August 15th edition of:

Community Update
A Report on the Activities of Alachua County Government

 

This Issues Features:

Alachua County and UF Health Shands Hospital Establish New Options for Victims of Sexual Assault
Take 5 - Tom Coward Auditorium Dedication
Invasive Cogongrass Information and Eradication Program
Empowerment Center Oversight Advisory Board
Report Running Sprinklers After a Significant Rain Event
CHOICES Program Seeks Applications for Health Care Services Grants
New Hours of Operations at Alachua County Animal Services
08-16-16 Special Meeting
Certified Public Manager Recognition Week and County Graduates
Commissioner Chestnut Earns FAC Advanced County Commissioner Designation
August Extension Programs
Ten Good Reasons to be Election Ready and Vote on August 30
Commission Highlights

Alachua County and UF Health Shands Hospital Establish New Options for Victims of Sexual Assault

The Alachua County Commission and UF Health Shands Hospital have established a private room for forensic services for victims of sexual assault. This room is scheduled to open in late 2016 and will be located in the same building as the UF Health Shands Emergency Room/Trauma Center (1515 S.W. Archer Rd, Gainesville).

The collaboration was spearheaded by the Alachua County Victim Services & Rape Crisis Center Advisory Board, with Alachua County Commissioners agreeing to fund the $32,000 construction costs to renovate the room at Shands.

Alachua County Community Support Services Director Claudia Tuck said, “Commissioners, advocates, nurses and other community members who make up the Advisory Board felt it was time to make this issue a priority.”

Currently, adult victims of sexual assault use local emergency rooms for treatment and collection of forensic evidence. The new room is expected to significantly reduce the amount of time a victim will spend waiting to be seen. The collaboration also supports funding for Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) nurses. SANE nurses are specially trained to create a supportive environment while providing high-quality forensic services.

The Victim Services & Rape Crisis Center Advisory Board has openings on the board. Those interested in applying for the Board should visit the Alachua County Advisory Board website and scroll to the Board application.

For more information, contact Claudia Tuck at 352-264-6704 or ctuck@alachuacounty.us.

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Take 5 - Tom Coward Auditorium Dedication

View Take 5 - Tom Coward Auditorium Dedication

This edition of Alachua County’s “Take 5” highlights the recent dedication of the County’s Community Support Services Auditorium in the honor of former Alachua County Commissioner Thomas Coward. Coward served on the Alachua County Commission from 1974-1992, and was the first elected black County Commissioner in the state of Florida since the era of Reconstruction.

While serving on the County Commission, he established Alachua County’s first Equal Opportunity Office, supported numerous capital projects of county-wide significance, passed a sales tax to support the Alachua County Library District, championed recreational improvements in the Monteocha area, and formed economic partnerships for East Gainesville improvements.

Mr. Coward is a United States Navy Veteran. After his military service, he returned to Gainesville, where he served 31 years in the Alachua County School System, finishing his tenure as an administrator at the School Board Office.

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Invasive Cogongrass Information and Eradication Program

On August 11, 2016, a program to address the problem of Cogongrass on County rights-of-way was presented to the Board of County Commissioners during the Special Meeting. 

Cogongrass is an invasive species which is listed as both a Florida and Federal Noxious Weed. It crowds out native plants by forming dense monocultures which are also inhospitable environments for native wildlife.  

Watch this IFAS Cogongrass Informational video, and a more in-depth presentation about the problem of Cogongrass.

Visit the official Cogongrass website for identification and information on control of this noxious weed.

Find out more about the August 11 Special Meeting.

View the Cogongrass presentation for the meeting.

For more information, contact Alachua County Horticulturist Heather Martin at 352-548-1298 or hmartin@alachuacounty.us.

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Empowerment Center Oversight Advisory Board

The Gainesville City Commission and the Alachua County Board of County Commissioners have partnered to create the Empowerment Center Oversight Advisory Board. Applications are being solicited for one member of the Oversight Board, who must be a resident of Alachua County. This resident will be appointed by the four Board member commissioners. Applications must be received by 8 a.m., on Monday, August 29, 2016, to be considered for appointment at the September 7, 2016 meeting.

