March 30th edition of:

Community Update
A Report on the Activities of Alachua County Government

 

This Issues Features:

County Commission Moves Forward with Two Transportation Surtax Referenda
Scott Signs Medicaid Bill That Could Cost Alachua County Millions
What's On "Alachua County Talks"
The Importance of Preventing Mosquito-borne Diseases
STD Awareness Month
Florida Department Of Health Medical Surge Exercise
Survivors Art Exhibit
April Extension Programs
April 4-H Programs
Commission Highlights

County Commission Moves Forward with Two Transportation Surtax Referenda

In a 6 ½-hour meeting to discuss the Transportation Surtax with the Gainesville City Commission, the Alachua County Commission decided to separate roads and transit projects into two different referendums and let voters decide the fate of each.

The two referenda are:
1. A 15 year ¾-cent tax for road projects
2. A 15 year ¼-cent sales tax for Gainesville's transit projects

Public Hearings will be held for the taxes to be placed on the ballot. The County needs to enter into interlocal agreements with the municipalities on the split of the money.

Representatives of the County's smaller municipalities said the tax would help them address road needs that would not be possible with existing gas tax revenues and general fund dollars.

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Scott Signs Medicaid Bill That Could Cost Alachua County Millions

Reprinted from the March 30, 2012 Gainesville Sun

At the same meeting, a worst-case scenario was presented showing that disputed backlogged bills and annual bills related to Medicaid costs could come to approximately $8.5 million for Alachua County.

County spokesman Mark Sexton said everyone was "disappointed" with Scott's decision. "This is kind of solidifying into law a bad billing system," he said.

Alachua, along with other counties in the state, had urged the governor to veto the bill.

The county has paid all of the bills where it can be shown they should be billed, he said.

Click to read the full article.

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What's On "Alachua County Talks"

Click here to view this edition of "Alachua County Talks." it features an in-depth interview with Florida's Eden Director Annie Pais. The interview focuses on the Primavera Festival taking place from March 20, 2012 thru April 22, 2012.  Spearheaded by Florida's Eden, Primavera presents a month long profusion of art, theatre, music, dance, and creativity.

In speaking of the interview, host Mark Sexton said, "Primavera will highlight over 200 events in over 60 venues.  It trains the spotlight on the incredible number of diverse cultural events available to Alachua County residents and visitors."

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

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

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The Importance of Preventing Mosquito-borne Diseases

Summer is almost here and with it comes the mosquito season. "The Alachua County Health Department would like to take this opportunity to emphasize the importance of preventing infection from mosquito-borne diseases as we move into the rainy season and the peak of mosquito activity," said Anthony Dennis, Environmental Health Director, Alachua County Health Department.

To prevent mosquito-borne diseases, the Florida Department of Health recommends practicing Drain and Cover:

Keep mosquitoes out of your house. Repair broken screens on windows, doors, porches, and patios.

Repellent Information

For more information, see the CDC's guidelines: http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/westnile/qa/insect_repellent.htm or

EPA guidelines: http://cfpub.epa.gov/oppref/insect/

Please report mosquito problems to your municipality's mosquito control agency or the Alachua County Health Department at 352-334-7930.

For more information, visit http://www.alachuacountyhealth.com/

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STD Awareness Month

Nationally, the month of April is observed as Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) Awareness Month. The focus of this observance is to publicly raise awareness through preventive methods and to encourage individuals to get tested and to know their status.

Statistically, sexually transmitted diseases remain a public health challenge both nationally and locally. CDC estimates that approximately 19 million people, mostly between the ages of 15-24, will be infected each year. Although the numbers have significantly decreased since prevention and education has been the focus, there is still a profound need to decrease the prevalence of STD's. Ensuring that everyone has access to STD prevention, treatment and care covers all of the levels of prevention.

The theme for this month is "The 3T's to prevent the spread of STDS: Talk, Test, and Treat." Talk to your partner and your health care provider about risk factors, safer sex methods and how to get tested. Get Tested, find a close location and make an appointment. And Treat the disease and avoid additional health problems.

The Alachua County Health Department supports the focus of primary prevention using education, but also understands the importance of testing and treating. We encourage the community to help stop the spread of Sexually Transmitted Diseases, get tested and know your status.

For more information, visit http://www.cdc.gov/std/, http://www.doh.state.fl.us/chdalachua/ or call 352-334-7900.


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Florida Department Of Health Medical Surge Exercise

On March 21, and 22, the Florida Department of Health and 10 county agencies and private partners participated in a two-day emergency preparedness exercise at the Alachua County Emergency Operations Center, area hospitals and other locations in the area. The exercise evaluated response capabilities to an emergency event involving a pre-determined disaster scenario.

The exercise was sponsored by the Florida Department of Health and Alachua County and tested response capabilities that include rapid and accurate notification and communications, command and control responsibilities, and information sharing among all participating partners.

