May 18th edition of:

Community Update
A Report on the Activities of Alachua County Government


This Issues Features:

It is Alachua County’s responsibility to protect our springs and water supply
Take 5 - Tools for Schools
Community Agency Partnership Program (CAPP) Funding for FY 16, RFA 16-198
Veteran Services Weekly Sessions
Florida Department of Health in Alachua County Medical Director to Lead Alachua County Medical Society
County OMB Receives Distinguished Budget Presentation Award
“NW 16th Avenue Transformation” May Project Update
Animal Services Volunteer and Foster Parent Orientation
Jonesville Park has a new playground. New traffic signal coming.
2015 Management Academy Graduates, Employee Recognition, and Presentation of Certificates
May Extension Programs
05-19-15 Special Meetings
Commission Highlights

It is Alachua County’s responsibility to protect our springs and water supply

A message from Commission Chair Charles S. Chestnut, IV, concerning the City of Alachua rezoning issue.

On May 12th, the Alachua County Commission voted to legally challenge a recent decision by the City of Alachua to allow intensified land development on 153 acres which overlays a highly sensitive portion of the Mill Creek Sink watershed.  The County is concerned that without adequate plans for advanced pollution prevention and stormwater treatment, the development (which may be permitted as a result of the City’s proposed zoning change) may damage and pollute the underlying underwater cave system, downstream drinking water supplies, and the springs on the Santa Fe River.

The good news is that we have many encouraging local examples that demonstrate how the County has successfully worked with developers to resolve these types of issues.  The original plans for Progress Park in Alachua proposed intensive development very close to the Lee Sink basin, another vulnerable stream-to-sink drainage system that directly connects to the Floridan Aquifer and the Santa Fe River Springs.  The final land development plans for Progress Park provided protection to Lee Sink by transferring this area to the San Felasco State Preserve. The Celebration Point development near I-75 at Archer Road set aside 103 acres of the most environmentally sensitive portion of their property in a conservation easement, including a large wetland that will continue to provide natural water filtration.

Recently, news stories in the Gainesville Sun have quoted people suggesting that the County’s challenge would adversely affect the Wal-Mart Supercenter and that the County is entering the conversation at the last minute.  In actuality, it was 2006 when Alachua County entered into a voluntary agreement with Walmart to include certain advanced pollution prevention and advanced stormwater treatment practices in their development. The process worked well, an agreement was reached, and our watershed was protected.

The County is particularly concerned about the sensitivity of the area in question. In 2005, Alachua County commissioned the Mill Creek and Lee Creek Dye Trace Study, conducted by Karst Environmental Services, Inc.  This study confirmed that the Mill Creek Sink drainage system, which originates in Alachua near the intersection of US 441 and I-75, includes a rapid water flow connection to Hornsby Springs on the Santa Fe River.  The County has long recognized the strategic importance of the Mill Creek Watershed.   In 2002, the first purchase of the County’s voter-approved Alachua County Forever land conservation program was the 1200 acre Mill Creek Preserve. Protection of the creek’s headwaters was an important factor in that purchase decision.

The following link goes to the video “Water’s Journey” by famed cave diver Wes Skiles.  Much of the footage in this video is directly under the area in question.

Locally and statewide, there is broad agreement that we need to protect our springs and water resources.   The hard work, as has been demonstrated by the State Legislature’s ongoing efforts to pass meaningful springs protection legislation, is to go beyond words and to take action.  Preventing further degradation of our precious waters and restoring those waters that are already troubled will sometimes mean making difficult decisions.    As our area continues to grow, one of our greatest local challenges is how to constructively resolve conflicts between land development interests and water resource protection, particularly in high growth corridors such as the US 441 Alachua-High Springs corridor that overlay some of our most vulnerable water resources. 

It is important to remember that in 2000, Alachua County voters approved Amendment 1, a citizen’s initiative that granted the County regulatory authority to extend its water quality regulations within municipal boundaries.  The voters clearly understood that sometimes protecting our precious water means crossing city lines.

We are hopeful that Alachua County and the City of Alachua can work together and lead by example as we establish a framework that will allow development while protecting our water resources.

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Take 5 - Tools for Schools

This edition of Alachua County’s “Take 5” highlights Alachua County Public Works’ Tools for Schools program and the contributions of local Lowe’s Home Improvement stores and Mallard Construction to recent renovations to the Tools for Schools building. Tools for Schools provides donated and recycled classroom materials free of charge to Alachua County public school teachers.

