February 21st edition of:

Community Update
A Report on the Activities of Alachua County Government

 

This Issues Features:

County, city boards give nod to RTS land-swap deal
The Alachua County Recycling Program
County Launches Alachua County Connects: A Mobile Citizen Reporting Platform
Healthy Baby Home Visit Program Pre-Proposal Workshop
County Housing Program Open House
Alachua County Hosting a Rain Barrel Sale
2-23-17 Special Meeting
Important City of Gainesville Election Information
Alachua County Youth Fair and Livestock Show
March Extension Programs
Commission Highlights

County, city boards give nod to RTS land-swap deal

By Cleveland Tinker, The Gainesville Sun

The City of Gainesville will keep property at the old Regional Transit System facility near Depot Park and will give Alachua County 200 acres of city-owned land in unincorporated southwest Alachua County.

The two properties were at the heart of a deal struck between the city and county to quell a dispute over who owned the property at the old RTS facility.

Both the city and county commissions voted Thursday during separate meetings to approve the agreement.

Alachua County Manager Lee Niblock told county commissioners the dispute was resolved amicably. 

Read More

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The Alachua County Recycling Program

Alachua County Waste Alternatives Specialist Jeff Klugh tours the Leveda Brown Environmental Park and Transfer Station, and explains how recycling works in Alachua County.

Watch the video.

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County Launches Alachua County Connects: A Mobile Citizen Reporting Platform

Alachua County now allows residents to report quality-of-life issues through an online and mobile interface called “Alachua County Connects.” Alachua County Connects is powered by SeeClickFix. This place-based reporting platform allows residents to document neighborhood concerns and improvements ranging from litter and flooding to damaged sidewalks and malfunctioning traffic signals.

Alachua County Connects allows residents to report community issues, as well as view, and comment on issues submitted by their neighbors. Citizens can also create their “watch areas” to receive notifications about all issues reported in their community, enabling them to follow the progress of all service requests (not just the ones they report). 

Residents can report concerns through service request categories via the Alachua County website, mobile applications (download for iPhone, download for Android), and SeeClickFix.com. 

When submitting issues via the Alachua County Connects App, users can provide locational, descriptive, and photographic information as they see the issue in real time. Once the resident submits an issue, the reporter, Alachua County, and anyone ‘watching’ the area will receive an alert. The County can then acknowledge the service request, route it to the proper department, and update the request (and residents following the issue) once it’s been resolved. 

For more information, contact Alachua County Project Leader Joel Laguerre at 352-338-3259 or jlaguerre@alachuacounty.us.

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Healthy Baby Home Visit Program Pre-Proposal Workshop

The Alachua County Children’s Services Advisory Board is hosting a Healthy Baby Home Visit Program Pre-Proposal Conference on February 24, 2017, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Alachua County Health Department, Thomas Coward Auditorium (218 S.E. 24th Avenue, Gainesville). This workshop is the first step in the process that will lead to Alachua County issuing a Request for Proposals. Those interested in providing services in the future are encouraged to attend.

View details about the Healthy Baby Home Visit Program.

Workshop topics include:

The focus of the Healthy Baby Home Visit Program is to arrange visits by a registered nurse to assess the physical, social, and emotional health of mothers and babies. They will also provide guidance on issues such as family bonding, breast-feeding, healthy sleeping habits, infant safety (car seats, pool safety, etc.), and infant growth and development. A key component of this visit will be the early identification of needs and referrals for appropriate services.

The Alachua County Commission created the Children’s Services Advisory Board (CSAB) with the overarching goal to assure all Alachua County children are ready to enter kindergarten. The Commission appropriated $1.2 million to fund programs directed at early childhood development with an emphasis on children, prenatal to age five, and their families.

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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County Housing Program Open House

The Alachua County Housing Program will host their second annual open house on Wednesday, March 1, 2017, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., in the Thomas Coward Auditorium at the Department of Community Support Services (218 S.E. 24th Street, Gainesville). Those planning to attend must RSVP by February 24.

Housing Program staff will be sharing information with the public and community agencies about the various affordable housing programs offered. These programs include the SHIP Down Payment and Closing Cost Assistance Program for first-time home buyers and the Home Repair Assistance Program for Alachua County homeowners. Tabling opportunities for related community agencies are available.

For more information and to RSVP, contact the Alachua County Housing Program office at 352-337-6284 or SDays@alachuacounty.us.

