May 16th edition of:

Community Update
A Report on the Activities of Alachua County Government

 

This Issues Features:

New Irrigation Efficiency Code in Effect
Alachua County Participates in Chamber Marketing Trip
Alachua County Business Forum
Foster Grandparent Program 2016 Rock-a-thon
Election Workers Needed to Work the 2016 Elections
Beautification Board Award
Free FEMA Flood Protection Information Booklets Available to the Public
05-17-16 Special Meetings
05-17-16 Joint Alachua County/City of Hawthorne Special Meeting
More than 170 Paid STEM Internship Positions Available through STEM Ready
May Extension Program
Lion Statues
Commission Highlights

New Irrigation Efficiency Code in Effect

Alachua County has implemented a new Landscape Irrigation Design and Maintenance Code. These new requirements will ensure that all new landscape irrigation systems are efficient.

The new code requires that all new landscape irrigation systems installed in unincorporated Alachua County after April 1, 2016, must receive County approval. This includes an application fee and an irrigation drawing. All systems will then go through an inspection process.

Visit the Alachua County Environmental Protection Department’s Irrigation Restrictions website to learn more about the Code, and access the Irrigation Professional Portal (to submit documents and pay fees online). Homeowners installing their own systems must also comply with the Code, and are encouraged to call Alachua County Water Resources staff at 352-264-6800 for assistance.

The inspection fee is waived for irrigation professionals who are qualified to self-inspect through the State Irrigation License or Florida Water Star (FWS) Accredited Professional status.  A free FWS Accredited Professional training will be held on May 18, with testing on May 19, and May 25. To register for the training, contact Florida Nursery, Growers, and Landscape Association’s Merry Mott at mmott@fngla.org.

“The majority of residential water use occurs in the landscape,” said Alachua County Environmental Protection Department Water Conservation Coordinator Stacie Greco. She continued, “While the best way to conserve water outdoors is to eliminate irrigation, if new irrigation is going to be installed, it must follow the new design standards to ensure that the system is as efficient as possible.”

For more information, contact Stacie Greco at 352-264-6829 or sgreco@alachuacounty.us.

Alachua County Participates in Chamber Marketing Trip

Alachua County participated in the Gainesville Delegation that traveled to Silicon Valley from April 24-27 2016. The Gainesville Area Chamber organized this business outreach mission to promote opportunities available in the Alachua County region.

During the marketing delegation trip to Silicon Valley, fourteen representatives from the Gainesville Area Chamber, Alachua County, University of Florida, Santa Fe College and businesses shared with Silicon Valley businesses the story of how our region is transforming as a location of choice for business growth.

While in Silicon Valley, the Delegation made visits ranging from large, publicly traded corporations to mid-size private businesses. Delegates also had the opportunity to visit with investors and venture capitalists, and also participated in visits to identify best practices that could assist Alachua County to continue and accelerate its business growth.

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Alachua County Business Forum

Alachua County and the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce invite citizens to attend the Alachua County Business Forum on Thursday, May 19, 2016. The Forum is from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., at the Freedom Community Center at Veterans Memorial Park (7340 S.W. 41st Place, on the corner of Tower Road and 41st Place).

This forum is a public-private partnership between the Alachua County Board of County Commissioners and the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce. Updates will be presented on economic development initiatives that improve the climate for starting and growing businesses in the County. There will be a panel discussion on economic diversification in Alachua County. The County and the Chamber of Commerce will solicit feedback from citizens on the current initiatives, and are seeking ideas on how to promote economic diversification.

View Business Forum Agenda.

View Business and Economic Growth Action Plan.

View Business and Economic Growth Action Plan Implementation Matrix.

Those wanting to provide input can download and print a public comment form.

Citizens can also comment by posting on Facebook and Twitter, using #alachuacountybiz.

For more information, contact Alachua County Economic Development Coordinator Edgar Campa-Palafox at 352-374-5204 or epalafox@alachuacounty.us, or Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce Vice President for Public Policy Kamal I. Latham at 352-378-2498 or Kamal@GainesvilleChamber.com.

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Foster Grandparent Program 2016 Rock-a-thon

The Alachua County Foster Grandparent Program (FGP) Advisory Council held its 20th annual Rock-a-thon, on Friday, May 6.  The event took place on the front porch of the Cracker Barrel restaurant.

FGP members and local celebrities will kept rocking chairs in motion to raise money and public awareness of the program.