View Take 5- Tools for Schools.

For more information, visit, email, or call 352-548-1297.

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Community Agency Partnership Program (CAPP) Funding for FY 16, RFA 16-198

The Alachua County Board of County Commissioners is seeking applications for its FY 16 Community Agency Partnership Program (CAPP) funding program. Approximately $1.1 million is available for 501(c)(3) organizations with a physical address in Alachua County in the categories of: Food, Health Care, Housing/Utilities, Children’s Education, and Safety for Abused & Neglected Children.  The formal name of this funding process cycle is “CAPP RFA (Request for Application) 16-198.”

Proposal materials are available online.

Proposal materials may also be obtained from the Office of Purchasing (12 SE 1st Street, 3rd floor, Gainesville, 352-374-5202).

The Pre-Application Workshop is on May 29, from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., at the Alachua County Health Department Auditorium (224 SE 24th Street, Gainesville).

Applications are due no later than 5 p.m. on June 17, 2015.

In compliance with CAPP RFA 16-198 rules, all questions regarding funding must be submitted in writing only. Beginning immediately, questions can be submitted to CAPP Program Manager Lee Roberts at, or to the Office of Purchasing Agent Todd Jackson at

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Veteran Services Weekly Sessions

The Alachua County Division of Veteran Services wants veterans and their families to be aware of the weekly sessions available to serve their needs.

The following three sessions are available:

1. Pension Session – Tuesdays at 10:45 a.m.
This session explains and offers assistance with the pension benefits claims filing process.   This tax-free benefit is available to eligible veterans and their spouses or widows if they served one day during a war. Pension eligibility requirements include:

2. Compensation Session – Wednesdays at 10:45 a.m.
This session educates veterans on the development of compensation claims.  This is also a tax-free benefit paid to veterans with disabilities that are a result of disease or injury incurred or aggravated during active military service.  

3. General Information Session – Thursdays at 10:45 a.m.
This session covers the many benefits that veterans and their dependents may qualify for.

“The goal of the Office of Veteran Services is to assist veterans and their dependents in securing all entitled benefits earned through honorable military service,” stated Kim Smith, Alachua County Veteran Services Director. “The Alachua County Veteran Services Division has knowledgeable staff whose military service and veteran benefits training allows for the professional advocacy needed to successfully navigate the complex system of veteran’s benefits.”

Registration for sessions is required. To register or set up an individual appointment, call Veteran Services at 352-264-6740.

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Florida Department of Health in Alachua County Medical Director to Lead Alachua County Medical Society

John Colon, M.D., Executive Medical Director of the Florida Department of Health in Alachua County will be installed as the incoming President of the Alachua County Medical Society (ACMS) on Wednesday, May 13, 2015.

“Dr. Colon has been a tireless public health advocate in Alachua County for many years,” stated Paul Myers, Administrator of the Florida Department of Health in Alachua County. “We look forward to continuing our collaboration with the Alachua County Medical Society as Dr. Colon embarks on this additional leadership role.”

“The Alachua County Medical Society is delighted to install Dr. Colon as our next President,” stated Sally Lawrence, Ph.D., Executive Vice President of the ACMS. “Dr. Colon is a passionate physician who cares about our community’s health. He has been actively involved in ACMS community events designed to address obesity such as our Weekly Wellness Walks. His positive attitude and desire to work with physicians of all specialties will serve him well as our next leader.”

For more information, visit the Florida Department of Health in Alachua County website or contact Paul Myers at 352-334-8873 or

The mission of the Florida Department of Health in Alachua County is to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county, and community efforts.   

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County OMB Receives Distinguished Budget Presentation Award

At the May 12, 2015 County Commission Meeting, the Alachua County Office of Management and Budget (OMB) will be recognized for receiving the Government Finance Officers Association’s (GFOA) Distinguished Budget Presentation Award for their budget.

The award reflects the commitment of the County and staff to meeting the highest principles of governmental budgeting. In order to receive the budget award, the entity had to satisfy nationally recognized guidelines for an effective budget presentation. These guidelines are designed to assess how well an entity’s budget serves as: a policy document, a financial plan, an operations guide and a communications device. The GFOA’s Distinguished Budget Presentation Awards Program is the only national awards program in governmental budgeting. Alachua County’s OMB Office has received this award for the last 22 years.

Alachua County OMB Director Tommy Crosby said, “I am proud of the professional and capable staff in the Office of Management Budget, and their tireless dedication to excellence as represented by the award.”

