September 28th edition of:

Community Update
A Report on the Activities of Alachua County Government

 

This Issues Features:

Commission Dedicates Over Half of FY16 Budget to Public Safety
Commission Approves Super Senior Homestead Exemption
County Fire Rescue on Alachua County Talks
Off Duty Rescue by County Employees
State Housing Initiatives Partnership (SHIP) Program Funding Availability
Alachua County Prepares Festival
Upcoming CERT Classes
County Offices Moving
Community 12 TV Temporarily Off the Air Next Week for System Maintenance and Digital Upgrades
09-29-15 Special Meeting
UF/IFAS Extension 4-H Agent Receives Doctorate Degree
UF/IFAS Extension Alachua County Recognized at State Conference
October Extension Programs
Commission Highlights

Commission Dedicates Over Half of FY16 Budget to Public Safety

On Tuesday, September 22, in the second of two required Public Hearings, the Alachua County Commission unanimously approved the FY16 Final Budget, which includes $190 million in taxing funds.

“Once again the County Commission has demonstrated that Public Safety is its number one priority,” Alachua County Manager Lee A. Niblock said.  “Over half of the budget, $97 million of the $190 million, has been dedicated to keeping our citizens safe and protected.” 

In light of new revenue from a property value increase of approximately 2.9 percent, the Commission has approved a modest decrease in the General Fund Millage Rate. New revenues will be used primarily to cover healthcare and Florida Retirement System (FRS) increases for both the Commission Departments and all of the Constitutional Officers.  

All Commission Departments and Constitutional Officers (the Sheriff, the Property Appraiser, the Tax Collector, the Supervisor of Elections, and the Clerk of the Court) have received an increase over last year’s adopted budget.

Budget highlights include:

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

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Commission Approves Super Senior Homestead Exemption

The Alachua County Commission is pleased to remind citizens that on July 14, 2015, the Commission voted unanimously to opt-in to Florida’s Constitutional Amendment 11, the “Super Senior” homestead exemption. The Commission took this step to help older, limited income residents stay in their homes. This provides an additional homestead exemption to those who qualify. It is equal to the assessed value of the homesteaded property up to $250,000. The exemption is for the County portion of the total property tax bill only. It does not include taxes from the municipalities, the Library District, the School Board or the Water Management Districts.

To be eligible for this exemption, the property owner must:

Citizens applying for this exemption should:

Citizens may also pick up forms at the Alachua County Property Appraiser’s office. The forms must be filled out and returned to the Property Appraiser between January 1, and March 1, of 2016.

Property Appraiser Ed Crapo recently moved his offices and is now located at:

515 N Main Street
Suite 200
Gainesville, FL 32601

For more information, call the Alachua County Property Appraiser’s office at 352-374-5230.

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County Fire Rescue on Alachua County Talks

A new edition of Alachua County Talks, features an interview with Alachua County Fire Rescue Chief Bill Northcutt. Northcutt discusses the duties, programs, services and challenges of the Department.

In speaking of the program Alachua County Talks host Mark Sexton said, “This interview highlights the demanding and important work performed by Alachua County Fire Rescue as they protect our citizens’ lives and property.”

View the Interview Online

For more information, visit Alachua County Fire Rescue or email wnorthcutt@alachuacounty.us.

View the complete Channel 12 Schedule.

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

 

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Off Duty Rescue by County Employees

Alachua County is very proud to communicate the heroic actions of Alachua County Fire Rescue Lt. John Riddling and his wife Alachua County Court Services Senior Account Clerk Cindy Riddling. On the morning of September 11, 2015, the Riddlings were on their boat fishing on Little Lake Santa Fe, when they heard distress calls coming from across a cove. They motored to the scene to find three individuals in the water, only one of which was wearing a life jacket. The three had abandoned their burning boat. The Riddlings called 911.

Lt. Riddling, while trying to put out the fire with his boat’s extinguisher, was implored by one of the rescued men to retrieve a backpack from the burning boat that contained heirlooms from his grandfather. Lt Riddling was able to reach into the burning boat and grab the bag before the boat was completely engulfed in flames. 