The annual Rock-a-thon is a fundraising event. Donations are made on behalf of the rockers with all proceeds going to FGP to support training and recognition events.

The FGP provides volunteer opportunities for seniors 55 years of age and older to work one-on-one with children, especially in Head Start classes, elementary schools, and after school programs throughout  Alachua County.

Click to visit the Foster Grandparent Program website.

For more information, contact the Foster Grandparent Program at 352-264-6757 or 352-264-6751.

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Election Workers Needed to Work the 2016 Elections

As we prepare for the 2016 fall elections, Alachua County Supervisor of Elections Pam Carpenter invites registered voters to be a part of the excitement of a Presidential Election year. The Primary Election will be held August 30, 2016 and the General Election will be held November 8, 2016. Election workers are needed for both of these dates and for future elections.

Poll Workers are the guardians of democracy. These are paid positions and training is required. If you are registered to vote, able to speak, read and write the English language; have transportation to the polling place and Poll Worker training; are not a candidate whose name appears on the ballot; and can work at the polling place from 6:00 AM until after the polls close, then we need you!

The duties and responsibilities of a Poll Worker include issuing the correct ballot; conducting the election in accordance with the law; providing assistance to voters as needed; and setting up and packing all voting booths, signs, and supplies on Election Day.

Phone Bank Operators are also needed and are a vital component to successful elections. The duties of a Phone Bank Operator are to assist Poll Workers at the precincts by looking up voters’ registration status using computer records. Operators must be computer-literate, comfortable working with informational databases, and working in a high capacity call load. These are paid positions and training is required.

The Supervisor of Elections is also looking for volunteers to staff our outreach events and voter registration drives at festivals and community events.  You will need to be trained on how to properly register citizens to vote and how to assist them with questions they may have.  If you have a few hours to spare during the week or on the weekends, we can use your help in assisting the citizens of Alachua County!

If you are interested in serving as an Election Worker, you may fill in the Poll Worker Application on our website at www.VoteAlachua.com or call the Supervisor of Elections Office at 352-374-5252 for more information.

Be part of our team as we prepare to be election ready!

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Beautification Board Award

The entrance to the Cynthia Moore Chestnut Park and Clark Butler Nature Preserve received a City of Gainesville Beautification Board award.  The park was chosen because of its use of Florida-Friendly Landscaping designed, planted and maintained by the Alachua County Master Gardeners.

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Free FEMA Flood Protection Information Booklets Available to the Public

The Alachua County Public Works Department, in partnership with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the National Flood Insurance Program, is offering free FEMA Flood Protection Information booklets to the public at participating Alachua County libraries.

The booklets are available on the second floor of the Alachua County Library Headquarters (401 East University Avenue, Gainesville), and in the main lobbies of the Millhopper Branch (3145 N.W. 43rd Street, Gainesville), and the Tower Road Branch (3020 S.W. 75th Street, Gainesville).

This information is free to the public and includes the following booklets:

  1. Above the Flood-Elevating Your Flood-Prone House
  2. Answers to Questions About the National Flood Insurance Program
  3. Elevated Residential Structures
  4. Protecting Manufactured Homes from Flood and Other Hazards
  5. Protecting Building Utilities from Flood Damage
  6. Protecting Floodplain Resources 
  7. Reducing Damage From Localized Flooding

These publications are also available in the main lobby of the Alachua County Public Works Department (5620 N.W. 120th Lane, Gainesville). Hard copies of FEMA maps are available at the Alachua County Public Works Department and the Alachua County Library Headquarters for review only.

For more information, contact Alachua County Development Review Engineer Lalit Lalwani at 352-374-5245 or llalwani@alachuacounty.us.

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05-17-16 Special Meetings

The Alachua County Commission will conduct two Special Meetings on Tuesday, May 17, 2016. The meetings begin at 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., in the Jack Durrance Auditorium (room 209), 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. Judiciary Budget Presentation

2. Clerk of Court Budget Presentation

3. Tax Collector Budget Presentation

4. Property Appraiser Budget Presentation.

5. Supervisor of Elections Budget Presentation.

6. Sheriff Budget Presentation

View agenda and backup.

