April 10th edition of:

Community Update
A Report on the Activities of Alachua County Government


This Issues Features:

2013/2014 CAPP Poverty Reduction Program Funding
Earth Day Celebration Stewardship Event
What’s On “Alachua County Talks”
April is Fair Housing Month
Laura Kalt Wins Victim Advocate of the Year Award
Lauren Book’s Walk to End the Silence About Sexual Violence
2013 Gainesville Area Innovation Network (GAIN) Fast Pitch
Rest in Peace Allan Waters
Early Voting Still Available for City of Gainesville Run-Off Election
Hogtown Creek Cleanup
Water Conservation Month
April Extension Programs
Commission Highlights

2013/2014 CAPP Poverty Reduction Program Funding

The Alachua County Board of County Commissioners is seeking applications from 501(c)(3) organizations for the Community Agency Partnership Program (CAPP) poverty reduction funding program.  Agencies must have a physical location in Alachua County and current 501(c)(3) tax exempt status. 

Approximately $1 million (total) is available for programs that reduce poverty among Alachua County residents. 

Click for documents pertaining to the grant or for more information.

Documents and applications may be picked up from the Alachua County Purchasing Office (County Administration Building, third floor, 12 SE 1st Street, Gainesville)

For more information, contact the Alachua County Purchasing Office at 352-374-5202.

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Earth Day Celebration Stewardship Event

In celebration of Earth Day 2013, the Alachua County Environmental Protection Department is hosting a volunteer stewardship event at the soon-to-be-opened Lake Alto Preserve on Saturday, April 20, from 9 a.m. to noon.  The public is invited to participate.  Because there will be multiple volunteer teams, participants are asked to RSVP prior to the event.  

Participants may choose from three team projects:

Participants should bring a water container, snacks, bug spray, sunscreen, hats and work gloves.  Those wanting to pick up trash on Lake Alto by boat should bring a boat and enough personal floatation devices for their team. 

The 662-acre Lake Alto Preserve is located in the northeast portion of Alachua County between Lake Alto and Lake Santa Fe.  It is adjacent to Lake Alto Swamp, a Suwannee River Water Management District property.  Biotic features of the Preserve include seven distinct natural communities, some in excellent condition, and a quarter of the entire shoreline of Lake Alto.

Lands within the preserve were acquired to improve and manage environmentally significant lands, to protect water resources, wildlife habitats and natural areas suitable for resource-based recreation.

The Preserve comprises four tracts, which were purchased between 2005 and 2008, for a total of $3 million. Acquisitions were funded through the voter-approved Alachua County Forever Bond and the Suwannee River Water Management District.

To RSVP, or for more information, contact Alachua County Senior Environmental Specialist, Susie Hetrick at 352-264-6835, 352-213-1217 or shetrick@alachuacounty.us.

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What’s On “Alachua County Talks”

A new edition of Alachua County Talks featuring an interview with Florida’s Eden Executive Director Annie Whittaker Pais is available. Pais discusses GainesvilleConnect.com, the new web portal to the Alachua County/Gainesville area designed specifically to attract people and businesses to our community.

The latest editions of Alachua County Talks air at 7 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. every night except Thursday, and at 7 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. and 11:30 p.m. and 12 a.m. every day. Special or regular County Commission and Gainesville City Commission meetings may preempt any showing.

View Alachua County Talks: GainesvilleConnect.com.

Click to subscribe to the County’s YouTube channel (and receive updates when new videos are published).

View the complete Channel 12 Schedule.

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

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April is Fair Housing Month

The Alachua County Equal Opportunity Office informs residents that April is Fair Housing Month. The Alachua County Fair Housing Ordinance prohibits discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion, disability, sex, marital status, age or familial status in the sale or rental of housing.

Examples of unlawful and discriminatory housing practices include:

To prohibit a person with a disability from making reasonable modifications at their expense (e.g. installing grab bars or ramps) to their apartment 

Those feeling that they have been discriminated against, or those seeking more information on fair housing, should contact the Alachua County Equal Opportunity Office at 352-374-5275 or 711 (Florida Relay) for TTY users. 

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Laura Kalt Wins Victim Advocate of the Year Award

Alachua County Victim Services and Rape Crisis Center Project Coordinator, Laura Kalt has been selected for the Office of the Attorney General’s 2012 “Victim Advocate of the Year Award.”

