March 30 , 2007 edition of:

Community Update
A Report on the Activities of Alachua County Government


This Issues Features:

Springhills Project Update
Veterans Honors Local Hero
What’s on Alachua County Talks?
Smart Financial Start
Annual Canning Clinic
Countywide Mandatory Burn Ban
County Meeting Reminder
Youth Fair & Livestock Show
Commission Meeting Highlights
Let’s All Get Involved - Alachua County Advisory Boards


Springhills Project Update

Due to the high level of public interest in the Springhills Development of Regional Impact, Alachua County is distributing the following items. Included in chronological order are:

The February 22, 2007 letter from Springhills developer PREIT to the County regarding their final offer and outlining their 16 non-negotiable conditions. Preit_Letter.pdf

County Manager Reids email of February 23, 2007 informing the County Commission of the conversations with PREIT, the staff rejection of this package of conditions, and the recognition of the resulting impasse by both parties and the pending staff recommendation of denial of the Comprehensive Plan amendment. County_Manager_Reid_2-23-07_Memo_to_Commission.pdf

A County staff summary response to the 16 PREIT conditions relating the position and reason for staff’s rejection of the package. Staff members from the Growth Management Department, County Managers office, and County Attorneys office have prepared this written response. Staff_Response_to_PREIT.pdf

A list of transportation projects with staff recommendations concerning Impact Fee credits. Springhills_Transportation_Projects_2-21-07.pdf

On May 1, at 5:00 p.m., the Alachua County Board of County Commissioners will be conducting a public hearing to consider the adoption of the Comprehensive Plan Amendments and a revised Development Order for the Springhills Development of Regional Impact (DRI).

The Hearing will be held at the Santa Fe Community College E Building Lecture Hall (auditorium), 3000 NW 83rd Street, Gainesville.

For more information, contact The Alachua County Growth Management Department at (352) 374-5249.

For a map to the meeting site click here:

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Veterans Honors Local Hero

During the March 13th Board of County Commissioners meeting, commissioners declared March 25th as National Medal of Honor Day in Alachua County. This special day is set aside to honor men, such as County resident Duane Dewey.

Mr. Dewey received our country’s highest award for valor, The Medal of Honor, for his actions during the Korean War in 1952 while serving with the U.S. Marines. Corporal Dewey and 80 fellow Marines were defending a hill top when over 500 enemy troops attacked their position. Cpl Dewey was wounded several times before a Navy corpsman came to treat him and several other wounded men. While the corpsman was administering first aid, an enemy grenade landed among the wounded men and Cpl Dewey grabbed the grenade and placed it under his body. The resulting explosion blew him several feet in the air causing extensive internal injuries, but saving the others from further harm.

The fighting continued throughout the night until reinforcement arrived the next morning. Of the original 80 men on hill the night before only 12 men stood the next morning. For his bravery and determination to save his fellow Marines, Duane Dewy received the Medal of Honor from President Dwight D. Eisenhower in March of 1953. Cpl Dewey remains the only Alachua County resident to ever receive this honor.

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What’s on Alachua County Talks?

Tune into Alachua County Talks on Community 12 Your Local Government Channel.

County Engineer Dave Cerlanek talks about County road improvements.

Alachua County Fire Rescue’s DJ Ferguson discusses special recruitment for Fire Rescue.

To view show times click here:

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Smart Financial Start

The Alachua County Extension Office is offering a free, four-part series on successful financial planning strategies for newlyweds (others welcome). The classes are offered on April 2, 9, 16, & 30 from 5:30 to 7:30 pm at the Alachua County Extension Office located at 2800 NE 39th Ave. Gainesville, Fl. To register call (352) 955-2402.

Getting Financially Organized - April 2

Making Credit Work for You - April 9

Decision Making in the Insurance Maze - April 16

Getting a Head Start on Your Financial Future - April 30

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Annual Canning Clinic

It’s time for the annual Canning Clinic. Come learn the approved methods of canning fruits and vegetables as well as making jams, jellies and pickles. If you are an experienced canner, then come refresh your skills and learn the latest research on safely preserving foods.

