March 26 edition of:

Community Update
A Report on the Activities of Alachua County Government

 

This Issues Features:

Community Conversations 2010
County Update on Channel 12
Emergency Management Chief David Donnelly Receives CEM Credentials
Evaluation and Appraisal Report Workshops
Stage Road Marker Dedication Ceremony
Upcoming Cooperative Extension Programs
What’s On “Alachua County Talks”
NW 16th Ave/NW 23rd Ave Action Plan
The Census Bureau’s New Interactive Google Map

Special Commission Meeting
Commission Meeting Highlights

 

Community Conversations 2010

The Alachua County Board of County Commissioners invites all Alachua County citizens to attend “Community Conversations 2010.” Community Conversations is a series of wide ranging discussions of ideas and realities confronting our community in light of fiscal restraints and challenges that face our County.

The meetings will feature a brief presentation of the County’s budget and financial condition, followed by an interactive simulated budget activity, where participants will step into the role of commissioner in recommending service priorities.
In speaking about citizen engagement, County Manager Randall H. Reid said, “When policies are grounded in citizen preferences, the result is cooperation between sectors of the community and the overcoming of community problems.”

Citizens who attended last year’s Community Conversations 2009 events are encouraged to take part in the conversation again this year.

Light refreshments will be served.

Meeting dates and times are listed below. Please RSVP by clicking the link for the session that you would like to attend or to sign up by phone, call the Office of Management and Budget at 352-374-5262, and ask for Elaine Jordan or Donna Bradbrook.

Saturday April 17, 2010
Tower Road Branch Library 
3020 SW 75th Street
Gainesville, Florida 32607
10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Click here to sign up

Monday April 19, 2010
Alachua Branch Library 
14913 NW 140 Street
Alachua, Florida 32615
6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Click here to sign up 

Monday April 26, 2010
Alachua County Health Department
224 SE 24th Street
Gainesville, Florida 32641
6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Click here to sign up



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County Update on Channel 12

County Update is a half hour news program providing in-depth information on County programs, services and initiatives. County Update airs on Community 12 and the Video On Demand website.

Click here to view this month’s show.

Features This Month

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Emergency Management Chief David Donnelly Receives CEM Credentials

After hours of classroom study, a lengthy application process and review by a Commission of 19 respected professionals in the field of emergency management, Dave Donnelly, Emergency Management Chief for the Alachua County Department of Public Safety, has received the credential of Certified Emergency Manager (CEM) by the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM). The IAEM Certification Commission met in February and approved 46 candidates who had applied for Certification. The certification process involves an extensive credentials package, a management essay and a written examination. The essay requires respondents to submit a solution to a scenario they might face while fulfilling emergency management responsibilities. The exam was comprised of 100 questions covering a broad array of emergency management related topics. Internationally, there are only 1,449 others who have received the prestigious designation.

Dave Donnelly has been invited to the IAEM 58th Annual Conference & Exhibit in San Antonio, Texas October 10, 2010 to be recognized for this achievement. Donnelly continues a tradition of excellence at the Alachua County Department of Public Safety Emergency Management program. Craig Fugate, who worked in Donnelly’s position, was chosen as the State of Florida’s Emergency Management Director and later selected by President Obama to fill the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Director position in Washington, DC. Donnelly’s certification is good through 2015, where he will have to undergo another 100 hours of continuing training to maintain his certification.

“Dave has done an outstanding job and continues the excellence required of this position,” said Alachua County Department of Public Safety Director Ed Bailey.


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Evaluation and Appraisal Report Workshops

The public is invited to attend a series of workshops this spring to discuss draft amendments to the Alachua County Comprehensive Plan based on recommendations adopted in the Evaluation and Appraisal Report (EAR). Since the Board of County Commissioners adopted the EAR last year, staff has worked to prepare draft policy amendments addressing the recommendations in the EAR with input from several County Advisory Boards.

Drafts of the amendments as they are posted, as well as information on the overall timeline and upcoming meeting schedule can be found on the EAR website: www.alachuacounty.us/ear.

The next steps of the process will include joint workshops with the Board of County Commissioners and the Local Planning Agency in May and June, with public hearings to transmit the amendments to the Florida Department of Community Affairs planned for later this summer and fall. Ultimately, final adoption of the amendments is anticipated in April 2011.

The following are  public workshop dates for discussion of draft amendments:

*See website for additional meetings and additions/changes to meeting topics, times and locations.

Written comments on drafts may be submitted to ear@alachuacounty.us. Staff is also available to meet with groups or individuals in person or discuss the process and any amendments over the phone by calling 352-374-5249.


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Stage Road Marker Dedication Ceremony

A dedication ceremony for the Stage Road Historic Marker, along one of Alachua County’s original highways, will be held Sunday, March 28, 2010, at 2 p.m., at 7001 SW 24th Avenue, Gainesville (The marker is at the NE corner of the Infinite Energy property near SW 69th Terrace. From either parking entrance along SW 24th Avenue, turn left in the parking area). The public is invited to attend.

