February 13th edition of:

Community Update
A Report on the Activities of Alachua County Government


This Issues Features:

2015 ACCESS Spring Classes
Mental Health Legislative Issues Highlighted on Alachua County Talks
Solar Rights Workshop
The Story of Harley
City of Gainesville Election Information
WIC Appointment Phone Number Change - Effective Feb. 12
“Northwest 16th Avenue Transformation” February Project Update
Rabies Alert
February Extension Programs
Commission Highlights

2015 ACCESS Spring Classes

The public is invited to participate in the annual Alachua County Civic Education SerieS (ACCESS). Classes begin April 6, 2015. The free program runs Monday mornings for seven sessions, but space is limited. The registration deadline is March 27.

Participants receive detailed information about the operations of County departments, special districts, and constitutional officers. The sessions include presentations, handouts, tours, hands-on activities, and question and answer periods. The ACCESS program provides valuable information whether someone is already active in local government or new to government involvement.

County Manager Dr. Lee Niblock invites ACCESS participants to, “Meet the men and women who serve the County, hear about the variety of services offered, and learn about the impact of national and state trends on local government programs and issues.”

To view a complete schedule of classes and to register online, visit the ACCESS website.

For more information or to register by phone, contact the Alachua County Office of Management and Budget at 352-374-5262.

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Mental Health Legislative Issues Highlighted on Alachua County Talks

A new edition of Alachua County Talks featuring an interview with Meridian Behavioral Healthcare, Inc. President and CEO Maggie Labarta premieres Wednesday February 11, 2015 on Community 12 TV at 7:30 p.m. Labarta discusses mental healthcare services and mental health issues to be addressed in the upcoming Florida legislative session.

In speaking of the program Alachua County Talks host Mark Sexton said, “The Alachua County Commission has made mental healthcare funding one of its top legislative priorities in this year’s legislative session. Maggie Labarta provides a wealth of insight into the challenges currently facing both patients and healthcare providers.”

Visit the Meridian Behavioral Healthcare, Inc. website.

For more information about Meridian Behavioral Healthcare, call 352-374-5600 or toll-free at 800-330-8615.

View/download the Alachua County Commission’s 2015 Legislative Agenda (PDF). To read the County’s mental health funding priorities see page 9.

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: Mental Health Legislative Issues.

View the complete Channel 12 Schedule.

Citizens are encouraged to stay engaged by clicking on and signing up for the following products: Facebook Twitter Newsletter/Press Release

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

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Solar Rights Workshop

Alachua County Growth Management is hosting a “Solar Rights Workshop” on Wednesday, February 18, 2015, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., in the Jack Durrance Auditorium, located on the second floor of the Alachua County Administration Building (12 S.E. 1st Street, downtown Gainesville). The workshop is free, but registration is required.

The workshop is designed to educate residents, building officials, contractors, and community association mangers about solar access and their legal right to install rooftop solar systems. It will be led by Colleen Kettles from the Florida Solar Energy Center at the University of Central Florida. The workshop is the fourth in a series of workshops held around the State sponsored by the Go Solar Florida grant partners.

Alachua County, along with the cities of Gainesville and Newberry, are partnering with cities and counties around the state to promote the installation of rooftop solar systems by Florida residents and businesses.

View/download the workshop flyer (PDF).

Register for the workshop.

The workshop will be broadcast live on Cox Cable Channel 12 and the County’s Video on Demand website.

For more information, contact Alachua County Planner Holly Banner at 352-374-5249 or the Florida Solar Energy Center’s Colleen Kettles at ckettles@fsec.ucf.edu. For more information on Go SOLAR Florida, visit their website.

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The Story of Harley

Harley (formerly known as Jude) was found as a stray on November 18, 2014. When he was found, Harley was in terrible shape. There was a severe semicircular laceration encircling 80% of his neck. He had scars and abrasions over most of his torso. The best guess the ACAS investigator’s had was that this poor guy had been attacked by a wild animal and pulled free from his runner cable. The thin cable sliced his neck as he escaped and the animal had managed to get in a few good claw marks. Despite his terrible condition, Harley’s spirit was strong.