The Oversight Board will develop a long-term vision for the success of the Empowerment Center and the broad range of homeless and social/community services that are or may be provided at the Empowerment Center. The Oversight Board will review the performance of the providers (including the existing provider) that utilize the Empowerment Center. However, the Oversight Board will not direct the day-to-day operations of the providers or the Empowerment Center.

The Oversight Board is advisory to the Gainesville City Commission and the Alachua County Board of County Commissioners. The Oversight Board consists of five members including two City of Gainesville commissioners, two Alachua County commissioners, and one resident of Alachua County.

Interested persons can apply online at the Alachua County Advisory Board website.

Applications and additional information is also available from the Office of the Clerk of the Commission, Gainesville City Hall, 200 E. University Ave., 1st Floor, or call 352-334-5015.

For more information, contact Alachua County Community Support Services Assistant Director Tom Tonkavich at 352-264-6738 or TTonkavich@alachuacounty.us.

 

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Report Running Sprinklers After a Significant Rain Event

With the heavy rains the County has recently received, the Alachua County Environmental Protection Department is requesting residents to watch for running automatic sprinkler systems.

“If you see sprinklers still turning on with all of this rain, it is likely that the system’s rainfall shut-off device is broken,” said Alachua County Environmental Protection Department Water Conservation Coordinator Stacie Greco. She continued, “These devices are required by law on all automatic irrigation systems.”

Rain sensors (rain shut-off devices) are designed to bypass automatic irrigation when the area receives enough rainfall. They are small devices connected to the irrigation system controller and are mounted in an open area where they are exposed to rainfall. A rain sensor should be tested annually and needs to be replaced, on average, every three years. Soil moisture sensors and evapotranspiration (ET) controllers are more advanced types of rain sensors that can lead to further water savings.

To maximize savings and reduce water use, turn irrigation systems off and run them manually on the assigned day(s) when plants show signs of stress. 

To anonymously report irrigation during or following a significant rain event, call the Environmental Protection Department at 352-264-6800. Please report the address and time of day of the irrigation, so staff can reach out to the property owner and let them know that their system is malfunctioning.

For more information on local irrigation restrictions and water conservation tips, visit the Alachua County Water Resources website or contact Stacie Greco at 352-264-6829 or Sgreco@alachuacounty.us.

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CHOICES Program Seeks Applications for Health Care Services Grants

The Alachua County Commission is seeking applications from governmental entities, or 501(c)(3) agencies (with a physical address in Alachua County) to deliver health care services for County residents during the FY2016/2017 grant year. Included categories of services are medical services, oral health, and mental and behavioral health.  

Application materials are available online, or at

Alachua County Purchasing Division
12 S.E. 1st Street, 3rd Floor
Gainesville, FL 32601

Deadline for application submission is August 24, 2016, by 5 p.m. (no late applications will be accepted). Applications must be submitted on a USB Flash drive and must include one original hardcopy of each program application. Applications must be delivered to the Alachua County Purchasing Division.

For more information, contact CAPP/CHOICES Program Manager Gene Tysowsky at 352-264-6707.

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New Hours of Operations at Alachua County Animal Services

On Tuesday, August 2, 2016, the Alachua County Animal Services hours of operation changed. The Animal Services Headquarters is now open to the public from Tuesday through Saturday, 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Visit the Animal Services website for information about pet adoptions or volunteer opportunities.

For more information, contact Alachua County Animal Services at 352-264-6870.

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08-16-16 Special Meeting

The Alachua County Commission will conduct a Special Meeting on Tuesday, August 16, 2016. The meeting begins at 10 a.m., in the Grace Knight Conference Room, located on the second floor of the Alachua County Administration Building (12 S.E. 1st Street, downtown Gainesville).

The meeting agenda includes:

1. FY17 Budget Development Meeting - Sheriff’s budget request, finalize millage rates and tentative Budget

View agenda and backup.

The meeting will be available to view live on Cox Channel 12 and the County’s Video on Demand website.

Free parking is available for citizens attending this meeting. Please park in the S.W. Parking Garage (105 S.W. 3rd Street, Gainesville) and bring parking stubs to the Alachua County Manager’s Office for a validation ticket.

