February 17th edition of:

Community Update
A Report on the Activities of Alachua County Government


This Issues Features:

2011 Annual Report Available
02-21-12 Commission Special Meeting Agenda
Recognition of Emergency Service Responders
SWAG Family Resource Center Kick-Off Event
Sustainability Connection Newsletter
What's On "Alachua County Talks"
Upcoming Run-off Election
Alachua County Youth Fair & Livestock Show
February Extension Programs
Commission Highlights

2011 Annual Report Available

Alachua County Manager Rick Drummond is pleased to announce the release of the Alachua County 2011 Annual Report.  The report offers citizens a detailed look at County finances, and departmental accomplishments. A new feature this year is a two-page section highlighting trends in transportation expenditures, criminal justice spending, employee reductions, and land conservation.

This year's report is available in an all-digital format.

"This is our annual report to the people we serve, the citizens of Alachua County." Drummond said in speaking of the report. "This digital report is cost effective, eco-friendly, and offers some advantages and innovations unavailable in a print version."

In addition to the text, the report also features links to 30-minute video interviews with each County department head.  These interviews give citizens the opportunity to gain a detailed understanding of how County government functions. 

A limited number of print copies are available for pick up at the Alachua County Communications Office (12 SE 1st Street, downtown Gainesville).

View the interactive digital version of the 2011 Annual Report.  

View the single page per view, larger type pdf, 2011 Annual Report pdf.

For more information, contact the Communications Office at 352-374-5204.

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02-21-12 Commission Special Meeting Agenda

The Alachua County Commission will conduct a Special Meeting/General Policy Discussion (previously called the Informal Meeting) at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, February 21, 2012, in the Grace Knight Conference Room on the second floor of the Alachua County Administration Building located at 12 SE 1st Street, downtown Gainesville.

The agenda includes:

  1. A resolution supporting Florida's current governmental structure to manage public water assets
  2. Proposed Transportation Surtax
  3. Commission Discussion

View agenda and backup material

The Special Meeting/General Policy Discussion meetings are held twice a month on the first and third Tuesdays at 10 a.m. The agenda always includes a Commission Discussion agenda item so that Commissioners can discuss any item they choose. The Commission will not make motions or take action during the Commission Discussion period.

Citizens are encouraged to attend the meetings or to view them live on Cox Channel 12 or on the County's Video on Demand website.

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

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Recognition of Emergency Service Responders

During the Tuesday, February 14, 2012, County Commission Meeting, Alachua County Fire Rescue Director, Ed Bailey took time to recognize and honor those who participated in the January 29, 2012, Interstate 75 traffic disaster. During this disaster, 11 people lost their lives and 21 people were transported to area hospitals.

He recognized everyone who participated in this event, from The Alachua County Sheriff's office and the Combined Communications Center employees, to the Fire Rescue staff involved, as well as participants from Micanopy Fire Rescue, and Marion County Fire Rescue.

Commission Chair Paula Delaney spoke about her experience in hearing the startling news of that day, and thanked those involved in this incident, and everyone who serve the residence and visitors of Alachua County.

To view this recognition, click here and click the "Recognition of Emergency Service Responders" item on the agenda.

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SWAG Family Resource Center Kick-Off Event

The Alachua County Commission, the Southwest Advocacy Group (SWAG), and the Partnership for Strong Families (PSF) hosted the Renovation Kick-Off for the SWAG Family Resource Center. The kick-off ceremony took place on Thursday, February 9, 2012, at 1 p.m., at the Center (807 SW 64th Terrace, Gainesville). The public was invited and refreshments were served.

Click to learn more about SWAG.

"This is a great example of partners and stakeholders joining with government to address the needs of citizens," commented County Manager Rick Drummond. "It is amazing and heartening to see what a single minded group of people can accomplish when they have the determination and patience to pursue the collaboration necessary to make this kind of project a reality."