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

1. Tourist Development Marketing Program for Arts and Cultural Entities

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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05-17-16 Joint Alachua County/City of Hawthorne Special Meeting

The Alachua County Commission will conduct a Joint Alachua Count/City of Hawthorne Special Meeting on Tuesday, May 17, 2016. The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. at the Hawthorne City Hall Auditorium (6700 S.E. 221th Street, Hawthorne).

The meeting agenda includes:

1. Roads

2. Wild Spaces Public Places

3. Storm Water Ordinance

4. Debris Management Interlocal Agreement

View the meeting agenda and backup.

The public is invited to attend the meeting. It will not be available to view live on Cox Channel 12 or the County’s Video on Demand website.

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

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More than 170 Paid STEM Internship Positions Available through STEM Ready

Area companies are expanding their hiring thanks to CareerSource North Central Florida’s latest offering, STEM Ready. CareerSource NCFL is reporting that, as of Wednesday, May 4, more than 170 open paid STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics-based) internships are available with more than 40 participating businesses in Alachua and Bradford counties.

The positions span across STEM Ready’s four core industries: software & information technology, biotechnology, engineering & mathematics, and healthcare & health science positions. The program helps companies in any field, regardless of whether or not it is a tech company, fill STEM-related positions. Sample positions include nursing, accounting, or software development.

Paracosm, a Gainesville-grown 3D mapping software company, has listed several STEM Ready positions for front-end web developers, software engineers, and programmers to create augmented reality experiences with its technology.

“The STEM Ready program allows our company to grow and gives us a chance to help local job seekers strengthen their skills and experience,” said Julie Matheney, head of marketing at Paracosm. “CareerSource North Central Florida covers wages for those we bring on through STEM Ready for up to twelve weeks - giving us plenty of time to get people trained and evaluate whether or not they’d be a good fit - without any risk.”

Positions in other fields include an engineering role as a “Geospatial Analyst” with Altavian, the Gainesville-based unmanned aerial data systems company, and a research & development director role with Surf Plasma, Inc., a local plasma-based sanitizer developer. The Gainesville-based company was a 2015 Cade Museum Cade Prize Sweet 16 finalist.

“Our goal as a board of directors is to guarantee our workforce system is staying ahead of the rapidly growing demand for workers with science, technology, engineering, and math skills in nearly every sector,” said CareerSource North Central Florida Board Chair Don Davis, president of Capital City Bank. “The strong response from our business community shows our programs and policies are touching on a critical need in the market.”

“We are pleased to see our business community, particularly our thriving startup community, respond so well to STEM Ready,” said CareerSource North Central Florida Executive Director Anne Favre. “As our team begins working with businesses to place interns, we’re looking forward to more and more individuals gaining the training and work experience they need to thrive in high wage, high growth STEM fields.”

STEM Ready is a U.S. Department of Labor grant-funded program that provides training, paid internships and job placement assistance in STEM careers for individuals who are long-term underemployed or unemployed. CareerSource NCFL staffing specialists then work with businesses to identify individuals who could be a good fit for open positions. The program is provided at no cost to the employer or workers.

Employers provide real-world experience for up to 12 weeks of paid internship where participants earn valuable skills in a STEM occupation. Wages are set by employers and paid directly by CareerSource NCFL through the grant during the twelve weeks. After twelve weeks, employers may hire the intern. If an employer doesn’t hire the intern, staffing specialists at CareerSource NCFL will use the skills and training obtained through the internship to help find them employment with another area business.

Applications are taken on a rolling basis and are available online for businesses and workers at www.careersourcencfl.com/stemready.

Worker applicants with questions can contact Kim Brown, CareerSource NCFL staffing specialist, at kbrown@careersourcencfl.com or (352) 244-5117 to make an appointment.

Employers with questions should contact Raydel Cornelio, Business Services Manager, at rcornelio@fmsworks.com

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May Extension Program

Environmental & Community Horticulture Programs

This program is being offered by Denise DeBusk, Environmental & Community Horticulture Agent, at the UF/IFAS Extension Alachua County Office (2800 NE 39 Avenue, Gainesville).

Maintaining your Citrus Tree - May 26, from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.

This program teaches how to maintain oranges, tangerines, lemons, and grapefruit trees in backyards. Also covers variety selection, fertilization, freeze protection, and pest control.

There is no cost to attend this class, but space is limited. Pre-register at least three days before class by calling 352-337-6209 (voice mail).