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

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Certified Public Manager Recognition Week and County Graduates

The Florida Certified Public Manager (CPM) program is honoring 484 new graduates this summer. That will bring the total number of CPM graduates in Florida to approximately 5,555, which is more than any other state.

Six employees from Alachua County recently graduated from the program (Vernest LeGree, Salatheia Jenkins, Stephen Hofstetter, Jeffrey Hays, Victor Paul, and Louis Morales), with two more graduating later this summer (Sean McLendon, and Tommy Crosby). Four employees from the Alachua County Tax Collector’s Office also graduated (Lori Carmichael, Rita Hart, Alisha Curtis, and Venus McCray). 45 County and nine Tax Collector’s Office employees now have Certified Public Manager credential (CPM).

In honor of these CPM graduates, Governor Rick Scott designated the week of July 24-30, 2016, as “Certified Public Manager Recognition Week.”

The CPM program is a nationally-recognized leadership development program, currently delivered in 38 states. The purpose is to develop more effective public managers, thereby improving services to all Florida taxpayers.  

Florida has one of the most successful CPM programs in the country. It is administered by the Florida Center for Public Management at Florida State University, which is part of the Askew School of Public Administration.

The 484 new graduates have completed a rigorous two-year program, including 32 days of training, plus required projects and exams. Over 100 government agencies, including cities, counties, state, and constitutional offices have participated in the Florida CPM program.

Find out more about the CPM program.

For more information, contact Alachua County Training Manager Susannah Causier at 352-337-6166, or Sjc@alachuacounty.us.

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Commissioner Chestnut Earns FAC Advanced County Commissioner Designation

The Florida Association of Counties (FAC) presented Alachua County Commissioner Charles “Chuck” Chestnut, IV with the Advanced County Commissioner (ACC) designation following his completion of a comprehensive study program developed by the Association. Commissioner Chestnut received the designation along with 14 other county commissioners during an awards ceremony held at the FAC Annual Conference in Orange County, Florida.

Launched by FAC in 2006, the ACC education program, entitled “The Florida Forum for County Leaders”, is an advanced leadership program designed for graduates of the Certified County Commissioners (CCC) program. This year, the program was held in Alachua County, and saw 15 commissioners graduate in June with a total of 186 graduating since the inception of the program in 2006.

“Graduates of the Advanced County Commissioner program have shown an exemplary commitment to public service,” said FAC Executive Director Scott Shalley. “This invaluable program brings together veteran commissioners from throughout Florida to work collaboratively on Florida’s most pressing challenges.”

For more information about the ACC program and courses, visit the FAC website.

For more information, contact the Alachua County Board of County Commissioners’ office at 352-264-6900.

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August Extension Programs

Community & Environmental Horticulture Forums

These forums are being offered by Dr. Denise DeBusk, Community & Environmental Horticulture Agent, at the UF/IFAS Extension Alachua County Office (2800 N.E. 39 Avenue, Gainesville).

Water Forums

UF/IFAS Extension is partnering with the North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE) and the Kettering Foundation to convene Florida water issue forums as part of a national Environmental Issues Forums (EIF) program. The two events listed below are test forums, so attendees will have the opportunity to provide suggestions for improving the overall experience for future forum participants. Anyone living in Gainesville or Alachua County is invited to attend. Residents need not be experts to participate. There is no fee to attend, and light refreshments will be provided. Space is limited.

This Drains to Your Creek: Protecting Our Urban Watersheds – August 19, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. (with Jennison Kipp Searcy, Sustainable FloridiansSM State Coordinator)

This forum allows participants to share their perspectives on the quality and value of our urban waters and discuss options for managing stormwater runoff and pollution. 

Polishing Florida’s Gems: Choices for Springs Restoration – August 20, from 9 a.m. to noon (with Jennison Kipp Searcy, Sustainable FloridiansSM State Coordinator)

This forum allows participants to share their perspectives on the quality and value of the springs of North Central Florida and discuss options for restoring and protecting them into the future.

There is no cost to attend these forums unless indicated, and space is limited. Register at least three days before the forums by calling 352-337-6209 (voice mail).

Livestock Program

This program is being offered by Dr. Cindy Sanders, Livestock Agent, at the Marion County Extension Office (2232 N.E. Jacksonville Road, Ocala).