Harley was initially seen by the Affliated Pet Emergency Service for immediate medical care, before being transferred to ACAS. During a cruelty examination by ACAS’s Dr. Myrick it was determined that Harley was 15 pounds underweight with muscle atrophy, covered in fleas, anemic, and suffering from a severe hookworm infestation. Throughout his exam Harley’s sweet nature shone through; he was calm, a little timid, but still ready to give kisses. When his heartworm test came back positive, everyone at ACAS knew that we needed to figure out a way to cover the expense of his heartworm treatment.

In the summer of 2014, ACAS started the Heart 2 Heart Partnership Program with the goal of saving heartworm positive dogs, like Harley. This program relies on a partnership between ACAS, sponsors, fosters, and adopters to provide treatment and support to heartworm positive dogs; with the ultimate goal of finding these dogs a forever home. An anonymous donor gave $250 to cover the cost of Harley’s treatment. And by the 2nd of December Harley had a foster ready to take him for the 6 weeks of treatment. Dr. Myrick and Dr. Schaedel of ACAS performed his heartworm treatment, two weeks of doxycycline followed by two immiticide injections. Foster mom, Rachel Warnes, took him in and provided the kennel rest and TLC that Harley so desperately needed. Within a few weeks Harley’s wounds were healing and he was starting to put weight back on.

The final step was finding an adopter who would love Harley as much as everyone at ACAS did. And we found that when Harley met Katharine Allee, his new mom! On December 30th Harley went home with his new mom, as a foster to adopt. Katharine quickly fell in love with his sweet nature and on January 28th she made Harley’s adoption official! When Harley came back for his final recheck, everyone at ACAS came out to see him and he was hardly recognizable. The once scared, emaciated, and scarred up Harley is no more. In his place stands a Harley who is now 10 pounds heavier, the scars that once covered his body are healed over, but best of all he is loved and happy!

Stories like this can’t happen without the support of the community. It takes every department at ACAS, sponsors, fosters, and adopters to save the life of a dog like Harley. Harley was the sixth dog to enter the Heart 2 Heart Partnership Program. The ninth dog, Anna, is currently receiving treatment and in the care of the wonderful Rachel Warnes. Hopefully her story turns out just as bright as Harley’s.

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City of Gainesville Election Information

Supervisor of Elections Pam Carpenter would like to remind City of Gainesville voters of the upcoming City of Gainesville Election on March 17, 2015 for the At-Large Seat 1 and District 1 races.  All registered voters living within the Gainesville city limits are eligible to vote in the At-Large race.  Only eligible City of Gainesville voters living in the Gainesville City District 1 may vote in the District 1 race.

Voters are encouraged to verify their voter information at www.VoteAlachua.com and click on the link “My Registration Status” in the upper right hand corner, this will allow you to review your voter information, review your sample ballot, check your absentee ballot status, and view a photo of your polling place.  If you prefer, you may call the Supervisor of Elections Office at 352-374-5252.

To make your voice heard in this election you must be registered to vote by the Tuesday, February 16, 2015 deadline.  Citizens may register to vote in person at the Supervisor of Elections Office at 111 SE 1st Avenue from the hours of 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., or they 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. To vote in the City of Gainesville Election, mail-in applications must be postmarked no later than the February 16th deadline.  Please be sure to mail your application to the Supervisor of Elections Office at 111 S.E. 1st Avenue, Gainesville, FL  32601.

Voters have three options available to them to cast their ballot for this election.  Voters may vote by mail, vote early, or vote at their polling location on Election Day.  To vote by mail, you can make your request online at www.VoteAlachua.com or call 352-374-5252.  Early Voting will be available starting Monday, March 9th through Saturday, March 14th from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Millhopper Branch Library, Cone Park Library and at the County Administration Building.  Voters may also choose to vote in the precinct of their residence on Election Day between 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on March 17th, Election Day.

Voters are reminded that Florida Law requires you to present picture and signature ID in order to vote, or vote a provisional ballot.  To locate your precinct, go to www.VoteAlachua.com.

For more information, visit the Supervisor of Elections website at www.VoteAlachua.com or call our office.

