November 15th edition of:

Community Update
A Report on the Activities of Alachua County Government


This Issues Features:

County Moving Full Speed Ahead on Road Projects - CR 236 Project Begins
Social Services Available to Those in Need
Winter Fertilizer Ban in Effect from December through February
FDOH Alachua Encourages Residents to Join Maintain, Don’t Gain! Holiday Challenge
Alachua County/City of Gainesville Affordable Housing Advisory Committee Joint Special Meeting
Alachua County Fire Rescue Station 23 Groundbreaking
November Extension Programs
Commission Highlights

County Moving Full Speed Ahead on Road Projects - CR 236 Project Begins

The Alachua County Commission is pleased to announce the start of the County Road 236 project. The project features resurfacing of N.W. CR 236 from US 441 to I-75, redressing grassed shoulders and filling in sidewalk gaps in High Springs. The total length of the project is approximately 4 mile.

Building on last year’s General Fund increase, the Alachua County Commission again demonstrated their commitment to tackling the issue of the County’s deteriorating roadways in their Adopted FY17 Budget. In addition to Gas Tax funding, the Commission increased General Fund contributions to roads by over 27% (from $2,577,760 to $3,285,536). This is the second year in a row that the Commission has increased funding for Roads. Also, the Commission took steps during the year to adjust the resurfacing policy to allow for more road projects to be completed.

Under this new policy, the Commission committed to 4 road-resurfacing projects in the coming year:

For more information, contact Alachua County Engineer Ramon Gavarrete at 352-374-5245.

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Social Services Available to Those in Need

In Florida, counties are charged by the State to provide social services.  Many services are provided by the Alachua County Community Support Services Department and the Florida Department of Health in Alachua County.   The Alachua County Commission also wants citizens to know about the services available through the non-profit agencies that it contracts with.

The Community Agency Partnership Program (CAPP) agencies and the CHOICES healthcare agencies provide a wide variety of programs designed to address and reduce poverty and to improve the health of our residents. The services offered include food distribution, tutoring, childcare, senior care, healthcare, dental care, victim services, homeless services and more. The link below provides information on the agencies and what services they provide. If you or someone you know are in need, please click on the links to learn more, and please help us share this information.

View the complete list of CAPP and CHOICES agencies.

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Winter Fertilizer Ban in Effect from December through February

The Alachua County Environmental Protection Department wants to remind residents that the new Fertilizer Standards were adopted by the County Commission on May 24, 2016. These standards include a ban on the use of fertilizers containing nitrogen and/or phosphorus during the months of December, January, and February.

The ordinance includes the following additional standards:

“Fertilizers are one of the main sources of nutrient pollution to our surface waters, groundwater, and springs,” said Alachua County Environmental Protection Department Water Conservation Coordinator Stacie Greco. “Eliminating or reducing fertilizer use in yards will save money while helping to improve the health of our local water bodies, especially in the winter. Lawns go dormant in the winter, so fertilizers are not taken up by roots. Instead, the excess nutrients can contaminate our drinking water and cause harmful algae in local springs and lakes.”

Visit the Alachua County Water Resources website for additional water protection information.

For more information, contact Alachua County Water Resources Manager Gus Olmos at 352-264-6806 or

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FDOH Alachua Encourages Residents to Join Maintain, Don’t Gain! Holiday Challenge

The Florida Department of Health in Alachua County (FDOH Alachua) is partnering with North Carolina State University to offer the third annual “Maintain, Don’t Gain! Holiday Challenge.” This free seven-week challenge runs from November 14, through December 31, 2016. The challenge provides participants with tips, tricks, and ideas to help maintain their weight throughout the holiday season.

“Health is a year-round commitment,” stated FDOH-Alachua Administrator Paul Myers. “The Holiday Challenge makes it easy to maintain healthy habits through the holiday season.”

Many Americans gain between one and five pounds each holiday season. Last year, more than 1,600 Floridians participated in the Maintain, Don’t Gain! Holiday Challenge, the second most participants of all 50 states, and received helpful advice on enjoying the holidays in a more healthy way. Participants in last year’s challenge experienced beneficial results. Sixty-seven percent reported they maintained their weight, 18 percent lost three to five pounds, and 98 percent said they would continue to use the strategies learned during the challenge.

The 2016 Holiday Challenge includes

View the Maintain, Don’t Gain! website.

