February 10th edition of:

Community Update
A Report on the Activities of Alachua County Government


This Issues Features:

Two Neighborhood Stabilization Homes For Sale
Senior Safety Summit
What’s On “Alachua County Talks”
Black History Month Programming
2011 ACCESS Spring Classes
Health Department Offers Spring Break Travel Advice
Animal Adoption Event
City of Gainesville Election
February Extension Programs
Commission Highlights

Two Neighborhood Stabilization Homes For Sale

The Alachua County Department of Growth Management is pleased to announce that purchase offers are now being accepted for two single family homes purchased and repaired through the Neighborhood Stabilization Program, (NSP).   The two homes for sale by Alachua County are located at 3150 N.E. 12th Street and 1631 S.E. 37th Street, in Gainesville. 

Alachua County was awarded NSP funding by the State of Florida Department of Community Affairs to acquire and rehabilitate foreclosed single-family homes within designated areas of the community.  Homes are being renovated to bring them into compliance with the standards of the minimum housing code as well as to increase the energy efficiency of each unit.  Typical improvements in NSP homes include Energy Star replacement windows and exterior doors, electric service upgrades, new hot water heaters, HVAC units, and attic insulation.

Homebuyers must meet NSP income requirements.  For example, a family of 4 earning $73,560 may be eligible to buy an NSP home.  Buyers are required to complete an approved homebuyer's education course and cannot currently own a home at the time of an NSP purchase.  Other program requirements must be met as well.  Financial assistance in the form of principal reduction may be available to ensure affordability.  Alachua County requires that all offers be submitted by a licensed Realtor to ensure the buyer's interest is fully represented in the transaction.  Buyer's Realtor will be paid a 3.5% commission from the proceeds of the sale.   

Photos and prices of both homes as well as the NSP Information Packet are available on the Alachua County Department of Growth Management's website at http://growth-management.alachua.fl.us/, by calling 352-337-6283, or by contacting Jenny Poole, Housing Programs Coordinator, at jopoole@alachuacounty.us.  Offers for NSP homes located at 3150 N.E. 12th Street and 1631 S.E. 37th Street are now being accepted at the Alachua County Department of Growth Management, 10 SW 2nd Avenue in Gainesville and must be submitted by February 18, 2011 by a State of Florida licensed Realtor.  Realtors interested in showing NSP homes and submitting offers may also contact Jenny Poole, Housing Programs Coordinator at jopoole@alachuacounty.us

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Senior Safety Summit

The Alachua County Division of Community Partnerships, is pleased to announce that on Thursday, March 31, 2011, the Alachua County SALT (Seniors and Law Enforcement Together) Council is holding "Senior Safety Summit 2011" at the First Assembly of God located at 2925 NW 39th Ave. Gainesville, from 8:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m.  Participants will get timely information on crime prevention, safety, and wellness issues that affect older adults.  Topics include Personal Safety, Scams and Fraud, "Lock it or Lose it!", and Citizens on Patrol.  Speakers from the Alachua County Sheriff's Office, Gainesville Police Department, and Seniors vs. Crime will attend.  This free event includes refreshments, door prizes and is open to the public.

SALT is an advisory council comprised of older adults in the community, people that work with seniors, and law enforcement.  In close collaboration with the Alachua County Sheriff's Office and Gainesville Police Department, SALT focuses on the crime and safety related needs of older adults in the community.

SALT meets once monthly on the first Thursday at 9:30 a.m. Meetings rotate locations in Gainesville.  Anyone is welcome to become a member of SALT and participation of seniors is encouraged.  There are no membership fees or dues.

Seating is limited at the event so citizens are encouraged to call Norma Berger, Foster Grandparent Coordinator, Alachua County Division of Community Partnerships, at 352-264-6757.  If voicemail picks up please leave a message with your name and the number attending.

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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 Information and Telecommunications Services Director Kevin Smith discuss the the Information and Telecommunications Services Department, its duties, programs, and the services it provides.