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Survivors Art Exhibit

Alachua County Victim Services and Rape Crisis Center is hosting a Survivors Art Exhibit from April 2, through April 30, 2012, in recognition of Sexual Assault Awareness Month. The show is open to the public, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., in the Community Support Services Lobby (218 SE 24th St, Gainesville). A public reception will be held for the artists on Thursday, April 12, from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Several artists will speak at the reception.

Art by survivors who have participated in the Center's support groups and counseling will be on display. The exhibit celebrates the power of healing through art, and showcases survivors' journeys from victimization to resolution.

For more information about the Alachua County Victim Services and Rape Crisis Center, visit their website.

For more information about the Survivors Art Exhibit, contact Alachua County Sexual Assault Program Manager, Rita Lawrence at 352-264-6760.

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April Extension Programs

Unless otherwise stated, programs are held at the Alachua County Cooperative Extension Office (2800 NE 39th Avenue, Gainesville).

Family and Consumer Sciences

These programs will be conducted by Brenda Williams, Family and Consumer Sciences Agent.

The 9 Important Communication Skills for Every Relationship – April 3, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Effective communication is critical to successful relationships. This session will focus on providing at least nine skills that can help couples talk effectively about important issues in their lives.

There is no cost for this program and pre-registration is not required.

Food Safety and Quality Program (ServSafe®) – April 11, 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 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.

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

Before You Tie the Knot is a premarital preparation course.

Topics include: Communication, Conflict Management & Resolution, Financial Responsibility & Spending Plans, and Children and Parenting Responsibilities.

Completion of this course is required to receive a $32.50 reduction of marriage license. 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 26 by calling 352-337-6209.

Environmental Horticulture Programs

These programs will be conducted by Wendy Wilber, Environmental Horticulture Agent.

Trees for Your Florida-Friendly Landscape™ - April 11, from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

This class will teach appropriate selection, placement and planting of trees for Alachua County landscapes.

Save Water in Your Landscape – April 12, from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

This class covers recommended plant selection and drought proofing techniques for landscapes. Demonstration of rain barrels and micro-irrigation will be included.

Turf Grass and Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ - April 25, from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

This class teaches the proper use and care of various turf grasses for minimal impact on the environment.

There is no cost for these classes. Pre-register by calling 352-337-6209.

Commercial Horticulture Program

This program will be conducted by Aparna Gazula, Commercial Horticulture Agent. 

Advanced Landscape Maintenance Workshop – April 24, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

This class is for licensed Limited Commercial Landscape Maintenance professionals. To renew an LCLM license, attend this 4 hour class to get CEU credits. 4 maximum CEUs will be given in: Ornamental & Turf, Limited Lawn & Ornamental, Limited Landscape Maintenance, Commercial Lawn & Ornamental.

Cost is $5.00. Please pre-register by April 23 by calling 352-337-6209 (voicemail).

Agriculture & Natural Resources Programs

These programs will be conducted by Barton Wilder, Agriculture & Natural Resources Agent.

Limited Lawn and Ornamental License Workshop - April 5, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The workshop is open to the public; however, this license is only for government employees or private employees making pesticide application to private property owned by the employer. This is not a commercial license.

Landscapers who want to make pesticide applications to plant beds or shrubs should attend the Limited Commercial Landscape Maintenance License Workshop. CEUs will be provided.

The registration fee is $15.00 (includes meal). To register please call 325-337-6209 by April 3.

Disease Control Strategies for Agronomic Crops Workshop – April 10, from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

This workshop will be held at the High Springs Public Library (135 NW 1st Avenue, High Springs).

The main speaker for the workshop will be Dr. Nick Dufault, Extension Plant Pathologist, University of Florida. Dr. Dufault will be speaking on disease management and fungicide recommendations for peanuts, corn, soybeans, tobacco and cotton.

The workshop is free and includes dinner. To register please call 352-337-6209 by April 5.

Right of Way & Natural Areas Weed Control Workshop – April 17, from 9 a.m. to noon.

Topics include: exotic weed identification and control, herbicides for natural areas and right of ways, principles of vegetation management and herbicide sprayer calibration. 3 CEUs will be available.

Registration fee $5.00. To register please call 352-337-6209 by April 13.

Pond Workshop (Living on a Few Acres April Series Class) – April 19, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

This is a new program for 2012, and will be held on the third Thursday of each month. The monthly Living on a Few Acres program is designed as an introduction to basic production techniques on a wide variety of topics from pasture management and livestock production to growing vegetables and alternative enterprises. The program is designed to provide information to individuals interested in beginning or improving a small scale agricultural operation.

The Pond Management session is for anyone interested in managing their pond for recreational fishing. Topics include: fish species selection, stocking rate, controlling fish diseases & parasites, aquatic weeds, and pond water quality.

Registration fee is $10.00 for individuals and $15.00 for couples for entire series (notebook and materials provided). To register please call 352-337-6209 by April 18.

For more information about these programs, call 352-955-2402. Visit the Extension online calendar for additional programs offered by the Extension Office.