The Alachua County Commission allocated $225,000 to purchase and renovate two buildings in the Southwest community. One will serve as a neighborhood based resource center, and the second as a public health clinic. The Rotary Clubs of Gainesville Foundation awarded the project $57,000 for furnishings, appliances, and computers.

Learn more about the Rotary Clubs of Gainesville Foundation.

View other Renovation Partners.

View the SWAG Family Resource Center Plans.

After the purchase, the Partnership for Strong Families, the community-based care provider of child protective services in North Central Florida, offered to provide a full-time manager to run the facility.

Learn more about Partnership for Strong Families.

"I am so proud and fortunate to be part of the SWAG movement," said Katie Fields, SWAG Family Resource Center manager. "It is so rewarding to see the efforts of people from the neighborhoods, advocates from neighboring communities and community leaders coming together to create SWAG Family Resource Center. It will no doubt serve as an emblem of power, commitment, trust, and collaboration."

"We are excited to see the renovation begin on the SWAG Family Resource Center and look forward to the day when the doors open," said Shawn Salamida, President/CEO of Partnership for Strong Families. "We are glad for the opportunity to partner with SWAG and the County on this important project and look forward to seeing the impact that meeting this community's needs has on improving outcomes for our most vulnerable children."

For more information, contact the Alachua County Communications Office at 352-264-6979.

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Sustainability Connection Newsletter

The Alachua County Office of Waste Alternatives, Facilities Management Division, Environmental Protection Department and the Sustainability Program are coordinating to produce "Sustainability Connection." This quarterly newsletter contains articles about environmental sustainability topics and projects.

Alachua County Waste Alternatives Specialist, Jeff Klugh said, "Sustainability is quickly evolving from a new idea into normal operations for businesses and governmental organizations." He continued, "Alachua County's various departments have been working to operate in a more sustainable way for some time, and have been successful in many areas."

Click to view the Sustainability Connection newsletter.

For more information contact the Alachua County Waste Management Division at 352-374-5213 or jklugh@alachuacounty.us.

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What's On "Alachua County Talks"

Click here to view this edition of "Alachua County Talks." it features an in-depth interview with A.L. Mebane High School Alumni Association member Verdell Washington Robinson. Mrs. Robinson is a member of the former African American high school's first graduating class in 1957.  

In speaking of the interview, host Mark Sexton said, "Mrs. Robinson provides a fascinating look into the history of education, race relations, and the role African American schools played during the era of segregation."

Check out the latest editions of Alachua County Talks on Community 12 TV by viewing the Channel 12 Show Schedule.

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

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Upcoming Run-off Election

City Of Gainesville At-Large 1
Run-Off Election Information
February 20, 2012 – February 26, 2012

Early Voting for the February 28, 2012 City of Gainesville At-Large 1 Run-Off Election will be available starting Monday, February 20, 2012 through Sunday, February 26, 2012.

To be eligible to vote in the City of Gainesville Run-Off Election, you must be a resident of the City of Gainesville. The voter registration deadline for this election was January 30, 2012.

Early Voting Hours
Weekdays, Monday thru Friday
February 20, 2012 – February 24, 2012
9:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Saturday and Sunday
February 25, 2012 and February 26, 2012
12:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Early Voting Location – The City of Gainesville opens one Early Voting site
Supervisor of Elections Office
County Administration Building Location
12 S.E. 1st Street, Gainesville

Florida Law requires voters to present picture and signature ID in order to vote, or vote a provisional ballot.

Vote By Mail

To request a ballot and Vote by Mail, voters may make their request online at www.VoteAlachua.com or call the Supervisor of Elections Office at (352) 374-5252. Voters will need to make sure their address and signature on file with the Supervisor of Elections are current. Your mail ballot may not count if the signature does not match the signature on your voter record. The last day to request your ballot be mailed is Wednesday, February 22, 2012 by 5 PM.

