County Commission to discuss COVID-19, fairgrounds, November ballot items

Editor’s Note: On the Agenda is a summary of high interest items to be decided on or discussed at upcoming local municipal meetings in Alachua County. 

Here is a summary of items of interest to be discussed by the Alachua County Board of County Commissioners in June 23rd starting at 11:30 a.m.:

In person BOCC meetings

In preparation for a safe return to “in person” meetings beginning in July, this plan has been developed to ensure reasonable standards are implemented to reduce or eliminate the potential spread of COVID19 for citizens and staff attending public meetings in Alachua County meeting rooms.

Reduced seating, screen meeting attendants, 50 percent capacity, no sharing personal equipment such as pens and cleaning, limit elevator riders, frequent disinfecting.

Fairgrounds Redevelopment Area Transfer to US Army Reserve

A US Army Reserve Equipment Concentration Site is estimated to bring over $330 million in economic benefit over the next 30 years in the local economy. In addition, the facility will support approximately 62 livable wage jobs with Federal benefits. The Fairgrounds property is valued at $1,640,000.00.

Recommended County Community Redevelopment Grants for the Gainesville Metropolitan Area

The resources for these efforts would be funded from a portion of financial contributions committed by the County to the Gainesville Community Revitalization Area agreement (GCRA). In 2020 the first year, the increment available for economic development projects will be $100,000 growing by $100,000 per year over ten years per Section 3 of the GCRA agreement. Alachua County’s total commitment to the GCRA starting in 2020 is $4,191,460 with an increment draw down of $100,000 annually for 10 years to reach equity between the City and County’s commitment. At year ten of the agreement, the City and County will contribute an equal amount of $3,325,657 per year.

Approve a $50,000 award to Working Food and a $50,000 award to Rebuilding Together North Central Florida from the County’s Community Redevelopment Grant for the Gainesville Metropolitan Area. Authorize the County Manager to sign agreements with non-profits after the Board’s award.

City of Newberry Annexation: Request for Board Direction on Initiation of Appeal Process

Ordinance 2020-13 raises questions relative to the statutory requirements that it be “reasonably compact” (particularly when looked at in combination with the annexation adopted by the City of Newberry on April 27, 2020 by Ordinance 2020-10, for which the County Commission previously authorized the conflict resolution process), as well as related service delivery and land use conflicts. These issues are detailed in the attached comments. Please note that regarding Ordinance 2020-14, County staff is concerned that any additional annexations in this area have the potential to result in the creation of a pocket or enclave; staff’s recommendation is that any further annexations in this area should include filling in the unincorporated area to the east to avoid this problem.

Summary of Proposed Charter Amendments Approved by the County Commission

A couple of proposed ballot amendments may have fiscal impacts, including potential staffing needs to implement additional review requirements for the proposed natural resource protection standards and the ongoing budgeting of the newly approved position of Equity Manager. The full potential fiscal impacts cannot be determined until the details of any implementing ordinances that may be adopted for any approved charter amendment are known.

One proposed ballot item reads:

“Shall the Alachua County Charter be amended, effective countywide, to establish a County Growth Management Area (“Area”), provide that the County’s comprehensive plan and land development regulations will exclusively govern land development in the Area, whether inside or outside municipal boundaries, authorize implementing ordinances, provide for removal of lands from the Area, and provide that the charter and implementing ordinances shall prevail over conflicting municipal ordinances?”

Other action items will be discussed about the Flint Rock Agrihood Preliminary Development Plan, Transmittal of Large-scale Comprehensive Plan Amendment concerning the Springhills Activity Center, SW 8th Ave. rezoning, Lochloosa Creek – White Pond Option Contract to Purchase Real Property, Accepting the Donation of Real Property from the Lundgren Family.

Consent Agenda items include: Approval of agreement will allow the County to receive CARES Act funding, Charter Review Commission Resolutions and Charter Review Commission and Resolution Placing Amendments on Ballot, Unanticipated Revenue for Sheriff Grant Awards, Career Source North Central Florida contract amendment with CLM for administrative services, Career Source three party agreement with Alachua County and ICMA for retirement benefits, ACORN Clinic request to use CAPP medical clinic award for the dental services program, Agreement with Caseworthy Software for Alachua County Social Services, Rejecting Bids for West Lawn Art for Call to Artists 20-934 and direct staff to return with a refined scope for art that will unify the community.

The Alachua County Commission will conduct their Virtual Regular Meeting on Tuesday, June 23, 2020, at 11:30 a.m. The evening portion of this meeting is canceled. The Meeting includes a COVID-19 discussion, Fairgrounds Redevelopment, Charter Amendments, and other items.

How to attend

The public may attend virtually through Cox Channel 12, Facebook, and the County’s Video on Demand website. For meeting audio-only, call 301-715-8592, and when prompted, use code 670 965 3024. The public may submit comments to the board through email (bocc@alachuacounty.us) or by calling into the public comment message line when prompted to call during the meeting. Public comment will be taken by telephone for all non-ministerial items on which the Commission votes. Once public comment is opened for an item under discussion, please call 929-205-6099 (enter meeting code 273 174 8038). Callers will be put in a queue and prompted when it is their turn to speak. TO AVOID FEEDBACK, SPEAKERS MUST TURN DOWN THEIR MEETING SOUND WHEN ADDRESSING THE COMMISSION. Callers should state their name and limit comments to two minutes. The Commission will allow up to a total of 30 minutes for citizen comments on each item opened for public comment. In addition, the Commission will open phone lines for one 30-minute public comment session for the public to discuss items not on the Commission agenda. The public is encouraged to submit any written or photographic documents prior to the meeting to bocc@alachuacounty.us.

View the agenda and backup items.

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