December 15th edition of:

Community Update
A Report on the Activities of Alachua County Government

 

This Issues Features:

Cox Communications and Alachua County Donate to SWAG Centers
Trashformations 17th Annual Recycled Art Competition Winners
Interstate 75 Nighttime Northbound and Southbound Lane Closures and Detour
County Crisis Center on Alachua County Talks
“Saving My Alachua” Environmental Art Contest
Holiday Lights Collection and Recycling
Annual Foster Grandparent Program Luncheon
City of Gainesville Election Information
John Moran’s Alachua County Photo in FAC Calendar
Commission Highlights

Cox Communications and Alachua County Donate to SWAG Centers

The Alachua County Commission highlighted and acknowledge Cox Communications at their December 8, Regular Commission Meeting.

To help in the effort to close the “digital divide,” Cox Communications has partnered with the County, the Southwest Advocacy Group (SWAG), the Partnership for Strong Families, and the Florida Department of Health. Cox Communications worked with the Alachua County Information and Telecommunications Services (ITS) Department to provide Internet access to citizens visiting both the SWAG Family Resource Center and the SW Health Clinic. The County’s ITS Department installed the necessary hardware and Cox Communications has donated the Internet access. 

Also at this meeting, Cox Communications presented a $5,000 donation to the Partnership for Strong Families to provide laptops and tablets for use in the SWAG Family Resource Center’s After-School Enrichment Program and Adult Training classes. 

In speaking of the Cox Communications donations, County Manager Lee A. Niblock said, “Access to the Internet for all citizens is one of the great challenges of our time. Addressing the digital divide will take partnerships between governments, non-profit’s, and Internet providers. We are very appreciative of Cox Communications’ efforts in this great project.”

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

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Trashformations 17th Annual Recycled Art Competition Winners

The Alachua County Board of County Commissioners, the Office of Waste Alternatives, and the Florida Museum of Natural History hosted the 17th annual Trashformations Recycled Art Show and Competition. The competition was on November 20, at the Florida Museum of Natural History.

Trashformations is a judged student art show and competition which helps expand recycling awareness and involvement. All artwork entered in the contest must be comprised of 70% or more recycled/recyclable/reused materials. Cash prizes were awarded for winning entries in middle school, high school and college level categories.

For more information, contact the Alachua County Office of Waste Alternatives at 352-374-5245.

 

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Interstate 75 Nighttime Northbound and Southbound Lane Closures and Detour

Travelers on Interstate 75 will experience nighttime northbound and southbound double lane closures from 9:30 p.m., Sunday, December 20 to midnight, Monday, December 21, 2015, just south of the Archer Road (Exit 384).

DETOUR: Beginning Monday, December 21, from midnight through 4 a.m., drivers traveling north on Interstate 75 will be detoured to Archer Road (Exit 384), then to S.W. 34th Street (State Road 121), then to Newberry Road (State Road 26), and finally to Interstate 75 North.

The Archer Road Interstate 75 northbound on-ramp will be closed. Drivers will be detoured to Tower Road, then to Newberry Road (State Road 26), and finally to Interstate 75 North.

The detour is needed to move construction equipment across the Interstate 75 northbound lane and position it in the median.

For more information, contact Karen Harrell with Quest Corporation of America at 800-927-0062 or info@CelebrationPointBridge.com.

 

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County Crisis Center on Alachua County Talks

A new edition of Alachua County Talks, featuring an interview with Alachua County Crisis Center Director Alexandra Martinez is available. Martinez discusses the services provided by the crisis center, as well as the center’s history, its mission and the challenges faced in providing 24 hour-a-day phone crisis and suicide intervention counseling.

In speaking of the program Alachua County Talks host Mark Sexton said, “The Alachua County Crisis Center is an example of the County’s commitment to the wellbeing of citizens. Through the center, citizens can receive potentially lifesaving counseling either over the phone or in person. Those who are having difficulty coping with crisis situations, the loss of a loved one or other traumatic events are encouraged to seek out the center’s services.”

View the Interview Online.

For more information, visit the Alachua County Crisis Center or call the Alachua County Crisis Line at 352-264-6789.

View the complete Channel 12 Schedule.

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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“Saving My Alachua” Environmental Art Contest

The Alachua County Environment Protection Department invites K-12 grade students to participate in the County’s third annual “Saving My Alachua” Environmental Art Contest. The contest is open to all students in Alachua County, including homeschoolers, and encourages students to create artwork depicting their passion for the environment. The artwork should address one of the following topics: water conservation, stormwater pollution, natural habitat protection, wilderness and wildlife protection, or proper disposal of toxic waste.

