August 31st edition of:

Community Update
A Report on the Activities of Alachua County Government


This Issues Features:

County Receives ICMA Certificate of Excellence
Homeless Veterans Stand Down Event
Take 5 - Wi-Fi Wire Cutting
The Alachua County Property Appraiser’s Office Receives Award
September Extension Programs
09-01-15 Special Meetings
Commission Highlights

County Receives ICMA Certificate of Excellence

Alachua County is pleased to announce that the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) Center for Performance Analytics has recognized Alachua County with a “Certificate of Excellence” for the County’s performance management efforts.

According to ICMA, the certificate program recognizes local governments for their leadership in continuous improvement, transparency, and community engagement through performance management initiatives. Certificates are awarded based upon established criteria in the following areas:

Alachua County is among 33 jurisdictions nationwide to receive the Certificate of Excellence – the highest level awarded.

Alachua County Manager Lee A. Niblock said, “It will be my pleasure to accept this award on behalf of the County at the upcoming ICMA Annual Conference. As a strong supporter of performance management, measurement, and benchmarking, Alachua County does an impressive job collecting, utilizing, and reporting performance data. Our strong foundation in performance management will enable us to continue in a positive direction while providing quality services, transparency, and accountability to all of Alachua County’s citizens.” 

Alachua County will be officially recognized at ICMA’s 101st Annual Conference in September.

For more information, contact Alachua County Strategic Performance Manager Donna Bradbrook at 352-264-7066 or

Return to Top

Homeless Veterans Stand Down Event

Alachua County Veteran Services is collaborating with multiple area agencies to offer resources and services at the “Homeless Veteran Stand Down and Community Resource Fair” on September 11, 2015, from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the Martin Luther King Jr. Center (1028 NE 14th St., Gainesville).

September 11, the National Day of Service and Remembrance, is the day selected for this annual event, which serves the veterans in greatest need by connecting them to services and resources to assist them in overcoming many of their challenges. Services include housing programs, case management, a hot meal at the event, as well as food to take with them. Participants will be able to access legal assistance, medical, and dental services. CareerSource North Central Florida will have Veterans Representatives available to assist in intensive case management to help homeless veterans overcome barriers to employment.

Alachua County Veteran Services Director Kim Smith said, “The goal is to help our brother and sister veterans with a hand up.”

Last year more than 200 homeless veterans in Alachua County were served at the stand down event.

View/download the event flyer (PDF).

Organizations and volunteers who wish to participate and assist should contact Kim Smith at 352-264-6740 or

Return to Top

Take 5 - Wi-Fi Wire Cutting

This edition of Alachua County’s “Take 5” highlights the collaborative efforts of Alachua County, the City of Gainesville and GRUCom Fiber Optic Communications to expand Wi-Fi coverage in underserved areas of Gainesville and Alachua County. Free wireless service is now available at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center, the Thelma Boltin Center, and the Eastside Community Center.

In speaking of the installations, Alachua County Manager Lee A. Niblock said, “Because of this service, the digital divide just became smaller.  Lack of Internet service separates some our citizens from the access that has become a necessity for thriving in the modern world.”

Watch the video.

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


Return to Top

The Alachua County Property Appraiser’s Office Receives Award

The Alachua County Property Appraiser’s (ACPA) Office GIS department was honored with a Special Achievement in GIS (SAG) Award at the 2015 ESRI International User Conference in San Diego, CA Over 17,000 people attended the conference from organizations from around the world and across a variety of industries including agriculture, cartography, climate change, defense and intelligence, economic development, education, government, health and human services, telecommunications, and utilities. This award acknowledges the Alachua County Property Appraiser’s Office for their vision, leadership, hard work, and innovative use of ESRI’s geographic information system (GIS) technology.

The ACPA’s office uses ESRI ArcGIS technology along with Amazon’s cloud services to streamline processes and distribute GIS data.  Leveraging ArcGIS Online they are able to upload and maintain data in one location to be consumed by online apps and maps as well as desktops throughout city and county departments with ESRI’s ArcGIS for Desktop mapping software.  That same data can be viewed and downloaded by the public.

