August 30th edition of:

Community Update - Earth Day Edition
A Report on the Activities of Alachua County Government


This Issues Features:

Alachua County Pays Tribute to Wes Skiles
What’s On “Alachua County Talks”
Virtual Tour of Low Impact Development Projects in Alachua County
Hazardous Waste Collection Program Receives Awards
Important Election Information
County Update on Channel 12
CERT Classes Offered

Buy SMART in September
Cooperative Extension Programs
Commission Meeting Highlights

Alachua County Pays Tribute to Wes Skiles

Wes Skiles was an explorer, an award winning photographer and filmmaker, and a conservationist. He was also a resident of Alachua County when he wasn’t working on projects which took him around the world from the underwater caves of Alachua County to the icebergs of the Antarctic. Skiles died in a tragic diving accident in south Florida on July 21 while on assignment for National Geographic magazine. To honor his memory Alachua County brings you a presentation of his award winning documentary” Water’s Journey”.

To view the documentary, click here.

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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 Alachua County Pretrial Services Manager Gerie Crawford discuss pretrial services, including community supervision and case management services provided to defendants to ensure compliance with release and court appearance orders.

Click here to watch lachua County Purchasing Manager Larry Sapp discuss County purchasing philosophy, policy and procedures, including discussions on how businesses can learn about and compete for County contracts.

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Virtual Tour of Low Impact Development Projects in Alachua County

Low Impact Development (LID) is an approach to land development that uses land planning, design, and construction techniques to conserve and protect natural resources- including water.

Oftentimes LID is used to describe stormwater treatment techniques that mimic predevelopment hydrologic conditions. At the development planning stage, efforts are made to treat the water and allow it to infiltrate close to where it hits the ground rather than sending it off to a centralized basin. This means that LID treatment techniques are scattered throughout a site so that water can infiltrate in many locations, mimicking the way natural systems behave. For example, water that hits our paved driveways and roads can be stored and treated nearby in rain gardens (small landscaped depressions) or swales. Roof water can be collected in rain barrels or cisterns to irrigate the landscape. Runoff from roads is easily treated by swales filled with vegetation and organic soils that work effectively to remove pollutants. In our commercial developments, parking lot tree islands would become landscaped depressions that collect water from the large paved area, and so on.

University of Florida Southwest Recreation Center
Developer: University of Florida
Though not within county jurisdiction, this project is worth mentioning as it is a great example of using rain gardens not only to treat stormwater, but also as an amenity to any development. This multi-tier rain garden collects and treats runoff from the newly built Southwest Recreation Center on the University of Florida campus. Large river rocks and flagstones have been incorporated in the design, along with beautiful landscaping, to provide a rich visual experience as you stroll along the sidewalk. The rain garden will no doubt become a favorite hang-out spot for students, and several benches are scattered throughout the area to enable people’s enjoyment of this feature.

NW 140th Terrace LID Median
Developer: Luis Diaz
Agent: Brown and Cullen, Inc.

The existing NW 140th Terrace was widened in 2009 to accommodate future commercial developments in the Jonesville Commercial Park (including the adjacent Campus USA Headquarters). This stretch of road includes 3 LID medians that capture and treat runoff from the roadway

Campus USA Headquarters
Developer: Campus USA
Agent: Causseaux, Hewitt and Walpole, Inc.

Commercial developments usually require large parking areas to accommodate staff and customers. Alachua County’s Land Development Regulations require all new parking areas to incorporate shade trees and landscape islands. A simple design change to modify the grade of these islands to retain water and create small depressions (instead of building them up), turns these largely spaces into active stormwater treatment areas. Campus USA Headquarters incorporated LID landscape islands throughout their parking lot to spread stormwater across the site.

During the development review process we have been encouraging the use of LID in new developments, and you can now visit several sites around the county that have incorporated many of these techniques. For more information about LID click here, or contact Stephen Hofstetter or Eliana Bardi at (352) 264-6800.

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Hazardous Waste Collection Program Receives Awards

The Alachua County Environmental Protection Department’s (ACEPD) Hazardous Waste (HHW) Collection Program recently received both a national and state award at the annual North American Hazardous Materials Management Association (NAHMMA) conference in St. Petersburg Beach. The awards were for Longstanding Program Excellence, which recognizes local government hazardous waste programs that have been in service for at least 20 years and have consistently gone above and beyond to help their community and the profession.

According to NAHMMA, Alachua County’s program was recognized for the following achievements:

It currently averages over 35,000 customers annually, is well regarded in the community and exhibits the characteristics that make it a shining example of consistently going above and beyond to help not only the local community but to those within a large part of N. Central Florida. The program is innovative, creative and is a model for demonstrating how an operation can be inclusive, far reaching, and willing to deal with new or emerging areas in the hazardous waste collection/outreach and education field.

