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January 30, 2023

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At their joint meeting yesterday, January 23, 2023, the Alachua County Commission and the City of Gainesville Commission agreed that the County has a traffic violence crisis in the community.

Alachua County and the City of Gainesville commissioners directed staff to develop a public education campaign addressing this crisis. Both commissions supported the idea of convening the Joint Information Center (JIC), which includes public information professionals representing governments, educational institutions, and other agencies and partners from across the county. This group’s members will be encouraged to develop, coordinate, and share crucial traffic safety information. 

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Children's Trust of Alachua County Executive Director Marsha Kiner on Alachua County Talks

A new episode of Alachua County Talks featuring an interview with Children's Trust of Alachua County Executive Director Marsha Kiner is now available to watch on the County’s Facebook and YouTube pages. 

To better serve the children of Alachua County, in February 2018, the Alachua County Board of County Commissioners unanimously voted to move forward with a voter referendum to create and fund the Children’s Trust of Alachua County. In November 2018, Alachua County voters approved the referendum, which allowed the Trust to receive a dedicated source of funds up to one-half mills (0.500) or approximately $8 million per year.

Learn more about this episode of Alachua County Talks.

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Alachua County Residential Rental Unit Permit Workshop

Alachua County hosted a workshop to discuss the details of the County’s new Residential Rental Unit Ordinance and the permitting requirements for landlords.

The permit application letters will be mailed out to property owners two to three weeks after the workshop, and the permit fee has been set at $122.00. The inspections will begin on October 1, 2023.

The rental permitting program regulates rentals that are rented for 30 consecutive days or more and covers properties with four units or fewer. The Rental Permitting Ordinance does not cover short-term rentals (Airbnb/VRBO, etc.).

Watch the Residential Rental Unit Permit Workshop video.

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2023 Survivors of Violence Art Exhibit Call to Artists

Alachua County Community Support Services, Victim Services and Rape Crisis Center invites survivors of violence to contribute original artwork to the 2023 Survivors of Violence Art Exhibit in recognition of Sexual Assault Awareness Month (April). The deadline for submissions is Monday, March 13, 2023.

All survivors of interpersonal violence are welcome to submit original work, including performance pieces, to be presented at the reception. The exhibit will be held at the Harn Museum of Art (3259 Hull Road, Gainesville) from Tuesday, April 4, to Sunday, April 30. A reception for the artists will be held on Thursday, April 6, beginning at 10 a.m. The reception is free and open to the public.

"Art allows us to express our deepest emotions in a limitless form," said Alachua County Victim Advocate Alejandra Fernandez. "We are grateful for every artist who displays their vulnerability, and we are honored to continue to hold a space to share that expression." 

Those interested in submitting artwork should fill out an online registration form. Anonymous submissions are accepted. 

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Eco Chase Challenge – The Race Against Waste

The Alachua County Office of Waste Alternatives invites residents to participate in the “Eco Chase Challenge – The Race Against Waste!” Small teams (up to five people) are encouraged to join this multi-month scavenger hunt competition. The competition offers over $2,000 in cash and prizes. There is no registration fee, but participants must register online before February 10, 2023.

The Eco Chase Challenge – The Race Against Waste! is designed to encourage waste reduction, proper recycling, and conservation awareness. Participants will discover the many resources and community partners that make Alachua County an eco-friendly place to live.

Find out more about the Eco Chase Challenge.

Fire Rescue’s Keith Godwin Chosen for State E911 Board

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Alachua County Fire Rescue is pleased to announce that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis selected Alachua County 9-1-1/Communications Section Chief Keith Godwin to serve on the State’s E911 Board.

The E911 Board's primary focus is the distribution of 911 fee revenues to Counties and the advancement of 911 services technology to the citizens of the State of Florida and those that visit Florida.

The Board’s mission is to “work in partnership with Florida counties to promote the deployment of advanced 9-1-1 systems statewide and champion educational opportunities to the 9-1-1 community in support of the delivery of exceptional 9-1-1 services to the residents and visitors of the State of Florida.”