“The SAG Awards identify the organizations and people who are using the power of geography to make our world a better place,” says ESRI President Jack Dangermond. “At ESRI, we are always deeply inspired by the passion and innovation of our users. They deserve recognition for their invaluable contributions to their communities and the continued evolution of geographic science.”

For more information, call Alachua County Property Appraiser Ed Crapo at 352-374-5230.

Return to Top

September Extension Programs

Livestock Program

This program is being offered by Cindy Sanders, Livestock Agent, at the Alachua County Fairgrounds (3100 NE 39 Avenue, Gainesville).

Homestead Poultry Workshop – September 5, 2015, from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. for 4-H & FFA Youth Exhibition, and from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. for Homestead Poultry

Breakfast and lunch will be available for purchase. Proceeds will go toward the Archer Trailblazers 4-H Club. The registration fee is $5.00.

Please pre-register by Thursday, September 3, 2015, at 352-955-2402.

View/download the workshop flyer (PDF).

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 N.E. 39 Avenue, Gainesville).

First Time Home Buyers Education Program – September 14, September 21, and September 28, 2015, 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 classes will cover the following:

Session 1 – Monday, September 14

Information on getting budgets and credit worthiness in line, determining how expensive can be afforded, and understanding the responsibilities and costs of being a responsible homeowner.

Session 2 – Monday, September 21

Understanding the sales contract, home inspections and mortgage process, selecting homeowners’ insurance, warranties, and the closing process.

Session 3 – Monday, September 28

Question and answer time and an opportunity to get valuable tips from those involved in the process of buying a home.

The cost for the entire series is $10.00 per individual or couple.

Please pre-register by September 8, 2015, by calling 352-337-6209 (voice mail). Subject to cancellation if less than 6 people register.

View/download the program flyer (PDF).

Environmental Horticulture Program

This program is being offered by Alachua County Master Gardener Volunteers at the Thelma Boltin Center (516 N.E. 2 Avenue, Gainesville).

Florida-Friendly Landscape™ Tour – September 19, 2015, from 8:15 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The Alachua County Master Gardeners will be offering a tour of Florida-Friendly Landscapes in the Historic Duckpond area of Gainesville. These yards exemplify water conservation and environmentally friendly landscaping practices. The event starts at the Thelma Boltin Center, beginning with a Florida Friendly talk and exhibits. Parking is limited; carpooling/cycling/walking is encouraged.

Participants will tour the selected landscapes at their own pace (map will be provided). These landscape sites will have Alachua County Master Gardener Volunteers as guides.

The tour is free. Pre-registration is recommended by calling 352-337-6209 (voicemail). 

View/download the tour flyer (PDF).

4-H Program

This program is being offered by Matt Benge, Alachua County 4-H Agent, at the Tractor Supply Company (5440 N.W. 13th Street, Gainesville).

4-H Round-Up Open House – September 19, 2015, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The Open House will give citizens who would like to volunteer, or learn about 4-H programs the opportunity to get information on activities, camps, projects, the youth fair and livestock show, and more.  4-H club leaders and members will be present to talk about different project areas and opportunities. Families are encouraged to attend and learn about Alachua County 4-H.

This 4-H event is free and open to youth ages 5 to 18. Visit the 4-H website.

View/download the open house flyer (PDF).

Agriculture & Natural Resources Program

This program is being offered by Barton Wilder, Agriculture & Natural Resources Agent, at the UF/IFAS Extension Alachua County Office (2800 N.E. 39 Avenue, Gainesville).

Private Applicator Pesticide School – September 24, 2015, 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. 

3 Core & 3 Private Applicator CEUs will be offered for applicators that already have their licenses.

The full day registration fee is $20.00 (which includes lunch); The half day registration fee $10.00 (with no lunch). 