The Riddlings transported the occupants to shore where they were turned over to the responding Alachua County Fire Rescue crew. They then shuttled the crew to the burning vessel.

After learning of the heroic response by the Riddlings, Alachua County Manager Lee A. Niblock said, “I am very proud of these two fine employees. That this incident happened on 9/11, when our country was honoring the first responders that sacrificed so much, made it all the more poignant.”

For more information, contact Alachua County Assistant Fire Rescue Chief Jeff Taylor at 321-243-5034.

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State Housing Initiatives Partnership (SHIP) Program Funding Availability

The Alachua County Growth Management Department is pleased to announce the availability of $611,600 in State Housing Initiatives Partnership (SHIP) State Fiscal Year 2015-2016 funds.

These funds are divided into the following programs:

For more information visit the Alachua County Housing Programs website, or contact the Alachua County Housing Programs Office at 352-337-6284.

Alachua County is a fair housing/equal opportunity/disability access jurisdiction.

 

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Alachua County Prepares Festival

Alachua County Emergency Management invited residents to attend the first annual “Alachua County Prepares Festival” on Saturday, September 19, 2015, at Northwest Baptist Church. The event was free and featured over 20 community partners.

Activities for adults and children of all ages included:

Alachua County Emergency Management Director David Donnelly stated, “We have been looking for the right opportunity to involve our whole community in an event that merges education and fun.”

For more information, contact David Donnelly at 352-264-6500 or dad@alachuacounty.us.

 

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Upcoming CERT Classes

Alachua County Emergency Management is enrolling citizens for its Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Program. The seven classes are on Tuesday evenings (from October 6, through November 17, 2015), and each session runs from 6 p.m. to 8:30p.m. Classes are held at the Alachua County Emergency Operations Center (1100 SE 27th Street, Gainesville). The classes are free. The registration deadline is October 6.

Class topics include:

This is the last scheduled CERT Program for 2015.

Alachua County Emergency Management Coordinator Ebbin Spellman said, “We are in the middle of hurricane season, but we can also be impacted by other incidents such as wildfires, extreme weather, and manmade and technological hazards.” He continued, “The men and women of CERT are a valuable component of our emergency response, and have proven to be effective during actual crises in Alachua County.”

Register online, or for more information contact Alachua County Emergency Management at 352-264-6550.

 

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County Offices Moving

Office of Management and Budget

The Alachua County Office of Management and Budget is moving from the Star Garage Building to the second floor of the County Administration Building (12 SE 1st Street, Gainesville).  The last day of operating in the current location is Friday, September 25, 2015.  The office will reopen in the new location on Monday, September 28, 2015.  All email addresses and phone numbers will remain the same. 

For more information, contact Lori Leverette at 352-337-6107 or lleverette@alachuacounty.us.

Equal Opportunity Office

The Alachua County Equal Opportunity Office is moving from the Star Garage Building to the first floor of the County Administration Building (12 SE 1st Street, Gainesville). The last day of operations in the current location is Wednesday, September 23, 2015. The office will reopen in the new location on Monday, September 28, 2015. All email addresses and phone numbers will remain the same.

For more information, contact Mary Neiberger at 352-374-5275 or mneiberger@alachuacounty.us.

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Community 12 TV Temporarily Off the Air Next Week for System Maintenance and Digital Upgrades

Community 12 TV (Cox Communications Channel 12) will be temporarily off the air beginning Monday, September 28, 2015 for digital upgrades. Channel service is anticipated to resume on Thursday, October 1, 2015 with an enhanced signal. 

In speaking of the impending Channel 12 signal upgrades Alachua County Communications and Legislative Affairs Director Mark Sexton said, “We are working very hard to ensure this temporary but necessary interruption of service will not inconvenience our viewers. When we return to the air viewers will experience improved picture quality and sound reproduction.”

During the downtime, live Alachua County Commission meetings will continue to be streamed at the County’s Video on Demand page.

Concerning the County Commission meeting below, at the meeting time, visit the County’s Video on Demand page, and click on the “In progress-view event” link under the “Upcoming live events” heading.

