October 13 , 2006 edition of:

Community Update
A Report on the Activities of Alachua County Government


This Issues Features:

Rutledge Community Workgroup Meeting

Tourism Product Development Program

Community Emergency Response Training

Poverty Workshop

Commission Meeting Highlights

Get Involved - Alachua County Advisory Boards





Rutledge Community Workgroup Meeting

The public is encouraged to attend a workgroup meeting for the Rutledge Community and Neighborhood Plan (CNP), which will be held Tuesday, October 17 at 6:30 pm at Santa Fe Community College Main Campus, 3000 NW 83d St., Building S, Room 326. The topic is the issue of sidewalks and bike paths.

The boundaries of the planning area are NW 39th Avenue to the north, NW 23rd Avenue to the south, NW 43rd Street to the east, and NW 83rd Street to the west. Rutledge was selected as the pilot area for the Community and Neighborhood Planning Program in early 2006 by the Board of County Commissioners.

At an initial Rutledge community meeting held in May 2006 the priority issues were identified:
* Paved/Graded Roads
* Sidewalks/ Bikepaths
* Natural Areas/ Recreation/ Open Space
* Development Density & Growth
* Stormwater/ Drainage
* Transportation Capacity

"The fourth workgroup meeting will provide planning staff with the input necessary to finalize the draft community plan," said Kathleen Pagan, AICP, Senior Planner, Dept. of Growth Management. 
The 2001-2020 Alachua County Comprehensive Plan, the Countys adopted long range document to guide decision-making related to land use, requires the CNP to incorporate the community and neighborhood vision and goals and shall include provisions to:
* Enhance the communitys livability
* Protect the character of the neighborhood
* Provide amenities for neighborhood residents
* Plan for neighborhood traffic management
* Protect natural resources

For further information contact Kathleen Pagan, at (352) 374-5249 or kpagan@alachuacounty.us .

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Tourism Product Development Program

During the regular meeting of the Alachua County Board of County Commissioners on September 26, the Commission approved the implementation of the Tourism Product Development (TPD) Program, which began October 1, 2006. The TPD Program provides funding for local cultural and environmental agencies for programming and site-based capital projects, which promote tourism to Alachua County. The TPD Program replaces its predecessor, the Destination Enhancement Program.

The Board, in partnership with the Tourist Development Council and the City of Gainesville, have contracted the assistance of the City's Division of Cultural Affairs to administer the TPD Program according to the provisions of Florida Statutes 125.0104, and in conjunction with the Alachua County Vision Statement. The intent of this competitive grant program is to work with community-based culture, heritage and nature-based attractions and organizations to enhance the development of the tourism economy for Alachua County . A proposal and application process has been developed to insure the highest and best use of all funds in meeting the intent of the program. This process will also aid in providing a tool to measure return on investment for the TPD Program.

Encouraging the investment of new out-of-area dollars in the Alachua County economy, rather than moving around discretionary entertainment dollars available to County citizens/residents, is a primary goal of the TPD Program. Through the agencies' “Out of County” marketing efforts, tourism should see an increase in both day visitors and overnight visitors to the County.

The TPD Program differs from the previous Destination Enhancement Program in the following ways:

For more information or to apply for the program, agencies can go to the Alachua County Visitors and Convention Bureau website at www.VisitGainesville.com , or call them at (352) 374-5260.


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Community Emergency Response Training

The Alachua County Division of Emergency Management has scheduled a new Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training class.  The CERT training class will meet for seven weeks on Thursday nights, beginning on October 26 and concluding on December 14, excluding Thanksgiving. All classes will meet from 7:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at the Alachua County Emergency Operations Center, 1100 SE 27th Street, Gainesville.

A CERT is a group of citizens that is organized and receives special training (CERT training classes) that enhances their ability to recognize, respond to and recover from a major emergency or disaster situation.  When a major emergency overwhelms normally available resources, such as emergency responders, response delays of hours or even days may occur.  CERTs are created so that citizens with "basic skills training" should be able to immediately assist those in distress.

Training includes the following topics:

Upon successful completion, each team member will receive a FEMA/EMI Training Certificate.  Only team members 18 years of age and older will be eligible for the certificate, but children aged 14 and up may participate in the classes if accompanied by a parent or guardian

The registration deadline for the CERT class is October 20. Class size will be limited to 25, so interested parties are encouraged to register early.

Persons interested in participating can visit the CERT page on the Division of Emergency Management website at http://www.alachuacounty.us/government/depts/fr/em/getready/cert/ to obtain an application and read about the CERT program.

For more information, or to enroll in a CERT class, citizens can contact Eric W. Bertsch, Emergency Management Operations Coordinator, at (352) 264-6530 or email him at ebertsch@alachuacounty.us .

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Poverty Workshop

On Saturday, October 21, the community is invited to attend a workshop titled, A Framework for Understanding Poverty.

The workshop is free and will be especially beneficial to anyone who works with individuals, children or families who face the challenges of living in poverty this seminar will help you be more effective in your relationships with these families. In addition, teachers can earn in-service points for their attendance.

Check-in for the workshop is at 8:30 a.m. and the conference will be held from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 4225 NW 34th St. in Gainesville. Participants can also enjoy a BBQ lunch for $6.50.

The workshop is presented by Marion Ward, a professional educator and is sponsored by the Anti-Racism Coalition, the NAACP, the City of Gainesville, Alachua County, and many other community partners.

To guarantee a seat, please register by October 12, using the online form at http://www.povertyseminar.webhop.net

For more information call (352) 373-4484.

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Commission Meeting Highlights


Recognitions, Proclamations and Presentations


County Attorney


Support Services Group


Community Planning Group

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Get Involved
Alachua County Advisory Boards

The Alachua County Commission is committed to citizen involvement on its 33 advisory boards and is soliciting applications for the following vacancies:

• Bicycle/Pedestrian Advisory Board: One citizen-at-large

• CHOICES Advisory Board: One alternate who is a CHOICES program participant

• Citizen Disability Advisory Committee: Three citizens-at-large

• Community Development Block Grant Advisory Board: Six citizens-at-large, one alternate

• Cultural and Environmental Funding Advisory Board: Cultural organization member, Heritage organization member, Nature-based organization member, Professional Arts Producing Institution member, Alachua County resident, Alachua County resident alternate

• Economic Development Advisory Board: One representative of UF

• Environmental Protection Advisory Board: One alternate

• Fair Housing Human Rights Board: One lending institution representative, one citizen-at-large, one alternate

• Gainesville/Alachua County Cultural Affairs Board: One citizen-at-large

• Health Facilities Authority: One alternate

• Health Care Board: One low income consumer, one Alachua County Dental Association representative, one Shands representative

• Poverty Reduction Advisory Board: One representative of Alachua/Bradford Workforce Board, one citizen-at-large with a disability, one low income citizen, one faith based organization representative

• Recreation and Open Space Advisory Committee: Four citizens-at-large, one alternate

• RTS Advisory Board: One senior citizen

• Rural Concerns Advisory Committee: One member from an unincorporated town

• Tourist Development Council: One owner/operator

• Veterans Service Advisory Board: One citizen who is a Veteran

• Victim Services and Rape Crisis Center Advisory Board: Eleven voting citizens (four of which must have a history of victimization), one alternate

Applications are available in the County Manager's Office on the second floor of the County Administration Building, 12 SE First St., Gainesville, or on the Web at: http://boards.alachua.fl.us/app/application.aspx


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Thank you for your continued interest in County Government!

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