Learn more about the GFOA.

For more information, contact the Alachua County OMB at 352-374-5262.

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“NW 16th Avenue Transformation” May Project Update

Alachua County Public Works is keeping citizens informed about the “NW 16th Avenue Transformation Project” by issuing a monthly press release giving updated information on the project’s progress.

The 4 mile project includes milling, resurfacing, and reconstruction of NW 16th Avenue from NW 57th Terrace to NW 13th Street. It also includes widening 16th Avenue to  four lanes from NW 57th Terrace to NW 55th Street, widening the sidewalks, upgrading the pedestrian facilities to meet current Americans with Disabilities Act requirements, addressing safety and operational issues through intersection and median opening modifications, and stabilizing the retaining walls along the corridor.

During the month of April, the contractor began storm drain construction on NW 23rd Avenue (from NW 57th Terrace to NW 55th Street), and the reconstruction work (clay removal) of the southern two lanes of NW 16th Avenue (from NW 31st Drive to NW 22nd Street). For this work, the corridor has been reduced to one lane in each direction at this section of roadway. Additionally, traffic patterns have been altered from approximately NW 58th Boulevard to NW 54th Terrace to complete roadway widening. Motorists should expect delays when traveling through these areas, and staff encourage motorists to adhere to the reduced speed limit of 30 MPH through these work zones (for the safety of construction personnel, and for the safety of motorists entering and exiting the roadway). In addition to the previously mentioned altered traffic patterns, motorists should expect nighttime lane closures along the project corridor.

During the month of May, the contractor will continue with the storm drain construction and reconstruction work. Additionally, the contractor will begin side street milling and resurfacing at night to properly tie-in the roadway connections.

Weather permitting, the contractor is scheduled complete the roadway reconstruction this month and begin restoring the corridor to four lanes. The final layer of asphalt, final striping, and final punch list (which will have minimal impact to the traveling public), are scheduled to be completed by the end of August.

Click to view the Northwest 16th Avenue Transformation Project report (PDF). This document will be updated monthly and changes/new information will be highlighted in red.

For more information, contact Alachua County Transportation Engineering Manager Brian Singleton at 352-548-1306, or

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Animal Services Volunteer and Foster Parent Orientations

Alachua County Animal Services is actively recruiting volunteers and foster parents for a variety of tasks. Volunteers exercise animals, help out with off-site adoption events, take photos, assist in the Paws on Parole program, and other animal handling andand other animal handling and office assistance tasks. Foster parents temporarily care for animals that are not yet ready for adoption. This includes underage kittens, heartworm positive dogs (undergoing treatment), under-socialized animals, and other animals with special needs.

Alachua County Animal Services is hosting orientations for these programs in May.  All orientations are held at the Animal Services Headquarters (3400 N.E. 53rd Avenue, Gainesville). Animal Services encourages volunteers to register for orientations before attending, but registration is not required.

Foster parent orientation is being held Tuesday, May 19, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.  For information or to register, email Before taking animals home, all foster parents are also required to attend a general volunteer orientation.

Volunteer orientation is being held Saturday, May 30, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.  For information or to register, email

For further questions, contact Alachua County Shelter Supervisor Jane Grantman, or Adoption Coordinator Dory Rosati at 352-264-6870.

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Jonesville Park has a new playground. New traffic signal coming.

We are excited to announce the addition of a playground to the many amenities available at Jonesville Park (14100 NW 32nd Avenue). Now the whole family can come out and play.

In the next couple of weeks, we will begin the installation of a new traffic signal at the Jonesville Park intersection of NW 143 St. and NW 32 Avenue. This will be a welcome and needed safety enhancement for this often busy intersection. 

Learn More about Jonesville Park  

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2015 Management Academy Graduates, Employee Recognition, and Presentation of Certificates

To view the presentation of certificates to the 2015 Management Academy, click here.

Click item 5 under the video screen to jump to this item.

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May Extension Programs

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 consumers 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 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 (voicemail) 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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05-19-15 Special Meetings

The Alachua County Commission will conduct two Special Meetings on Tuesday, May 19, 2015. The meetings are at 10 a.m. and 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 S.E. 1st Street, downtown Gainesville).

The 10 a.m. meeting agenda includes:

1. Health Care Property Tax Exemption

View agenda and backup.

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

1. FY16 Budget Development Presentation

2. Proposed New Administrative Procedure - Citizen Initiated Municipal Services Benefit Unit (MSBU) Program DRAFT

3. Review and Discuss New and Amended Administrative Policies

View agenda and backup.