Click here to watch Alachua County Interim Court Services Director Jim Santangelo discuss the Court Services Department, its duties, programs, and the services it provides.

Click here to watch Alachua County Public Works Director Richard Hedrick discuss the Public Works Department, its duties, programs, and the services it provides.

Click here to watch Alachua County Administrative Services Director Betty Baker discuss the Administrative Services Department, its duties, programs, and the services it provides.

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Black History Month Programming

Throughout the month of February Alachua County will recognize Black History Month by running special Black History programming at 7 p.m. every night except Thursday and at 12 a.m. and 7 a.m. every day.

Included in this programming will be:
1.    In the Shadow of Plantations (click here to view), which traces the history of enslaved African workers in the region
2.    Freedom Ride 2008 (click here to view), which documents the civil rights movement in Alachua County
3.    The Cotton Club Museum and Cultural Center (click here to view), which looks at efforts to restore the County's historic Cotton Club music venue

Alachua County is also pleased to offer these programs on its website. Click here to see the videos online.

To view the complete Channel 12 schedule, click here.

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

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2011 ACCESS Spring Classes

The public is invited to participate in the annual Alachua County Civic Education SerieS (ACCESS) classes, which begins April 4, 2011. Alachua County Government invites residents to learn about local government issues and gain access to County operations that most citizens never see. Each ACCESS graduating class will produce a group of citizens equipped to engage in ways that help Alachua County become more representative of its citizenry's needs.

County Manager Randall H. Reid said of ACCESS, "Thomas Jefferson believed an informed citizenry was democracy's greatest safeguard and we agree. Where do you go if you want to make a difference in your community ... ACCESS is the key."

ACCESS runs for seven sessions, and is free, but space is limited. The registration deadline is March 18. For a complete schedule of classes, visit www.alachuacounty.us/access.

For more information, or to register call 352-374-5219.

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Health Department Offers Spring Break Travel Advice

International travelers are advised to contact their medical providers and foreign travel clinics for information related to communicable disease threats in foreign countries. "Increased travel during the upcoming spring break periods provides an opportunity to review immunization status and identify region specific health threats." stated Paul Myers, Assistant Director of the Alachua County Health Department. "Minimizing adverse health impacts associated with international travel can be achieved through a medical consultation".

Approximately 8-10% of travelers become sick enough to seek health care, either while overseas or after returning home. Within the last few months, outbreaks of measles have occurred in Canada, Spain, France, U.K., and areas of Africa and Asia. Carrying documentation of vaccines can prevent students and others from receiving an unneeded vaccine in an unwanted situation, or having to pay for it there. Even for close popular student destinations, such as the Caribbean and Mexico, travelers should have timely education and information about preventing diseases and accidents and have their immunizations reviewed and up dated.

Travelers are encouraged to contact their medical provider or the Alachua County Health Department's Foreign Travel Clinic 4 to 6 weeks in advance of their trip at 352-334-8849.

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

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Animal Adoption Event

Alachua County Animal Services invites the public to the "Come Fall in Love Adoption Event" on Saturday, February 12, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Alachua County Animal Services Headquarters (3400 NE 53rd Ave, Gainesville).
All adoptions will be at Special Event Prices (dogs $45.00 and cats $33.00).

The event will include food, silent auctions, and area vendors.

Professional dog trainers will be on hand to answer questions and give advice.

For more information, contact Hilary Hynes, Alachua County Animal Services Public Education Program Coordinator, at 352-264-6881 or heh@alachuacounty.us.

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City of Gainesville Election

Monday, February 14, 2011 is the last day to register to vote for the March 15, 2011 City of Gainesville Election. You must be a City of Gainesville resident to vote in the Gainesville City Election. Voters are encouraged to verify and update their registration status online at www.VoteAlachua.com by clicking on "My Voter Information Page (My VIP)." The Supervisor of Elections Office will be open from 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. to accept voter registration applications. The Supervisor of Elections Office located at 111 S.E. 1st Avenue has an after-hours mail drop located at the main entrance. Voter registration applications received through the mail drop will be accepted up until midnight on the 14th.