To request a ballot for another voter, you must be a designated member of the voter's immediate family or a legal guardian. Requests can be made online, in person, by mail, by telephone or by fax. All requests must include the voter's name, residence address, and date of birth. The request must also include the requestor's name, residence address, relationship to the voter and driver's license number if available. Mail or fax request must also include the requestor's signature.

A voter may designate in writing another person to pick up an absentee ballot starting Thursday, February 23, 2012. The designee must have a note signed by the voter, a picture identification of the designee and must complete an affidavit. The affidavit is available for download at www.VoteAlachua.com . The designee may not pick up more than two absentee ballots per election, not including the designee's own ballot and ballots for members of his or her immediate family.

Absentee ballots are available at the Supervisor of Elections Office for voters who may have emergencies that will not allow them to go to their polling place to vote on Election Day.

If your signature has changed, your ballot may not count as we compare the signature in your file with the one on the envelope you return. You may update your signature by filling out a voter registration application form in person or online at www.VoteAlachua.com. All signature updates for use in verifying absentee and provisional ballots must be received in the Elections Office prior to the start of the canvassing of absentee ballots by the Canvassing Board.

All absentee ballots must be received in the Supervisor of Elections Office by 7:00 PM Election Day, February 28, 2012.

Vote At Your Precinct

Any voter may vote in the precinct of their residence between 7:00 AM and 7:00 PM on Election Day, Tuesday, February 28th. Florida Law requires voters to present picture and signature ID in order to vote, or you may vote a provisional ballot. If you need to locate your precinct, go to www.VoteAlachua.com.

Sample Ballot

Voters may view the sample ballot for the February 28, 2012 City of Gainesville At-Large 1 Run-Off Election online at www.VoteAlachua.com from our homepage by clicking on "You can view the Sample Ballot here".

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Alachua County Youth Fair & Livestock Show

The Alachua County Youth Fair and Livestock Show Association is pleased to announce the upcoming Alachua County Youth Fair & Livestock Show. The event runs March 2-6, 2012 at the Alachua County Fairgrounds located at 3100 NE 39th Avenue, Gainesville. Alachua County 4-H and FFA youth ranging in age from 8 to 18 can participate.

The event is free. For a complete schedule of events and times, visit the UF/IFAS Alachua County Cooperative Extension Youth Fair and Livestock Show webpage.

The Alachua County Youth Fair & Livestock Show Association is a non-profit organization that conducts and operates public fairs and expositions pertaining to agricultural matters and more particularly to the exhibitions of livestock, poultry, crafts, youth projects, and farm products. The fair is an educational platform for the youth in Alachua County who are interested in agriculture.

"The youth fair benefits agriculture and the local community by providing an educational opportunity for youth to learn about production agriculture," said Cindy Sanders, Alachua County Cooperative Extension Director/IFAS. "Working with livestock and other agriculture events through the Youth Fair prepares future citizens of Alachua County to be knowledgeable about agriculture production and land use." Sanders continued saying, "This benefits Alachua County by providing citizens who are familiar with this important segment of the county's economy. I encourage folks to come out and support our 4-H & FFA youth."

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

All Extension Programs and Services are open to all without regard to race, color, age, sex, religion, national origin, or handicap. For persons requiring special accommodations, please contact the Extension office at (352) 955-2402 (voice) or TDD/TYY (352) 955-2406 or at the Alachua County Extension Service, 2800 NE 39th Avenue, Gainesville, FL 32609. Please contact the Extension Office at least ten working days prior to the program so that proper consideration may be given to the request.

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February Extension Programs

Family and Consumer Sciences Programs

Financial Management Series

Basic Estate Planning – February 20, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

No fee for this program. Registration is recommended but not required.

Home Food Preservation Workshop – February 23, from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. and repeated from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

There is no cost, but registration is required at least three working days prior to workshop. Printed materials will be available for $3.00 per set.