Laura has been an employee of Alachua County since 1997, and is posted in the Gainesville Police Department’s (GPD) Criminal Investigation Domestic Violence Unit. Laura was nominated by Captain Lynne Benck for her dedication and commitment to serving citizens and victims of crime.

Laura will be acknowledged on April 24, 2013, by Attorney General, Pam Bondi and Governor Rick Scott during a commemorative ceremony in Tallahassee. The ceremony pays tribute to criminal justice officers and victim advocates who have distinguished themselves in the preservation of the rights of crime victims through service in their community on behalf of victims.

In addition to being posted in the Gainesville Police Department, Laura assists the County’s Victim Services and Rape Crisis Center in providing 24/7 emergency outreach and crisis intervention to victims of sexual violence and other violent crime. Laura is responsible for coordinating education, awareness and risk reduction activities, facilitating support groups, and accompanying victims to criminal justice procedures.

When congratulated by her colleagues for the honor and recognition Laura stated, “It has special meaning to me since it was GPD that nominated me. When you believe in yourself and the reason you do this job no matter who you’re up against, then you know you’ve done the best job you could.”

For more information, contact Alachua County Victim Services Director, Loretta Golden at 352-264-6760 or llg@alachuacounty.us.

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Lauren Book’s Walk to End the Silence About Sexual Violence

The Alachua County Victim Services and Rape Crisis Center invites residents to join Lauren Book on the Gainesville stop of her walk across Florida to raise awareness about sexual violence. She is walking in Gainesville on Thursday, April 11, 2013, from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., beginning and ending at Gainesville City Hall (200 East University Ave., Gainesville).

The walk is approximately six miles, with a 30 minute stop at Squirrel Ridge Park (1603 SW Williston Rd., Gainesville) for a rally, rest, and refreshments. Lauren Book and local prosecutor, Deborah Hunt, will speak about the work communities can do to reduce victimization and support survivors.

Lauren Book is a survivor and outspoken advocate of survivors’ rights in Florida. She will end her walk in Tallahassee to meet with lawmakers. This is her fourth annual walk across the state of Florida to raise awareness about sexual abuse.

Alachua County Victim Advocate Counselor, Laura Kalt said, “Lauren Book is a survivor of childhood sexual abuse who found the courage, not just to tell her family and authorities, but to overcome the fear of telling the world.” She continued, “It’s because of courageous people, like Lauren, who speak publicly about their abuse, that we better understand the dynamics of sexual abuse and the journey survivors take to heal themselves.”

For more information, contact the Alachua County Victim Services and Rape Crisis Center at 352-264-6760.

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2013 Gainesville Area Innovation Network (GAIN) Fast Pitch

The Alachua County Economic Development Office invites start-up company entrepreneurs in Alachua County to participate in the “GAIN 2013 Fast Pitch.” The event is on Thursday, April 11, 2013, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Hampton Inn (101 SE 1st Avenue, downtown Gainesville).

The GAIN Fast Pitch provides early-stage entrepreneurs with an opportunity to practice their investor pitches to specially recruited investors, mentors, community leaders, and service providers. The winner will receive $3,000 in legal fees and an opportunity to participate in the Florida Venture Forum Early-Stage competition on May 15, 2013.

Entrepreneurs wishing to participate in the event must apply by April 5. There is a $25 base application fee, which includes entry for one company representative. Companies must pay $10 for each additional company representative. People wishing to attend the event can purchase tickets for $15 ($10 for GAIN stakeholders).

For more details about the event, click here.

GAIN Executive Director Lee May said, “The Fast Pitch is a must attend event in North Central Florida for any entrepreneur that wishes to improve their business pitching skills.”

GAIN is non-for-profit that has as mission to inspire, connect and educate entrepreneurs who want to change the world, offering a variety of programs and events, including open events and stakeholder-only events.

Click here for more information about GAIN.

For more information, contact Alachua County Economic Coordinator, Edgar Campa-Palafox at 352-374-5204 or epalafox@alachuacounty.us.

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Rest in Peace Allan Waters

Allan Waters, Capital Projects Coordinator with Alachua County Facilities Management, passed away on Friday, April 5, 2013.  Al was a dedicated county employee who was proud to bring in his many major design and construction projects “on time and under budget.”  Allan worked on numerous capital projects including the design and construction of Jonesville Fire Station # 17, the Freedom Center at Kanapaha Veteran’s Park and multiple installs, upgrades and expansions at the Alachua County correctional facility. 