Submissions must be no larger than 8 ½” x 11” in size, and must be presented horizontally (landscape). The deadline for submissions is Friday, February 5, 2016.

Ribbons will be awarded for first, second, and third place in each grade for K-8. Ribbons will be awarded  for first, second, and third place in the High School category (regardless of grade). Selected winners will be featured in the “2017 Saving My Alachua Calendar.” All winning artwork will be displayed in the County Administration Building during the month of April, 2016.

“We saw a huge rise in submissions between the first and second year of the contest, and would love to reach a new record this year,” said Alachua County Environmental Protection Department Senior Planner Eliana Bardi.

The 2016 “Saving My Alachua” Calendar features winning artwork along with tips on protecting the environment. Copies are available for pick up at the office of the Alachua County Environmental Protection Department (408 W. University Ave, Suite 106, Gainesville), Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., while supplies last. 

View/download the contest flier and entry form (PDF).

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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Holiday Lights Collection and Recycling

150 million strings of holiday lights are purchased each year, and many of them eventually end up in a landfill. Residents can now recycle unwanted or broken strings of holiday lights free of charge at the five Alachua County Rural Collection Centers, the Leveda Brown Environmental Park, and Alachua County Public Works.

String lights, broken or unwanted cables, and cords should be brought to the following collections points:

The Rural Collection Centers- Monday, Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday, from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Alachua/High Springs (16929 N.W. US Hwy 441)
Archer (19401 S.W. Archer Road)
Fairbanks (9920 N.E. Waldo Road)
North Central (10714 N. SR 121)
Phifer (11700 S.E. Hawthorne Road)

Leveda Brown Environmental Park- Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. (5115 N.E. 63rd Ave.)

Alachua County Public Works- Monday through Thursday, from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (5620 N.W. 120th Lane)

For more information, contact the Alachua County Office of Waste Alternatives at 352-374-5213.

 

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Annual Foster Grandparent Program Luncheon

The Alachua County Foster Grandparent Program (FGP) recognized its volunteers at their annual luncheon on Friday, December 11, 2015.

FGP was established in Alachua County in 1973, and is celebrating 42 years of service in Alachua County. FGP is funded in part by the Corporation for National and Community Service and the Alachua County Board of County Commissioners. Income eligible seniors volunteer and serve throughout Alachua County in child care centers, public schools, and after school programs.

In exchange for their service, the volunteers receive a tax-free stipend of $2.65 per hour, meals, assistance with transportation, and supplemental insurance.

The program is accepting applications for new volunteers. Applicants must be Alachua County residents 55 or over who meet income requirements.

For more information, contact the Foster Grandparent Program Office at 352-264-6731.

 

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City of Gainesville Election Information

City of Gainesville Election
March 15, 2016

Candidate Qualifying for City of Gainesville Election
Noon, Dec. 14th – Noon, December 18, 2015

Voter Registration Deadline
Monday, February 16, 2016

Offices Up For Election
Gainesville Mayor
Gainesville City Commission District 4

Candidate qualifying for the City of Gainesville March 15, 2016 Election will begin Noon, December 14, and end noon, December 18, 2015.  The offices up for election are Gainesville Mayor and Gainesville City Commission District 4 seats.

Voters are reminded that the City of Gainesville Election is held on the same day in conjunction with the Presidential Preference Primary Election.

City of Gainesville Offices Up for Election

Gainesville Mayor
Term of Office – 3 Years
Qualifying Fee - $417.82 (Undue Burden available)

The Mayor is elected by the electors of the City of Gainesville to serve a 3-year term. Each candidate for Mayor must be a qualified voter who is a resident of the City for a period of not less than 6 months prior to the date the person qualifies to run for office. The person elected as Mayor shall continuously reside in the City during the term of office. A person seeking to qualify to run for Mayor in the City’s 2016 election must have been a qualified voter of the city since no later than noon on June 18, 2015.

Gainesville City Commission – Districts 4
Term of Office – 3 years
Qualifying Fee - $328.28 (Undue Burden available)

If you are running for the District 4 Seat, you will be elected by the electors of District 4. You will be elected to serve a 3-year term. Each candidate for a District seat must be a qualified voter who is a resident of the District from which they seek to be elected for a period of not less than 6 months prior to the date they qualify to run for office. The person elected Commissioner shall continuously reside in that same City District during the term of office. A person seeking to qualify for a district seat in the City’s 2016 election must be a qualified voter who has been a resident of the district from which the person seeks to be elected since no later than noon on June 18, 2015.

