May 27th edition of:

Community Update
A Report on the Activities of Alachua County Government

 

This Issues Features:

I-75 Relief Public Engagement Meeting
The Hippodrome Hosts Hazardous Waste Collection Event
The Survivors of Suicide Memory Garden at Cofrin Park
Survivors of Suicide Memory Garden Videos
Florida Department of Health in Alachua County Emphasizes the Importance of Mosquito Protection
CAPP Grant Review Committee Vacancies
Alachua County Historical Commission Vacancies
County Memorial Day Hours and Waste Collection
Memorial Day Ceremony
New Law Adds 3 Additional Acceptable Forms of Voter ID For Use at the Polls
June Environmental & Community Horticulture Program
Commission Highlights

I-75 Relief Public Engagement Meeting

The Alachua County Commission is holding a Public Engagement Meeting to listen to input and discuss the I-75 Relief Task Force process being conducted by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT). The meeting is on Monday, June 6, 2016, at 6 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).

At the meeting, County staff will present information on the process and take public comment. Comments will be delivered to FDOT.

One option under consideration by the Task Force is the extension of a new highway corridor through Western Alachua County to I-75.

The public is invited to attend the meeting. It will also be available to view live on Cox Channel 12 and the County’s Video on Demand website. Citizens may leave comments or questions on the County Facebook page during the meeting. Facebook comments and questions will be addressed during the meeting, time permitting.

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

The FDOT will be holding a Community Open House on June 7, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Best Western Gateway Grand (4200 NW 97th Blvd, Gainesville). The FDOT Open House will have information about the I-75 relief process and provide the public with an opportunity to comment on the draft Task Force recommendations.

On June 24, the I-75 Task Force will meet in Williston at Williston Crossings RV Resort (410 NE 5 St, Williston).

Visit the I-75 Task Force website for documents, maps, meeting announcements and an online public comment portal.

For more information, contact Alachua County Transportation Planning Manager Jeff Hays at 352-264-6971 or jhays@alachuacounty.us.

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The Hippodrome Hosts Hazardous Waste Collection Event

The Alachua County Environmental Protection Department’s Hazardous Waste Collection Center, in partnership with the Hippodrome Theater, is hosting a hazardous waste collection event on Wednesday, June 1, 2016. The event is in the parking lot across from the Hippodrome Theater (the corner of S.E. 2nd Place and S.E. 1st Street, Gainesville), from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. The McGurn Investment Company has sponsored the event location.

The first 10 participants will receive free tickets to The Toxic Avenger, and any other participants will be able to purchase tickets for $10 for the first week of the show. The Toxic Avenger is a love story, and musical comedy set in a toxic waste dump off the New Jersey Turnpike. The opening date is June 3. Regular admission tickets are available for $18 (for those who do not participate in the event).

Accepted household hazardous waste materials include, but are not limited to:

For a complete list of accepted items visit the Alachua County Household Hazardous Waste Center’s website.

For more information about the The Toxic Avenger, visit the Hippodrome Theater’s website.

For more information, contact the Alachua County Household Hazardous Waste Center at 352-334-0440.

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The Survivors of Suicide Memory Garden at Cofrin Park

In 2010, Friends of the Crisis Center began the task of building the Survivors of Suicide (SOS) Memory Garden, located at the City of Gainesville’s Cofrin Nature Park in west Gainesville. In late 2003, after several years of negotiations, Alachua County, City of Gainesville, federal grant and a generous donation from Gladys Cofrin came together to make Cofrin’s 30-acre childhood home a park and nature preserve. This park was the first use of Alachua County Forever funds. Gladys worked for thirty years at the Alachua County Crisis Center as a counselor. Gladys and former Crisis Center Director Marshall Knudson talked about having an area set aside for survivors of suicide, those who have lost a loved one to suicide. She worked with then City Commissioner Pegeen Hanrahan to make sure the garden was added to the master plan.

The purpose of this garden is to provide solace and peace specifically to those who have experienced the loss of a loved one to suicide, but also to those who have experienced any type of loss. It is our hope that the Survivors of Suicide Memory Garden will provide a comforting space for healing and reflection. The stigma involved with suicide is great. Many survivors feel alone with their grief.

The garden is comprised of five main areas: The beginning of the garden has a kiosk sign with brochures for survivors, information about suicide prevention and the Alachua County Crisis Center. The trellis area is a gathering place, allowing people who have experienced the loss of a loved one to suicide to connect with one another. The walking labyrinth is a place of quiet reflection. The basalt remembrance circle is touchable and therefore interactive. These life-sized basalt columns signify the average of six individuals who are directly impacted by a suicide. Finally, there is a bench by the creek. In addition, hundreds of native trees, shrubs and wildflowers have been planted in the garden. 

