Media Release

County Receives National Awards

Tuesday, June 17, 2008 1:00 AM

12:05 p.m.

ALACHUA COUNTY, FL - The National Association of Counties (NACo) has released results of its 2008 Achievement Awards.  Alachua County Government submitted three awards applications.  The County learned yesterday that all three submittals earned program recognition awards. 

In the Planning Category the County's "Green Infrastructure" submission garnered  top honors in winning the coveted, "Best in Category" award.  "Achievement Awards" were earned in the Information Technology Category for the County's "WebGIS Building Permit Tracker" submittal and in the Environment & Energy Category for the County's "Household Hazardous Waste" submittal.

In speaking of the awards, County Manager Randall H. Reid said, "I am very pleased that our peer organization, NACo, has recognized these important and innovative programs.  I am very proud of the talented people that have made these programs possible."

The "Best in Category" award for the "Green Infrastructure" submission recognizes Alachua County's success in integrating and leveraging local investment in land conservation through the Alachua County Forever program and the environmental protection provisions of the County's development review process.  The program was recognized for its effective partnerships, information technology integration, interdepartmental collaboration, citizen participation, and its innovative government structure.  As part of this special recognition, Alachua County's "Green Infrastructure" program will be included in an upcoming "NACO Model Program" publication.

Environmental Protection Department (EPD) Director Chris Bird explained, "Green infrastructure is a framework for understanding the valuable services nature provides for people.  I am pleased that Alachua County's commitment to investing in green infrastructure has been recognized as a model for other local governments.  I want to recognize Land Conservation Manager Ramesh Buch and Natural Resources Manager Kathy Fanning for their leadership in these efforts."   

The "Achievement Award" winning, "WebGIS Building Permit Tracker" consists of a suite of eight WebGIS applications in support of the operations of the Building Division.  In real time, these applications integrate into a geographic framework the field activities of the inspectors, contractors, builders, and office clerks.  Homeowners, homebuyers and the building community can monitor the construction process from start to finish from their homes or offices.  These applications, developed entirely in-house, saved taxpayers at least $500,000 of upfront acquisition costs of similar products and at least $50,000 each future year for maintenance and licensing.  Growth Management Director Steve Lachnicht said, "The exemplary work of GIS Manager Juna Papajorgji and her talented and dedicated staff continue to translate GIS technology into service improvements for our citizens."

The "Achievement Award" for the, "Innovations in Managing Unconventional Household Hazardous Wastes" program recognizes the achievement of the Alachua County EPD's Hazardous Waste Collection, Petroleum Management, and Pollution Prevention Programs in developing innovative and proactive initiatives that  address hazardous waste challenges in the area of electronic waste,  pharmaceutical waste, and home heating oil collection.  Chris Bird, EPD Director, stated that, "We appreciate this national recognition of the effectiveness of our County programs to remove unconventional pollutants from the waste stream.  The strength of these hazardous waste collection efforts is their integration with our primary mission of protecting water quality in Alachua County.  I would like to recognize Kurt Seaburg, Hazardous Waste Coordinator, Dr. John Mousa, Pollution Prevention Manager, and Tim Ramsey, Petroleum Contracts Manager, for their excellent work in developing and sustaining these outstanding, proactive, services for our County residents."   

For more information, contact the Alachua County Communications office at 352-374-5226.



  • Mark Sexton
  • Communications & Legislative Affairs Director
  • Phone: 352-374-5204
  • Cell: 352-283-2317

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