Homestead Poultry Workshop – August 20, from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. for 4-H & FFA Youth Exhibition and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. for Homestead Poultry

The registration fee is $5.00. Lunch will be available for purchase. 

The registration deadline is Tuesday, August 16.

View/download the workshop flyer (PDF).

Family and Consumer Sciences Program

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®) – August 23, 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. Register online or call 1-888-232-8723.

Commercial Horticulture Program

This program are being offered by Dr. Tatiana Sanchez, Commercial Horticulture Agent, at the UF/IFAS Extension Alachua County Office (2800 N.E. 39 Avenue, Gainesville).

Green Industries Best Management Practices – August 24, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. (with Dr. Denise DeBusk, Community & Environmental Horticulture Extension Agent and Donald P. Rainey, GIBMP Statewide Program Coordinator)

This workshop is designed to provide training in Best Management Practices 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.

Please register by August 17. The registration fee is $25.00 (includes lunch & materials).  Register online (with an additional fee) or call 352-337-6209 (voicemail).

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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Ten Good Reasons to be Election Ready and Vote on August 30

Florida is a Closed Primary State which means in order to vote for a partisan candidate in a Primary election, you must be registered in the same party as the candidate.

Here are 10 Good Reasons to Vote:

1. It’s easy to register, but you must be registered 29 days prior to the election to be eligible. While the deadline for NEW registrations and party changes has passed for this election, you may still update your record. Address changes, name changes and signature updates can still be made.  Visit www.VoteAlachua.com or call the office at 352-374-5252 for more information.

2. Three items on the ballot will be decided on August 30th and will not appear on the November ballot; the Supervisor of Elections race, the School Board race and Constitutional Amendment Number 4.  Everyone can vote on these items!

3. Registered Republicans may vote on Republican candidates appearing on the ballot, Supervisor of Elections, School Board, and Amendment #4.

4. Registered Democrats may vote on Democratic candidates appearing on the ballot, Supervisor of Elections, School Board and Amendment #4.

5. Registered Libertarian voters may vote on Libertarian candidates appearing on the ballot, Supervisor of Elections, School Board and Amendment #4.

6. Registered Voters with No Party Affiliation or other Minor Party affiliation may vote on Supervisor of Elections, School Board, and Amendment #4.

7. It’s easy to vote!  Vote at home.  Request a vote by mail ballot and we will send your ballot to you.  Remember to sign your certificate envelope, have your current signature on file with our office and mail your ballot back to us at least 5 days prior to Election Day.

8. It’s easy to vote! Vote at one of our 3 Early Voting sites.  You pick the time and place to vote!  Early Voting will be held from Friday, August 19th – Saturday, August 27th at the Millhopper Library, the Tower Road Library and the Supervisor of Elections Office, 515 North Main Street.  Any registered voter may stop by and vote at any one of the sites. We will be open from 9-5 each day and on Thursday we will be open from 9-6.

9. It’s easy to vote!  Vote at your precinct on Election Day, August 30th. You have all day; the polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Remember, you must vote at your precinct on Election Day unless there is an emergency that will keep you from getting there.

10. You can’t complain if you don’t vote. Well, you can, but you shouldn’t.

Visit the Supervisor of Elections website at www.VoteAlachua.com or call our office for more information 352-374-5252. 

Remember, your choice, your voice, your vote. Make it count!

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Commission Highlights

Distinguished Budget Presentation Award
The Board accepted the Government Finance Officers Association Distinguished Budget Presentation Award to Alachua County.
Attachment: 
GFOA Budget Award.pdf
Attachment: GFOA Press Release.pdf
Attachment: GFOA Award Notification Letter.pdf

Eminent Domain
The Board approved the Resolution authorizing the County Attorney to utilize Eminent Domain to acquire real property for SW 8th Avenue Extension
Attachment: 
Resolution 16 and Exhibit A.pdf

Celebration Pointe
The Board approved the Interlocal Agreement with Celebration Pointe CDD1 regarding the construction of SW 32nd Road/SW 43rd Street from SW 45th Street to Archer Road and authorized the Chair to sign.
Attachment: 
CP CDD Interlocal Agreement.pdf