You may use the on-line application form at www.VoteAlachua.com to register to vote, update your voter information, or update your signature. Be sure to fill out the form completely and check the correct box. You will then need to print the application form, sign it, and return it to the Elections Office. You may also register to vote in person at the Supervisor of Elections Office or by mail. For a list of other facilities in the county where voter registration application forms may be obtained, please visit our website or call the Supervisor of Elections Office at 352-374-5252. To vote in the City of Gainesville Election, mail-in applications must be postmarked no later than the February 14th deadline.

All City of Gainesville voters may vote in the At-Large 2 race. Only City of Gainesville voters living in District 2 may vote in the District 2 race. Only City of Gainesville voters living in District 3 may vote in the District 3 race.

If you have any questions or need further information, visit our website at www.VoteAlachua.com or contact the Supervisor of Elections Office at 352-374-5252.

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February Extension Programs

The Alachua County Extension Office is pleased to announce the following Environmental Horticulture Programs for February, 2011. These programs are offered by Wendy Wilber, Environmental Horticulture Agent. These programs will be held at the Extension Office (2800 NE 39th Avenue, Gainesville).

Vegetable Growing in Raised Beds – February 8, from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
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.

Growing Fruit in North Central Florida – February 22, from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Developing and maintaining a successful home orchard requires special horticultural skills. A well-designed and well-managed home orchard can furnish both fine fruit and pleasant hours of gardening. This class describes the various types of orchard fruits, their suitability to the Florida home orchard, and the process involved in raising a home orchard.

There is no cost to attend these classes. Pre-register by calling 352-337-6209. For more information about any of these programs, call the Extension Office at 352-955-2402.

The Alachua County Extension Office is pleased to announce the following Family & Consumer Sciences Programs, for February, 2011. These programs are offered by Dr. Brenda Williams, Family & Consumer Sciences Agent. All of these programs are held at the Extension Office (2800 NE 39th Avenue, Gainesville).

Home Buying Education Course (HUD Approved) – (3 sessions) 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Making the Decision to be a Homeowner: Getting Your Credit & Budget in Order, February 15.
The Home Purchasing Process: From Offer to Closing, February 22.
Working with Housing Professionals: Experts will answer your questions, March 1.

Attendees must be present at all three sessions to receive a certificate of completion. The cost to attend is $10.00 (for individual/couple). Attendees must pre-register by calling 352-337-6209 (voicemail) by February 10. There must have 5 individual/couples for class to be conducted.

Building Your Financial Future (A personal financial management program - for those filing bankruptcy only) – February 17, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Attendees will learn 4 basic concepts that will aid in handling financial resources responsibly and building a financially secure future.  This program has been approved to issue certificates evidencing completion of a personal financial management instructional course in compliance with the Bankruptcy Code. Attendees must bring their case number with them.

Topics include: Develop Your Budget, Money Management Skills, Use Credit Responsibly, and Consumers Rights and Responsibilities

Cost to attend this class is $10.00 (cash only) for course materials. Pre-register by February 11, by calling 352-955-2402. For alternate class dates, or view the complete brochure, visit http://alachua.ifas.ufl.edu/calendar.shtml

Food Safety and Quality Program (ServSafe®) – February 16, 8:30 a.m. to 4 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 more information and to register, please visit http://foodsafety.ifas.ufl.edu, or call toll-free at 1-888-232-8723.

For more information, call 352-955-2402. Visit http://alachua.ifas.ufl.edu/calendar.shtml for additional programs offered by the Extension Office.

The Alachua County Extension Office is pleased to announce the following Commercial Horticulture Programs, for February, 2011. These programs are offered by Aparna Gazula, Commercial Horticulture Agent. All of these programs are held at the Extension Office (2800 NE 39th Avenue, Gainesville).