The class will be held on April 4 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Alachua County Extension Office, 2800 NE 39th Ave. The fee is $3.00 for the materials and will be collected at the program. Please pre-register by calling (352) 337-6209 (voice mail) and leaving your name and number. For more information call (532) 955-2402.

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Countywide Mandatory Burn Ban

After reviewing Alachua County’s current wildland fire conditions and the area weather forecast, Chief Will Gray May, Jr., Director of Emergency Services, recommended a mandatory Countywide burn ban to the Alachua County Board of County Commissioners. The Alachua County Board of County Commissioners subsequently instituted by county proclamation a mandatory Countywide burn ban, effective March 26, 2007, until formally terminated by a majority of the Alachua County Board of County Commissioners.

Click here to view the State of Emergency Order and Proclamation .

Due to the combination of an extended period without precipitation, daily weather conditions contributing to the potential for extreme wildland fire behavior and an abundance of easily ignitable fuel (abundant freeze and frost-killed vegetation), Alachua County is imposing a countywide ban on all outdoor fire activity.

The mandatory burn ban affects all of Alachua County, including rural and municipal areas. The Florida Division of Forestry will also be withholding burn permits on a case-by-case basis, as issued under their jurisdiction within the county.

The Countywide mandatory burn ban prohibits all of the following:

All outdoor burning that has not been specifically permitted by the Florida Division of forestry is prohibited.

The use of any fireworks, sparklers, flares, or other pyrotechnic devices except as provided by law for public displays requiring a permit is prohibited.

Please note that the ban does not affect agricultural burning permitted by the Florida Division of Forestry for land clearing or prescribed burning purposes.

Although the use of LPG/LNG grills and charcoal grills is permitted, the public is encouraged to keep a constant watch for any stray sparks or embers while cooking outdoors. Additionally, due to the potential for accidental ignitions, the use of motorized equipment such as ATVs and dirt bikes is not suggested during times of high wildfire risk. Please bear in mind that lawnmowers, both push and riding, also pose accidental ignition risks. Citizens are asked to exercise extreme caution during the burn ban. Working together, Alachua Countys citizens and local fire suppression agencies may avoid a repeat of the 1998 wildfires which scorched 7,100 acres locally.

Any burning within the county will be in violation of Alachua County ordinance 86-1, section 10.08 and 10.09 and section 252.50 of Florida Statutes. It will be considered a second-degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to a 60-day imprisonment and up to a $500.00 fine. All county and municipal law enforcement agencies are authorized to enforce the ordinance.

For more information, please contact ACFR Public Information Officer Megan Crandall at (352) 494-8600.

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County Meeting Reminder

Springhills Public Hearing

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Youth Fair & Livestock Show

The 25th Annual Alachua County Youth Fair & Livestock Show was held March 9-13, 2007 at the Alachua County Fairgrounds. This year approximately 250 youth were involved in the youth Fair. Youth from 4-H and FFA organizations within the county came to exhibit their livestock and non-livestock projects. Project areas include: market steers, market hogs, market goats, rabbits, chickens, breeding beef, breeding goats, dairy, and non-livestock demonstrations/activities.

Some of the highlights of the Youth Fair included a Celebrity Goat Showmanship Contest. This year the winner of this contest was Alachua County’s very own Clerk J.K. Buddy Irby. He had some hard competition with Alachua County Commissioner Lee Pinkoson as a participant!

The Grand Champion Steer went to Kayla Cain of Alachua; the Grand Champion Hog went to Dustin Atha of Micanopy. This year we had a large beef heifer show, with Tina Weber taking the Grand Champion with her Angus heifer. Nicholas and Catherine Bowman took the top honors in the goat shows. Best of Show in the rabbit division went to Lenore Jones, and poultry Best of Show went to Tommy Massagee and Eva Kirby.