Classification and Compensation Study Report
The Board accepted Evergreen Solutions, LLC, final Classification and Compensation Study Report and direct Staff to develop an implementation plan for presentation to the Board prior to December 2016.
Attachment: 
FINAL REPORT ALACHUA COMP AND CLASS STUDY 080916.pdf

Eminent Domain Statutory Offer
The Board authorized the County Attorney to Make an Eminent Domain Statutory Offer for SW 8th Avenue Extension Project
Amount: $200,000.00

LED Street Lightin
The Board heard a presentation on the status of LED Street Lighting on unincorporated streets and directed Staff to prepare a resolution supporting GRU’s proposed 5-year street light change out program
Attachment: 
Sustainability Council_Low Energy Streetlights20160809.pptx
Attachment: Sustainability Council_Low Energy Streetlights20160809.pdf

Paved Shoulders and Bike Lanes
Concerning the CPA-01-16 for paved shoulders and bike lanes and direct Staff to notify the State Land Planning Agency, the Board decided to continue to a date certain (September 13) and to add language related to a fiscal constraint test considering all-in costs of the project and improvements. There were modifications to staff’s recommendation to include a fiscal analysis, as well as an added stipulation to consider a fiscal analysis outside the urban cluster.
Attachment: 
CPA0116_Ordinance.pdf
Attachment: CPA0116_Staff_Report_adoption.pdf
Attachment: PRES_BoCC_20160809.pptx
Attachment: PRES_BoCC_20160809.pdf
Attachment: CPA0116_AgencyComments.pdf

General County Emergencies
The Board adopted the ordinance amending Chapter 27 of the Alachua County Code of Ordinances regarding actions that the County may take during general county emergencies and local states of emergency.
Attachment: 
EM Draft Ordinance.pdf

Comprehensive Plan
The Board conducted the public hearing and adopted an ordinance approving Comprehensive Plan relating to minimum lot size for new development in Rural Clusters. Amendment CPA 04-16.
Attachment: 
Agency Comments CPA 0416.pdf
Attachment: Staff Report CPA0416.pdf
Attachment: Ordinance CPA0416.pdf
Attachment: Staff Presentation CPA0416.pdf

Melrose Rural Cluster Boundary
The Board conducted a Public Hearing on Proposed Comprehensive Plan Amendment to Delineate the Melrose Rural Cluster Boundary on the Future Land Use Map (CPA 05-16) and adopted the Comprehensive Plan Amendment CPA 05-16.
Attachment: 
Agency Comments CPA 0516.pdf
Attachment: Staff Report CPA0516.pdf
Attachment: Ordinance CPA0516.pdf
Attachment: Staff Presentation CPA0516.pdf

Medical Marijuana Dispensaries
The Board approved an Amendment the Alachua County Unified Land Development Code (ULDC) to Permit Medical Marijuana Dispensaries as a Limited Use in Certain Zoning Districts
Attachment: 
MM Ordinance.pdf
Attachment: Medical Cannabis.pdf
Attachment: Medical Cannabis.pptx

The Board:
1. Convened as the Land Development Regulation Commission and found the proposed amendments consistent with the Alachua County Comprehensive Plan.
2. Adopted the proposed ordinance amending Chapter 407, Article 3, Signs.
Attachment: 
Ordinance_ULDC_Signs_080916.pdf
Attachment: NUC_Cover letter_Signs_2016_july.pdf

Misdemeanor Marijuana Possession
The Board adopted the ordinance allowing the use of civil citations for misdemeanor marijuana possession.
Attachment: 
Alachua County Civil Citations DRAFT_070516.pdf

Tower Road Branch Public Library
The Board approved ZOS-02-16: A Request for a Special Use Permit to Allow an Institutional Facility (Tower Road Branch Public Library) in an Agricultural Zoning District on Approximately 10 Acres
Attachment: 
ZOS0216 Staff Report.pdf
Attachment: Resolution for ZOS0216.pdf
Attachment: Tower Road Library Justification Report.pdf
Attachment: ZOS0216 Powerpoint Presentation.pdf
Attachment: Tower Road Library SUP Application.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.