The Old Stage Road dates from the 1820’s and connected the County’s two major towns, Newmansville (once the County seat near present day Alachua), and Micanopy to the south. The road served as a major commerce, transportation, and military artery during the 1800’s, but was partially abandoned in the 20th Century for newer and better roads.

The Alachua County Historical Commission provided assistance to Infinite Energy to complete the marker which was required when a building expansion was approved.  The ceremony will include explanation of the historical significance of the road, musical entertainment and refreshments. 

For more nformation, contact Alachua County Senior Planner, Kathleen Pagan at 352-374-5249 or kpagan@alachuacounty.us.

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Upcoming Cooperative Extension Programs

Commercial Horticulture Programs

This workshop will be held at the Alachua County Extension Office (2800 NE 39th Avenue, Gainesville).

Green Industries Best Management Practices Workshop – April 8, 2010, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.  

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.

Cost $25.00 (includes materials and lunch). Please pre-register by April 6th by calling 352-337-6209.

Environmental Horticulture Programs

Florida-Friendly Landscaping ™ “Made in the Shade” – April 14, 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Extension Office (2800 NE 39 Avenue, Gainesville).

Learn to make plant choices and techniques for creating a shade garden with low maintenance plants. Pre-register by calling 352-337-6209.

Growing Fruit in North Central Florida – April 16, 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the High Springs Branch Library (135 NW 1 Avenue, High Springs).

Developing and maintaining a successful home orchard requires special horticultural skills. A well-designed and well-managed home orchard can furnish both fine fruit and pleasant hours of gardening. This class describes the various types of orchard fruits, their suitability to the Florida home orchard, and the process involved in raising a home orchard. Pre-register by calling 352-337-6209.

Florida-Friendly Landscaping ™ “Pruning” – April 28, 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Extension Office (2800 NE 39 Avenue, Gainesville).

Pruning is selectively removing parts of a plant to improve plant health, control growth or enhance fruiting, flowering or appearance. Learn correct techniques and timing for hand pruning shrubs and perennials in your landscape. UF’s Erin Alvarez brings her expertise to this class. Erin is a landscape instructor for the Environmental Horticulture department in Gainesville. Pre-register by calling 352-337-6209.

Family & Consumer Sciences Programs

All of these programs are held at the Extension Office (2800 NE 39th Avenue, Gainesville)

Building Your Financial Future (A Personal Financial Management Program) – April 7, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Attendees will learn 4 basic concepts that will aid in handling financial resources responsibly and building a financially secure future.  This program has been approved to issue certificates evidencing completion of a personal financial management instructional course in compliance with the Bankruptcy Code. Topics include:

Cost to attend this class is $10.00 (for course materials). Pre-register by March 31 by calling 352-337-6209.

Before You Tie the Knot – April 19 & 26, 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Before You Tie the Knot is a premarital preparation course. Topics include:

Completion of this course is required to receive a $32.50 reduction of marriage license fee and a waiver of the three day waiting period. Attendees will receive a certificate of completion and a copy for the Clerk of the Court. There is no cost to attend this two evening class.

Pre-register by April 12 by calling 352-337-6209.

Food Safety and Quality Program (ServSafe®) – April 29, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

This program is dedicated to providing training which enables food managers and staff to offer Florida consumers food that is prepared in a clean and safe environment.

For further information and to register, please visit http://foodsafety.ifas.ufl.edu, or call toll-free at 1-888-232-8723.

Canning Workshops – Call the desired location for reservation – limited seating. $3.00 charge for materials (optional). Pay at the door.
Demonstrations and tips on pressure canning, boiling water canning, making jams and jellies and pickling will be presented.

For more information about these programs call 352-955-2402. For alternate class dates, or view the complete brochure, visit http://alachua.ifas.ufl.edu/calendar.shtml.

Livestock Program

From Cattle Producer to Meat Marketer Program - The Alachua County Cooperative Extension Office is pleased to announce the upcoming program “From Cattle Producer to Meat Marketer” on Tuesday, April 13, 2010, 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., at the University of Florida Meat Processing Center (Animal Science Department, 1812 Shealy Drive, Gainesville).

Topics will include:

Registration fee is $10.00, includes meal. Please register by calling 352-955-2402 by April 8, 2010. All beef cattle producers in north Florida are encouraged to attend.

For more information, contact Cindy Sanders, County Extension Director/Livestock Agent at 352-955-2402 or cbsanders@alachuacounty.us.


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What’s On “Alachua County Talks”

Check out the latest editions of Alachua County Talks on Community 12 TV by viewing the Channel 12 Show Schedule.

