August 13 edition of:

Community Update
A Report on the Activities of Alachua County Government


This Issues Features:

County Facebook and Twitter Sites
Jonesville Fire Rescue Station 17 Grand Opening
ACHD Receives Grant for Emergency Room Diversion Program
What’s On “Alachua County Talks”
Tools for Schools “School Supply Drive”
Buy S.M.A.R.T. Update
County Update TV on Channel 12
Smart Financial Start Program
“Broken Places” Anthology Available
Commission Meeting Highlights


County Facebook and Twitter Sites

Alachua County is announcing the launch of its new Facebook and Twitter sites. The sites will include postings of press releases, weekly meetings schedules, County produced video programming, and important alerts.

In speaking of the sites, Alachua County Communications Coordinator Mark Sexton said, “We are very happy to bring this information to citizens who use these social networking tools. It is important that County government remain responsive and up-to-date as communication and information systems evolve.”

To become a Facebook Fan or a Twitter Follower follow the links below.

To view the Alachua County Facebook site click here.

To view the Alachua County Twitter site click here.

For more information, contact the Communications Office at 352-374-5226.


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Jonesville Fire Rescue Station 17 Grand Opening

On August 7th, 2009 the Alachua County Department of Public Safety, local dignitaries and the community welcomed the completion of Jonesville Fire Rescue Station 17. Designed as an environmentally friendly facility, it met all the requirements to be certified as a LEED structure, garnering the coveted silver rating. The new facility will house an engine, tanker, brush truck and EMS rescue unit. The new facility is a welcome addition for residents in the area. During the last fiscal year, the Alachua County Department of Public Safety Jonesville units responded to over 3100 calls for service in the community, which equates to over eight per shift. Fire officials were not only touting the eco-friendly structure, but were very pleased with the enhanced ability the station will provide to coordinate fire and rescue services for the citizens.


In addition to talking about the new facility, public education, wildfire mitigation and emergency management had the opportunity to communicate their very effective programs to the attending populace. It was an opportunity for enhanced communication between the fire services and the citizens.


The festivities were kicked off by Gainesville Fire Rescue’s Honor Guard and food was provided by union members who doubled as cooks and servers. There were positive comments from all who attended, but residents in the area were especially proud of the commitment by the Alachua County of Department Safety to enhance services in the area.

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ACHD Receives Grant for Emergency Room Diversion Program

The Alachua County Health Department (ACHD) will receive Low Income Pool (LIP) funds from the Florida Department of Health to develop an Emergency Room Diversion Program. The award is $750,000 a year for three years. The total award includes local first year matching funds of $242,700 that will be split evenly between Shands Healthcare and the ACHD. The expansion of primary care services will begin with in September 2009.

The funds for the project will be used to decrease the inappropriate use of local emergency rooms by providing better alternatives for after-hours care.

Planned uses of the LIP funds include:

The ACHD has a robust primary care clinic, which serves children and adults who are uninsured as well as insured patients such as Medicaid and Medicare enrollees. The clinic is staffed by physicians and nurse practitioners and provides primary care, including urgent care, and 24/7 consultation. The expanded hours in Gainesville will be from 8:00 am until 9:00 pm Monday through Friday, from 12:00 am to 8:00 pm on Saturdays and Sundays. The largest rural clinic in the ACHD system, located in the City of Alachua, is currently open Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. The hours for this clinic will be expanded on Mondays and Thursdays to 8:00 am until 8:00 pm.

The program will be a collaborative arrangement among community partners and include the ACHD, CHOICES Health Services, Shands at UF, North Florida Regional Medical Center, the Department of Children and Families (DCF), the WeCare Program, and community providers, many of which will be represented by the Alachua County Medical Society. These partners already have several program components that will serve as a foundation upon which the proposed program will be built. The key stakeholders also have a history of effective working relationships which will facilitate the expansion and linkage of program components into an operating system that will better serve the health needs of our community.

For more information, contact Diane Dimperio at or 352-334-8814 or Jean Munden at or 352-337-7903.

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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. Or click on the images to the right to view streaming video of the episodes.

Click here to watch Sol Hirsch, Library Director of the Alachua County Library District discuss Library District’s services, volunteer organizations, expansion projects, and how libraries are using new and emerging technologies to better serve citizens.

Click here to watch Alachua County Court Services Sentencing Alternative Manager Larry McDaniel discuss the County’s Community Service ProgramCommission.

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Tools for Schools “School Supply Drive”

The Alachua County Office of Waste Management, in partnership with the Alachua County School Board, operates Tools for Schools, a reusable resource center for teachers. Tools for Schools is having their Back to School Supply Drive, which began July 20th, and continues through August 16, 2009.