View the complete Channel 12 Schedule.

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

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09-29-15 Special Meeting

The Alachua County Commission will conduct a Special Meeting on Tuesday, September 29, 2015 at 10 a.m. The meeting will be held in the Jack Durrance Auditorium, located on the second floor of the Alachua County Administration Building (12 S.E. 1st Street, downtown Gainesville).

The meeting agenda includes:

1. FY16 CHOICES Indigent Healthcare Trust funding recommendations

2. FY2016 CAPP Advisory Board funding recommendations

View agenda and backup.

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

 

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UF/IFAS Extension 4-H Agent Receives Doctorate Degree

Dr. Matt Benge, the UF/IFAS Extension 4-H Agent received his PhD in August 2015. Matt has been the 4-H Extension Agent in Alachua County for 6 years.  He has built a strong 4-H program in Alachua County, with 200 active 4-H volunteers, 20 Community Clubs, 350 active 4-H members, and 1200 students involved in school enrichment programs.  His programmatic efforts in Organizational Strategies, Volunteer Recruitment & Development, and Life Skills Development have all had significant outcomes and successes.

His research focused on the Effects of Leader-Member Exchanges and Trust on the Relationships between Extension Agents and County Extension Directors in Florida. Matt examined the relationship and trust between a supervisor and his/her employees and how that affects an employee’s level of job satisfaction within the organization.

 

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UF/IFAS Extension Alachua County Recognized at State Conference

The UF/IFAS Extension Alachua County Office was well represented at the Extension Professional Association of Florida Conference, August 31st - September 4th in Naples, Florida.  The following faculty was recognized for their educational efforts. All were recognized as state winners.

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October 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 October, 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®) – October 7, 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, visit the event website, or call toll-free at 1-888-232-8723.

Livestock Program

The UF/IFAS Extension Alachua County Office is pleased to announce the following Livestock Program for October, 2015. This program is being offered by Dr. Cindy Sanders, Livestock Agent, at the UF/IFAS Extension Alachua County Office (2800 NE 39 Avenue, Gainesville).

Basic Goat Production Workshop – October 17, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

Some workshop topics will include: evaluation of meat goat breeds, general herd health, toxic weeds and hoof trimming.

There is a $5.00 registration fee (meal included). Please pre-register by Monday, October 12, at 352-955-2402.

View/download the workshop flyer (PDF).

Agriculture & Natural Resources Programs

The UF/IFAS Extension Alachua County Office is pleased to announce the following Agriculture & Natural Resources Programs for October, 2015.  These programs are being offered by Barton Wilder, Agriculture & Natural Resources Agent, at the UF/IFAS Extension Alachua County Office (2800 NE 39 Avenue, Gainesville) unless otherwise indicated.

Worker Protection Standard: Train the Trainer Workshop – October 22, from 9 a.m. to noon (with Aparna Gazula, Commercial Horticulture Agent)

This workshop is designed to prepare agricultural producers to train their agriculture workers and pesticide handlers in the Worker Protection Standard (WPS). WPS training is required for all workers on farms, forests, commercial nurseries, and commercial greenhouses.  An official from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services will be present to answer questions on WPS compliance.

3 CEUs for Private Applicator, Aerial Application, Agriculture Row Crop, Agriculture Tree Crop, Forest Pest Control and Ornamental & Turf will be available.

Registration fee is $10.00 (includes light refreshments). 

Please register by calling 352-337-6209 (voicemail) no later than October 19.

NFLAG Master Herdsman Series – October 15, October 22, October 29, November 5, and November 12, from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., UF/IFAS Extension Clay County (2463 SR 16 West, Green Cove Springs) 

The Master Herdsman Series is for ranchers both large and small that are interested in improving their knowledge of animal husbandry. The series will cover management, reproduction, nutrition, and laws and regulations for cattle, goats, horses, and poultry. The series will also have a session on pasture weed control and forage production. Participants must attend at least four workshops to become a Master Herdsman.