Read more about the State E911 Board.

New Restrooms at Lake Alto Park

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The Alachua County Parks and Open Space Department is proud to announce the long-anticipating opening of its new restrooms at Lake Alto Park (17800 N.E. 134th Place, Waldo). The new restrooms are precast concrete “dry” restrooms that sit atop two concrete holding tanks with a built-in ventilation system, thereby conserving water and electricity. The unit weighs approximately 55,000 lbs. and is fully ADA compliant, providing two individual restrooms with storage space between.

Learn more about the new restrooms at Lake Alto Park.

Public Works Participates in Career Fair

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The Alachua County Public Works Department staff were excited to participate in Santa Fe High School’s Career Fair for the first time. The four-hour event was held last week inside and in front of the Santa Fe High School gymnasium. Staff, many of whom are Santa Fe High School alums, greatly enjoyed talking with the students. 

The career fair was an excellent opportunity for students to learn more about how the Public Works Department keeps Alachua County moving and how it could be a great career choice. For example, the Department’s Fleet Maintenance Division is responsible for helping to specify, order, and maintain the rolling stock for all Alachua County departments, including Fire Rescue’s 27 ambulances, 14 fire engines, eight brush trucks, four tankers, one ariel truck, one mass casualty bus, and one heavy rescue.

Find out more about the career fair.

County Historical Commission Vacancies

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The Alachua County Historical Commission has two Citizen at Large vacancies. County residents with a knowledge of local history are encouraged to apply, and appointments will be made by the County Commission. The application deadline is February 12, 2023.

An in-person quorum is required for the advisory board meetings held in downtown Gainesville, at 5:30 p.m. on the second Monday of most months of the year. One appointment is for a volunteer term through April 30, 2025, and the other is for a term through April 30, 2024.

Read more about the Historical Commission Vacancies.

Wild Spaces Public Places Infrastructure Surtax Oversight Board Vacancy

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The Alachua County Commission is seeking applications to fill one vacancy for an auditor or accountant on the Wild Spaces Public Places Infrastructure Surtax Oversight Board. The Oversight Board meets at least quarterly, or more often as necessary, on the fourth Monday at 5:30 p.m. The term is for four years, through September 30, 2026. The application deadline is January 31, 2023. 

This Board is critical to assuring residents and elected officials that all surtax revenues, including those expended by the County and each municipality, are expended only for the purposes authorized by Ordinance 16-07 and Ordinance 2022-08, respectively. 

Get more information and apply online (the apply button is at the top right corner of the page).

Notice of Funding Availability for Multi-Family Mortgage Revenue Bonds

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The Housing Finance Authority of Alachua County, Florida (the Authority) is accepting applications for consideration to provide tax-exempt bond financing for multi-family rental developments in Alachua County. Applications will be accepted at any time. To be considered, the applicant must prepare and submit six electronic copies on CDs or flash drives and one copy of a clear and concise proposal that is bound, organized with tabs/dividers, and fully responds to the information requested in the “Multi-Family Mortgage Revenue Bond Program Application.” A comprehensive Community Engagement Plan must be included with the application. Those considering applying with the City of Gainesville should contact Alachua County Housing Director Stephen Weeks at 352-337-6285 or housing@alachuacounty.us.

Learn more about the Funding Availability for Multi-Family Mortgage Revenue Bonds.

Passion Fruit is February’s Plant of the Month

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The UF/IFAS Extension Alachua County Office is pleased to announce that the February “Plant of the Month” is passion fruit.

Passion fruit is a delicious and nutritional fruit that also produces a beautiful flower. Both the pulp and seeds are nutritious and can be eaten directly from the fruit. It is a source of nonheme iron, or plant-based iron and contains vitamins A and C, as well as fiber and potassium.

Find out more about the Plant of the Month.

February Extension Programs

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Commercial Horticulture Programs

Environmental Horticulture Programs

Visit the Alachua County website
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