Worker Protection Standard – Train the Trainer Workshop February 17, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Under FAWSA and WPS, agriculture employers must ensure that agricultural workers and pesticide handlers employed in the state of Florida receive protection from agricultural pesticides and information concerning pesticides. The Worker Protection Standard Train the Trainer (WPS TTT) Program promotes the development of a working population of knowledgeable WPS trainers of agricultural workers and pesticide handlers, in order to prevent and reduce pesticide exposure and related illness.

Cost to attend this class is $5.00. Pre-register by February 11, by calling 352-337-6209. For more information call 352-955-2402. A complete brochure with registration form can be found at: http://alachua.ifas.ufl.edu/calendar.shtml.

Alternative Enterprises for Small Farmers Workshop Series: Small Ruminants – Goat and Sheet Production and Forages February 17, 6 p.m.

Topics to include: Toxic Plants for goats & sheep. Pasture Management for the spring/summer as well as goat & sheep nutrition.

No cost to attend this class. Please pre-register by February 11, by calling 352-337-6209.

Limited Commercial Landscape Maintenance Workshop February 24, 9 a.m. to 3:15 p.m.
License Information: The Limited Commercial Maintenance License is available only for Landscape Maintenance Contractors applying pesticides to their customers' properties. The Limited Commercial Landscape Maintenance

License Exam requires a passing grade of 75%. This certification must be renewed annually either by testing or with 4 CEUs. Each applicator must be licensed and may not supervise other applicators.

Registration fee is $30.00 per person (lunch included), but does not include IFAS Bookstore Study Manuals. Pre-register by February 18, by calling 352-337-6209. Program flyer and registration form can be downloaded from: http://alachua.ifas.ufl.edu/calendar.shtml

For more information contact Aparna Gazula, Commercial Horticulture Agent, 352-955-2402.

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Commission Highlights

The Board heard announcements by Mark Sexton Communications Coordinator.  Mr. Sexton reminded citizens that they can go to www.alachuacounty.us to sign up for the ACCESS Program (Alachua County’s citizen academy) and to view the County’s 2010 Annual Report.

Dating Violence Awareness Month
The Board proclaimed February 2011 as “Dating Violence Awareness Month” in Alachua County, Florida.
Dating Violence Awareness Month_1.pdf

The Board approved sending a Request for Letters of Interest from potential private sector interests to collaborate with the County to develop its new Fairgrounds and redevelop the existing Fairgrounds site (Amended)

Attachment: Fairgrounds Public Private powerpt.pptx
Fairgrounds Public Private Prospectus.pdf

Vehicle Use Policy
The Board approved the revision of Policy No. 6-7, Vehicle Use Policy.
memotorrpolicy6 7 prop revision 121410.pdf
Pol 6 7 Vehicle Use Policyproposedchangepassengerapproval112310.pdf

Diversity, Inclusion and Workforce Development Framework and Plan
The Board accepted the Diversity, Inclusion and Workforce Development Framework and Plan.
1_DIWD Board 02012011.pdf
3_DIWD Board 02012011.pdf
2_DIWD Board 02012011.pdf
Budget Report.pdf

SW 1st Place Mulit-Use Path
Concerning the SW 1st Place Mulit-Use Path the Board:
1) Approved limited vehicular (bicycle) traffic for the proposed multi-use path as required by the Westchester Manor Subdivision Plat.

2) Approved 60 percent plans as proposed and directed staff to proceed with construction once final plans have been completed.
SW 1st Place Plans.pdf
SW 1st PLace BOCC Pres FEB 08 2011.pdf

Construction Contract

The Board approved the Construction Contract with V.E. Whitehurst and Sons, Inc. for County Project No. 6361, Mill and Resurfacing of SE CR 325 from SE CR 346 to US 301
Amount: $4,203,517.18

Attachment: Whitehurst Project 6361 Final.pdf

Southwest Advocacy Group
The Board accepted the Southwest Advocacy Group’s (SWAG) Utilization Plan for the Southwest Community Resource Center.
SWAG resource center and health clinic plan presentation.pdf

County Manager’s Report
The Board accepted the County Manager’s Report and approved the request for a 30 day extension on land conservation purchase recommendations.

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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://www.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.