“Each year, many teachers in Alachua County spend upwards of $1,000 of their own money to provide supplies for their students. Through donations of new and gently used school supplies, Tools for Schools allows teachers to shop free for their classrooms.” says Sally Palmi, Waste Alternatives Manager, “Your support of this project goes a long way to ensure that all of the students in our schools have the necessary supplies or ‘tools’ for a successful school year.”

This year, the Office of Waste Alternatives is adding a mobile Tools for Schools unit that will allow teachers in the outlying communities easier access to these resources.  Tools for Schools needs even more supplies to stock this mobile unit.

Commonly needed items include: computer and notebook paper, pencils, pens, crayons, glue, scissors, hand sanitizer, paper towels and backpacks.  For questions about useful school items, contact the Zero Waste Team of Alachua County Waste Alternatives at 352-374-5213.

Citizens can drop off donations from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesdays at the Tools for Schools Center (1147 SE 7th Avenue, Gainesville, next to Williams Elementary).

Businesses wishing to sponsor a supply drive should contact Jenny Seitz at the Office of Waste Alternatives at 352-374-5245 extension 296 or

For more information, contact the Alachua County Office of Waste Alternatives at 352-374-5213.

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Buy S.M.A.R.T. Update

Alachua County Office of Waste Alternatives representatives will be at local grocery stores every Thursday in August from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., offering shoppers information about how to “Buy S.M.A.R.T.” (Save Money And Reduce Trash).

“Buy S.M.A.R.T.” is a County campaign teaching about the 4 R’s (reduce, reuse, recycle, and rethink). All shoppers who wish to receive tips on how to buy S.M.A.R.T. will receive a free reusable shopping bag or jar opener made of recycled tires and a Buy S.M.A.R.T. pocket guide.

The following is a list of locations and dates where we will be this August:

In addition to the above dates, they will be at the Mother Earth Markets at 1237 NW 76th Blvd. and 521 NW 13th St. (both in Gainesville) on Saturday, August 15 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

For more information, contact Jennifer Seitz, Alachua County Office of Waste Alternatives at 352-374-5245.

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County Update TV 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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Smart Financial Start Program

Alachua County Extension Office is pleased to offer “Smart Financial Start” Program. This free three part series will be held at the Alachua County Extension Office (2800 NE 39th Avenue, Gainesville). The dates are August 10, 17, and 24, 2009, from 5:30p.m. to 7:30 p.m. These classes are very beneficial to couples but singles are also invited.

The sessions include:

Attendees will receive free helpful materials.

Pre-register by calling 352-337-6209 before August 6, 2009.

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“Broken Places” Anthology Available

Alachua County Victim Services and Rape Crisis Center has published “Broken Places,” an anthology of writing and art from teen survivors of sexual violence and trauma. The teens involved in this anthology are participants in the County’s teen support group, and the anthology is a culmination of journaling and other expressive activities. The teens selected and edited the works in this project.

The teen support group is offered by Alachua County Victim Services and Rape Crisis Center, and is offered during the Fall and Spring.  The group’s primary focus is to help facilitate the healing process by being a safe and nurturing environment where they can be empowered and embraced. It is facilitated by Kenya Davis.

Victim’s Advocate Counselor Kenya Davis said, “Teens often experience overwhelming feelings and emotions after a traumatic event such as a Sexual Assault.  While the emotions they feel are real, many of them are not equipped to navigate the complex variations of these emotions in a positive manner. The ‘normal’ feelings that most teens face during this period, compounded by the pressures of daily living, such as family tensions, and school problems (peer and academic) are further complicated by the trauma of Sexual Assault.”

The anthology contains mature language and subject matter.

For more information about the Teen Support Group for Teen Survivors and Rape and Trauma, or to get a copy of the Broken Places anthology contact Victim Advocate Counselor Kenya Davis at 352-264-6760.

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Commission Highlights

Mark Sexton, Communications Coordinator

Advisory Council on Rural Concerns
The Board voted to extend the sunset date for the Advisory Council on Rural Concerns, and Authorize staff to proceed with amended resolution extending the sunset date and other changes to conform to BoCC Rules of Procedure.
Rural Concerns Letter 04 09.pdf

Environmental Protection Advisory Committee
The Board adopted a Resolution re-creating the Environmental Protection Advisory Committee as a special committee and providing a sunset date, reducing the size by four positions, modifying the responsibilities, and other changes necessary to conform to the Board Rules of Procedure.
EPAC Resolution TRACKED.pdf
EPAC Resolution FINAL.pdf

“Do Not Block Intersection” Sign
The Board approved the “Do Not Block Intersection” sign on NW 23rd Avenue west of NW 97th Street.

West University Avenue Sidewalk
The Board approved the 60 percent design plans for the West University Avenue sidewalk  as presented.  The Board directed staff to complete the plans and begin construction of the sidewalk.