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

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Lion Statues

For over 75 years, copper lions sat atop the east and west entrances of Alachua County’s second courthouse, which was the center of county government from 1886 until it was razed in 1961. Rescued and preserved by Alachua County Public Works employees, following professional restoration one lion will be placed on display here in the County Administration Building for the public’s enjoyment this week.

The restoration and downtown display request was introduced by the Alachua County Historical Commission, an advisory board with the mission “To promote, preserve and protect Alachua County’s historic resources.” A former Historical Commission member, landscape architect JP Weesner, developed the concept sketch for the Administration Building display. The original concept was modified to place one lion at another site.  The professional restoration was completed by Tom Thomas of Fine Line Architectural Detailing, with funding provided by the Board of County Commissioners.

County Facilities staff led by architect Greg Nuetzi will install one lion statue in the County Administration Building, appropriately during National Historic Preservation Month.  A contract to allow the loan of the second lion statue to the Matheson Museum will be reviewed the County Commission at their regular meeting on June 14.  The Matheson has accepted the loan contract with the stipulation that the display there will be scheduled to begin early fall this year.

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Commission Highlights

Announcements
Communications and Legislative Affairs Director Mark Sexton presented the following announcements:

Cynthia Chestnut Park and Clark Butler Nature Preserve entrance received the City of Gainesville Beautification Award on April 27, 2016. It was chosen because of the use of Florida friendly plants.

The soccer fields at Veteran’s Memorial Park have been reseed successfully and the fields are available for use again.

The copper lions that sat above the entrance to the Courthouse that once stood were the County Administration Building stands today have been restored. One lion has been place downstairs and the other is being loaned to the Matheson Museum and may travel to different locations to be seen by citizens.

The Alachua County and the Gainesville Chamber of Commerce will be hosting a business conference on Thursday May 19, 2016 from 5:30 P.M. to 7:30 P.M. at the Freedom Center at Veteran’s Memorial Park.

Police Memorial Day
The Board proclaimed May 15, 2016 as “Police Memorial Day” and May 15 through May 21, 2016 as “National Police Week” in Alachua County, FL
Attachment: 
Police Memorial Day_National Police Week 2016.pdf

Emergency Medical Services Week
The Board proclaimed May 15 Through 21, 2016 as “Emergency Medical Services Week” in Alachua County, FL
Attachment: 
EMS Week 2016.pdf

Alachua County Public Works Week
The Board proclaimed May 15th - 21st as “Alachua County Public Works Week” in Alachua County, FL
Attachment: 
Public Works Week 2016.pdf

2016 Florida Legislative Session
The Board heard a presentation on the outcomes of the 2016 Florida Legislative Session
Attachment: 
2016 Legislative Agenda.pdf
Attachment: 
2016 Post Session Powerpoint.pdf

RTS facility lawsuit
Considering the former City of Gainesville RTS facility lawsuit and the 164 process, the Board agreed that, pending assurances referenced in the May 10, 2016 Chair letter, to hold the lawsuit and the 164 process in abeyance for 30 days and temporarily withdraw the County’s public record request in order to allow County and City staff time to exchange information and resolve the reverter clause and ownership issues for the former RTS facility located at 100 SE 10th Avenue. The Board authorized a Chair letter to the Mayor with specific items requested by the County Attorney.

Phosphate Mine
Regarding Alachua County’s participation in the local, state, and federal permitting processes associated with the proposed HPSII phosphate mine the Board directed that staff:

Provide written comments on permit applications and other proposed agency actions;

Speak a public meetings

 Upon request, providing technical assistance to Bradford County, Union County, concerned citizens, and non-profit groups;

Are authorized, along with the County Attorney, to meet with applicant

Bear Hunt Prohibition
The Board directed the County Attorney to work with Enviromental Protection Agency staff and Alachua County Trust (ACT) to return within 30 days for Board consideration a revised management plan policy that prohibits bear hunts on Alachua County owned property and a resolution to consider that expresses the Board’s objection to bear hunts in Alachua County.

Road Resurfacing
Considering the issue of road resurfacing, the Board decided that bicycle lanes or paved shoulders shall be provided in conjunction with the resurfacing of all open drainage arterial and collector roadways; however where fiscal constraints exist, the County may consider adjacent or parallel multiuse paths. The voted to Transmit CPA-01-16 to the State Land Planning Agency for review
Attachment: 
PRES_BoCC_20160223.pdf
Attachment: 
CPA0116_Ordinance.pdf
Attachment: 
CPA0116_Staff_Report_rev.pdf
Attachment: 
PRES_BoCC_20160223.pptx

Mental Health Needs
The Board heard a presentation by Sheriff Sadie Darnell on Responding to Mental Health Needs.

