June 1, 2021
The Alachua County Environmental Protection Advisory Committee (EPAC) is hosting a community conversation on Climate Change in Alachua County. The discussion will focus on helping the community understand some of the ramifications of action compared to inaction for addressing issues associated with climate change. The discussion is scheduled for Wednesday, June 2, 2021, from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., and will be held virtually through Zoom, or dial in at 929-205-6099 (Meeting ID: 834 8476 9796). The event is free, and the public is encouraged to attend.

Countywide Burn Ban
Alachua County Fire Rescue Chief Harold Theus has instituted a Countywide Burn Ban.

The countywide burn ban prohibits all types of unpermitted and/or non-exempted open incineration where the burning of any matter results in the products of combustion being emitted directly into the outdoor atmosphere without passing through a stack or chimney. This includes, but is not limited to: campfires, bonfires, unpermitted controlled burns, burning of yard and household trash, burning of construction debris, burning of organic debris, and igniting of fireworks. 

Three New WeatherSTEM Stations
In advance of the 2021 Hurricane Season, Alachua County Emergency Management (ACEM) is informing the public about a new resource for real-time weather information within the County. ACEM has installed three new WeatherSTEM stations funded by the Florida Division of Emergency Management. The newest stations are located in Archer, Hawthorne, and Waldo.

These WeatherSTEM stations provide real-time information on temperature, wind speed, lightning strikes, and more. Each station is also equipped with a live stream camera, enabling anyone to see current weather conditions at station locations.

Click it or Ticket Campaign
Alachua County Public Works would like to bring attention to the importance of wearing seatbelts in recognition of the national Click it or Ticket campaign, which runs from May 17 to June 6, 2021.

Veggies and Fruits Increase Provides More Nutritional Access to WIC Families
On March 12, 2021, the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) authorized State WIC Agencies to enhance the WIC benefit for four months, expanding the vegetable and fruit voucher from $9/month for children and $11/month for women to $35 per month, per participant. WIC’s vegetable and fruit voucher is known as the Cash Value Benefit (CVB). The CVB is credited with improving the dietary quality of WIC participants and reducing the prevalence of childhood obesity among WIC toddlers.

Florida WIC will be implementing the CVB increase beginning June 1, 2021, until September 30, 2021. All women and children between 1 and 4 years old who participate in the WIC Program will receive an increase in their fruits and vegetables cash vouchers to $35 per participant per month. For example, a pregnant woman and her 2-year-old child will receive a total of $70 cash voucher to use on fruits and vegetables per month from June until September 2021. Fruits and vegetables can be fresh, frozen, or canned. Any brand, variety, size with no added sugar, syrup, artificial sweeteners, fat, or oil are eligible. Organic fruits and vegetables are allowed. 

For more information, contact customer service representatives Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. at 352-225-4343 or 1-800-494-2543.
Code Enforcement Special Magistrate Request for Qualifications
Alachua County is advertising a Request for Qualifications (“RFQ”) for the Annual Code Enforcement Special Magistrate to hear alleged violations of Alachua County Ordinances. The Special Magistrate must be licensed to practice law in Florida and currently be in good standing with the Florida Bar.

Proposals must be submitted using DemandStar. The deadline for the RFQ submissions is on Wednesday, June 2, 2021, by 2 p.m.

For more information, contact Alachua County Procurement, Leira Cruz Cáliz at 352-337-6268.
June Extension Programs