Click here to watch Gainesville Environmental Film and Art Festival (GEFAF) Co-Directors Shirley Lasseter and Trish Riley discuss the Festival, which runs from March 19 to the 29th, 2010.

Click here to watch Neil Seldman, President of the Institute for Local Self Reliance , give an overview of Resouce Recovery Parks and the benefits of potentially locating a resource recovery park in Alachua County.

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NW 16th Ave/NW 23rd Ave Action Plan

On February 23, 2010, Alachua County staff presented to the Alachua County Board of County Commissioners (BoCC) a summary of the public comments received and the action plan proposed for the NW 16th Ave/NW 23rd Ave project.  During this meeting, the BoCC directed staff to proceed with the implementation of the proposed action plan which includes ground tests and evaluations of the proposed median modifications and closures.  Upon completion of the action plan, which began on March 22, 2010, staff will return and present the findings and recommendations to the BoCC.

The ground tests will temporarily close the existing traffic separator and medians located west of the NW 16th Ave/NW 13th Street and east of the NW 16th Blvd/NW 43rd intersections. The motoring public can expect some changes to the traffic pattern within the vicinity of the tests and should plan accordingly.

On April 6th, 2010 concrete curb stops will be placed closing two median openings just west of NW 13th Street. These median openings were closed on March 22nd, 2010 using orange tubular markers in the initial stage of this action plan.

To view the February 23rd BoCC meeting, click here (scroll down to and click item 16 to skip to this part of the meeting).

The NW 16th Ave/NW 23rd Avenue Project (between NW 57th Terrace and NW 13th Street) includes the resurfacing and rehabilitation of the existing pavement, upgrading the existing pedestrian facilities to meet current ADA requirements, addressing safety and operational issues through intersection and median opening modifications, and stabilizing the retaining walls along NW 16th Ave.  The project length is 4.0 miles.   

Upon completion of the preliminary plans, the County identified the need to evaluate the provisions for accommodation of bicycles along the entire corridor. This resulted in the identification of three options to improve bicycle accommodation including narrowing the existing lanes, widening the existing sidewalks, and widening the existing roadway.   This information was presented to the BoCC during their meeting on Oct 27, 2009, at the Public Information Meeting held on November 16, 2009, and the Bicycle/Pedestrian Advisory Board meeting on December 1, 2009.

Click here for a comment form, if you would like to make written comments concerning this action plan.

For more information, call Alachua County Public Works at 352-374-5245 ext. 217.

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The Census Bureau’s New Interactive Google Map

With most 2010 Census questionnaires having arrived by mail for 120 million households, the U.S. Census Bureau has launched a new interactive Google Maps showing initial mail participation rates. The collaborative partnership with Google allows communities the ability to track how their area is responding to the once-a-decade count. The Census Bureau provides daily updates of the percentage of returned census forms using Google Maps and Google Earth.

The Census Bureau encourages everyone to “Take 10” — that is to take 10 minutes to answer the 10 questions on the census form. The mail participation rate for the nation in 2000 was 72 percent. For every 1 percent increase in the national participation rate by mail, the Census Bureau can save taxpayers $85 million by not having to send census takers door to door to households that failed to return the census form. If every household mailed back its 2010 Census form, the cost of taking the census would be reduced by $1.5 billion.

Click here to view the interactive Google map.

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Special Commission Meeting

On Tues March 30, 2010, at 1:30 p.m. the Alachua County Commission will conduct a special meeting to discuss the following items:

  1. AARA Grant Award of Busses
  2. Solid Waste- Exclusive Commercial Franchise
  3. Presentation of Additional Enhanced Fire Assessment Information by Government Services Group and Authorization to Advertise a Public Hearing
  4. FY 11 Budget Development

The meeting is in the Jack Durrance Auditorium, County Administration Building (room 209) located at 12 SE 1st Street, downtown Gainesville.

To view the Agenda including links to detailed backup material for each item, click here.

As always, the public is invited and encouraged to attend this meeting.

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

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Commission Highlights

Announcements
The Board heard announcements by Mark Sexton Communications Coordinator
Attachment:
Announcements

Dr. Michael Perri and Team Haitian Relief Efforts Day
The Board proclaimed February 9, 2010 as “Dr. Michael Perri and Team Haitian Relief Efforts Day” in Alachua County, Florida
Attachment: 
Dr Perri Haiti Medical Team.pdf

Suicide Prevention Day
The Board proclaimed March 24, 2010 as “Suicide Prevention Day” in Alachua County, Florida
Attachment: 
Suicide Prevention Day in AC.pdf

Child Abuse Prevention Month
The Board proclaimed April 2010 as “Child Abuse Prevention Month” in Alachua County, Florida.
Attachment: 
Child Abuse Prevention Month1.pdf

Jazz Appreciation Month
The Board proclaimed April 2010 as “Jazz Appreciation Month” in Alachua County, Florida.
Attachment: 
Jazz Appreciation Month.pdf

Alachua County Health Needs Assessment
The Board heard the presentation: Alachua County Health Needs Assessment by Jeff Feller WellFlorida Council.