The Memory Garden was unveiled and dedicated in November 2013, to coincide with International Survivors of Suicide Day, but not finished until May 2016.

The planning and construction of the Memory Garden have been a community activity. Numerous individuals and organizations have been involved in the development and construction of the Memory Garden, including a Landscape Architecture class at the University of Florida, Master Gardeners of Alachua County, Landscape Design Group, AKEA, Inc, Oelrich Construction, H&J Irrigation, Springhill Tree Nursery and Micanopy Wildflowers. To our knowledge, there is no other garden in the world like the Survivors of Suicide Memory Garden at Cofrin Park. Nothing this ambitious, to this scale, has been built before. 

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Survivors of Suicide Memory Garden Videos

View the finished garden and description of walking through its rooms.

View the construction of the SOS Memory Garden.

View a Take 5 news segment on the Garden.

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Florida Department of Health in Alachua County Emphasizes the Importance of Mosquito Protection

The Florida Department of Health in Alachua County (FDOH-Alachua) reminds citizens and visitors of the importance of mosquito protection.

They recommend the following steps:

FDOH-Alachua and local mosquito control continue surveillance and prevention efforts throughout the County.  FDOH-Alachua reminds residents and visitors to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes by taking precautions to prevent mosquitoes from living and multiplying around your home or business.

“Summer is approaching and with it comes an increase in mosquitoes that will bite day and night, so it is important to protect yourself,” said FDOH-Alachua Environmental Health Director Anthony Dennis.

Residents should report mosquito problems to their local municipality’s mosquito control or the Florida Department of Health in Alachua County at 352-334-7930.

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CAPP Grant Review Committee Vacancies

The Alachua County Community Agency Partnership Program (CAPP) Grant Review Committee is now accepting applications.  The CAPP Grant Review Committee consists of five members appointed by the Alachua County Board of County Commissioners.

The Committee also reviews and evaluates Request for Application submittals from local not-for-profit agencies to reduce poverty in Alachua County. They also make recommendations to the Board of County Commissioners regarding funding, allocation and provision of funds.

The Commission’s priorities for these funds are:

Those interested in serving on the CAPP Grant Review Committee should fill out the online application. The deadline to submit an application is Friday, June 3, 2016, at 11:59 p.m.

Serving on the CAPP Grant Review Committee requires the applicant to have computer skills as the review will be completely online. Those without access to a computer should contact the CAPP Program for assistance.

For more information, contact Alachua County Community Support Services Assistant Director Candie Nixon at 352-264-6717.

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Alachua County Historical Commission Vacancies

Alachua County is seeking to fill several vacancies on the Alachua County Historical Commission. All residents knowledgeable of County history or historical preservation are encouraged to apply for consideration for appointment by the Alachua County Board of County Commissioners. The Historical Commission works to advise the County Commission on efforts to promote, preserve and protect Alachua County’s historic resources. 

Alachua County Growth Management Department Senior Planner and Liaison to the Historical Commission, Kathleen W. Pagan states “Place matters. Alachua County history is important to heritage tourism and our quality of life.  We appreciate all the people who serve on our Historical Commission as well as those active in local history organizations, events and festivals.”

Applications are needed for four at-large vacancies and one alternate. Advisory Board members are appointed to serve three year terms. Knowledge of local history is critical, and persons who are active in local historic preservation efforts and local historical organizations are eligible. Professional practitioners and students of history, architecture, planning, law and historic preservation are especially encouraged to apply. Projects of the Historical Commission include work on State Historical Markers and nominations to the National Register of Historic Places.

Historical Commission meetings are typically held at 6 p.m., on the second Monday of each month at the County Administration Building (12 S.E. 1st Street, downtown Gainesville).

View the online application form (citizen-at-large)

View the online application form (alternate)

For more information about the application process or about the Alachua County Historical Commission, contact Kathleen Pagan, AICP, Senior Planner at 352-374-5249 or kpagan@alachuacounty.us.

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County Memorial Day Hours and Waste Collection

Other than essential services, all Alachua County offices will be closed on Memorial Day, Monday, May 30, 2016.

Residential curbside collection service for solid waste, recycling and yard trash will be delayed by one day due to the Memorial Day holiday. The regular schedule for these services will not occur on Memorial Day, Monday, May 30. Monday’s regular collection will occur on Tuesday, and so on through the week ending with Thursday’s collection on Friday. Regular collection schedules will resume on Monday, June 6.

The five Alachua County Rural Collection Centers, the Leveda Brown Environmental Park and Transfer Station and the Hazardous Waste Collection Center will also be closed Memorial Day, Monday, May 30. All facilities will resume regular hours of operation on Tuesday, May 31.

