March 14th edition of:

Community Update
A Report on the Activities of Alachua County Government

 

This Issues Features:

Alachua County Take 5- Paws on Parole
Plum Creek Public Hearing Videos Available
ACAS Releases Dogs from Quarantine
County partners with School Board on Tornado Preparedness
Repurposing and Upcycling Lunch and Learn Event
The 2016 Lauren’s Kids “Walk in My Shoes”
Countdown to Elections
Third Interstate 75 Relief Task Force Meeting Available Online
03-15-16 Special Meetings
March Extension Programs
FDOH-Alachua Emphasizes the Importance of Mosquito Protection
Commission Highlights

Alachua County Take 5- Paws on Parole

This edition of Alachua County’s “Take 5” highlights the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office and Alachua County Animal Services “Paws on Parole” program. The 8 week program allows inmates at the Alachua County Jail to train adoptable dogs from the County Animal Shelter. So far Paws on Parole has a 100% adoption rate for canine graduates, and 80% of the trainers do not return to jail after going through the program.

Watch Alachua County Take 5- Paws on Parole.

For more information visit http://acso.us/jail/inmate_programs.html.

Plum Creek Public Hearing Videos Available

On Tuesday, March 1, 2016, the Alachua County Commission decided not to transmit the Envision Alachua Sector Plan/Comprehensive Plan Amendment (CPA-01-14) to the State.

View the March 1, 2016, County Commission Public Hearing (Plum Creek Public Hearing Part 4)

The original Public Hearing (February 16, 2016) was continued three times (February 18, and 25, and March 1, 2016). All of the meetings are available to view on the County’s website.

View the February 25, 2016, County Commission Public Hearing (Plum Creek Public Hearing Part 3)

View the February 18, 2016, County Commission Public Hearing (Plum Creek Public Hearing Part 2)

View the February 16, 2016, County Commission Public Hearing (Plum Creek Public Hearing Part 1)

The meetings are also replayed on Cox Cable Channel 12. Citizens may also view the recording of the meeting on the County’s Video on Demand website. Please view the Channel 12 schedule to see when the meeting will be replayed.

View the meeting agenda and backup.

View the Envision Alachua Sector Plan Application and Staff Report.

For more information or to comment by phone, contact the Alachua County Growth Management Department at 352-374-5249.

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ACAS Releases Dogs from Quarantine

On March 10, 2016,  Alachua County Animals Services (ACAS) released their dog kennels from quarantine.  

On February 24, ACAS placed their dog kennels under quarantine due to six dogs contracting one or both of the following: streptococcus zooepidemicus, commonly called ‘strep zoo’ and canine pneumovirus.  Strep zoo is a bacterial infection that mainly transfers from dog to dog, but can cross species barriers. It can infect other animals and humans. Canine pneumovirus is a virus that is specific to dogs only.

Under the direction of Dr. Cynda Crawford, Maddie’s Clinical Assistant Professor of Shelter Medicine at the University of Florida, Animal Services treated all potentially exposed dogs with antibiotics, maintained all dogs in their individual kennel runs, minimized human contact, and continued rigid disinfecting cleaning protocols.

At the end of the quarantine period, dogs were retested, and the shelter was cleared to re-open. 

ACAS apologizes for any inconvenience, and thanks the community for their cooperation in holding dogs while they  addressed the medical needs of the dog population. 

For more information, contact Alachua County Animal Services Shelter Supervisor Jane Grantman at 352-264-6870.

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County partners with School Board on Tornado Preparedness

By: David A. Donnelly, CEM ® FPEM, CPM

For Alachua County, disaster preparedness is a year-round activity. In preparation for the annual State of Florida Severe Weather Awareness Week (February 22, through February 26, 2016), County Emergency Management partnered with local public schools and amateur radio volunteers to ensure each school had a working weather alert radio on campus. Each radio was inspected and tested by the ham radio operators to ensure functionality and readiness. Any radio found not working was replaced by Emergency Management. This action is part of an on-going effort by Emergency Management and the School Board to ensure our children are safe. The County has provided weather radios to the schools since 1999, and replaces them as the need arises.

