May 4th edition of:

Community Update
A Report on the Activities of Alachua County Government

 

This Issues Features:

Looking Forward to a Sustainable Future
Saving My Alachua Environmental Art Contest Recognition
Watermelon Pond Preserve Management Planning Meeting
2015 Farmers Market Nutrition Program Coupons Now Available
Florida Department of Health in Alachua County Emphasizes the Importance of Preventing Mosquito-borne Diseases
County Switches Grass to Save Water
This Week’s Special Meetings
May Extension Programs
Commission Highlights

Looking Forward to a Sustainable Future

On April 22, County Manager Lee A. Niblock presented a report to the County Commission entitled Looking Forward to a Sustainable Future.”

In the introduction of the report, Dr. Niblock wrote, “It is my pleasure to deliver this ‘Looking Forward’ report. This report is built around the challenges and opportunities articulated by the Alachua County Board of County Commissioners (BoCC). It is a compilation of BoCC directions, retreat conversations, initiatives of County Departments, and observations of the organization over my initial five months on the job.”

Read/download the report (PDF).

Watch the presentation.

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Saving My Alachua Environmental Art Contest Recognition

On Tuesday, April 28, the Alachua County Board of County Commissioners recognized those students selected as winners in the County’s second annual “Saving My Alachua” Environmental Art Contest. Winners from each grade were recognized at the Commissioners’ regularly scheduled meeting.

The contest was open to all K-12 students in Alachua County, including homeschoolers, and encourages students to create artwork depicting their passion for the environment. Their artwork addressed many environmental topics including water conservation, stormwater pollution, natural habitat protection, wilderness and wildlife protection, and proper disposal of toxic waste. Ribbons will be awarded for first, second, and third place in each of the thirteen grade categories.  Selected winners will be featured in the 2016 Saving My Alachua Calendar, which will also contain tips on protecting the environment.

The artwork is on display in the hallways of the second floor of County Administration Building outside the Commission chamber.

“The contest has been well received by the community, with over 380 submissions from 18 Alachua County schools. We are excited to be able to honor this year’s finalists and begin working on the 2016 Saving My Alachua calendar,” said Alachua County Environmental Protection Department Senior Planner, Eliana Bardi.

View the contest flier and entry form.

Visit the Saving My Alachua Art Contest Facebook page.

For more information, contact Eliana Bardi at 352-264-6810 or ebardi@alachuacounty.us.

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Watermelon Pond Preserve Management Planning Meeting

The Alachua County Environmental Protection Department invites residents to the Watermelon Pond Preserve Management Planning Meeting on Monday, May 4, 2015, at 6 p.m. at Archer City Hall (16870 SW 134th Avenue, Archer). Between 2006 and 2013, Alachua County acquired approximately 1,179 acres within the Alachua County Forever Watermelon Pond Project, now managed as Watermelon Pond Preserve. Lands within the Preserve were acquired to improve and manage environmentally significant lands, to protect water resources, wildlife habitats and natural areas suitable for resource-based recreation. The management plan is being revised to reflect the addition of two parcels to the Preserve, and citizen input is requested. View/download the Management Plan Draft (PDF) A paper or electronic copy of the plan may be requested by calling 352-264-6835. Citizens may provide input at the meeting, or by submitting written comments via mail or email to the Environmental Protection Department Land Conservation Program by May 7, 2015. Written comments should be mailed to: Alachua County Forever Program Alachua County Environmental Protection Department 408 W. University Avenue, Suite 106 Gainesville, FL 32601 For more information, contact Alachua County Senior Environmental Specialist Susanna Hetrick at 352-264-6835 or shetrick@alachuacounty.us .

