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October 2, 2023

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The Alachua County Commission is pleased to announce the approval of the Fiscal Year 2024 (FY24) Adopted Budget. Approved at their September 26 meeting, this balanced budget evolved from months of careful consideration, public input, and collaboration with County departments, Constitutional Officers, and other agencies.  

In discussing the adopted budget, Chair Anna Prizzia said, “The Alachua County Commission is committed to providing the diverse services and programs that keep our residents safe and healthy and help make Alachua County a great place to live. We continue our efforts to lower the millage rate as we also respond to the impacts of inflation, the rising costs for goods and services, and the increased demands on county governments due to Florida’s population growth.”

Learn more about the FY24 Adopted Budget.

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Land Conservation Manager Andi Christman on Alachua County Talks

Watch this episode of Alachua County Talks.

This episode of Alachua County Talks features an interview with Alachua County Land Conservation Manager Andi Christman. The program focuses on the County’s efforts to acquire, improve, and manage environmentally significant lands that protect water resources, wildlife habitats, and natural resources suitable for resource-based recreation. 

In speaking of the interview, Alachua County Talks host Mark Sexton said, “Alachua County voters have repeatedly shown their commitment to land conservation at the ballot box, and that commitment is faithfully reflected in the work of the County Land Conservation Program."

For more information, visit the Alachua County Land Conservation website or call 352-264-6868.

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Alachua County Fire Rescue to Operate Micanopy Fire Station

The Alachua County Commission is pleased to announce the Town of Micanopy's fire services transition to Alachua County's Fire Rescue Department (ACFR). The transition, which came at the request of Micanopy officials, will take place at 8 a.m. on Sunday, October 1, 2023, and will dramatically strengthen fire and rescue services in this area. 

Last May, Alachua County and The Town of Micanopy entered into an Interlocal Agreement to transition these services. The new service protects residents and property in an over 25 square mile area. 

With a dedicated three-person crew operating an Advanced Life Support Engine, "Station 64" (ACFR's 16th station) will provide 24/7 coverage year-round. This new station will meet or exceed the standards recognized by the Insurance Service Office (ISO), which will benefit property owners' insurance rates. 

"This is a major step forward in providing critical emergency services to residents of the Town of Micanopy and the surrounding unincorporated area," commented Alachua County Fire Rescue Chief Harold Theus. "I am grateful for the cooperation of all of the elected officials and for their support and commitment to public safety."

View comments by The Mayor and the Chief.

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Bounce Sculpture Installation

In June 2022, the Alachua County Commission commissioned Alachua County-based artist Jenn Garrett to create "Bounce," one of three artworks funded through the County's Art in Public Places program for the new Alachua County Sports Event Center, which opened earlier this year. The sculpture was installed on Thursday, September 28. 

Watch a short video about the installation.


Bounce celebrates the vitality of sportsmanship. The arcing forms reflect both the arc of a bouncing ball as well as track and field events like the high jump and hurdles. Atop the arcs are super-sized stainless-steel basketballs, two volleyballs, cheer pompoms, and numerous pickleballs. Each ball is roughly three times the size of the balls used at the Sports Eventer Center, making it the focal point of Celebration Pointe Avenue. 


"Bounce, a one-ton sculpture, is being installed on Thursday morning. It is ideal for wayfinding and photo ops for athletes and facility visitors," stated artist Jenn Garrett. "The sculpture was fabricated and installed in partnership with local businesses, including Boone Welding, JWM Engineering, and Viking Construction. As an Alachua County resident, it is an honor to celebrate and commemorate the opening of the Sports Event Center with a monumental scale sculpture. I hope this project will highlight our local vibrant arts community." 


Jenn Garrett is an internationally recognized artist based in Alachua County. Her work can be seen in permanent and private collections throughout the southeast United States, including public art projects commissioned by Orange County, Stetson University, Mercer University, and the US Army Corps of Engineers. Ms. Garrett's exhibition highlights include the National Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition in Dublin, Ireland; the National Outdoor Sculpture Competition in Charleston, SC; and the Art on the Atlanta Beltline Inaugural Exhibit. Her work can also be seen locally at the path surrounding the Cade Museum of Invention and Creativity in Depot Park, a series of 22 sculptures that honor the initial donors to the museum, as well as in the kinetic, interactive color-changing sculpture "Nautilus" located inside the museum. 

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New RTS Bus Route 52 from Jonesville

to UF Health

The Alachua County Commission is pleased to announce that a new bus route has been added to serve the County’s unincorporated area in cooperation with the City of Gainesville's Regional Transit System—the new Route 52 runs from Jonesville to the University of Florida Health Center. The bus route will run from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and has four stops in Jonesville. During typical commuter times, the bus will run every 60 minutes.  