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Alachua County Hosting a Rain Barrel Sale

The Alachua County Environmental Protection Department is offering Ivy Rain Barrels to encourage residents to conserve water resources and protect water quality.

The rain barrels can be purchased directly through the program’s website using a credit card for $75 (the retail price is $129.00). There will be a limited number of rain barrels on the day of the sale as a first come first served basis. Orders must be placed by March 12, 2017, to be picked up on Saturday, March 18, from 9 a.m. to noon, at the Alachua County Hazardous Waste Collection Center (5125 N.E. 63rd Ave, Gainesville, two miles north of 39th Ave, off of Waldo Road).

The rain barrel captures rainwater from rooftops by connecting to the home’s downspout. This water would typically be sent down the storm drain contributing to flooding. The cumulative effect of rain barrels implemented throughout a geographic area can have a positive impact on stormwater management and water quality. Water collected by the rain barrels can be used for gardens, lawns, and washing cars.

The Ivy Rain Barrels feature 100% recycled plastic, a child proof and bug proof lid, are made in the U.S.A., require no pumps, and comes ready to set up.

“This program is an important step toward protecting clean water in our community from stormwater pollution because it offers an inexpensive and proven option to help people make a difference in their own backyards,” said Alachua County Water Conservation Coordinator Stacie Greco. “We also hope participants drop off hazardous wastes such as CFL light bulbs, paints, e-wastes, and other items recycled by the Hazardous Waste Collection Center on the day of the event.”

For more information, visit the program’s website or contact Stacie Greco at 352-264-6829 or sgreco@alachuacounty.us.

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2-23-17 Special Meeting

The Alachua County Commission will conduct a Special Meeting on Thursday, February 23, 2017. The meeting begins at 1:30 p.m. in the Grace Knight Conference Room on the second floor of the Alachua County Administration Building (12 S.E. 1st Street, downtown Gainesville).

The meeting agenda includes:

2. FY18 Budget Development - Health Insurance Fund

3. FY18 Budget Development - Board Funding Priorities - Employee Compensation

4. FY18 Budget Development - Evergreen Solutions Classification/Compensation Implementation

View the agenda and back-up items.

The public is invited to attend the meeting. It 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 these meetings. Please park in the S.W. Parking Garage (105 S.W. 3rd Street, 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.

Citizens are encouraged to stay engaged by clicking on and signing up for the following products: Facebook Twitter Newsletter/Press Release

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

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Important City of Gainesville Election Information

City of Gainesville Election - March 14, 2017
Early Voting – March 6th through March 11th

Supervisor of Elections Kim A. Barton would like to remind City of Gainesville voters of the upcoming City of Gainesville Election on March 14, 2017 for the At-Large Seat 2, District 2 and District 3 races. All registered voters living within the Gainesville city limits are eligible to vote in the At-Large Seat 2 race. Only eligible City of Gainesville voters living in the Gainesville City District 2 may vote in the District 2 race and only voters living in Gainesville City District 3 may vote in the District 3 race.

Voters are encouraged to verify their voter information at VoteAlachua.com and click on the link “Registration Status” in the upper right hand corner, this will allow you to review your voter information, review your sample ballot, check your vote-by-mail ballot status, and view a photo of your polling place. If you prefer, you may call the Supervisor of Elections Office at 352-374-5252.

Voters may choose one of three options to cast their ballot for this election. Voters may vote-by-mail, vote early, or vote at their polling location on Election Day. To vote by mail, you can make your request online at VoteAlachua.com or call 352-374-5252. Your request must be received by 5 p.m. on Wednesday, March 8, 2017. Early Voting will be available starting Monday, March 6th through Saturday, March 11th from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; except on Tuesday and Thursday where early voting will be from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. City voters may choose to vote at any one of three early voting locations: Millhopper Branch Library, Cone Park Library and at the Supervisor of Elections Office at the Josiah T. Walls Building, 515 North Main Street. Voters may also choose to vote in the precinct of their residence on Election Day between 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on March 14th, Election Day.

Voters are reminded that Florida Law requires you to present picture and signature ID in order to vote, or vote a provisional ballot. To locate your precinct, go to VoteAlachua.com.

For more information, contact the Supervisor of Elections office at 352-374-5252 or visit VoteAlachua.com.