Additionally, as part of these readiness efforts, Emergency Management staff was able to observe a tornado drill at Norton Elementary. Principal Kim Neal stated that each day began with a review of that day’s hazard all leading up to the practice on Friday. The drill commenced precisely at 8:15 a.m., and staff and students moved quickly and efficiently to their assigned safe areas. Each member of Principal Neal’s staff knew precisely what to do and carried out their tasks with professionalism. Principal Neal also said they treat emergencies like academics, with proper attention and attitude.

In no small irony, the annual tornado drill typically held on the Wednesday of the week was postponed until Friday due to the real threat of severe thunderstorms and tornados for a good portion of the state. Overall, Emergency Management staff was very impressed with the actions of personnel at Norton and would point to this school as a model for others.

Emergency Management staff encourages all residents and business owners to purchase and utilize a weather alert radio as well as sign up for the County’s rapid emergency notification system, CodeRED, for weather and non-weather alerts.

For more information, visit the Alachua County Emergency Management website, or call 352-264-6500.

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Repurposing and Upcycling Lunch and Learn Event

The Alachua County Office of Sustainability invites citizens to a “Lunch and Learn” about repurposing and upcycling on Wednesday, March 30, 2016, from noon to 1 p.m. The free event is in the Grace Knight Conference Room, on the second floor of the Alachua County Administration Building (12 S.E. 1st Street, downtown Gainesville).

This creative reuse workshop is led by Mike Myers, co-founder of the Repurpose Project. Participants will use familiar household items such as orange juice containers, paper towel tubes, egg cartons, and coffee creamer caps to make functional items for the home.

No special skills are required, and projects can be completed in 30 minutes. The Repurpose Project will supply all of the materials and participants can take home their creations.

The Office of Sustainability offers the Lunch and Learn events as an opportunity for community discussion and empowerment. Participants can park in the City parking garage (105 SW 3rd St, Gainesville) and bring their tickets for validation. Participants are encouraged to bring a brown-bag lunch. Lunch is not provided.

For more information, contact Alachua County Office of Sustainability Program Development Specialist Rachel Wayne at 352-264-6986 or rwayne@alachuacounty.us.

 

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The 2016 Lauren’s Kids “Walk in My Shoes”

Alachua County Community Support Services staff, including Director Claudia Tuck, participated in the 2016 Lauren’s Kids “Walk in My Shoes” awareness walk across the state of Florida.

The walk is 1,500 miles from Key West to Tallahassee, and provides more than 7 million education and awareness materials statewide.

An official 501(c)(3) since 2007, Lauren’s Kids is based in South Florida and educates adults and children about sexual abuse prevention through in-school curricula, awareness campaigns and speaking engagements around the country and the world. The foundation has helped advocate for the passage of nearly two dozen laws to support survivors and protect children from predators. The ultimate goal is to prevent sexual abuse through education and awareness, and to provide guidance and support ot help survivors heal.

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Countdown to Elections

Alachua County Supervisor of Elections Pam Carpenter encourages citizens who plan to vote in the March 15th Presidential Preference Primary and the Gainesville City Election to remember how to make election day go smoothly.

The deadline to have been registered to vote or change political party affiliation for the March 15th Presidential Preference Primary and the Gainesville City Election was February 16, 2016 (29 days before the election).

Florida is a closed Primary state. This means that in a Florida Primary Election, you may vote only for candidates of the political party in which you are registered.

All registered voters living within the Gainesville city limits are eligible to vote in the Mayor race. Only eligible City of Gainesville voters living in Gainesville District 4 may vote in the District 4 race.

Any voter may vote in the precinct of their residence between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. on Election Day, Tuesday, March 15th. It is against the law to vote in a precinct in which you no longer reside. If you have moved, you are required to vote in your new home precinct.

Florida Law requires voters to present current and valid picture and signature ID at the polls, or you must vote a provisional ballot. If you need to locate your precinct, go to www.VoteAlachua.com.

Precinct Change: Precinct 6 has moved to the City of Newberry Municipal Building located at 25420 W. Newberry Road, Newberry, Florida 32669. Voters are encouraged to confirm their polling places by visiting www.VoteAlachua.com.

Precinct Name Change: Precinct 59, formerly known as the Paramount Hotel is now named the Wyndham Garden Gainesville, 2900 SW 13th Street, and Gainesville, Florida 32608.