Learn more about Route 52 (including its schedule and route map).

This is the first new route planned by the County to encourage transit-supportive development in Alachua County and will initially be paid for by Multi-modal Transportation Mitigation fees collected from new development.

"It is important to have strong transportation networks within the City of Gainesville and in the urbanized unincorporated area,” commented Alachua County Transportation Planning Manager Chris Dawson. He continued, “This new route will encourage bus ridership as the Jonesville area grows. It will provide accessibility to jobs, services, and healthcare.”

Survivors of Suicide Support Group Available

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The Alachua County Crisis Center offers a support group for anyone who has lost a loved one by suicide. The Survivors of Suicide Support (SOS) Group, sponsored by the Alachua County Crisis Center, strives to provide all survivors of suicide loss with comfort, support, and information. The group is open to all adult survivors of suicide, and there is no cost to attend. Participants are invited to attend meetings as little or as often as they wish.

The SOS Group meets on the first and third Wednesday of each month from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. On the first Wednesday of the month, the meeting is held in person in Gainesville. The meeting is held over Zoom on the third Wednesday of each month.

Alachua County Clinical Data Management Supervisor Ariel Drescher said, “If you’ve ever felt like you just want to talk to other people who can understand what you’re going through, the SOS group can help.”

Learn more about the SOS group.

Foster Grandparent Volunteers Needed

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The Alachua County Foster Grandparent Program (FGP) is looking for low-income seniors, age 55+, to volunteer in Alachua County Public Schools, local charter schools, child care centers, and after-school programs throughout Alachua County.

The FGP is looking for senior volunteers to serve as positive role models capable of mentoring and tutoring children with special or exceptional needs or in circumstances that limit their academic, social, or emotional development.

Read more about volunteering with the Foster Grandparent Program.

The October Plant of the Month is Chinese Cabbage

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The UF/IFAS Extension Alachua County Office is pleased to announce that the October “Plant of the Month” is Chinese Cabbage.

October is a good time to grow Chinese Cabbage in North Central Florida. Napa cabbage offers 11.75% of your daily value of folate, which improves your circulation, red blood cell production, and heart health. 

“There are several varieties of Chinese Cabbage that grow well in North Central Florida in the fall and winter garden,” said County Commissioner Mary Alford. “They are ready to harvest in around three months and can be added to soups and stir fry dishes.”

Check the Plant of the Month website for information on planting, harvesting, recipes, etc. Listen to the Extension Cord Podcast for further insights on the Plant of the Month.

The Plant of the Month program is a collaborative effort between Alachua County Board of County Commissioners, UF/IFAS Extension Alachua County, Alachua County Master Gardener Volunteers, Alachua County Public Library, and Working Food. 

Public Works Resumes Normal Operations Following Hurricane Idalia Recovery

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The Alachua County Public Works Department announces that normal operations will resume on Monday, September 25, 2023, following recovery efforts from Hurricane Idalia. On Wednesday morning, August 30, 2023, Idalia made landfall as a category three hurricane in the Big Bend region of north Florida, approximately 60 miles west of Alachua County.

As part of the Department’s hurricane activation plan, the Road and Bridge Division strategically deployed five crews at local schools around the County so crews could respond quickly to downed trees. The first shift worked Tuesday night as the storm approached the area and into Wednesday morning to keep roadways passable. The second shift came in at 11 a.m. Wednesday morning and worked until 11 p.m. that night to ensure roadways remained open. The northwestern parts of the County appeared to have been the hardest hit by the storm based on the number of trees that fell on County roads.

Find out more about the Hurricane Idalia recovery.

County Seeks Advisory Board Volunteers

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​Alachua County seeks volunteers to serve on Advisory Boards. Those looking for a volunteer opportunity that allows them to give back to their community and participate in their County's decision-making process should consider serving on one of the many Board vacancies currently open. The County Commission relies on input from these Boards to make informed decisions and set policies. 

Over 250 citizens serve on the Advisory Boards advising County Government and local agencies on many topics. They include affordable housing, economic development, environmental protection, human rights, County finances, and many other issues. The Alachua County Commission seeks citizen volunteers to serve on several Advisory Boards.

Learn more about current Advisory Board Openings.

October Extension Programs

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Environmental Horticulture Program

Agriculture and Natural Resources Program

Commercial Horticulture Programs

2023 Extension Extravaganza and Food Truck Rally

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