Behavioral Health Map
The Board heard a presentation by the Department of Court Services on its Alachua County Behavioral Health Map for Fiscal Year 2015
Attachment: 
Court Services Behavioral Health Map 4-18-16FINAL.pdf
Attachment: 
Court Services Behavioral Health Map 4-18-16FINAL.pptx

Fire and First Response EMS agreements
The Board directed staff to renegotiate all Fire and First Response EMS agreements to include: changes that clarify agency responsibilities in the unincorporated sections of the respective service delivery areas; insure compliance with the State Attorney General’s ruling on Sunshine Law compliance; changes that require a minimum ISO Class 9 be maintained by each partner agency; any modifications identified by the Board
Attachment: 
Cross Creek current FY12 Fully Executed Agreement 05102016.pdf
Attachment: 
Current Melrose Agreement05102016.pdf
Attachment: 
Town of Micanopy FY12 Executed Agreement.pdf
Attachment: 
Newberry request and staff proposed agreement changes FY17 05102016.pdf
Attachment: 
High Springs request and proposed agreement changes FY17 05102016.pdf
Attachment: 
Micanopy proposed change April 30 2015 05102016.pdf
Attachment: 
Town of LaCrosse current Executed agreement 05102016.pdf
Attachment: 
Windsor Current Agreement Fully Executed FY12 05102016.pdf

Wild Spaces Public Places Ballot Initiative Ordinance
The Board held Public Hearing and adopted the Wild Spaces Public Places Ballot Initiative Ordinance to Acquire and Improve Conservation Lands and Create, Improve and Maintain Parks and Recreational Facilities Throughout the County
Attachment: 
Ballot Initiative Ordinance.pdf

Accessory Dwelling Units
The Board adopted the ordinance for CPA 06-15 CPA 06-15: Relating to Accessory Dwelling Units in the Rural Area, with the bases as noted in the staff report.
Attachment: 
Ordinance for CPA0615.pdf
Attachment: 
FDOT Comments CPA0615.pdf
Attachment: 
CPA0615 Staff Report.pdf
Attachment: 
NCFRPC Comments CPA0615.pdf
Attachment: 
CPA0615presentation.pdf
Attachment: 
FDEO Comments CPA0615.pdf
Attachment: 
FWC Comments CPA0615.pdf
Attachment: 
SJRWMD Comments CPA0615.pdf
Attachment: 
FDEP Comments CPA0615.pdf

County Initiated ULDC Amendments
Conduct the first public hearing on the County Initiated ULDC Amendments, and provide staff with any additional direction in preparation for the adoption hearing.
Attachment: 
ULDC Draft 051016.pdf
Attachment: 
ULDC Presentation 051016.pdf

Abbey Glen
The Board approved the proposed replat of Abbey Glen, Lot 11 based on the recommendation of the Development Review Committee and a finding of consistency with Florida Statues, the Alachua County Comprehensive Plan, and the Alachua County Unified Land Development Code.
Attachment: 
AG_L_11_Chair_SR.pdf
Attachment: 
AG_L_11_GM_SR.pdf
Attachment: 
AG_L_11_Presentation.pdf
Attachment: 
AG_L_11_Replat.pdf
Attachment: 
AG_Orig_Plat.pdf
Attachment: 
AG_L_11_BNDY_Survey.pdf

Finley Woods Planned Development
The Board approved the proposed Final Plat of Finley Woods Planned Development Phase 1C based on the recommendation by the Development Review Committee and a finding of consistency with Florida Statues, the Alachua County Comprehensive Plan and the Alachua County Unified Land Development Code.
Attachment: 
FW_Phs1C_GM_SR.pdf
Attachment: 
FW_Updated_ZMP.pdf
Attachment: 
FW_Phs1C_Chair_SR.pdf
Attachment: 
FW_ZMP.pdf
Attachment: 
FW_Phs1C_OS.pdf
Attachment: 
FW_Phs1C_Dev_Plan.pdf
Attachment: 
FW_Phs1C_Presentation.pdf
Attachment: 
FW_Phs1C_LS.pdf
Attachment: 
FW_Phs1C_Plat.pdf

 

 

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