classes

The public is invited to participate in the annual Alachua County Civic Education SerieS (ACCESS) classes, which begin April 7, 2014. The free program runs for seven sessions (on Mondays), but space is limited. The registration deadline is March 28.

Participants receive detailed information about the operations of County departments, special districts, and constitutional officers. The sessions include presentations, handouts, tours, hands-on activities and question and answer periods. Each ACCESS graduating class produce a group of citizens equipped to engage in ways that help Alachua County become more representative of its citizenry’s needs.

County Manager Betty Baker said of ACCESS, “I hope you will gain a greater understanding and appreciation for the complex nature of providing local government services to our wide array of stakeholders.”

To view a complete schedule of classes and to register online, visit the ACCESS website.

To register or get more information, call 352-374-5262.


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The End of An Era – County Attorney Dave Wagner Retires

In geologic time, the end of an era is marked by a major event or change, like the extinction of the dinosaurs closing the Mesozoic Era.  Darn, I promised Dave I’d write this retrospective on him without mentioning “dinosaur,” and I went and did it in the first sentence.  But his retirement surely closes an era in the County Attorney’s office, of which he can rightfully be proud.

After West Point graduation and a tour of duty in Vietnam, Dave graduated from the University of Florida Law School and served over a dozen years as an Army JAG Corps attorney in posts all over the world.  He returned to Gainesville in 1990 to join a private law practice where he quickly earned his reputation as a strong intellectual and ethical force in the community, who got to the heart of any legal matter he encountered.  Dave began working as an assistant county attorney in 1992, where he found an exciting workplace with lots of opportunities to learn and “never a dull moment.”  “This office,” he said at the time, “like many in County government, requires dealing with varied issues each day, often high-pressure work under public scrutiny.” 

The County Commission selected Dave as County Attorney in 1999.  He quickly found that a coordinated team effort is the most satisfying approach and usually leads to the best result possible.  That has been one of Dave’s guiding principles throughout his legal career, coordination and inclusion of staff and other affected parties on any project.  Another focus has been on the office’s mission of finding legally sound ways to solve problems while also providing advice in preventing future problems.  His fondest memory is not any particular case, project or controversy, though he handled many of each.  Through his tenure, his era, Dave has been proudest of the office he built and led for 15 years.  “I am especially pleased to work in an office with such highly dedicated, happy and productive employees,” operating with one more attorney and with fewer FTEs than it had in 1996.  His service to the County was enhanced by the effective working relationships he established with attorneys all over the state, including his longtime counterpart at the City of Gainesville, Marion Radson.

Dave Wagner will truly be missed, but the office he built is a lasting and worthy legacy for all his efforts on behalf of the County.  Wednesday, February 26 was his last day in the office, but he plans to remain in Gainesville, so you are likely to find Dave and his wife Barbara at Gainesville Health and Fitness or elsewhere around town.


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Map Genius Application

At the 02/25/14 County Commission heard a presentation on the Map Genius application developed by County Staff.  Growth Management staff, in collaboration with other County departments have developed a new mapping application that provides a one-stop shop for a large amount of geographically linked public information. County Computer Mapping Tech Jimmy Collins, received an award for this outstanding effort.

Click to use the Map Genius Application.

MapGeniusPresentationBoCC.pdf

About Map Genius Flyer.pdf


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Pole Barn Ribbon Cutting

Just in time for the upcoming Alachua County Youth Fair, on Monday February 24, 2014, Alachua County cut the ribbon to celebrate the opening of the new Agricultural Steel Structure Building replace the old wooden pole barn that used to stand on this spot.  The cost of the project was $225,000.  The construction of this building was a cooperative effort between, Facilities Management, Parks and Recreation and Road and Bridge Operations.  The space is a fully functioning 150 foot by 80 foot rectangular shape that is 12,000 square feet of 100% usable space.  The building has all LED fixtures that cost $0.32 per hour to operate the entire building. The LED fixtures have a 50,000 hour life span which also saves on labor and operational costs. The building includes a 200 amp service panel, 32 Ground Fault Interrupting receptacles, 28 faucets and a weather proof sound speaker system with RCA jacks available to building renters.