The last day of the fair all of the market animals are sold. This year approximately 100 local businesses participated in the market animal sale. These 4-H and FFA youth are paid off for their hard work thanks to the help from local businesses and individuals. Without the support and sponsorships from individuals and businesses of the Alachua County Youth Fair & Livestock Show, this educational activity would not be possible.

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Commission Meeting Highlights

March 27, 2007

Support Services Group

The Board directed the Manager Reid to pursue the Ashley’s building and the Verde Plaza building for the relocation of the Supervisor of Elections and to bring back options for a lease, lease purchase, and costs. Amount: To Be Determined


Community Planning Group

The Board adopted additional land stewardship principles and approved the request to fund staff required to implement the transfer of stewardship responsibility of Balu Forest. Amount: $18,000.00

The Board approved signing the resolution establishing the Energy Conservation Strategies Commission (ECSC) and authorized staff to bring candidates back to the Board of County Commissioners for appointment.

The Board approved the Department of Environmental Protection Agreement, Resolution, and Inter-fund Loan for Florida Department of Environmental Protection Springs Protection Grant. Amount: $37,130.00


Legislative Items

The Board conducted the first hearing regarding the Unified Land Development Code, gave staff recommendations for revisions and will conduct the second and final adoption hearing in the future.


Advisory Board & Committee Appointments

Code Enforcement Board
The Board appointed Jerry Painter to a term ending January 10.
The Board appointed Mitchell Martin to a term ending January 10.

Environmental Protection Adv. Board
The Board appointed Matthew Doty to a term ending June 2007 (partial), then June 2010. (full)
The Board appointed December McSherry to a term ending June 09.
The Board appointed Richard Moroney to a term ending June 09.
The Board appointed Lou Newman to a term ending June 09.
The Board appointed Andrew Walmsley to a term ending June 09.
The Board appointed Jonathan Croci to a term ending June 2007 (partial), then June 2010. (full)
The Board appointed Danielle Emenhiser to a term ending June 08.

Health Care Advisory Board
The Board appointed Christine Clark to a term ending December 08.
The Board appointed Ellen Marion to a term ending December 08.

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Let’s All 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:

Board of Adjustment : One citizen-at-large

CHOICES Health Services Advisory Board : One Health Policy Professional, one Hospital Employee, one Certified Public Accountant

Citizens Disability Advisory Committee : Two citizens-at-large

Community Agency Partnership Program: One citizen-at-large

Community Development Block Grant Advisory Committee : Three citizens-at-large, one alternate

Cultural and Environmental Funding Advisory Board : One Heritage organization member, one Alachua County resident alternate

Economic Development Advisory Board : One representative of UF

Energy Conservation Strategies Commission: One representative of UF; one former elected official from the City of Gainesville; one former elected official of the Alachua County Board of County Commissioners; six possessing demonstrated expertise and/or advanced training in the areas of demandside management, LEED or Green Building Code standards, renewable energy technologies or a related field; and one alternate.

Environmental Protection Advisory Board : One alternate

Fair Housing Human Rights Board : One lending institution representative, one alternate

Health Care Board : One Alachua County Dental Association representative, one citizen who is a Low Income Health Care Consumer, two citizen representatives of Community Advocacy Groups

Historical Commission : Three citizens-at-large

Local Planning Agency and Planning Commission: One citizen-at-large, one Building Industry Related citizen

Poverty Reduction Advisory Board : Two citizens-at-large with a disability, one citizen 55 or older, one low income citizen, one representative of faith-based organization

Regional Transit System Advisory Board : One senior citizen

Tourist Development Council : One alternate citizen-at-large

Veterans Service Advisory Board : One citizen-at-large, one citizen-at-large (alternate), one VFW Representative

Victims Services and Rape Crisis Center Advisory Council : Two citizens-at-large, one alternate

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Thank you for your continued interest in County Government!

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