Local Housing Assistance Program
The Board approved the Alachua County State Fiscal Years (SFY) 2009-2011 State Housing Initiatives Partnership (SHIP) Local Housing Assistance Plan (LHAP), Amended August 11, 2009 ; and authorized the Chairman to sign Resolution 09-__ and to sign Certification to Florida Housing Finance Corporation attachment.
Amount: $191,000.00.
LHAP Amendment Final.pdf

Joint Fire Rescue Public Information Office Program
The Board approved the interlocal agreement with the City of Gainesville for Joint Fire Rescue Public Information Officer Program.
Amount: $37,914.74

Attachment: COG Shared PIO Agrmnt.pdf

Broadband Authority Model
The Board authorized staff to proceed with development of a Broadband Authority Model with the  Heart of Florida participants, and to focus on applying for broadband stimulus grant in Dec 2009 and have a draft interlocal back on August 25, 2009 for consideration with final version on Sept 8, 2009 for consideration.

Letter to N. FL Broadband Authority
The Board approved sending a letter of support to the N. FL Broadband Authority

Request for Ten Year Plan Update

The Board requested that the Gainesville/Alachua County Office of Homelessness and Cold Shelter Program, provide an update on the Ten Year Plan and provide an update on the Butler Cold Shelter Grant.

Comprehensive Plan
The Board approved CPA-07-09: the land use amendment to Commercial Enclave (Ordinance 09-xx) for a small-scale Comprehensive Plan land change from Low Density Residential to Commercial Enclave.
CLB Comp Plan Amend App.pdf
CPA0709 Staff Report.pdf
CPA0709 Ordinance.pdf
CPA0709 Citizen Comments.pdf
CPA0709 Powerpoint Presentation.pdf

Evaluation and Appraisal Report
The Board approved the Resolution Adopting the Evaluation and Appraisal Report on the Alachua County Comprehensive Plan: 2001-2020 and approving transmittal of the Report to the Florida Department of Community Affairs for sufficiency review and determination in accordance with s.163.3191, F.S.
Letter FDACS 62309.pdf
Attachment: Letter FFWCC 061709.pdf
Attachment: Minutes from LPA Meeting 052009.pdf
Attachment: Resolution EAR.pdf
Attachment: EAR Document Exhibit A to Resolution.pdf
Attachment: EAR Presentation 81109 BoCC.pptx
Attachment: Letter DOS Historic Resources 062209.pdf
Attachment: Letter FDOT 070209.pdf
Attachment: Letter SJRWMD 061209.pdf
Attachment: Recommendations Table from EAR.pdf
Attachment: Summary of Changes from LPA Proposed EAR.pdf
Attachment: EAR Presentation 81109 BoCC.pdf
Attachment: Letter NCFRPC 061709.pdf
Attachment: Letter DCA 062409e.pdf

Unified Land Development Code
The Board conducted the first public hearing on the amendments to the Unified Land Development Code (ULDC) and directed staff to proceed to schedule the second of two required public hearings.  The Board directed staff to schedule a separate meeting to discuss the wildfire portion of the ULDC.
Attachment: ULDC_8_11_09_PowerPoint.pptx
Attachment: ULDC_8_11_09_PowerPoint.pdf
Attachment: ULDC_Updates_8_11_09_Exhibit_A.pdf
Attachment: DRAFT_ULDCRevOrdinance.pdf
ULDC_Updates_ 8_11_09_Summary_of_Changes.pdf

Lot 16 Ridgemont
The Board approved the Replat of Lot 16 Ridgemont.
Attachment: RML16Replat.pdf
Attachment: OWL21Plats08112009.pdf
Attachment: OWL21RPCHAIRSR.pdf
Attachment: RML16RPGMSR.pdf

Lot 21Oakwood Planned Development
The Board approved the Replat of Lot 21, Oakwood Planned Development.
Attachment: OWL21Plats08112009.pdf
Attachment: OWL21Plats08112009.ppt
Attachment: OWL21RPCHAIRSR.pdf

Special Use Permit
The Board approved
ZOS-02-09: A request for a special use permit for a fire rescue facility located on approximately 3.75 acres in an ‘A’ (Agricultural) district and asked for a timeline to be brought back.
Recommended Action: Staff recommends the Board hear the item and approve Resolution Z-09-09Attachment: 
Fire Station 25 Background.pdf
Attachment: ZOS0209 Meeting.pdf
Attachment: ZOS0209 Resolution.pdf
Attachment: ZOS0209 Affidavit.pdf
Attachment: ZOS0209 ZoningApp.pdf
Attachment: ZOS0209.pptx
Attachment: ZOS0209 Powerpoint Presentation.pdf
Attachment: ZOS0209 Staff Report.pdf
Attachment: ZOS0209 Neighborhood Workshop.pdf
Attachment: ZOS0209 Citizen Comments.pdf
Attachment: Fire Station 25 Site Plan.pdf
Attachment: Fire Station 25 Survey.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:

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.