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

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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Commission Highlights

National Bicycle Month
The Board proclaimed May 2015, as “National Bicycle Month” in Alachua County, FL

Attachment: National Bicycle Month 2015.pdf


Memorial Day
The Board proclaimed May 25th, 2015, as “Memorial Day” in Alachua County, FL

Attachment: Memorial Day 2015.pdf


Public Works Week
The Board proclaimed May 17 - 23, 2015, as “Public Works Week” in Alachua County, FL

Attachment: Public Works Week 2015.pdf


Tools for Schools Heroes Day
The Board proclaimed May 12th, 2015, as “Tools for Schools Heroes Day” in Alachua County, FL

Attachment: Tools for Schools Heroes Day 2015.pdf

National Safe Boating Week
The Board proclaimed May 16 - 22, 2015, as “National Safe Boating Week” in Alachua County, FL

Attachment: National Safe Boating Week 2015.pdf

Distinguished Budget Presentation Award
The Board presented the Government Finance Officers Association Distinguished Budget Presentation Award to the Alachua County Office of Management and Budget.

Attachment: GFOA Distinguished Budget Award 2014.pdf


Marijuana Arrest Data
The Board heard a presentation on Marijuana Arrest Data by Sheriff Sadie Darnell.


Alachua Rezoning
Concerning the City of Alachua rezoning of approximately 154 acres, the Board:

Directed the County Attorney to file a Writ of Certiorari to challenge the actions of the City of Alachua Commission and file a complaint for declaratory and injunctive relief.  The Board also directed the County Attorney’s office to bring back any documentation required to initiate the dispute resolution process at the next regular meeting.  The Board authorized a budget for the County Attorney in an amount of up to $15,000.00 for court costs and transcripts required during the dispute resolution process.

Directed County staff to do a comparison of existing best stormwater requirements within the County.

Directed County staff to form a technical working group to facilitate the development and adoption of advanced pollution prevention and stormwater treatment standards to better protect the water quality of the Floridan Aquifer and the Santa Fe River springs due to stormwater runoff from intensive land uses occurring or planned Countywide.  Participation would be encouraged by representatives of all interested municipal governments, Alachua County, Suwanee River Water Management District, Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Florida Department of Transportation, University of Florida, Florida Springs Institute and other stakeholders as appropriate.

Attachment: Chr15.037City of Alachua Rezoning Concerns.pdf
Mill Creek Sink Dye Trace 2005 report.pdf
Alachua County Staff Key Points.pdf

Empowerment Center Oversight Board
The two Commissioners serving on the Empowerment Center Oversight Board, Commissioners Byerly and Hutchinson, reported that the Oversight Board does not have a position regarding residency requirements at this time.
Empowerment Center Oversight Advisory Board Meeting Minutes of April 8 2015 DRAFT.pdf

CHOICES Trust Fund Balance
Concerning the  CHOICES Trust Fund Balance, Use Options, the Board chose to hear the presentation, discuss the matter during the budget process, and instructed staff is to take all steps necessary to have an RFP ready for when the Board makes a decision.

Amount: $8,200,000.00

Attachment: CHOICES Trust Fund Options Revised 04292015.pdf

Codes Enforcement Special Magistrate
Concerning a Codes Enforcement Special Magistrate, the Board decided not to hire one, and instead will keep the current codes Enforcement Board system intact.

Attachment: SpecialMagistrate051215_presentation.pdf
Special Magistrate_RepealCEB_05122015.pdf
Special Magistrate_CEBandSM_05122015.pdf

Goodwin’s Wood Processing Facility

The Board approved Resolution Z-15-9, approving ZOX-02-15, a special exception for Goodwin’s wood processing facility.

Attachment: Property Information.pdf
Environmental Resource Assessment Part 1.pdf
Resolution for ZOX0215.pdf
SE Master Plan Final 4.23.15.pdf
Mailed Notice Affidavit.pdf
ZOX0215 Powerpoint.pdf
Goodwin_Special Exception Application.pdf
Company Information Packet.pdf
Environmental Impacts.pdf
Neighborhood Meeting Packet.pdf
Res. Z_85_64.pdf
Environmental Resource Assessment Part 3.pdf
ZOX0215 Powerpoint.pptx
Environmental Resource Assessment Part 2.pdf
Goodwin_Operations Plan.pdf
Goodwin Deed.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.