For more information, contact FDOH Alachua Heathiest Weight Initiative Program Manager Kourtney Oliver at 352-334-8889 or

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Alachua County/City of Gainesville Affordable Housing Advisory Committee Joint Special Meeting

The Alachua County Affordable Housing Advisory Committee (AHAC) will host a joint Special Meeting with the City of Gainesville Affordable Housing Advisory Committee on Tuesday, November 15, 2016, at 6 p.m. at the Community Support Services Thomas Coward Auditorium (218 S.E. 24th Street, Gainesville).

The purpose of the joint meeting will be to discuss the State Housing Initiatives Partnership (SHIP) Local Housing Assistance Plan (LHAP) for each entity for the upcoming state fiscal years, 2017-2018, 2018-2019, 2019-2020. The LHAP is a plan that describes the SHIP housing strategies and how SHIP funds will be spent to help meet the housing needs of very low and low-income households. The plan also seeks to help expand the production and preservation of affordable housing, and to further the housing element of the local government comprehensive plan specific to affordable housing. 

Alachua County AHAC’s mission is to review established policies and procedures, ordinances, and land development regulations of Alachua County, and to recommend actions or initiatives to encourage affordable housing to the Alachua County Board of County Commissioners. 

For more information, contact Alachua County Housing Program Specialist Satori Days at 352-337-6284 or

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Alachua County Fire Rescue Station 23 Groundbreaking

View the groundbreaking.

On Friday, November 4, 2016, the Alachua County Commission officially broke ground on the new Alachua County Fire Station #23 in Waldo. The new fire station will be located at 14377 N.E. US Highway 301, Waldo.

“With this new station, along with Fire Station #9, the County Commission is again demonstrating that public safety is at the forefront of their budget priorities,” said County Manager Lee A. Niblock, “Nothing is more important than welfare and safety of our citizens.”

The new fire station should be completed by June 2017, at a cost of $2,122,904. The single story concrete masonry facility will feature energy efficient equipment and sustainable design building features, with 100% back-up generated power. It is 5,684 square feet. The building will be certified as Green and Sustainable pursuant to the guidelines established by the Green Building Initiative (Green Globes). Brame Heck Architects provided architectural and engineering services for the project, and the D.E. Scorpio Corporation is the construction management firm “At Risk.”

This new fire station provides adequate space for the existing Fire Rescue crew that is currently operating from an old structure in the City of Waldo. Building this facility provides critical space for staff and equipment. It will allow for enhanced fire rescue services to citizens in the Waldo area of the County.

For information, contact Alachua County Facilities Capital Project Coordinator Bryan Schneider at 352-374-3190, or Alachua County Facilities Director Charlie Jackson at 352-374-5229.

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November Extension Programs

Commercial Horticulture Programs

This program is being offered by Dr. Tatiana Sanchez, Commercial Horticulture Agent.

Private Applicator/Row Crop Review & Examinations – November 16, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. (review and Core Exam), 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. (Category Exam), at the Straughn IFAS Extension Center (2142 Shealy Drive, Gainesville)

Topics include pesticide safety and principles of pest control, understanding the label, review on pesticide arithmetic. Applicator CEUs will be offered for applicators that already have their licenses. Those who plan on taking an exam at this workshop need to call the UF/IFAS Extension Alachua County Office at 352-955-2402, in advance. This allows the instructor to know which type of exams need to be completed and have them available.

Registration before November 11 is $4.00 (half day), or $8.00 (full day). Registration after November 11 or at the door is $15.00. Participants can register online (with an additional fee), or call 352-337-6209. Lunch is not provided.

View/download the Private Applicator/Row Crop Review & Examinations flyer (PDF).

Livestock Programs

These programs are being offered by Dr. Cindy Sanders, Livestock Agent, at the UF/IFAS Extension Alachua County Office (2800 N.E. 39 Avenue, Gainesville) unless otherwise indicated.

2016 Fall Cattlemen’s Conference & Allied Trade Show – November 17, from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., at the Southeastern Livestock Pavilion (2232 NE Jacksonville Road, Ocala)

Topics include: managing forage resources, controlling weeds, reproductive diseases, and heifer development.

The early registration fee is $25.00 by November 11. On-site or after November 11, the late registration fee is $75.00. Participants can register online (with an additional fee), or call 352-337-6209. Registration includes admission to all seminars, trade show, printed proceedings, and a catered lunch.

For more information, contact Mark Shuffitt, UF/IFAS Extension Marion County Office at 352-671-8400.

2016 Fall Beef Cattle Workshop – November 29, at 6:30 p.m.

Topics include fall/winter supplementation, forage management, and veterinary feed directive rule.