Registration is $50.00 for entire series, or $20.00 per class, late registration will be $30.00. Registration is available on-line (with additional fee).  Please pre-register at least three days in advance by calling 352-955-2402.

Commercial Horticulture Programs

The UF/IFAS Extension Alachua County Office is pleased to announce the following Commercial Horticulture Programs for October, 2015. These programs are being offered by Aparna Gazula, Commercial Horticulture Agent, at the UF/IFAS Extension Alachua County Office (2800 NE 39 Avenue, Gainesville) unless otherwise indicated.

Winter Hive Management – October 24, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the DPI Doyle Conner Building (1911 SW 34 Street, Gainesville) - This is the final course of four-part series with Barton Wilder, Agriculture & Natural Resources Agent.

This workshop will feature information on preparing beehives for the winter season. Attendees will be working hands-on with an active bee hive, protective clothing is required.

No registration fee. This program is limited to the first 50 registrants.

Green Industries Best Management Practices – October 29, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. (with Barton Wilder, Agriculture & Natural Resources Agent)

This workshop is designed to provide training in Best Management Practices (BMPs) for anyone working in the lawn, landscape, pest control, or municipal grounds areas. This is a required training class for all commercial and institutional fertilizer applicators in Alachua County according to the Alachua County Fertilizer Standards and Management Practices Code.

Cost $25.00 includes materials and lunch. 

Please pre-register at least 3 days prior to programs by calling 352-337-6209.

View/download the program brochure (PDF).

For more information about these programs, call 352-955-2402. Visit the Extension Office Calendar for additional programs offered by the Extension Office.

 

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Commission Highlights

Entrepreneur Month
The Board proclaimed October 2015 as “Entrepreneur Month” in Alachua County, FL
Attachment: Entrepreneur Month 2015.pdf

Fire Prevention Week
The Board proclaimed October 4 - 10, 2015 as “Fire Prevention Week” in Alachua County, FL
Attachment: Fire Prevention Week 2015.pdf

History of Gainesville’s Harris Field
The Board heard the Three Minute History entitled “History of Gainesville’s Harris Field”
Attachment: HISTORY OF GAINESVILLE’S HARRIS FIELD.pdf

Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Program
Concerning the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Program in Alachua County, the Board directed staff to:
Negotiate Third Party Administrators/PACE Vendor qualifications criteria strengthening truth in lending requirements and use State Statute as a baseline for equity and value limitation discussions.
Begin final negotiations with responsive third party administrations/PACE vendors using those criteria, and bring back all relevant documents (including Interlocal Agreement, Resolution, and adjusted property owner documents) for Board approval
Attachment: PACE vendors and programs.pdf
Attachment: Alachua County PACE Critical and Important qualification criteria adjusted.pdf
Attachment: BOCC presentation Sept 22 AGENDA VERSION.pdf
Attachment: BOCC guide.pdf

“Zero Drug Tolerance” Signs
The Board approved the Resolution to request that the Florida Department of Transportation remove “Zero Drug Tolerance” signs and to collocate “Where Nature and Culture Meet” signs with all “Entering Alachua County” signs.
Private Use of County Facilities
The Board adopted the resolution approving the “Private Use of County Facilities” policy authorizing certain County facilities to be utilized as limited public forums for private uses subject to reasonable rules and requirements. They also repealed the policy provision regarding “Use of County Facilities and Staff Support for Non-Profit Corporations” approved February 4, 2014, and any other policy inconsistent with the “Private Use of County Facilities” policy.
Attachment: Reso and Policy Sept 2015.pdf
Attachment: Public Use Policy Memo April 2015.pdf
Attachment: Previous Policy Feb2014.pdf

Alachua County Employee Health and Wellness Center Agreement
The Board approved the Alachua County Employee Health and Wellness Center Agreement with Alachua County Medical Provider, Inc.
Amount: $388,800.00