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Alachua County Youth Fair and Livestock Show

UF/IFAS Extension Alachua County invites citizens to the Alachua County Youth Fair and Livestock Show from March 3, to March 7, 2017 at the Alachua County Fairgrounds (3100 N.E. 39th Ave, Gainesville). Although Alachua County 4-H and FFA youth ranging in age from 8 to 18 can participate in the Alachua County Youth Fair and Livestock Show, the general public is encouraged to attend. The event is free.

The fair is an educational platform for the youth in Alachua County who are interested in agriculture. Youth will exhibit both livestock and non-livestock 4-H & FFA projects.

“The youth fair benefits agriculture and the local community by providing an educational opportunity for youth to learn about production agriculture,” said UF/IFAS Extension Alachua County Director Dr. Cindy Sanders.  “Working with livestock and other agriculture events through the youth fair prepares future citizens of Alachua County to be knowledgeable about agriculture production and land use. This benefits Alachua County by providing citizens the opportunity to see our 4-H & FFA youth projects.”

A complete schedule of events can be found at the UF/IFAS Extension Alachua County website.

The Alachua County Youth Fair & Livestock Show Association is a non-profit organization that conducts and operates public fairs and expositions pertaining to agricultural matters and more particularly to the exhibitions of livestock, poultry, crafts, youth projects and farm products. 

For more information, contact the UF/IFAS Extension Alachua County Office at 352-955-2402.

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March Extension Programs

Environmental & Community Horticulture Programs

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

Managing Pests on Your Favorite Plants – March 4, from 11 a.m. to noon and March 5, from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Gainesville Home & Garden Show, Stephen O’Connell Center (250 Gale Lemerand Drive, Gainesville)

Plants, such as podocarpus, gardenia, camellia, and pyracantha, have a variety of insects and diseases that can affect them. Learn about these pests and how to manage them without using harsh pesticides.

There is no cost for this workshop.

Vegetable Gardening 101 – March 11, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

This workshop is for the beginner gardener that wants to create a productive vegetable garden. Topics include setting up your garden space, fertilization, micro-irrigation, and pest and disease control. Lunch and snacks will be provided.

Registration is $35.00 for class or $50 per couple. Participants can register online (for an additional fee). There are no refunds for registration costs. Space is limited to 25 participants.

Irrigating Your Edible Garden– March 14, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

This workshop teaches about the different water needs of vegetables and fruit and how to calculate their water output. Participants will also learn about micro-irrigation and take home a plan for watering their garden.  Water Regional Specialized Agent, Charles Barrett, will lead the workshop.

Registration is $5.00 for class. Participants can register online (for an additional fee). There are no refunds for registration costs. Space is limited to 30 participants.

Propagating Camellias by Air Layering and Pruning Camellias – March 15, from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m., Kanapaha Botanical Gardens (4700 SW 58 Drive, Gainesville).

The workshop will cover why and how to propagate camellias by air layering, and how to prune camellias to shape them and reduce pests and disease. The workshop will include a demonstration of air layering and pruning in the Camellia/Azalea Garden. The workshop will be led by Master Gardener and member of the Gainesville Camellia Society, Irma Velez.

Participants can register online (without a fee). The workshop is free, but participants must pay the Kanapaha Botanical Gardens entrance fee ($8) at the door (no cost for members).

Self-Watering Container Gardening – March 23, from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

This workshop teaches how to build self-watering tomato containers with supplies that can easily be found locally. Additional information on how to use the containers and what grows in them will be presented. A self-watering container is provided as well as a tomato transplant with everything needed to grow healthy, tasty tomatoes. 

Registration is $20.00 for class and container; $5.00 for class only. Participants can register online (for an additional fee). There are no refunds for registration costs. The workshop is limited to 25 participants.

FFL Series: Water Efficiently – March 30, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

This workshop provides information on how to water yards efficiently and use irrigation systems properly. It will include hands-on training on calibrating irrigation systems and micro-irrigation. Participants should bring their water bills and will receive handbooks, materials, and snacks.

Registration is $15.00 for class or $20 per couple. Participants can register online (for an additional fee). There are no refunds for registration costs. This workshop is limited to 30 participants.

Family and Consumer Sciences Programs

These programs are 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 13, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

This program provides training which enables food managers and staff to offer Florida consumer’s food that is prepared in a clean and safe environment. For more information and to register, call toll-free at 1-888-232-8723 or visit the program’s registration website.

First Time Home Buyers Education Program – March 13, 20, and 27, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

This three part series offers resources that can help with buying, maintaining and keeping a home. Upon completion of this program, participants will receive a certificate of attendance.