For more information, contact Alachua County Waste Alternatives Manager Patrick Irby at 352-338-3233.

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Memorial Day Ceremony

On Monday, May 30, 2016, the annual Memorial Day Ceremony will be held at the Forest Meadows Cemetery (3700 S.E. Hawthorne Road, Gainesville). In case of inclement weather, the alternate location will be Trinity United Methodist Church (4000 N.W. 53rd Ave, Gainesville). The event begins at 11 a.m. It is free and open to the public. There is often a large crowd and it is advised to come early. Many seats are provided, but visitors may wish to bring seating.

The Memorial Day Ceremony is a respectful remembrance of military service members who lost their lives in service to the country. The event features multiple patriotic presentations from various veteran and military organizations and various guest speakers. Forest Meadows is providing a free barbecue to attendees. Iwo Jima Veteran Mr. Bob Gasche will be the Master of Ceremonies.

Alachua County Veteran Services Director Kim Smith said, “While some think Memorial Day weekend is for sales and fun times, it is important that we recognize what Memorial Day really is; the day to take the time to remember and honor the men and women who died while serving in our nation’s armed forces.” She continued, “All are welcome to attend and pay respects to those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom, and to take the time to appreciate that freedom by joining us to honor our hometown heroes.”

For more information, contact Forest Meadows Funeral Home’s Jim Lynch at 352-538-3119.

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New Law Adds 3 Additional Acceptable Forms of Voter ID For Use at the Polls

Senate Bill 666, which became effective on April 1, 2016, expands the list of acceptable forms of identification that can be used at the polls. These new ID’s include veteran health identification cards issued by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, license to carry a concealed weapon or firearm issued pursuant to s. 790.06, and government-issued employee identification cards. Currently, Florida law requires voters to present valid and current photo and signature identification before voting at an early voting site or the polls on Election Day. Voters without proper identification may vote a provisional ballot.

Upcoming Elections

August 31, 2016 – Primary Election
August 1, 2016 – Last day to register to vote or change party affiliation

November 8, 2016 – General Election
October 11, 2016 – Last day to register to vote

If you have questions or need additional information, please contact the Alachua County Supervisor of Elections Office at 352-374-5252. Be election ready!

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June Environmental & Community Horticulture Program

The UF/IFAS Extension Alachua County Office is pleased to announce the following Environmental & Community Horticulture Program for June, 2016. This program is being offered by Dr. Denise DeBusk, Environmental and Community Horticulture Agent.

Vegetable Gardening for Beginners – June 6, from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., at the Library Headquarters Branch (401 East University Avenue, Gainesville)

Participants will learn how to start a vegetable garden using the square foot gardening technique. Bed construction, soil preparation, the vegetable that can be grown, and pest control will be covered.

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

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

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Commission Highlights

Memorial Day
The Board proclaimed May 30, 2016 as “Memorial Day” in Alachua County, FL
Attachment: 
Memorial Day 2016.pdf

Mental Health Month
The Board proclaimed May 2016 as “Mental Health Month” in Alachua County, FL
Attachment: 
Mental Health Month 2016.pdf

National Garden Week
The Board proclaimed June 5 Through 11, 2016 as “National Garden Week” in Alachua County, FL
Attachment: 
National Garden Week 2016.pdf

Alachua County Community Support Services Auditorium
The Board approved the dedication the Alachua County Community Support Services Auditorium in Honor of Former Commissioner, Thomas Coward
Amount: $500.00
Attachment: 
Renaming CSS Auditorium to Thomas Coward Auditorium.pdf
Attachment: 
Facilities Naming.pdf
Attachment: 
Thomas Coward Letter.pdf

SW Advocacy Group Family Resource Center
The Board heard presentation on the progress at the SW Advocacy Group Family Resource Center, the SW Health Clinic and the CHILD Center.
Attachment: 
Presentation for BoCC.pdf

City of High Springs Community Redevelopment Agency Update
The Board heard a City of High Springs Community Redevelopment Agency Update presentation and voiced several concerns about the audit, the millage rate contribution, and the base rate of a new CRA.  The Item will come back on July 5, 2016. The Board moved authorize the County Manager/Attorney to work with the City of High Springs regarding the High Springs CRA with the following points of consideration but not limited to:

Repayment Plan to make the CRA whole for missed payments.

Determine the number of years of the CRA in a sunset provision.

Establishment of a Base Year.

Establishment of Matching Millage Rate contributions.

Provide sources of assurances regarding issues raised in the Forensic Audit.