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Department of Health Celebrates 125 Years of Florida Public Health

The Florida Department of Health in Alachua County is celebrating 125 years of public health during 2014 with educational and commemorative events.  The State Legislature created the State Board of Health on February 20, 1889, in response to a yellow fever epidemic in Jacksonville, and Dr. Joseph Yates Porter from Key West became Florida’s first State Public Health Officer.  Yellow fever in Florida was eradicated in 1905. 

“Florida’s dramatic growth was made possible through public health efforts that controlled disease and improved environmental health,” said Dr. John Armstrong, State Surgeon General and Secretary of Health. “Just as Dr. Porter and colleagues saved Floridians from yellow fever over a century ago, we are committed to solving the top public health threat to Florida families now: weight challenge.”

The year-long celebration of 125 years of Florida Public Health was launched in Key West on February 3, where Dr. Armstrong joined Dr. Porter’s great-great granddaughter in a ceremonial wreath laying at Dr. Porter’s grave site. Throughout 2014, the Department will offer educational and health information opportunities. A resource featuring “Public Health Heroes” from all 67 counties will be released later this spring.  During the week of April 7-11, the Department will further highlight the 125th Anniversary as part of National Public Health Week. In September 2014, the Department will unveil a full historical exhibit of Florida Public Health heritage at Florida’s Historic Capitol Museum in Tallahassee.

The Alachua County Health Department will release its 2013 Annual Report on February 20, 2014, summarizing the Department’s efforts and accomplishments. 

The report will be available online at the Florida Department of Health in Alachua County website.

Additionally, an educational display will be set up in the Health Department’s main lobby (224 SE 24th Street, Gainesville).

The Department invites Florida’s residents and visitors to join in recognizing 125 years of protecting, promoting and improving the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.

Visit the 125 Years of Florida Public Health website for more information about the anniversary.

For more information about the Florida Department of Health, visit their website.

For more information, contact Bobby Davis, Florida Department of Health in Alachua County at 352-334-8873.


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County’s Rental Deposit Program Now Accepting Applications

The Alachua County Departments of Community Support Services and Growth Management are pleased to announce the availability of funding for Alachua County’s Rental Deposit Program. 

This program assists households whose gross annual incomes are less than 50% of area median income.  For example, a household of 3 could earn up to $27,550.  It provides assistance to pay for security deposits, utility deposits and program related inspection fees to assist qualified households to rent affordable housing in Alachua County.  Funding is made available through the State Housing Initiatives Partnership (SHIP) Program. 

Participants are required to contact Community Support Services’ Social Services Division at 352-264-6723 to schedule an appointment.

View more information online.

For more information, contact SHIP Coordinator, Cheryl McFadden at 352-264-6723. 

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03-04-14 Special Meetings

The Alachua County Commission will conduct two Special Meetings on Tuesday, March 4, 2014, at 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Both meetings will be held in the Jack Durrance Auditorium (Room 209), 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. CAPP: Parameters for the FY2014/15 Community Agency Partnership Program Funding and standard policies and procedures

View the meeting agenda and backup.

The 5 p.m. meeting agenda includes:

1. Boundary Adjustment Act Meeting with League of Cities 

View the meeting agenda and backup.

Citizens are encouraged to attend these meeting. The County Special Meetings will be broadcast live on Cox Channel 12, and on the County’s Video on Demand website (click on meeting in Upcoming live events box).

Citizens are encouraged to stay engaged by clicking on and signing up for the following products: Facebook Twitter Newsletter/Press Release

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


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Storm Spotter Class

Alachua County Emergency Management, in cooperation with the National Weather Service in Jacksonville, is sponsoring a Storm Spotter class on Thursday, March 6, 2014, from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. The class is at the Alachua County Public Health Auditorium (224 SE 24th Street, Gainesville).

The training will teach skills that will allow attendees to volunteer locally by keeping track of storm conditions.

Alachua County Emergency Management Director, David Donnelly said, “Even with advancements in technology, such as Doppler radar, government officials must still rely on a network of trained volunteers to become their eyes and ears on the ground to provide better weather watch and warning services.” He continued, “You can be the one to make a difference and be an asset to our community.”