Registration fee is $10.00 (includes dinner). The registration deadline is November 18. Register by calling 352-955-2402.

View/download the 2016 Fall Beef Cattle Workshop flyer (PDF).

For more information about these programs, contact Dr. Cindy Sanders at 352-955-2402. Visit the Extension Office Calendar for additional programs offered by the Extension Office.

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Commission Highlights

Hunger Awareness Month
The Board proclaimed November 2016 as “Hunger Awareness Month” in Alachua County, FL.
Item Summary
Hunger Awareness Month 2016

Veterans Day
The Board proclaimed November 11th as “Veterans Day” in Alachua County, FL.

Veterans’ Day Proclamation

Farm City Week
The Board proclaimed November 15 through 24 as “Farm City Week” in Alachua County, FL.
Item Summary

World Diabetes Day
The Board proclaimed November 14th as “World Diabetes Day” in Alachua County, FL.

Item Summary

Children’s Grief Awareness Day
The Board proclaimed November 17th as “Children’s Grief Awareness Day” in Alachua County, FL.

Children’s Grief Awareness Day Proclamation

Veteran Services Advisory Board
The Board heard the Veteran Services Advisory Board presentation.

Item Summary
2015 2016 VSAB Annual Report VSO

Alachua County Historical Commission
The Board heard the presentation by the Alachua County Historical Commission 2016 annual accomplishments report and 2017-work plan

Item Summary

Historic Comm Request for Extension
Historic Commission Report and 2017 Workplan

County Ordinances Violations
Concerning the communication from the State’s Attorney about cancelling the contract to prosecute those arrested for violating County ordinances, the Board decided to:

Direct the County Attorney to draft a Chair Letter requesting that the State Attorney reconsider his position on the matter if not request him to designate an attorney in the County Attorney’s Office as a special prosecutor, to appear in court on behalf of the State. The letter should invite the Sheriff and State Attorney to the policy meeting discussing their objections to the ordinance.

Agenda for further discussion by the Board of County Commissioners at an appropriate time the specific objections to the marijuana civil citation ordinance raised by the State Attorney and the Sheriff’s Office.    

Direct the County Attorney to return with an opinion whether it would be beneficial to review the County’s current misdemeanor ordinances for reform.

Item Summary
Memo - State Attorney cancellation of contract

State of Florida Surface Water Quality Standards
The Board passed a Resolution in opposition of proposed changes to the State of Florida surface water quality standards

Item Summary

Human Health Criteria Resolution Sample
Human Health Criteria Resolution recommended by Staff

Carry Forwards, Re-appropriations and Fund Balance Adjustments
Concerning the FY17 budget amendment for carry forwards, re-appropriations and fund balance adjustments, the Board conducted a public hearing, adopted resolutions, approved budget amendment and adopted the amended Capital Improvement Program.

Item Summary

FY17 Carry Forward Adjustments Explanation
FY17 Carry Forward Budget Amendment
FY17 Carry Forward GNV Sun AD
FY17 Revised 5 Year CIP
General County Resolution
MSTU- Unincorporated Resolution
MSTU-Law Resolution
MSTU- Fire Resolution
Gas Tax Resolution
Pages From BOCC 8-16-16 Meeting
Pages From BOCC 10-16-16

Golf Cart Operation
The Board adopted the Ordinance for golf cart operation on some county roadways

Item Summary

Golf Cart Ordinance

Unified Land Development Code
Concerning the Unified Land Development Code text amendment: commercial district standards, the Board convened as the Land Development Regulation Commission and found the proposed change consistent with the Comprehensive Plan.

Item Summary

Staff Report

Membership Requirements
The Board adopted the Ordinance amending the membership requirements for the Alachua County Local Planning Agency/Planning Commission.

Item Summary

Ordinance Amending Planning Commission Membership
Proposed ULDC Planning Commission Membership Changes

Celebration Pointe
The Board approved the revised preliminary development plan for Celebration Pointe transit oriented development.

Item Summary

Resolution DR-16-38
Celebration Pointe Staff Report
Master Plan
Open Space Plan
Special Events Plan
Transportation Plan
Phasing Tables

Preliminary Development Plan
The Board deferred the preliminary development plan - Ramirez single-family home impact to wetland buffer until December.

Item Summary

Staff Report
Wetland Buffer Diagram
Public Comment_Curry
Citizen Comment_Hensley
Citizen Comment_Kramer


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