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WIC Appointment Phone Number Change - Effective Feb. 12

The Florida Department of Health Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) in North Central Florida is changing their main appointment line phone number to 352-225-4343. The change will be effective February 12, 2015. Prospective and current clients may call to inquire about the program or schedule an appointment at the local number listed above. The toll-free number, 1-800-494-2543, will remain the same.

“The North Central Florida WIC program provides healthy foods, nutrition education, breastfeeding counseling and support and referrals for health care,” stated Diana Duque, Community Program Manager at the Florida Department of Health in Alachua County.  “We encourage those pregnant and mothers of children less than 5 years old to contact the WIC program for eligibility assistance.”

For more information, visit the Florida Department of Health in Alachua County’s website, or contact Diane Duque at 352-334-7900 ext. 3615.

The mission of the Florida Department of Health in Alachua County is to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county, & community efforts.

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“Northwest 16th Avenue Transformation” February Project Update

Alachua County Public Works is informing citizens on the “Northwest 16th Avenue Transformation Project” with a monthly press release giving updated information on the project’s progress.

The 4 mile project includes milling, resurfacing and reconstruction of Northwest 16th Avenue from Northwest 57th Terrace to Northwest 13th Street. It also includes widening 16th Avenue to 4-lanes from Northwest 57th Terrace to Northwest 55th Street, widening the sidewalks, upgrading the pedestrian facilities to meet current Americans with Disabilities Act requirements, addressing safety and operational issues through intersection and median opening modifications, and stabilizing the retaining walls along the corridor.

During the month of January, the contractor continued with water main relocation, clay removal and gravity wall replacement from Northwest 31st Drive to Northwest 22nd Street and continued with driveway work at NW 41st Street. Signal work, water main relocation, clay removal and gravity wall replacement will continue throughout February and curb, sidewalk and driveway replacement will commence from NW 31st Drive to NW 22nd Street. Motorists should expect nighttime lane closures along the project corridor and daytime lane closures at Northwest 51st Street. Additionally, the corridor has been reduced to one lane in each direction from approximately Northwest 31st Drive to Northwest 22nd Street. Staff encourages motorists to adhere to the reduced speed limit of 30 MPH through this section for the safety of construction personnel and for the safety of motorists entering and exiting the roadway. Public Works also encourages motorists to stay informed about the project by viewing the project report sheet.

Click to view the Northwest 16th Avenue Transformation project report (PDF). This document will be updated monthly and changes/new information will be highlighted in red.

In addition to previously mentioned nighttime lane closures and lane reductions, traffic patterns will be altered from approximately Northwest 58th Boulevard to Northwest 54th Terrace to complete roadway widening and reconstruction. Drainage work is schedule to begin this month immediately west of the Richmond subdivision. The work required to implement the new traffic patterns has commenced and is on-going.

The current estimated completion date for the entire project is May, 2015.

For more information, contact Alachua County Transportation Engineering Manager, Brian Singleton at 352-548-1306 or bsingleton@alachuacounty.us.

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Rabies Alert

Anthony Dennis, Environmental Health Director, Florida Department of Health in Alachua County, has issued a rabies alert in response to a dog that tested positive for rabies reported on January 30, 2015.

Anyone who has had contact with an approximately 30-pound black and white Bull Terrier dog in the vicinity of Gateway Farms tree farm, 22413 NW 227th Drive High Springs, in the last three weeks is urged to contact the Florida Department of Health in Alachua County promptly for consultation at 352-334-7981 or after hours at 352-334-7900.

The rabies alert is for 60 days.  The center of the rabies alert is at NW 227th Drive North of High Springs and includes the following area boundaries:

Everyone should be aware that rabies is present in the wild animal population and domestic animals are at risk if not vaccinated.  The public is asked to maintain a heightened awareness that rabies is active in Alachua County.  Alerts are designed to increase awareness to the public, but they should not give a false sense of security to areas that have not been named as under an alert.

An animal with rabies could infect other wild animals or domestic animals that have not been vaccinated against rabies.  All domestic animals should be vaccinated against rabies and all wildlife contact should be avoided, particularly raccoons, bats, foxes, skunks, otter, bobcats and coyotes.  Rabies is a disease of the nervous system and is fatal to warm blooded animals and humans.  The only treatment for human exposure to rabies is rabies specific immune globulin and rabies immunization.  Appropriate treatment started soon after the exposure, will protect an exposed person from the disease.