HHW Program services include: stale gasoline pump out service for boats, free residential home heating oil tank pump out service, collection of fluorescent and CFLs’ at 14 locations in Alachua County, and collection of pharmaceuticals and over-the-counter medications at 8 locations. Additionally, the program collects electronic scrap (E-scrap), operates a Recycle/Reuse Area at the HHW Center, hosts mobile HHW collection events in small cities and large neighborhoods in the County. The HHW Program also hosts an annual recycled latex paint giveaway for not for profit agencies and community groups at no cost.

For more information about NAHMMA, click here.

For more information about the Household Hazardous Waste program click here, or contact Household Hazardous Waste Coordinator Kurt Seaburg at 352-334-0440.

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Important Election Information

General Election - November 2, 2010
Register to vote by October 4, 2010
Early Voting starts October 18, 2010

The Alachua County Supervisor of Elections is recruiting registered voters to work the November 2th, 2010 Election. These are paid positions and training is required. If you are interested and want further information, please call the Alachua County Supervisor of Elections Office at (352) 374-5252 or you may complete the Poll Worker Application on our website at

For more information click here, or call 352-37435252.

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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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CERT Classes Offered

The Alachua County Public Safety Department’s Division of Emergency Management is now enrolling citizens in its Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Program.

CERT teaches citizens how to prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters. The next CERT class is scheduled to begin on Tuesday, September 7, 2010 and runs through October 19, 2010.

“It is never too late to begin preparing for the 2010 Hurricane Season,” said Emergency Management Chief David Donnelly, “and there’s no better way than to attend the CERT program.”

The seven classes are on Tuesday evenings, and each session runs from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Classes are held at the Alachua County Emergency Operations Center located at 1100 SE 27th Street in Gainesville. The registration deadline is September 6, 2010.

The seven-week class is free-of-charge to the public and covers the following topics:

For more information, or to register, please contact Emergency Management at 352-264-6500, or click here to go to the website.

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Buy SMART in September

The Alachua County Office of Waste Alternatives is taking their Buy S.M.A.R.T. (Save Money And Reduce Trash) program to local grocery stores from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursdays during the month of August 2010. Representatives will be on hand to offer shoppers information about how to buy S.M.A.R.T. The following is a list of locations and dates:

Buy S.M.A.R.T. focuses on using the 4Rs when shopping; reduce, reuse, recycle and rethink. Shoppers learn to ask the following questions:

1. Can the product’s packaging be recycled after you are done?
2. Can it be reused?
3. Is it over packaged?
4. Is the packaging made from recycled content?

Shoppers who visit Buy S.M.A.R.T. table will receive a free reusable shopping bag or shopping bag clip and a Buy S.M.A.R.T. pocket guide.

For more information, contact Jennifer Seitz, Alachua County Office of Waste Alternatives at 352-548-1296.

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Cooperative Extension Programs

Master Money Mentor Program Accepting Applications

The new Florida Master Money Mentor (FMMM) program is provided by the University of Florida IFAS and Alachua County Extension Service.

The program is a coordinated referral network in which trained volunteer mentors provide basic personal finance coaching to individuals and families. Mentors will receive training in September. Social service agencies, church groups and other organizations are encouraged to enlist volunteers to expand the services they already provide.

There is no fee for the 20 hours of training. Training dates are scheduled for September 7th, 8th, 14th, & 15th from 1p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Extension office (2800 NE 39th Avenue, Gainesville).

Applications will be taken and interviews held during August. For an application visit: and click on Florida Money Mentor program.

For more information, contact the Alachua County Extension Office at 352-955-2402.

Environmental Horticulture Programs

The Alachua County Extension Office is pleased to announce the following Environmental Horticulture Programs for September 2010. These programs are offered by Wendy Wilber, Environmental

Horticulture Agent.Raised Bed Vegetable Gardening
September 15 & 29 from 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm (Alachua County Extension Office, 2800 NE 39 Ave., Gainesville).
September 13 from 6:00 pm- 7:00 pm (Alachua Branch Public Library, 14913 NW 140 St., Alachua).

Learn about an innovative way to grow vegetables. You will be amazed to discover how you can grow your own produce within limited space. Demonstration garden located on site. Will also cover vegetable gardening basics and teach you how to use raised beds for increased efficiency.