Session 1 – Monday, March 13

Information on getting budgets and credit worthiness in line, determining how much house can be afforded, and understanding the responsibilities and costs of being a responsible homeowner will be covered.

Session 2 – Monday, March 20

Understanding the sales contract, home inspections, and mortgage process, selecting homeowners’ insurance, warranties and the closing process will be covered.

Session 3 – Monday, March 27

This session is a time for questions and answers and an opportunity to get valuable tips from those involved in the process of buying a home.

The cost for the entire series is $10.00 per individual or couple.

View the series flyer.

Register by March 7 by calling 352-337-6209 (voice mail). This program is subject to cancellation if less than 6 people are registered.

Commercial Horticulture Programs

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

Private Applicator/Row Crop Review & Examinations – March 16, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Topics of this workshop 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 taking an exam at this workshop will need to call the UF/IFAS Extension Alachua County Office at 352-955-2402, in advance so the instructor knows which type of exam are needed.

View the workshop flyer.

Registration is $18.00. Late registration after March 13 or at the door is $20.00. Participants can register online (for an additional fee). There are no refunds for registration costs.

Growing for Profit – Spring Series – March 25 and April 1, from 8:50 a.m. to noon

Small farmers or those considering starting a new farm business are encouraged to attend. Invited speakers from UF/IFAS Extension, SBDC, Florida Department of Agriculture, Water District, Farm Credit and more will help set the basis for a successful business.

View the series flyer.

Registration cost is $15 per class. Participants can register online (for an additional fee). There are no refunds for registration costs.

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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Commission Highlights

Local Food Week
The Board proclaimed February 12th - 18th, 2017 as “Local Food Week” in Alachua County, FL
Item Summary Report
Local Food Week

Menagerie in Motion Kinetic Derby Week
The Board proclaimed February 20th through 26th, 2017 as “Menagerie in Motion Kinetic Derby Week” in Alachua County, FL
Item Summary Report
Menagerie in Motion Kinetic Derby Week

Economic Development Advisory Committee
The Board approved the Economic Development Advisory Committee (EDAC) membership and sunset date amendment
Item Summary Report
EDAC Resolution 2017
Alachua County League of Cities and Florida Sunshine Law

Rural Concerns Advisory Committee
The Board approved the Rural Concerns Advisory Committee resolution amendment to provide for one member chosen at large
Item Summary Report
Rural Concerns

Cross Creek Volunteer Fire Department
The Board approved additional funding for the Cross Creek Volunteer Fire Department
Item Summary Report
Cross Creek Volunteer Fire Department backup information

Community Agency Partnership Program
The Board approved an extended second one year term for the Community Agency Partnership Program (CAPP) contracts.
Item Summary Report
FY17 CAPP Awards
Presentation

Wild Spaces Public Places
The Board clarified the projects of interest with to partner with City of Gainesville funded through the County’s Wild Spaces Public Places allocation.
Item Summary Report
Interlocal Agreement
Weiss Short Description
Weiss Property Evaluation 2016
Weiss Parcel Map
Weiss Location Map
City of Gainesville Presentation

Parks and Conservation Lands Director
The Board approved the request to create a Parks and Conservation Lands Director position
Item Summary Report
Budget Amendment - Parks and Conservation Lands Director
Reserve Spreadsheet MSTU-Un
Pay Plan

Southwest Advocacy Group
Request to include the Southwest Advocacy Group (SWAG) as part of the County’s approved Wild Spaces Public Places project list
Item Summary Report
County Project List

Misdemeanor Marijuana Possession
The Board heard a of progress report on Alachua County ordinance for misdemeanor marijuana possession, and decided to discuss the issue at a policy meeting after the 2017 State Legislative session.
Item Summary Report
Civil Citation Presentation for Misdemeanor Marijuana Possession

Countywide Radio System
The Board received an update on the status of Countywide Radio System Consultant RFP and instructed the County Manger to keep them informed on topic with regular updates
Item Summary Report
ALC BoCC and Gainesville City Commission Meeting Minutes December 7, 2015
ALC BoCC and Gainesville City Commission Meeting Minutes November 14, 2016
CCC Administrative and the Radio Management Board Joint Meeting Minutes October 31, 2016
CCC Execuetive Board Meeting Minutes October 25, 2016
CCC Administrative Board and the Radio Management Board Joint Meeting Minutes October 10, 2016

 

 

 




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Thank you for your continued interest in County Government!

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