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April 4-H Programs

The Alachua County Cooperative Extension Office is pleased to announce the following 4-H programs for April, 2012. These programs are offered by Matt Benge, 4-H Youth Development Agent.

The Alachua County Open & 4-H Horse Show – April 7, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the Canterbury Equestrian Showplace Outdoor Arena (9 miles west of I-75 on Newberry Road)

The Horse Show is open to all riders, ages 8 and up. Please see attached Showbill for divisions, fees and entry form.

4-H Forever Dinner Fundraiser – April 28, at 6:30 p.m., at the Florida Museum of Natural History (University of Florida Cultural Plaza, SW 34th Street and Hull Road, Gainesville)

The 4-H Forever Dinner is a fundraising event hosted by the Alachua County 4-H Association. Proceeds from this event will go towards 4-H curriculum, scholarships, school enrichment programs and program supplies.

Tickets cost $65.00 per person.

For more information on these programs, call 352-955-2402 or contact Matt Benge at mbenge@alachuacounty.us. Visit the Extension online calendar for additional programs offered by the Extension Office.

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Commission Highlights

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

He announced a new closed captioning system within the Boardroom for citizens attending Board meetings

He mentioned that the Primavera Arts Festival was in progress now through April 22.

Jail Interlocal Agreement
The Board and the Sheriff finalized the jail interlocal agreement between the County and the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office.
Attachment: 
Bogard_email.pdf
Attachment: 
Surveyquestionsandresponses031512.pdf
Attachment: 
Alachua-NeworExpandedStaffingByerlyResponse031912 (2).pdf
Attachment: 
Jail Agreement Final 032212.pdf

Water Conservation Month

The Board proclaimed April 2012 as “Water Conservation Month”

Attachment: Water Conservation Month April 2012 V2.pdf

2011 Independent Audit Results and Financial Statements

The Board accepted the presentation of the County’s 2011 Independent Audit Results and Financial Statements.

Attachment: 2011_Alachua_County_CAFR.pdf
Attachment: 
FY11_County_AFR.pdf
Attachment: 
AFR_Certification_Letter_request.pdf
Attachment: 
Management_Response_Letter_2011.pdf

Transportation System Surtax

The Board received the Final Community-Wide Project List and Draft Interlocal Agreements for Transportation System Surtax

Attachment: Gainesville Draft Project List 2012 02 13.pdf
Attachment: 
Micanopy Roadway Managment List plus Cost_Estimate 20120301.xls.pdf
Attachment: 
pavement management sales tax BoCC 3 27 12.pdf
Attachment: 
DRAFT Interlocal 2012 02 14.pdf
Attachment: 
Alachua Final Project List 2012 03 07.pdf
Attachment: 
11_1004_PavementManagementList NoHighlight.pdf
Attachment: 
LaCrossePrioritized Paving List withEstimates.pdf
Attachment: 
Hawthorne Final Project List 2012 02 21.pdf
Attachment: 
High Springs Final Project List 2012 03 06.pdf
Attachment: 
Waldo Final Project List 2012 02 14.pdf

Wild Spaces and Public Places Citizens Oversight Committee

The Board heard the presentation to the Board of County Commissioners from the Wild Spaces and Public Places Citizens Oversight Committee (Amended)

Attachment: Interlocal Agreement for Sales Tax 080508.pdf
Attachment: 
WSPP Statement of Rev and Exp December 31 2011.pdf
Attachment: 
Wild Spaces Public Places COC Presentation 2012.pptx
Attachment: 
Resolution 09_021.pdf
Attachment: 
Resolution 08_017.pdf

Unified Land Development Code

The Board provided policy direction on draft chapters 400-410 of the Proposed Updates to the Unified Land Development Code

Attachment: Ch_400.pdf
Attachment: 
Ch_402.pdf
Attachment: 
Ch_404.pdf
Attachment: 
Ch_408.pdf
Attachment: 
PC_Cattery_Comments.pdf
Attachment: 
PC_Claudio_e_mail_1.pdf
Attachment: 
CHW__ULDC_Revision_Comments.pdf
Attachment: 
Ch_401.pdf
Attachment: 
RuralConcerns_letter_to_BoCC.PDF
Attachment: 
Ch_403.pdf
Attachment: 
Ch_407.pdf
Attachment: 
Ch_410.pdf
Attachment: 
PC_Bahrs_email_2.pdf
Attachment: 
Ch_405.pdf
Attachment: 
Ch_406.pdf
Attachment: 
Ch_409.pdf
Attachment: 
PC_Bahrs_email_1.pdf
Attachment: 
PC_Claudio_email_2.pdf
Attachment: 
AHAC_Letter_to_BoCC.pdf
Attachment: 
PC_Daycare_email.pdf
Attachment: 
Presentation_ULDC_3_20_12.pdf
Attachment: 
Presentation_ULDC_3_20_12.pptx
Attachment: 
Highlights_of_Ch_407.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.