Pre-register by leaving voicemail at 352-337-6209. For more information contact Wendy Wilber, Environmental Horticulture Agent, at 352-955-2402 or by e-mail at

Commercial Horticulture Programs

The Alachua County Extension Office is pleased to announce the following Commercial Horticulture Programs in September, 2010. All of these programs are held at the Alachua County Extension Office, (2800 NE 39th Avenue, Gainesville), and require pre-registration.

CORE (General Standards) September 8, from 9:00 am until 11:30 am
This workshop is designed to provide training in practices related to CORE (General Standards) for anyone working with pesticides in the agricultural or landscaping industry. CEU’s will be awarded.

Cost to attend this class is $5.00 (includes materials and snacks). Please pre-register by calling 352-337-6209.

Green Industries Best Management Practices Workshop September 15, 2010 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 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 calling 352-337-6209.

Private Applicator Pesticide License Workshop September 23, 2010 from 9:00 am until 1:00 pm

This workshop is designed to provide training in practices related to Private Applicator Pest Control License for anyone working in the agricultural industry.
Training agenda includes: Pests and their control, Regulations and Labeling, Equipment Calibration and Pesticide Arithmetic.
Earn CEUs for pesticide license holders. (2) CORE & (2) Private Applicator Ag.

Registration fee is $5.00 per person. Please pre-register by calling 352-337-6209.

For more information contact Aparna Gazula, Commercial Horticulture Agent, 955-2402. A registration form for these programs can be downloaded from:

Florida-Friendly Landscaping Tour & Seminar

The Alachua County Extension office is pleased to announce the 2010 Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ Tour & Seminar on September 18, 2010 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

A self-guided tour of yards will be from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m., followed by lunch and a seminar from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Best Western Gateway Grand (4200 NW 97th Boulevard, Gainesville). The tour will feature home gardens practicing the nine major principles of Florida Friendly Landscaping™; creating and maintaining attractive landscapes to enhance our community and to protect Florida’s natural environment. Most of the sites will be staffed with Alachua County Master Gardeners and in some cases the landscape designers. There are additional sites that are not staffed but offer excellent plant choices visible from your vehicle. A panel discussion after lunch will allow for questions about tour sites and landscaping techniques.

Local vendors that specialize in Florida-Friendly landscaping services and plant choices will have information tables set up at the seminar site from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Seminar choices are:
Seminar 1 (choose one) 1:15 p.m. to 2:15 p.m.
“Expanding Your Plant Palette with Native and Drought Resistant Plants”
“Rain Barrels, Rain Cist erns, and Rain Gardens”
Semnar 2 (choose one) 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
“Groundcovers and Turf Alternatives”
“The Rules Have Changed: Understanding Landscape Ordinances”

The cost of this tour and seminar is $10.00 and includes a buffet lunch of soups, sandwiches, salads and desserts. Space is limited so register now.

Please submit your check payable to Alachua County Extension Office, 2800 NE 39th Avenue, Gainesville, 32609, ATTN: FFL Tour & Seminar.

Tour packets with maps and descriptions will be sent out on September 1. Deadline to register is September 10, 2010. For a downloadable descriptive brochure and registration form visit: and scroll to September

For more information, contact the Alachua County Extension Office at 352-955-2402.

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Commission Highlights

Holloway Holdings, LLC
In the case of Holloway Holdings, LLC vs Alachua County the Board authorized the County Attorney to file a Stipulation for Entry to Order to quash Resolution 09-68, which vacated the Zitrouer Estate Plat.

Affordable Housing Impact Fee Assistance Program
The Board approved the Affordable Housing Impact Fee Assistance Program Budget Amendment
Amount: $10,000.00
image of budget amendment.pdf
Authorizing memo to request General Fund Reserves.pdf

No Parking Zone

The Board adopted the resolution authorizing the creation of a “NO PARKING” zone on NW 58th Terrace and NW 218th Avenue North of LaCrosse and authorize the signature of the Chair.
Amount: $2,070.00

Attachment: No Parking Limits Lacorsse.pdf
LOCATION MAP LaCrosse No Parking.pdf
Sheriff No Parking Request LaCrosse.pdf
Nw 58th Terrace NW 218th Avenue Parking Resolution.pdf

Teen Zone Program

The Board approved the Agreement with the School Board of Alachua County for the Teen Zone program.
Amount: $250,000.00

Attachment: SBAC Teen Zone Final.pdf

Waste Reduction Programs

13. Reserves in Waste Alternatives Fund for Waste Reduction Programs (Amended)

Recommended Action: Approve Budget Amendment to Utilize Waste Alternative Appropriated Reserves for Waste Reduction Programs.
Amount: $35,000.00

Attachment: Waste Alternatives Reserves BA.pdf
Reserve Adjustments Spreadsheet for 405.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.