Except for an active uniformed services voter or a member of his or her family, a voter whose change of address is from outside the county may not change his or her legal residence at the polling place and vote a regular ballot; however, the voter is entitled to vote a provisional ballot. In-county address changes can still be made at the polls.

Voters may check their voter registration status, update their voter information or signature, find their precinct polling place, and view their sample ballot online at www.VoteAlachua.com.

Absentee ballots are available for pick-up at the Alachua County Supervisor of Elections Office for only voters who may have emergencies that will not allow them to go to their polling place to vote on Election Day. An affidavit must be completed.

All absentee ballots must be received in the Alachua County Supervisor of Elections Office by 7 p.m. Election Day, March 15th. Our office address is 515 North Main Street, Suite 300, Gainesville 32601. A 24-hour mail drop box is available outside the Supervisor of Elections Office. Due to a change in new postal delivery standards, it can take up to 5 days for mail delivery. We strongly suggest that you drop your ballot off to our office to ensure that it is received by the deadline.

If you have any questions, please contact the Alachua County Supervisor of Elections Office at 352-374-5252 or visit our website at www.VoteAlachua.com.

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Third Interstate 75 Relief Task Force Meeting Available Online

On Friday, February 26, 2016, the Florida Department of Transportation’s (FDOT) Interstate 75 Relief Task Force held a public meeting at Trinity United Methodist Church in Gainesville.

The meeting is available to view online. It is also available on Cox Cable Channel 12. View the Channel 12 schedule to see when the meeting will be replayed.

In the meeting, the preliminary identification of areas for avoidance and minimization were discussed, as well as the purpose and need for enhanced or new transportation corridors in the study area, the approach for evaluating enhanced or new corridors, and plans for upcoming community workshops in late March 2016.

The purpose of the Task Force is to provide consensus recommendations on maximizing existing and developing new high-capacity transportation corridors to serve the Tampa Bay-Northeast Florida study area with initial emphasis on the region west of Interstate 75.

Citizens can find out more information by visiting the I-75 Relief website.

Those wanting to communicate their viewpoints should contact the Alachua County Commission representative on the Task Force, Commissioner Charles S. Chestnut IV, at 352-264-6900 or cschestnut@alachuacounty.us. The entire County Commission can be reached at bocc@alachuacounty.us.

For more information or to submit comments to I-75 Relief, contact FDOT Project Manager Huawei Shen at 850-414-4911 or Huiwei.Shen@dot.state.fl.us.

Media inquiries should be directed to FDOT Communications Director Dick Kane at 850-414-4590 or Dick.Kane@dot.state.fl.us.

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03-15-16 Special Meetings

The Alachua County Commission will conduct three Special Meetings on Tuesday, March 15, 2016. The meetings begin at 10 a.m., 1:30 p.m., and 5 p.m. The 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. meetings are in the Grace Knight Conference Room. The 5 p.m. meeting is in the Jack Durrance Auditorium. Both meeting rooms are 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. FY2017 Community Agency Partnership Program (CAPP) discussion

View agenda and backup.

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

1. I-75 Relief Task Force update
2. Waldo Road Job Center proposal

View agenda and backup.

The 5 p.m. meeting agenda includes:

1. Public Works tree planting outline
2. County initiated ULDC amendments

View agenda and backup.

The public is invited to attend the meetings. They will be available to view live on Cox Channel 12 or the County’s Video on Demand website.

Free parking is available for citizens attending these meetings. Please park in the S.W. Parking Garage (220 S.E. 2nd Ave, Gainesville) and bring your parking stub to the Alachua County Manager’s Office, located on the 2nd floor of the County Administration Building, to receive a chaser validation ticket.

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

 

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March Extension Programs

Environmental Horticulture Programs

The UF/IFAS Extension Alachua County Office is pleased to announce the following Environmental Horticulture Programs for March, 2016. These programs are being offered by Denise DeBusk, Environmental & Community Horticulture Agent at the UF/IFAS Extension Alachua County Office (2800 N.E. 39 Avenue, Gainesville) unless otherwise indicated.

Fruit Trees for Your Landscape – March 17, from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Learn to grow persimmons, peaches, pomegranates, figs, grapes, and many more interesting fruit in North Central Florida. Learn the techniques for success in this class.

Turf Boot Camp – Grow a Florida-Friendly Lawn – March 22, from 6 to 7 p.m.