Widening and Resurfacing of SW 122 Street
The Board approved the Construction Contract with V.E. Whitehurst and Sons, Inc for County Project No. 6335, Widening and Resurfacing of SW 122 Street from Archer Road to SW 24th Ave.
Amount: $1,338,660.33
Attachment: 
SW 122nd Contruction Docs.pdf
Attachment: 
6335 SW 122nd ST FINAL PLANS.pdf
Attachment: 
WhiteHurst SW 122nd Resuf Final.pdf
Attachment: 
SW 122nd Contruction Docs_Addendum1.pdf
Attachment: 
SW 122nd Contruction Docs_Addendum2.pdf

SW 62nd Blvd Interim Project
The Board approved the SW 62nd Blvd Interim Project 90 percent design plans as presented and direct staff to finalize the plan and proceed with the bid phase.
Attachment: 
Smart Bus Bay B.pdf
Attachment: 
SW 20th Ave at SW 43rd St A.pdf
Attachment: 
SW 20th Ave at SW 43rd St D.pdf
Attachment: 
SW 20th Ave at SW 43rd St E.pdf
Attachment: 
SW 40th at Archer Road B.pdf
Attachment: 
SW 20th Ave at SW 43rd St C.pdf
Attachment: 
BoCC SW 62nd Blvd Presentation.pdf
Attachment: 
SW 20th Ave at SW 43rd St B.pdf
Attachment: 
Smart Bus Bay C.pdf
Attachment: 
SW 40th at Archer Road A.pdf
Attachment: 
SW 40th at Archer Road C.pdf
Attachment: 
Smart Bus Bay A.pdf
Attachment: 
Smart Bus Bay D.pdf
Attachment: 
Smart Bus Bay E.pdf

CHOICES Indigent Care Surtax Use Plan
The Board approved the proposed change to the CHOICES Indigent Care Surtax Use Plan from an average of one hundred (100) hours per month or more to an average of (80) hours per month or more for the CHOICES hourly employment eligibility requirement.
Attachment: 
CHOICES Surtax Use Plan FY10.pdf

Alachua County Scenic Road
The Board rejected the resolution designating CR 225 as an Alachua County Scenic Road.
They directed staff to develop a process which:

Has the Scenic Road request origination from residents

Requires  a community sponsored meeting

A letter from County inviting citizens to a Commission workshop

Conduct  formal tally of residential support in sequential order

Attachment: Scenic Road Resolution.pdf
Attachment: 
County Road 225 Background.pdf

Unified Land Development Code
The Board approved amending the Unified Land Development Code (ULDC) of Alachua County to allow automotive rental as an accessory use in the Business Highway (BH) zoning district and directed staff to schedule the second public hearing to adopt Ordinance 10-xx to amend the Unified Land development Code.

Attachment: Auto Rental Ordinance.pdf
Attachment: 
ULDC Enterprise Car Rental Background.pdf

Sawbuck Planned Development
The Board approved the Replat of Lots 22 and 23, Sawbuck Planned Development (PD)

Attachment: SB22_23CSR.pdf
Attachment: 
SB 22_23ReP.pdf
Attachment: 
SB_22_23_GMSR.pdf
Attachment: 
SB032310Plat.ppt
Attachment: 
SB032310Plat.pdf

Sweetwater Branch/Paynes Prairie Sheetflow Restoration

The Board approved the Preliminary Development Plan for Sweetwater Branch/Paynes Prairie Sheetflow Restoration with PCLSC and approved water extension outside the urban cluster.

Attachment: Sweetwater Sheetflow Prelim Plan.pptx
Attachment: 
Sweetwater Sheetflow Prelim Plan.pdf
Attachment: 
Preliminary Site Plan_Sweetwater Sheetflow.pdf
Attachment: 
RequestToExtendWaterUtility.pdf
Attachment: 
100_year floodplain_Sweetwater Sheetflow.pdf
Attachment: 
TreeSurveyBySpeciesWithTreeCanopy_20100215.pdf
Attachment: 
Staff Report_Sweetwater Sheetflow Restoration_Preliminary Dev Plan.pdf

 

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Alachua County Advisory Boards

The Alachua County Commission is committed to citizen involvement on its advisory boards and is soliciting applications for the following vacancies:

Get Involved - Click here for an application: http://alachuacounty.us/government/bocc/advisoryboard.aspx

Applications are also available at the County Manager’s Office on the Second Floor of the County Administration Building, 12 SE 1st St., Gainesville. For more information, call (352) 264-6904.

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Thank you for your continued interest in County Government!

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