The following advice is issued:

Persons who have been bitten or scratched by wild or domestic animals should seek medical attention and report the injury to the Florida Department of Health in Alachua County at 352-334-7930.For further information on rabies, go to the Florida Department of Health website, or contact Florida Department of Health in Alachua County at 352-334-7930, or Alachua County Animal Control at 352-264-6870.

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February Extension Programs

Agriculture & Natural Resources Programs

These programs are being offered by Barton Wilder, Agriculture & Natural Resources Agent, at the UF/IFAS Extension Alachua County Office (2800 NE 39th Avenue, Gainesville) unless otherwise indicated.

Private Applicator Pesticide School – February 19, from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. (with Aparna Gazula, Commercial Horticulture Agent)

This workshop is designed to provide training for the private applicator agricultural pest control license.  The private applicator license is required for anyone that applies restricted use pesticides to their own farm, greenhouse or nursery. Topics include: private applicator and regulations, equipment calibration and pesticide arithmetic, pesticide safety, and principles of pest control. 

Full day registration fee is $15.00 (includes lunch), half day registration fee is $5.00 (no lunch). 

Alachua County Growers Meeting – February 26, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the Santa Fe College Perry Center (14180 NW 119th Terrace, Alachua), with Aparna Gazula, Commercial Horticulture Agent

The morning session will cover weed and disease management and sod based rotation for peanuts, corn, and soybeans. The afternoon session will cover insect, disease, and weed management for vegetable crops.  There is no registration fee and lunch will be provided.

View/download the meeting flyer (PDF).

Pre-register by calling 352-337-6209 (voice mail) at least three working days prior to program. 

Environmental Horticulture Programs

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

Vegetable Gardening & Grow Great Potatoes – February 19, from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

This class covers vegetable gardening basics and growing potatoes (includes soil preparation, and variety selection). Harvesting and curing potatoes will also be covered.

Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ - Getting Ready for Spring – February 24, from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., at the Tower Road Library Branch (3020 SW 75th Street, Gainesville)

This class focuses on growing the right plants in the right place, watering efficiently, and fertilizer use.

Raised Bed Gardening & Herbs – February 25, from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

This class explains what crops to grow in the spring garden and shows efficient techniques for growing vegetables in raised beds. Traditional & exotic herbs will also be covered.

There is no cost to attend these classes (unless otherwise indicated), but space is limited. Pre-register at least 3 days prior to class by calling 352-337-6209 (voice mail).

Family and Consumer Sciences Programs

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

Equipping Your Financial Toolbox (3-part series) – February 9, 16, and 23, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

This 3-part series offers advice on planning a sound financial future. The classes are held on three consecutive Mondays, and will cover the following:

There is no cost to attend this class, space is limited. Pre-register at least 3 days prior to class by calling 352-337-6209 (voice mail).

First Time Home Buyers Education Program (3-part series) – February 11, 18, and 25, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

This 3-part 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 cost for the entire series is $10.00 per individual or couple.

Please pre-register by February 6, by calling 352-337-6209 (voice mail). Class is subject to cancellation if less than 6 people registered.

French Cooking Class – February 21 & 28, from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

The classes can fit up to 25 people, and reservations must be made on the Charmes de la France website. The class fee is $45.00 per person and must be paid in advance.

View/download the class flyer (PDF). Class subject to cancellation if less than 15 people are registered.

Commercial Horticulture Programs

These programs are being offered by Aparna Gazula, Commercial Horticulture Agent, at the UF/IFAS Extension Alachua County Office (2800 NE 39th Avenue, Gainesville) unless otherwise indicated.

Green Industries Best Management Practices – February 18, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. (with Barton Wilder, Ag & Natural Resources Agent)

Cost $25.00 includes materials and lunch.

View/download the program brochure (PDF).