For more information or to register, contact Alachua County Emergency Management at 352-264-6500 or acem@alachuacounty.us.


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March 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.

Growing Herbs in the Garden – March 3, from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m., at the Millhopper Library Branch (3145 NW 43 Street, Gainesville)

This class will cover growing the traditional herbs such as parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme and venture into a few more exotic types like lemon grass and kaffir lime.

Fruit Production Workshop (with Aparna Gazula, Commercial Horticulture Agent) – March 8, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (registration at 9 a.m. – program begins at 10 a.m.), at the Straughn IFAS Extension Professional Development Center (2142 Shealy Drive, Gainesville)

This workshop is intended for fruit enthusiasts and small farmers.  The latest information from UF/IFAS experts will be offered on variety selection, production, pest and disease management. A special 1-hour session at the end of the program will address spotted wing drosophila pest management in fruit orchards.

The registration fee is $7.00 (includes lunch).

Florida Friendly Landscape Design – March 15 & 16, Home Show at the O’Connell Center – time to be announced

This class will cover basic landscape design elements to create a landscape that uses less water and less pesticides. Plant selection for sun and shade will also be covered.

Grow “Green” Grass Turf Boot Camp – March 19, from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.

This class covers mowing, watering, fertilizing and pest management.

Tomatoes! Grow Your Own – March 20, from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.

This class will cover growing tomatoes in the garden and containers.  Basics of how to grow tomatoes in Florida’s challenging environment will be covered.  Tomato pest control options, including non-chemical choices of combating the scores of tomato insect and disease problems will also be covered.

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

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).

Food Safety and Quality Program (ServSafe®) – March 4, 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 the program brochure.

Required Financial Management Class for those filing for bankruptcy – March 13, from 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. 

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.

View the program brochure.  

Pre-register by March 6, by calling 352-955-2402.

Home Buyers Education Class – March 17, March 24, & March 31, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

This series offers some resources that can help with buying, maintaining and keeping a home. Upon completion of this program, participants will receive a certificate of attendance. The classes are on three consecutive Mondays from 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. and will cover the following:

Session 1 – Monday, March 17
Information on getting your budget and credit worthiness in line, determining how much house can be afforded and understanding the responsibilities and costs of being a responsible homeowner.

Session 2 – Monday, March 24
Understanding the sales contract, home inspections, and mortgage process, selecting homeowners’ insurance, warranties and the closing process.

Session 3 – Monday, March 31
Question and answer time and an opportunity to get valuable tips from those involved in the process of buying a home.

The cost for the entire series is $10.00 per individual or couple.

View the program flyer.

Please pre-register prior to March 10, by calling 352-337-6209 (voicemail), subject to cancellation if less than 6 people registered.

Commercial Horticulture Program

This program is being offered by Aparna Gazula, Commercial Horticulture Agent (with Wendy Wilber, Environmental Horticulture Agent) at the Straughn IFAS Extension Professional Development Center (2142 Shealy Drive, Gainesville).

Fruit Production Workshop - March 8, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., (registration at 9 a.m. – program begins at 10 a.m.) at the Straughn IFAS Extension Professional Development Center (2142 Shealy Drive, Gainesville).

This workshop is intended for fruit enthusiasts and small farmers. The latest information from UF/IFAS experts will be offered on variety selection, production, pest and disease management. A special one hour session at the end of the program will address spotted wing drosophila pest management in fruit orchards.

The registration fee is $7.00 (includes lunch).

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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Youth Fair and Livestock Show

The Alachua County Youth Fair and Livestock Show Association is pleased to announce the 2014 Alachua County Youth Fair & Livestock Show.

Youth Fair & Livestock Show – March 6-11, at the Alachua County Fairgrounds (3100 NE 39th Ave, Gainesville)

The Alachua County Youth Fair & Livestock Show Association is a non-profit organization that conducts and operates public fairs and expositions pertaining to agricultural matters and more particularly to the exhibitions of livestock, poultry, crafts, youth projects and farm products.  The fair is an educational platform for the youth in Alachua County who are interested in agriculture. Youth will exhibit both livestock and non-livestock 4-H & FFA projects.