Attachment: Proposed High Springs CRA Plan Amendments and Additions.pdf
Attachment: 
High Springs CRA Extension County Presentation.pdf
Attachment: 
2014_15 Annual Report.pdf

Community Redevelopment Agency
The Board asked that staff research the stated purpose and current status of each CRA that the County participates in with input from the respective CRA Directors to determine the appropriate timeline or estimated timeline for extinguishing those CRAs that have met or plan to meet their respective goals. This will also be on the July 5, 2016 agenda along with the item above.

Internet Crimes Against Children
The Board heard a presentation by Sheriff Sadie Darnell on Internet Crimes Against Children.

Surface Water Improvement Management (SWIM) Plan
The Board heard a presentation from the Suwannee River Water Management District about their Surface Water Improvement Management (SWIM) Plan
Attachment: 
SRWMD SWIM updates.pdf

Public Works Tree Planting Update
Concerning the Public Works Tree Planting Update, the Board directed staff to prepare for the Board’s consideration during this year budget cycle a tree planting program for FY17 that does the following:

That looks at all County’s urban cluster road infrastructure under the presumption that the rights of way are eligible for tree planting.

Also considers the other County land outside of road right of way for eligible projects but using the same eligibility criteria that is established for the rest of the program.

Authorizes staff to return with a recommendation for moving to a contractor basis with the pros and cons at the same time.

Attachment: Tree Planting May.pdf
Attachment: 
BOCC 03152016c.pdf
Attachment: 
memo_trees_in_right_of_way (5.12.2016).pdf
Attachment: 
Tree Planting May.pptx

Qualified Targeted Industries
The Board approved the Resolution supporting the VANAD Group participation in the Qualified Targeted Industries (QTI) program and authorized the Chair’s signature. The motion carried 4-0 with Commissioner Byerly out of the room.

Roadway and Drainage Improvements
Concerning the Non-Ad Valorem Assessment for Roadway and Drainage Improvements to NE 96th Ave, NE 100th Ave and NE 108th Ave, the Board moved to direct the County staff to investigate options with the Armed Services for a cost estimate for a possible bridge option as well as any other options.
Attachment: Survey Map F 1167.pdf
Attachment: 
NE 96th Ave Presentation.pdf

Fertilizer Standards and Management Practices Code
The Board adopted the proposed ordinance to amend the Fertilizer Standards and Management Practices Code, Chapter 78 of the County Code
Attachment: 
Fertilizer Code Presentation.pdf
Attachment: 
Public Comments.pdf
Attachment: 
Fertilizer Standards and Management Practices Code.pdf

Florida Department of Economic Opportunity
The Board conducted the public hearing and approved transmittal of proposed Comprehensive Plan Amendment CPA 04-16 to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity and other agencies for review and comment.
Attachment: 
Staff Report CPA0416.pdf
Attachment: 
Staff Presentation CPA0416.pdf

Melrose Rural Cluster Boundary
The Board conducted the Public Hearing on the Proposed Comprehensive Plan Amendment to Delineate the Melrose Rural Cluster Boundary on the Future Land Use Map (CPA 05-16) and approved transmittal of the proposed Comprehensive Plan Amendment CPA 05-16 to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity and other agencies for review and comment.
Attachment: Staff Presentation CPA0516.pdf
Attachment: 
Staff Report CPA0516.pdf

Congregate Living Facilities
Concerning CPA-02-16: Congregate Living Facilities as Accessory Use to Religious Facilities Comprehensive Plan Text Amendment, the Board moved to refer to the staff to come back to the Commission with performance criteria to consider transmission and to provide information on the potential for such a facility within the existing plan and where would it be permitted and whether staff believes there is a lack of facilities to meet the demand.
Attachment: CPA0216 Application Part3.pdf
Attachment: 
CPA0216 PowerPoint.pptx
Attachment: 
CPA0216 Application Part4.pdf
Attachment: 
CPA0216 PowerPoint.pdf
Attachment: 
Grouped public comments.pdf
Attachment: 
CPA0216 Application Part2.pdf
Attachment: 
CPA0216 Staff Report 4.27.16.pdf
Attachment: 
CPA0216 Application Part1.pdf

Town of Tioga Planned Development
The Board approved the proposed Final Plat of Town of Tioga Planned Development Phase 18 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: 
ToT_Ph18_Cover_Sheet.PDF
Attachment: 
ToT_Ph18_GM_SR.pdf
Attachment: 
ToT_Ph18_OS_Plan.PDF
Attachment: 
ToT_Ph18_Tree_Canopy_Plan.PDF
Attachment: 
ToT_Updated_ZMP.PDF
Attachment: 
ToT_Ph18_Chair_SR.pdf
Attachment: 
ToT_Ph18_Dev_Plan.pdf
Attachment: 
ToT_Ph18_LS_Plan.pdf
Attachment: 
ToT_Ph18_Plat.pdf
Attachment: 
ToT_Ph18_Presentation.pdf

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