The current list of candidates seeking election may be found on the Supervisor of Elections’ website at VoteAlachua.com.

Anyone interested in qualifying or needing further information, please visit our website at VoteAlachua.com or call the Alachua County Supervisor of Elections Office at 352-374-5252.

 

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John Moran’s Alachua County Photo in FAC Calendar

This year’s Florida Association of Counties (FAC) calendar theme is Awesome Weather. Following the selection of a theme, Florida’s 67 counties were asked to submit their best photos of the awesome weather in their county. More than 400 photos were submitted.  From the submissions, fifteen were selected for the 2016 calendar.

“Florida is a diverse state and every year almost 100 million people from around the world travel to our great state to fish, hike, dive, explore our rich history, or just relax on the beach. So many of these activities are fueled by Florida’s amazing weather.” said Florida Association of Counties President and Broward County Commissioner Barbara Sharief, “We received so many photo submissions it was hard to pick only 15. I only regret that there are not 67 months in a year!”

Alachua County was chosen for the month of September.  When the contest was announced, the County’s Communications and Legislative Affairs Director Mark Sexton approached renowned local nature photographer John Moran to request a submission. Moran graciously agreed and gave the County permission to submit his Veins of Fire photograph, which shows a spectacular night lightning strike over Newnan’s Lake.

“I knew the picture I had to enter,” Moran said, “I shot it on a totally clear night with the stars shining overhead, but it was like electrical Armageddon on the horizon. What a show!”

The 2016 FAC Calendar is for sale on the FAC website.

Founded in 1929, the Florida Association of Counties is a non-profit association representing the diverse interests of Florida’s 67 counties. The Florida Association of Counties helps counties effectively serve and represent Floridians by strengthening and preserving county home rule through advocacy, education and collaboration.

For more information contact FAC’s Cragin Mosteller at 850-294-9307 or Alachua County Communications and Legislative Affairs Director Mark Sexton at 352-283-2317.

 

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Commission Highlights

515 North Main Street
The Board approved the purchase of the property located at 515 North Main Street (Supervisor of Elections and Property Appraisers building).
Amount: $5,750,000.00. They also:
Authorized the Chair to execute the Second Amendment to the Lease Agreement and the Purchase and Sale Agreement
Approved of the additional work totaling $18,027.00 outside of the original scope request by the Supervisor of Elections;
Directed staff to bring back a six-month report of the building actual operational costs prior to FY2017 Budget process.
North Central Florida Regional Planning Council
The Board heard a presentation on proposed amendments to the North Central Florida Regional Planning Council Inter-local Agreement by Scott Koons, Executive Director and authorized the Chair to sign the Resolution and Agreement upon County Attorney approval.
Attachment: Alachua County interlocal agreement res.pdf
Attachment: Alachua Co.pdf
Attachment: Ammended Interlocal Agrrement creating the NCFRPC.pdf
Attachment: Interlocal Agreement NCFRPC.pdf
Attachment: NCFRPC_IL_9_24_15.pdf

Public Defender’s Building Project Status Update
The Board heard the new Public Defender’s Building Project Status Update Presentation and approved and executed the Amended CM “At Risk” Agreement and approved and executed the GMP Amendment to the Agreement between the Owner and Construction Manager.
Amount: $4,472,653.00
Attachment: PD_ATTACHMENT_1_CM_CONTRACT.pdf
Attachment: PD Attachment 2 1st Ammend & GMP Ammend.pdf
Attachment: PD_ATTACHMENT_4_PRESENTATION.pdf
Attachment: Attachment 3 Exhibit K.pdf

Property Assessed Clean Energy Program
The Board approved and authorized the Chair to sign the Third Party Administered Interlocal Agreements, Resolution and other supporting documents to enact a Property Assessed Clean Energy program in Alachua County for residential and commercial properties. They also accepted the finalized PACE Vendor Qualification Criteria, Rights and Responsibilities, and Truth in Lending Documents and directed staff to begin outreach and public education after vendors provide training and orientation of their programs. 

Economic Development Advisory Committee
The Board heard the annual the Economic Development Advisory Committee (EDAC) 2015-2016 Workplan/Accomplishments report presentation, presented by Mr. Matt Webster, chair of EDAC.
Attachment: EDAC 2015_16 Workplan Draft.pdf

Sheriff Sadie Darnell
The Board heard a presentation by Sheriff Sadie Darnell’s staff on crime prevention and holiday safety.