Tree Planting Presentation
After hearing the Tree Planting Presentation the Board request staff to:
Return with a specific tree planting plan and budget that keeps the regular Tree Planting Program apart from the mitigation budget.
Return with recommendations for the potential use of private property along roadways as a site for tree planting.
Summarize the issue of utility conflicts and landscaping. Outline how the County would approach the utilities to discuss the matter.
Provide recommendations with how rural planting can be done with regard to tree species and update the Board on the Canopy Roadway Program.
Attachment: Planting 2016.pdf

Corizon Health Inc.
The Board approved the first amendment to the agreement between Alachua County and Corizon Health Inc. for arrestees and detainees medical claims.
Amount: $2,250,000.00
Attachment: Corizon 1st Amend Final.pdf
Attachment: Corizon original 2014.pdf

Final Budgets
The Board conducted the second public hearing and adopted the final FY16 millage rates for the General County, MSTU - Unincorporated Services, MSTU - Law Enforcement Funds, MSTU - Fire Protection Services and Alachua County Debt Service funds, and Final Budgets.
Attachment: 6b Resol 15_83 for Final MSTU Fire Services Budget.pdf
Attachment: Expenditure Phase Report.pdf
Attachment: 6a Resol 15_82 for Final MSTU Fire Service Millage.pdf
Attachment: Revenue Phase Report.pdf
Attachment: Legal Ad Budget Summary FY16 to Sun GROUP.pdf
Attachment: 4a Resol 15_78 for Final MSTU Unincorporated Millage.pdf
Attachment: 5b Resol 15_81 for Final MSTU Law Enforc Budget.pdf
Attachment: 5a Resol 15_80 for Final MSTU Law Enforc Millage.pdf
Attachment: 1 Agenda Final Public Hearing Sept 22 2015.pdf
Attachment: 4b Resol 15_79 for Final MSTU Unincorporated Budget.pdf
Attachment: 3b Resol 15_77 for Final General County Budget.pdf
Attachment: 3a Reso 15_76 for Final General County Millage.pdf
Attachment: 8 FY16 Notice of Tax Increase.pdf

Proposed Ballot Language
The Board approved a Chair letter to Alachua County’s nine cities requesting their Commission’s positions on this proposed ballot language:
“Shall Alachua County be authorized to extend the Alachua County Forever Program to acquire and improve environmentally sensitive lands to protect drinking water sources, water quality and wildlife habitat, and to create, improve, and maintain park and recreational facilities in all cities and the County, with citizen oversight and independent audit, by the levy of a one-half percent sales tax for ten years starting January 1, 2017?”
The Board also:
Authorized County staff to attend the September 22 League of Cities meeting on the topic.
Modified the third paragraph to read the County/City of Gainesville/League of Cities Task force.
Campus Development Agreement
The Board held the first public hearing and announced the date of the second public hearing for October 13, 2015, to adopt the updated Campus Development Agreement (CDA) 2015-2025.
Attachment: CDAhearingBoCC.9.22.15.pdf
Attachment: CDA 2015_2025Final_UF_AttySig.pdf
Attachment: CDAhearingBoCC.9.22.15.pptx

Landscape Irrigation Efficiency Code
The Board adopted the Landscape Irrigation Efficiency Code.
Attachment: Irrigation Efficiency Code.pdf

Comprehensive Plan Amendment
The Board conducted the Public Hearing and approved the transmittal of proposed Comprehensive Plan Amendment CPA 03-15 to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity and other agencies for review and comment.
Attachment: CPA 0315 Staff Report.pdf
Attachment: CPA 0315 Staff Presentation.pdf

Court Filing Fees and Costs
The Board adopted the ordinance amending Sections 123.20 and 123.21 of the Alachua County Code relating to Court Filing Fees and Costs.
Attachment: Proposed Ordinance for Court Filing Fees.pdf

Confederate Soldier Statue
The Board directed staff to draft an agreement (with a reverter clause) to donate the Confederate Soldier Statue to the Matheson Museum with the following conditions:
The Matheson Museum agrees to display the statue in its public outdoor space.
The Matheson Museum uses private funds to move, install, maintain, and insure the statue.
The move will only take place after the County Engineer examines and approves the appropriate tools and techniques of the move.

 

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Thank you for your continued interest in County Government!

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