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2015 Farmers Market Nutrition Program Coupons Now Available

The Florida Department of Health Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) in North Central Florida is currently issuing their seasonal Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) coupons at all Alachua County WIC Clinics. The Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program provides eligible WIC participants with coupons to purchase locally grown, fresh Florida fruits and vegetables. Current clients may call to inquire about the coupons or schedule an appointment at the local number (352-225-4343) or the toll-free number (1-800-494-2543). “The purpose of the Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program is to improve the health of women and children and to encourage the purchase of locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables directly from local farmers,” stated Candi Morris, Vendor Manager at the Florida Department of Health in Alachua County. “These direct purchases increase the farmers’ share of the food dollars, keep more of the consumer dollars in local communities, and help to revitalize rural areas.” For more information, visit the Florida Department of Health in Alachua County website or contact Candi Morris at 352-225-4375 or Candi.Morris@flhealth.gov.

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Florida Department of Health in Alachua County Emphasizes the Importance of Preventing Mosquito-borne Diseases

Wet conditions are expected to bring an early mosquito season. To prevent mosquito-borne diseases, the Florida Department of Health in Alachua County recommends practicing “Drain and Cover.”

DRAIN and COVER

DRAIN standing water to stop mosquitoes from multiplying.

COVER your skin with clothing and use mosquito repellent.

COVER doors and windows with screens to keep mosquitoes out.

For more information, see the CDC’s guidelines, or the EPA guidelines.

Report mosquito problem to the local municipality’s mosquito control or the Florida Department of Health in Alachua County at 352-334-7930.

For more information, contact Anthony Dennis at 352-334-7930.

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County Switches Grass to Save Water

As part of their initiative to save water, the Alachua County Board of County Commissioners voted to remove water thirsty Saint Augustine grass from the west side of the County Administration Building, and replace it with hardy Centipede grass.

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This Week’s Special Meetings

The Alachua County Commission will conduct three Special Meetings this week. The meetings are at 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, and 1:30 p.m. on Thursday. All the meetings are in the Grace Knight Conference Room, located on the second floor of the Alachua County Administration building (12 S.E. 1st Street, downtown Gainesville).

The Tuesday 10 a.m. meeting agenda includes:

1. FY16 Budget Development Update

View agenda and backup.

The Tuesday 1:30 p.m. meeting agenda includes:

1. Sidewalk mitigation

View agenda and backup.

The Thursday 1:30 p.m. meeting agenda includes:

1. FY16 Budget Development Presentation

View agenda and backup.

Citizens are encouraged to attend the meeting. It will be available to view live on Cox Channel 12 or on the County’s Video on Demand website.

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

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May Extension Programs

Commercial Horticulture Program

The UF/IFAS Extension Alachua County Office is pleased to announce the following Commercial Horticulture Program for May, 2015. This program is 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 – May 14, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (with Barton Wilder, Ag & 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 of their 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.

View/download the program brochure (PDF).

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

Master Gardener Plant Sale & Agriculture Festival

The UF/IFAS Extension Alachua County Office is pleased to announce the Annual Master Gardener Plant Sale & Ag Fest on May 16, 2015, from 8 a.m. to noon, at the UF/IFAS Extension Alachua County Office (2800 NE 39 Avenue, Gainesville).

The Master Gardener Plant Sale will have a variety of herbs, annuals, perennials, natives, trees, and more will be available. Master Gardener volunteers will be on site for advice on selection and care of plants. This annual plant sale is a fundraiser for the Alachua County Master Gardener Volunteer Program.

The Ag Fest will be providing information on the following: beekeeping, small farm goat management, growing mushrooms, raised bed gardening, free soil pH testing and much more. Also presentations are scheduled on the following topics: Growing Fruit in Alachua County, Bee Pollinators & Pesticides and Cooking Matters. Admission and parking are free.

View/download the event flyer (PDF).

Family and Consumer Sciences Program

The UF/IFAS Extension Alachua County Office is pleased to announce the following Family and Consumer Sciences Program for May, 2015. This program is 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®) – May 20, 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 more information and to register, visit the Food Safety and Quality website, or call toll-free at 1-888-232-8723.

Agriculture & Natural Resources Program

The UF/IFAS Extension Alachua County Office is pleased to announce the following Agriculture & Natural Resources Program for May, 2015.  This program is being offered by Barton Wilder, Agriculture & Natural Resources Agent, at the UF/IFAS Extension Alachua County Office (2800 NE 39 Avenue, Gainesville).