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

Grow Great Tomatoes – March 31, from 6 to 7 p.m.

This class will cover growing tomatoes in the garden and containers. Basics of how to grow tomatoes in Florida’s challenging environment, including managing pests, diseases, and disorders will be covered.

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

Family and Consumer Sciences Program

The UF/IFAS Extension Alachua County Office is pleased to announce the following Family and Consumer Sciences Program for March, 2016. This program is being offered by Brenda C. Williams, Family and Consumer Sciences Agent, at the UF/IFAS Extension Alachua County Office (2800 N.E. 39 Avenue, Gainesville).

Food Safety and Quality Program (ServSafe®) – March 29, 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 call toll-free at 1-888-232-8723 or visit the program registration page.

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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FDOH-Alachua Emphasizes the Importance of Mosquito Protection

The Florida Department of Health in Alachua County (FDOH-Alachua) asks residents to ensure that swimming pools, neglected during winter months, are not breeding mosquitos.

FDOH-Alachua would also like to remind citizens and visitors of the importance of protection with the following tips:

“Mosquitoes will bite, day and night, so it is important to protect yourself,” said Anthony Dennis, Environmental Health Director, Florida Department of Health in Alachua County.

FDOH-Alachua and local mosquito control continue surveillance and prevention efforts throughout the county.

Report mosquito problems to your 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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Commission Highlights

Social Work Month
The Board proclaimed March 2016 as “Social Work Month” in Alachua County, FL
Attachment: 
Social Work Month 2016.pdf

Concerted Awareness of Citizens Needs in Phifer Flatwoods
The Board recognized Environmental Protection and Facilities Staff for their “Concerted Awareness of Citizens Needs in Phifer Flatwoods” grant application and their receipt of a Florida Recreational Development Assistance Program grant.
Amount: ($42,000.00)
Attachment: 
Phifer FRDAP Check.pdf

Youth Dialogue Program
The Board heard a presentation by Sheriff Sadie Darnell on the Mentoring and Youth Dialogue Program at the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office.

Rules of Procedure
The Board adopted aw Resolution revising the Board’s Rules of Procedure.
Attachment: 
BoCC Rules Proposed 2016.pdf
Attachment: 
Resolution 2016 Rules of Procedure.pdf
Attachment: 
Rules2013January.pdf

Rosewood Scholarship Banquet
The Board approved the request for financial support for the Rosewood Scholarship Banquet.
Amount: $5,000.00
Attachment: 
Certificate of Exemption.pdf
Attachment: 
15 01 Financial Support of Special Event or Program 100915.pdf
Attachment: 
Rosewood Scholarship Application.pdf
Attachment: 
The Real Rosewood Foundation, Inc. Letter.pdf

Quarterly Hiring Activity Report
The Board accepted the Quarterly Hiring Activity Report for the 1st quarter of FY 2016.
Attachment: 
BOCC Quarterly Report FY16 QTR1 Pkg.pdf
Attachment: 
FY16 1st Qtr Hiring Report Targeted Positions.pdf
Attachment: 
FY16 1st Qtr Report Targeted Positions Filled Advertising Efforts.pdf

Invocation Policy
The Board approved the Invocation Policy, as follows: Religious leaders with an established presence in Alachua County may offer an invocation before the beginning of an Alachua County Commission meeting.  If you are interested, please contact the County Manager’s Office at 352-264-5204.
Attachment: 
16 10 Invocation Policy 020816.pdf
Attachment: 
Resolution Invocation Policy.pdf

Local Minimum Wage Ordinance
Concerning the Local Minimum Wage Ordinance, the Board postponed final action on the measure to April 12, 2016.
Attachment: View the video of the discussion (click on item 18 under the view screen)
Attachment:
See the Gainesville Sun article
Attachment: 
Alachua County Wage Resolution.pdf

Code Chapter 72: Animals
The Board adopted the ordinance amending Alachua County Code Chapter 72: Animals.
Attachment: 
Chapter 72 Amendment.pdf

Code, Chapter 24.16 Exhibit A, Penalties for Ordinance Violation
The Board adopted the animal control ordinance amending Alachua County Code, Chapter 24.16 Exhibit A, Penalties for Ordinance Violation.
Attachment: 
Chapter 24 Amendment.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.