“The youth fair benefits agriculture and the local community by providing an educational opportunity for youth to learn about production agriculture,” said Cindy Sanders, UF/IFAS Extension Alachua County Director.  “Working with livestock and other agriculture events through the youth fair prepares future citizens of Alachua County to be knowledgeable about agriculture production and land use,” Sanders said.  “This benefits Alachua County by providing citizens who are familiar with a large part of the county’s economy.”

Alachua County 4-H and FFA youth ranging in age from 8 to 18 can participate in the Alachua County Youth Fair and Livestock Show.  Come out and support our 4-H & FFA youth.

Visit the Extension Office calendar for additional programs offered by the UF/IFAS Extension Alachua County.

For more information, please contact the UF/IFAS Extension Alachua County Office at 352-955-2402.


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City of Gainesville Election Information

Early Voting

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

2 Early Voting Locations

Supervisor of Elections County
Administration Building Office
12 SE 1st Street

Millhopper Branch Library
3145 NW 43rd Street

Early Voting Starts Monday

City of Gainesville Election

March 11, 2014

Polls open 7 AM – 7 PM

Early Voting for the March 11, 2014 City of Gainesville Election will be available starting Monday, March 3, 2014 through Saturday, March 8, 2014.

Early Voting will be available Monday through Saturday from 9:00 am to 5 pm.

The City of Gainesville now has 2 early voting locations:

Millhopper Branch Library
3145 NW 43rd Street, Gainesville

Supervisor of Elections County Administration Building Office
12 SE 1st Street, Gainesville

Florida Law requires voters to present current and valid picture and signature ID or vote a provisional ballot.

Only voters registered within the city limits of Gainesville may vote in this election.

VOTE BY MAIL

Any voter may request a ballot and Vote by Mail.  Voters may make their request online at www.VoteAlachua.com or call the Supervisor of Elections Office at (352) 374-5252. Voters will need to make sure their address and signature on file with the Supervisor of Elections are current. Your mail ballot may not count if the signature does not match the signature on your voter record. You may update your signature by filling out a voter registration application form in person or online at www.VoteAlachua.com. All signature updates for use in verifying absentee and provisional ballots must be received in the Elections Office prior to the start of the canvassing of absentee ballots by the Canvassing Board.

To request a ballot for another voter, you must be directly instructed by the voter and be a member of the voter’s immediate family, or the voter’s legal guardian. Immediate family means the voter’s spouse or the parent, child, grandparent or sibling of either the voter or of the voter’s spouse.

Requests can be made online, in person, by mail, by telephone or by fax. All requests must include the voter’s name, residence address, and date of birth. The request must also include the requestor’s name, residence address, relationship to the voter and driver’s license number if available. Mail or fax request must also include the requestor’s signature.
The last day to request your ballot be mailed is Wednesday, March 5, 2014 by 5 PM.

A voter may designate in writing another person to pick up an absentee ballot starting Thursday, March 6 2014. The designee must have a note signed by the voter, a picture identification of the designee and must complete an affidavit. The affidavit is available for download at www.VoteAlachua.com. The designee may not pick up more than two absentee ballots per election, not including the designee’s own ballot and ballots for members of his or her immediate family.

The Supervisor of Elections may not provide an absentee ballot to a voter or a voter’s immediate family member on the day of the election unless there is an emergency, to the extent that the elector will be unable to go to his or her assigned polling place.  In order to provide an absentee ballot on Election Day, an affidavit is required which is available for download at www.VoteAlachua.com.

All absentee ballots must be received in the Supervisor of Elections Office by 7:00 PM Election Day.  The Supervisor of Elections address is 111 S.E. 1st Avenue, Gainesville.

VOTE AT YOUR PRECINCT

Any voter may vote in the precinct of their residence between 7:00 AM and 7:00 PM on Election Day, Tuesday, March 11th. Florida law requires voters to present current and valid picture and signature ID or vote a provisional ballot.  If you need to locate your precinct, go to www.VoteAlachua.com.