Limited Commercial Landscape Maintenance – February 24, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (with Barton Wilder, Ag & Natural Resources Agent)

This class includes six hours of the required training for LCLM license applicants.  Participants needing recertification can attend the first four hours of class, but are encouraged to take the Advanced Landscape Training Workshop instead. The LCLM license exam will be given the same day as the class.

The registration fee is $30.00 and includes program materials, refreshments, and lunch for the day.View/download the program brochure (PDF).

Beekeeping Short Course – Session One: February 28, beginning at 9 a.m. (with Barton Wilder, Ag & Natural Resources Agent)

Registration fee of $200.00 includes the cost of materials to build one 10-frame brood hive with a screened bottom board, feeder lid, and lunch for session one. Pre-registration with payment is required and is limited to the first 40 paid registered.

Click for online registration (with additional fee).

View/download the program brochure (PDF). The brochure includes registration form.

For more information about these programs, please call 352-955-2402. Visit the Extension Office calendar for additional programs offered by the UF/IFAS Extension Alachua County Office.

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Commission Highlights

Healthy Weight Community Champions Certification
The Board accepted the Healthy Weight Community Champions Certification from the Alachua County Health Department.

Local Food Week
The Board proclaimed February 13 - 22, 2015 as “Local Food Week” in Alachua County, FL.
Attachment: Local Food Week 2015.pdf

One Mill Initiative
The Board heard a presentation on the One Mill Initiative for Alachua County Public Schools (Amended)

Hydraulic Fracturing
The Board approved a resolution supporting a statewide ban on hydraulic fracturing, acid fracturing and well stimulation treatments performed for the purposes of exploration or production of oil or natural gas within the State of Florida and supporting proposed bans currently being considered in the Florida legislature.
Attachment: SB166.pdf
Resolution Supporting Fracking Ban FINAL.pdf

Quarterly Hiring Activity Report
The Board accepted the Quarterly Hiring Activity Report for the 1st quarter of FY 2015.
Attachment: BOCC Quarterly Report FY15 QTR 1 FINAL PKG 012215.pdf
FY15 1stQtrReport TargetedPositionsFilled.pdf

SHIP Local Housing Assistance Plan
The Board approved SFY 2015-2017 SHIP Local Housing Assistance Plan Amendment and authorized the Chair to sign Certification Exhibit D and Resolution 15-__.
Attachment: FHA Mortgagee Letter 2014 2015.pdf
Freddie Mac Standard Short Sale.pdf
Exhibit D.pdf
Exhibit E Resolution 15__.pdf
SHIP LHAP Final.pdf
SHIP Presentation for BoCC [Compatibility Mode].pdf
Fannie Mae Short Sale Guidelines.pdf

Small Scale Land Use Change
Concerning CPA-01-15: The Board approved a request for a small scale land use change from Commercial to Institutional land use on approximately 4.22 acres
Attachment: CPA0115 Background Materials.pdf
CPA0115 Staff Report.pdf
CPA0115 ZOM0315 Powerpoint Presentation.pptx
Ordinance for CPA0115.pdf
CPA0115 ZOM0315 Powerpoint Presentation.pdf

Multerra, LLC Rezoning
Concerning ZOM-04-15: Multerra, LLC rezoning, the Board approved Resolution Z-15-4, rezoning from the ‘A’ to ‘R-1A’ district.
Attachment: ZOM0415 Powerpoint.pdf
ZOM0415 Powerpoint.pptx
Resolution for ZOM0415.pdf
ZOM0415 Staff Report.pdf

YMCA facility
The Board rescinded a special use permit to allow construction of a new YMCA facility
Attachment: RescindLetter.pdf
Resolution for Rescission of ZOS1304.pdf
Resolution Z 04 30.pdf

Zoning Change
Concerning  ZOM-03-15: A request for a zoning change from ‘A’ (Agriculture) district to ‘HM’ (Hospital/Medical) district on approximately 4.22 acres, the Board adopted Resolution Z-15-xx approving the request
Attachment: CPA0115 ZOM0315 Powerpoint Presentation.pdf
Resolution for ZOM0315.pdf
ZOM0315 Background Materials.pdf
ZOM0315 Staff Report.pdf

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Community Update is produced by the County Manager's Communications Office.