He will always be remembered for the generous smile he had for everybody, his honesty, integrity and great love for God, his church, his family, his co-workers and people from all walks of life. 

Charlie Jackson, Facilities Manager said, “Al was an outstanding employee.”

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Early Voting Still Available for City of Gainesville Run-Off Election

Early Voting for the April 16th City of Gainesville Run-Off Election will end Sunday, April 14th. Gainesville city voters still have time to cast their ballot prior to Election Day at the Supervisor of Elections Office, County Administration Building, 12 S.E. 1st Street during the following dates and hours:
Thursday, April 11th (9 am to 5 pm)
Friday, April 12th (9 am to 5 pm)
Saturday, April 13th (9 am to 2 pm)
Sunday, April 14th (11 am to 2 pm)

Voters should bring their current and valid picture and signature identification to the designated early voting location and to the polls on Election Day or vote a provisional ballot. Polls will be open on April 16th from 7 am to 7 pm.

To update your address, view your sample ballot, and locate your precinct, go to www.VoteAlachua.com and click on “My Voter Information Page”.

For more information, view our website at www.VoteAlachua.com or call the Supervisor of Elections Office at 352-374-5252.

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Hogtown Creek Cleanup

The Alachua County Environmental Protection Department and the Gainesville Clean Water Partnership are pleased to share that Current Problems is coordinating a cleanup of Hogtown Creek from its headwaters down to Haile Sink where it empties into the aquifer. 

The cleanup, which began in March, continues through April. Two cleanups events are open to the public at large, on April 13, and April 27, 2013. The April 13, cleanup will be behind the Lowe’s Home Improvement Store (2564 N.W. 13th Street, Gainesville), beginning at 9 a.m. The April 27, cleanup will be held at Forest Park (4501 SW 20th Ave, Gainesville), and also begins at 9 a.m. Volunteers from the community are needed for both of these cleanup dates. Current Problems will provide supplies and arrange disposal for these cleanup projects.

Click here to view a map of Hogtown Creek on the Current Problems website.

Current Problems Executive Director, Fritzi Olson, speaking about Gainesville creeks said, “Gainesville creeks are unique in that they all drain into the aquifer eventually, rather than the Gulf or ocean, carrying any pollutants that find their way to the creeks with them.”

For more information, contact Fritzi Olson at 352-264-6827 or aar@currentproblems.org.

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Water Conservation Month

Alachua County has joined numerous governments across Florida, declaring April as Water Conservation Month. The Environmental Protection Department (EPD) is observing Water Conservation Month by airing a radio announcement reminding citizens to maintain their irrigation systems and rainfall shut off devices and to take advantage of rebates offered by GRU.

Alachua County is also beginning a new program titled “Conservation Champs,” in which County employees will learn how to save water and energy at the office and at home. EPD is also continuing its program of visiting local classrooms to teach elementary age children how and why to use less water every day.

“We depend on the aquifer for our drinking water, as do our springs, rivers, and lakes. We all need to do our part to use less water every day.” said Alachua County Water Conservation Coordinator, Stacie Greco. She continued, “Even simple changes like replacing thirsty landscapes with native vegetation that requires less water and chemicals, turning off your automatic irrigation system and only watering when your plants look thirsty or limiting showers to five minutes, leaves more water for our springs.”

Click here for more information about Alachua County water.

For more information, contact Stacie Greco at 352-264-6829 or sgreco@alachuacounty.us.

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April Extension Programs

Environmental Horticulture Programs

These programs are being offered by Wendy Wilber, Environmental Horticulture Agent, at the Extension Office (2800 NE 39 Avenue, Gainesville) unless otherwise indicated.

Pruning Shrubs – April 17, from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.

This class will cover the timing of pruning, pruning styles, and equipment for the perfect prune job.

Culinary Herbs and Spices – April 22, from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., at the Alachua County Public Library Headquarters (401 East University Avenue, Gainesville).

This class will cover growing traditional herbs such as parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme and venture into a few more exotic types (like lemon grass and kaffir lime).

Growing Peaches and Nectarines – April 24, from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Peaches and nectarines can be grown in North Central Florida using good variety selection and proper pruning. Attendees will learn techniques for success in this class.

Perennials and Your Florida-Friendly™ Yard – April 25, from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Perennial plants can be low maintenance, add color, and attract butterflies and hummingbirds to the yard. Attendees will learn how to create a perennial garden that is beautiful and Florida-Friendly™.