Boards and Committees
The Board ratified appointments of County Commissioners to Boards and Committees for 2016 as approved by the County Commission Chair.
Attachment: Boards and Committees list 2016.pdf

Comprehensive Plan
The Board directed staff to prepare draft amendments to the Comprehensive Plan for authorization to advertise public hearings to:
Delineate the Melrose Rural Cluster boundary on the Future Land Use Map, and
Amend Policy 6.4.1 to eliminate the general allowance for lots as small as one-half acre on central water for new residential development in Rural Clusters. 
Attachment: Staff Report Melrose Dec 8 2015.pdf
Attachment: Staff Presentation Melrose Dec 8 2015.pdf

Transportation Alternatives Program
The Board approved the Priority Project List for the Transportation Alternatives Program as presented by staff and direct staff to communicate with FDOT regarding the potential for shade tree landscaping along this project either by FDOT alone or jointly with Alachua County.
Attachment: FDOTTAPPrioritiesPP2022.pdf
Attachment: FDOT_TAP_FY22.pdf
Attachment: TAP_APP_FY22_NewberryRoad.pdf
Attachment: FDOTTAPPrioritiesPP2022.pptx
Attachment: TAP2022_NewberrySidewalks.pdf

Coalition for the Homeless and Hungry
The Board approved a Chair letter to the Coalition for the Homeless and Hungry, concerning the Empowerment Center, to address the living wage in the upcoming budget proposal and to offer resources in regard to their liability insurance.

NW 16th Avenue Project Change Order
Concerning the  NW 16th Avenue Project Change Order and Typical Section. The Board approved:
Increasing CR 172 contract price by up to $350,000 for quantity overruns to close out contract with Anderson Columbia, Inc.
Re-striping NW 23rd Ave from NW 55th St to NW 43rd St with 11 ft lanes and a 2 ft bike lane buffer where sufficient pavement exists.
Amount: $350,000.00
Attachment: Presentation.pdf

Alachua County Code (Section 21.09)
The Board approved the ordinance amending Section 21.09 of the Alachua County Code relating to bond requirements for County officers and authorized the Chair to sign.
Attachment: BondOrd.pdf

Alachua County Code (Section 23)
The Board approved the ordinance amending Section 23 of the Alachua County Code relating to personnel and deferred compensation and authorized the Chair to sign.
Attachment: DefCompOrd.pdf

Unified Land Development Code
Concerning the Public Hearing on Amendments to the Unified Land Development Code, the Board:
Convened as the Land Development Regulation Commission and found the proposed amendments consistent with the Alachua County Comprehensive Plan as provided in the staff report
Adopted the ordinance amending the Unified Land Development Code.
Attachment: Ordinance for ULDC Dec 8 2015.pdf
Attachment: Staff Report Rural Clusters ULDC.pdf
Attachment: Presentation Rural Clusters ULDC Dec82015.pdf

Rural Cluster Policies
Concerning the Public Hearing on Comprehensive Plan Amendment to Rural Cluster Policies (CPA 03-15), the Board conducted the public hearing and adopt the ordinance for Comprehensive Plan Amendment CPA 03-15 with the bases identified in the staff report.
Attachment: Staff Report CPA 0315.pdf
Attachment: Staff Presentation CPA 0315.pdf
Attachment: Ordinance for CPA 0315.pdf

Special Exception Major Amendment
Concerning ZOX-05-15: Special Exception Major Amendment to Allow Vehicle Sales and Service, the Board approved Resolution Z-15-16, approving ZOX-05-15, a special exception major amendment for vehicle sales and service.
Attachment: ZOX0515 PowerPoint.pdf
Attachment: Application.pdf
Attachment: ZOX0515 PowerPoint.pptx
Attachment: Resolution for ZOX0515.pdf
Attachment: ZOX0515 Staff Report.pdf

Non-residential Planned Development
The Board approved ZOM-07-15: A Request for a Non-residential PD (Planned Development) District on Approximately 43 Acres and adopted Resolution Z-15-17 approving the requested PD district
Attachment: Oak Hall School Zoning Master Plan.pdf
Attachment: ZOM0715 Staff Report.pdf
Attachment: Public Comments.pdf
Attachment: ZOM0715 Powerpoint Presentation.pdf
Attachment: Oak Hall Background Materials.pdf
Attachment: ZOM0715.pptx
Attachment: Resolution for ZOM0715.pdf

 

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