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

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

Return to Top

09-01-15 Special Meetings

The Alachua County Commission will conduct two Special Meetings on Tuesday, September 1, 2015. The 10 a.m. Special Meeting will be held in the Jack Durrance Auditorium (Room 209). The 1:30 p.m. Special Meeting will be held in the Grace Knight Conference Room. Both locations are on the second floor of the Alachua County Administration Building (12 S.E. 1st Street, downtown Gainesville).

 The 10 a.m. meeting agenda:

1. Town of Lacrosse Fire Services Discussion

2. Presentation by Alachua County Sheriff Sadie Darnell

View agenda and backup.

The 1:30 p.m. meeting agenda:

1. Additional Road Funding Options

2. Children Services Initiative

View agenda and backup.

The public is invited to attend the meetings. They will be available to view 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.

Return to Top

Commission Highlights

2015 ICMA Certificate of Excellence Award
The Board received the Alachua County 2015 ICMA Certificate of Excellence awarded to the Office of Management and Budget

Meridian Behavioral Healthcare Annual Report
The Board heard a presentation of Meridian Behavioral Healthcare, Inc.’s Annual Report.

Sheriff’s Budget Discussion
The Board agreed to schedule a budget discussion with the Sheriff on September 1, 2015, at 10:00 a.m. as a Special Meeting. They also agreed to discuss the LaCrosse Fire Contract at that meeting. 

QTI Program
The Board approved the Resolution supporting RES Polyflow LLC’s participation in the QTI Program and authorized the Chair’s signature. 

City of Alachua Lawsuit
Concerning the City of Alachua lawsuit, the Board approved bringing in the remaining two property owners (1047 LLC and Mr. Grosick) into the process. 

Annexation Transition Agreement
The Board approved appointing Commissioner Pinkoson as the Board’s Liaison to discuss the Annexation Transition Agreement and related issues. 

Streaming DRC and Code Enforcement Hearings
The Board directed the County Manager to blue sheet an item to discuss streaming online, DRC, and Code Enforcement hearings as soon as practical. 

Capital Improvement Projects (CIP) and Roads
Commissioner Cornell stated that he would like to discuss, at the first Policy Meeting in September, Capital Improvement Projects (CIP) and roads. He would like to have the Manager provide the top ten road projects staff are looking at for the Citizen Standards Initiative. 

Haile Plantation Planned Development
The Board approved the proposed replat of Haile Plantation Planned Development Unit 12, Phase 1, Lot 2 based on the recommendation of the Development Review Committee and a finding of consistency with Florida Statues, the Alachua County Comprehensive Plan and the Alachua County Unified Land Development Code.
Attachment: HailePD_Replat_U12_Phase1_Lot2_presentation.pdf
HailePD_U12_Ph1_ L 2_RP_GM_SR.pdf
HailePD_U12_Ph_1 L2_BndSurvey.pdf
HailePD_U12_Ph1_ L 2_RP_Chair_SR.pdf

SW 63rd Blvd/SW62nd Avenue Final Plans
Concerning the SW 63rd Blvd/SW62nd Avenue Final Plans, the Board Directed staff to:

  1. Proceed with land rights negotiations for drainage and access improvements.
  2. Meet with the Arredondo neighborhood to assist them with the flooding and drainage situation.
  3. Cancel the current bid.
  4. Report back to the Board within 30 to 60 days.

Irrigation Ordinance Adoption Hearing

The Board decided to delay the Irrigation Ordinance Adoption Hearing one month and directed staff to re-advertise the Ordinance with the following corrections:

  1. Stakeholder options 1-6 and 10 be included in the ordinance.
  2. Staff to meet with Louis Diaz to address concerns
  3. County Manager to review the process and determine which County Department would be optimal to run the program.

Attachment: Presentation for 150825 Irrigation Public Hearing.pptx
Irrigation Efficiency Code Draft 15.pdf

16th Avenue Road Project
Concerning the 16th Avenue road project, the Board approved:

  1. Expediting the re-painting of the sharrows symbols and the uncovering of the “Share the Road” signs.
  2. Conducting a speed study that specifically considers the following:

Return to Top

Thank you for your continued interest in County Government!

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