There is no cost to attend these classes, space is limited. Pre-register at least 3 days prior to class by calling 352-337-6209.

Family and Consumer Sciences Programs

These programs are being offered by Brenda C. Williams, Family and Consumer Sciences Agent, at the Extension Office (2800 NE 39 Avenue, Gainesville).

First Time Home Buyers Program – This series offers resources that can help with buying, maintaining and keeping a home. Upon completion of this program, participants will receive a certificate of attendance. The classes are on three consecutive Tuesdays, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and will cover the following:

Session 2 – Tuesday, April 16
Information on: understanding sales contracts, home inspections, the mortgage process, selecting homeowners’ insurance, warranties, and the closing process.

Session 3 – Tuesday April 23
Question and answer time and an opportunity to get valuable tips from those involved in the process of buying a home.

Click to view the event flyer.

The cost for the entire series is $10.00 per individual or couple. Pre-register by April 5, by calling 352-337-6209 (voicemail), subject to cancellation if less than five people register.

Home Food Preservation Workshop – April 15, from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., and repeated from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Basic information on canning foods using the steam pressure canner or boiling-water canner. Directions and tips will also be included on making jams, jellies and pickles.

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.

Healthy French Cooking – April 19, from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Dr. Brenda Williams will be hosting this class with guest Chef Michel Maloiseu. Preparation of healthy, uncomplicated chicken dishes and vegetable sides with a French flair will be demonstrated.

Attendees will have an opportunity to ask questions of the chef as well as sample the demonstrated dishes and receive copies of recipes.

Click to view the event flyer.

This class is limited to 35 participants with a minimum of 10 required to conduct the class. Registration fee is $35.00 and must be received at the Extension Office prior to 4 p.m., on April 10.

Before You Tie the Knot – April 22 & 29, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Before You Tie the Knot is a premarital preparation course.

Topics include: Communication, Conflict Management and Resolution, Financial Responsibility and Spending Plans, and Children and Parenting Responsibilities.

Click to view the event brochure.

Completion of this course is required to receive a $32.50 reduction of marriage license. Attendees will receive a certificate of completion and a copy for the Clerk of the Court.

There is no cost to attend this two evening class.

Pre-register at least five days in advance by calling 352-337-6209 (voicemail), subject to cancellation if less than three couples register.

Livestock Program

This program is offered by Cindy Sanders, Livestock Agent, at the Extension Office (2800 NE 39 Avenue, Gainesville).

Small Ruminant Workshop – April 18, 6 p.m.

Sheep and goat producers will have the opportunity to see first-hand the basics of small ruminant management. Workshop topics include: nutrition, breeds, forages, and toxic plants.

There is no cost to attend this class. Register by April 16, by calling 352-337-6209 (voicemail). Refreshments will be provided.

Commercial Horticulture Program

This program is being offered by Aparna Gazula, Commercial Horticulture Agent, at the Extension Office (2800 NE 39th Avenue, Gainesville).

Advanced Ltd. Commercial Landscape Maintenance Workshop – April 25, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

This class is for licensed Limited Commercial Landscape Maintenance professionals. To renew an LCLM license, professionals may attend this 4 hour class to get CEU credits. 4 maximum CEUs will be given in: Ornamental &Turf, Limited Lawn & Ornamental, Limited Landscape Maintenance, Commercial Lawn & Ornamental.

Registration fee is $5.00. Register at least three working days prior to this program by calling 352-337-6209 (voicemail).

For more information about these programs, call 352-955-2402. Visit the Extension Office calendar for additional programs offered by the Extension Office.

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Commission Highlights

National Drug Court Month
The Board proclaimed May 2013 as “National Drug Court Month”
National Drug Court Month 2013.pdf

National Crime Victims’ Rights Week
The Board proclaimed April 21 - 27, 2013 as “National Crime Victims’ Rights Week”
National Crime Victims Rights Week 2013.pdf

Fair Housing Month
The Board proclaimed April 2013 as “Fair Housing Month”
Fair Housing Month 2013.pdf

National Ag Day and Week
The Board received a presentation on Agriculture in Alachua County in recognition of National Ag Day and Week by Cindy Sanders, County Extension Director, on behalf of the extension office and the Rural Concerns Advisory Committee.