Commercial Horticulture Programs

Limited Commercial Landscape Maintenance Workshop - February 22, from 9 a.m. to 3:15 p.m.

The registration fee is $30.00 includes program materials, refreshments, and lunch for the day. Pre-register at least three working days prior to the event.

Environmental Horticulture Programs

Fruit Crops for Alachua County – February 23, from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Millhopper Branch Alachua County Public Library (3145 NW 43rd Street). This class recurs on February 24, from 3 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. at the Extension Office (2800 NE 39th Avenue).

There is no cost for these classes. Seating is limited, pre-registration is recommended.

Agriculture & Natural Resources Program

Private Applicator Pesticide School – February 21, from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The full day registration fee is $40.00 (includes books & lunch), $10.00 (no books) and half day registration fee is $5.00 (no books & no lunch). To register please call 352-337-6209 by February 16.

Click to view the event flyer.

For more information or to register for any of these programs, http://alachua.ifas.ufl.edu/calendar.shtml or call 352-337-6209 (voicemail) or 352-955-2402.

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Commission Highlights

Mark Sexton, Communications Coordinator announced that the Alachua County 2011 Annual Report was available online

Qualified Targeted Industry
The Board approved resolution supporting the request by R and L Carriers, Inc. for participation in the Qualified Targeted Industry (QTI)
Exhibit B BOCC R and L Carriers Resolution.pdf
Exhibit A General Project Overview.pdf
Exhibit C Stadium Club Project Evaluation Matrix.pdf

GRU Biomass Project
The Board heard estimated budgetary increase in utilities due to the implementation of the GRU biomass project and moved to:

Request more information from staff to determine the split of energy costs that will be supplied by the biomass and Deerhaven plants

Direct the County Attorney to return with information regarding the necessity and the cost of hiring a consultant to investigate the possibility of a RFP for electricity 

Evaluate the cost of local electrical providers and compare it to the cost that surrounding counties pay for electricity
gru biomass.pdf

Jail Shower Renovation Phase II
The Board approved amending the FY12 Capital Improvement Program for the Jail Shower Renovation Phase II
jail tile feb 14.pdf

Poe Springs Management Agreement
The Board approved the outline of the Poe Springs Management Agreement with High Springs
Poe Springs Outline Management High Springs.pdf

National Weather Service StormReady Re-Designation
The Board accepted the presentation of Alachua County’s Re-Designation as a National Weather Service StormReady Re-Designation

Florida Small Cities Community Development Block Grant Award Agreement
The Board approved and authorized the Chair to sign the FFY 2011 Florida Small Cities Community Development Block Grant Award Agreement and all documents and forms necessary to implement and receive the grant. Copies of any documents signed to be included in the Board minutes.
Alachua County CDBG Award letter.pdf
CDBG Housing Rehab Final.pdf

San Felasco Additions - Freeland Tract
The Board exercised the Option Contract to purchase a Conservation Easement on the San Felasco Additions - Freeland Tract and direct staff to finalize documents as necessary and close the transaction.
Exhibit 2 Freeland evaluation.pdf
Exhibit 3 Project Assessment.pdf
Exhibit 1 Option.pdf
BoCC120214 ACF Freeland.pptx
Exhibit 4 Freeland Costs.pdf
Freeland CE rev120111 to be signed.pdf

Landscape Fertilizer and Irrigation Codes
The Board adopted the proposed Ordinance to amend the Landscape Fertilizer and Irrigation Codes to include the Cities of Alachua and Archer

Comprehensive Plan and the Unified Land Development Code
The Board heard adopted Resolution Z-xx-12 approving the request. Staff finds the proposed use consistent both with the Comprehensive Plan and the Unified Land Development Code (ULDC).
ZOM0511 Background.pdf
Public comment ZOM0511.pdf
Resolution for ZOM0511.pdf
ZOM0511 Staff Report.pdf
ZOM0511 Powerpoint.pdf
LeClear Neighborhood Workshop.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: 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.