If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact the Supervisor of Elections Office at (352) 374-5252.


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Commission Highlights

Strike Out Hunger Food Drive
The Board heard the Strike Out Hunger Food Drive and Thanksgiving Basket Outcome Report and Recognitions by Rodney Long

County Attorney Dave Wagner Farewell Comments
County Attorney Dave Wagner made his farewell comments to the Board.

Lease to Purchase Option Contract
The Board heard the presentation and authorized staff to negotiate a lease to purchase option contract between NALBANDIAN Properties, LLC and Alachua County.
Attachment:
estimatedprojectcost.pdf
Attachment:
ITN14_480.pdf
Attachment:
projectdeliveryschedule.pdf

Map Genuis Application
The Board heard a presentation on the Map Genuis application developed by County Staff.  County Computer Mapping Tech Jimmy Collins, received an award for this outstanding effort.
Attachment:
MapGeniusPresentationBoCC.pptx
Attachment:
MapGeniusPresentationBoCC.pdf
Attachment:
About Map Genius Flyer.pdf

Boundary Adjustment Act
The Board authorized the Chair to sign a letter asking Alachua County Legislative Delegation to not support legislation to repeal the Boundary Adjustment Act and instead allow County to work with municipalities on amendments to resolve issues.
Attachment:
ChairLetterOnBAAFeb252014.pdf

SHIP Local Housing Assistance Plan
The Board approved the proposed Alachua County SHIP Local Housing Assistance Plan for SFY 2015-2017; authorize Chair to sign Exhibit D, Certification to Florida Housing Finance Corporation, and Exhibit E, Resolution 14-__
Amount: $600,000.00

Attachment: Affordability Analysis.pdf
Attachment:
Interlocal Agreement April 12 2005 (3).pdf
Attachment:
Affordability Analysis using maximum income levels for family of 3.pdf
Attachment:
SHIP Presentation for BoCC [Compatibility Mode].pdf
Attachment:
AHAC Incentive Strategies to BOCC.pdf
Attachment:
SHIP HAP Final.pdf

NSP Real Estate Offer

NSP Real Estate Offer to Sell 2823 NE 12th Street, Gainesville (Amended)

Recommended Action: Approve the NSP Real Estate Contract for 2823 NE 12th Street, Gainesville, and approve the form of the deed.
Amount: $91,000.00

Attachment: Jackson SAle and Purchase 2823 NE 12th Final.pdf

Alachua County Housing Finance Authority Housing Assistance Plan

FY 2014, 2015 Alachua County Housing Finance Authority Housing Assistance Plan

Recommended Action: Approve the FY 2014, 2015 Alachua County Housing Finance Authority Housing Assistance Plan and adopt Resolution 14-__.
Amount: $268,000.00

Attachment: Exhibit B HFA HAP Resolution 14.pdf
Attachment:
ACHFA Housing Assist Plan Final.pdf

World Spay Day
The Board proclaimed February 26, 2014 as “World Spay Day” in Alachua County, Florida.
Attachment:
World Spay Day 2014.pdf

Social Work Month
The Board proclaimed March 2014 as “Social Work Month” in Alachua County, Florida.
Attachment:
Social Work Month 2014.pdf

Draft Comprehensive Plan Amendments and Melrose Special Area Plan

Concerning Rural Clusters: Draft Comprehensive Plan Amendments and Melrose Special Area Plan, the Board:

1) Authorized staff to prepare a Scope of Work for a Melrose Special Area Plan in coordination with residents of the Melrose area, and advertise a public hearing on the Scope of Work.
2) Authorized advertisement of public hearings for a Comprehensive Plan amendment to revise the policies relating to the process of boundary delineation for Rural Clusters, as recommended by staff.
Attachment:
ULDC Special Area Plan Process.pdf
Attachment:
Staff Response to Board Questions.pdf
Attachment:
Draft Policy Amendment Language.pdf
Attachment:
Presentation RuralClusters Feb252014.pdf
Attachment:
Melrose Pre Application Meeting Summaries.pdf
Attachment:
Staff Overview of Draft Policy Changes.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.