2013 Federal Legislative Program
The Board approved the 2013 Federal Legislative Program adding support for the Archer sewer system and adjusting the Cabot/Koppers Superfund Site language.

Revised Fairgrounds Application and License Agreement
The Board approved the Revised Fairgrounds application and license agreement regarding amplified sound but adjusted the times to 7 a.m. to midnight.  They made one exception:  the Midnight Madness event at the annual County Fair is extended to 1 a.m.

Economic Development Advisory Committee
The Board heard the presentation on the response to the Economic Development Advisory Committee and the Affordable Housing Advisory Committee concerns.

Wagmore Foundation
The Board approved the agreement with Wagmore Foundation for a Gift for 2013 Conference’s, approved the resolution for unanticipated revenues, and approved the budget amendment. They approved indemnifying the Wagmore Foundation because the Board finds that accepting this liability is in the best interests of Alachua County and the Board agrees to accept the liability under the Agreement.
Amount: $15,000 Revenue
Attachment: Wagmore Foundation Grant.pdf
Resolution 13 Gift for 2013 Conferences.pdf
Budget Amendment for Wagmore Conferences.pdf

625 SW 4th Ave
The Board approved selling the property on 625 SW 4th Ave in an open market and use the proceeds to fund indigent health care until such time as the Affordable Health Care Act has been adopted by the State and/or the State of Florida implements a state-wide indigent health care program.
Amount: $1.7-2.3 million
Alachua County and the UF Shands Family Medicine Residency Program.pdf

Concerning the CHOICES program, the Board approved the following:
CHOICES will end accepting new membership applications on July 31, 2013
CHOICES will continue to process renewal applications into November 2013
After consulting the County Manager, the CHOICES staff and CSS leadership shall make adjustments to these dates if financial changes are necessary to continue the benefit program until December 31, 2013.
Attachment: CloseDownPlan2013Final.pdf

Child Abuse Prevention Month
The Board proclaimed April 2013 as “Child Abuse Prevention Month”
Child Abuse Prevention 2013.pdf

Jazz Appreciation Month
The Board proclaimed April 2013 as “Jazz Appreciation Month”
Jazz Appreciation Month 2013.pdf

National Public Safety Telecommunications Week
The Board proclaimed April 14 - 20, 2013 as “National Public Safety Telecommunications Week”
National Public Safety Telecommunications Week 2013.pdf

Gary Paul Matthews Day
The Board proclaimed April 1st, 2013 as “Gary Paul Matthews Day”
Gary Paul Matthews 2013.pdf

State Scenic Byway Day
The Board proclaimed April 5th, 2013 as “State Scenic Byway Day”
State Scenic Byway Day 2013.pdf

Buck Bay Flatwoods - Cox and Moore Property
The Board exercised the Option Contract to purchase the Buck Bay Flatwoods - Cox and Moore Property and authorized staff to execute additional documents as necessary to close the transaction.
Amount: Acquisition $1,124,181. Annual Stewardship $11,125
Attachment: 130409 Cox Moore Exercise.pptx
Exhibit 1 Executed Option.pdf
Exhibit 2 Cox Moore Evaluation.pdf
Exhibit 4 Acquisition List Status report.pdf
Exhibit 3 Cox Moore acq costs.pdf

Orange City Plat
The Board adopted the Resolution to vacate the portion of the Orange City plat as requested.

Comprehensive Plan Amendment
The Board heard CPA-01-13: A request for a Comprehensive Plan Amendment for an Agricultural Enclave for 136 acres southeast of SW Archer Rd/SW 107th St intersection in accordance with Florida Statutes and approved transmittal of the proposed amendment CPA-01-13 to the State Land Planning Agency and other agencies for review and comment with the bases as noted in the staff report.
Attachment: CPA0113application.pdf

Phifer Flatwoods Preserve
The Board approved the resolution Z-13-04 to change the zoning designation of the Phifer Flatwoods Preserve to Preservation.
Public Comment ZOM0213.pdf

Barr Hammock Preserve
The Board approved Resolution Z-13-05 to change the zoning designation of the Barr Hammock Preserve to Preservation.
Public Comments ZOM0313.pdf

Mill Creek Preserve
The Board approved Resolution Z-13-06 to change the zoning designation of the Mill Creek Preserve to Preservation.

Paynes Prairie Sweetwater Preserve
The Board approved Resolution Z-13-07 to change the zoning designation of the Paynes Prairie Sweetwater Preserve to Preservation.

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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.