Private Applicator Pesticide School – May 21, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (with Aparna Gazula, Commercial Horticulture Agent)

This workshop is designed to provide training for the private applicator agricultural pest control license.  The private applicator license is required for anyone that applies restricted use pesticides to their own farm, greenhouse or nursery.  Topics include: private applicator and regulations, equipment calibration and pesticide arithmetic, pesticide safety and principles of pest control. 

3 Core & 3 Private Applicator CEUs will be offered for applicators that already have their licenses.

Full day registration fee $10.00 (includes lunch), half day registration fee $5.00 (no lunch). 

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

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 Office.

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Commission Highlights

Eat Local Month
The Board proclaimed May 2015 as “Eat Local Month” in Alachua County, FL
Attachment: Eat Local Month 2015.pdf

National Travel and Tourism Week
The Board proclaimed May 2 - 10, 2015 as “National Travel and Tourism Week” in Alachua County, FL
Attachment: National Travel and Tourism Week 2015.pdf

Corrections/Detention Employees Appreciation Week
The Board proclaimed May 4 - 10, 2015 as “Corrections/Detention Employees Appreciation Week” in Alachua County, FL
Attachment: CorrectionsDetention Employees Appreciation Week 2015.pdf

Flu Mist Presentation
The Board heard and accepted the Alachua County Health Department’s annual Flu Mist Presentation

Saving My Alachua Environmental Art Contest and Calendar.
The Board recognized winners of the 2015 “Saving My Alachua” Environmental Art Contest and Calendar.
Attachment: Attachment 1 Saving My Alachua flier and entry form.pdf
Attachment: 
Attachment 3 Expenses.pdf
Attachment: 
Attachment 2 List of 2015 Winners.pdf

County Incentive Grant Program
Concerning the County Incentive Grant Program (CIGP) Agreement with the Florida Department of Transportation for New Road Construction, Signal Installation, and Road Improvements on SW 8th Avenue, the Board:

Approved the waiver of County indemnification policy as the Board finds that accepting the liability is in the best interests of Alachua County 

Adopted a Resolution for New Road Construction, Signal Installation, and Road Improvements on SW 8th Ave., which includes authorizing the chair to execute the agreement, set up of a fund and budget amendment for unanticipated revenues.

Approved the County Incentive Grant Program (CIGP) Agreement including the Board agreeing to accept the liability under the agreement.

Approved inter-fund loan up to $500,000 from the most appropriate fund for this reimbursable grant. Loan to be paid back at completion of project.

Amount: $2.428 million
Attachment: SW_8TH-AVE-CIGP-GRANT-RESOLUTION.pdf
Attachment: 
CIGP_SW_8TH_AVE.pdf
Attachment: 
CIGP BA.pdf

High Springs Rail/Trail Project
The Board authorized the Chair to sign the Memorandum of Agreement for appraisal services concerning the High Springs rail/trail project.
Attachment: MOAHighSprRailTrailwMappdf.pdf

Father Roland Julien Day
The Board proclaimed April 28th, 2015 as “Father Roland Julien Day” in Alachua County, FL
Attachment: Father Roland Julien Day 2015.pdf

Dogwood Park Traditional Neighborhood Development
The Board approved of the Preliminary Development Plan for the Dogwood Park Traditional Neighborhood Development and Resolution DR-15-11, and Issuance of a Preliminary Certificate of Level of Service Compliance (CLSC) for Roads Only
Attachment: MasterPlanNotes_DP.pdf
Attachment: 
PrelDevPlan_DP.pdf
Attachment: 
OpenSpace_DP.pdf
Attachment: 
DogwoodTND__SR.pdf
Attachment: 
DogwoodPark_ppt.pdf
Attachment: 
Transp_DP.pdf
Attachment: 
DR_15_11.pdf

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Thank you for your continued interest in County Government!

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