BOCC, Gainesville to talk surtax, central receiving

Notepad and pen on table in empty conference room
Notepad and pen on table in empty conference room
Mariakray via Shutterstock

The Gainesville City Commission will meet with the Alachua County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) on Monday at 3 p.m. to discuss ballot initiatives and a central receiving facility.

According to the presentation included in the meeting agenda, a central receiving facility (CRF) would be a resource “for citizens experiencing mental health/substance misuse concerns.”

The CRF provides immediate triage and an assessment. The agenda identifies it as an alternative to “mitigate emergency departments, crisis stabilization unit, and jail overuse.”

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Since 2018, the Gainesville Police Department has used its Co-Responder Teams program to accomplish similar goals. 

The budget for a CRF has been identified for Alachua County share only as $250,000 for capital costs, with an additional budget for operational costs under consideration.

According to the county agenda, $1.5 Million in American Rescue Plan (ARP) Funds (including state and local fiscal recovery) have been identified.

On August 12th the BOCC approved a four-part motion to move the CRF from concept to operationalizing.

Staff came back with ideas that we will be presented on Monday: “Likely [the] only sustainable model that will work for Alachua is a combination of ongoing permanent funding through: County Support through the American Rescue Plan/Opioid and taxpayer dollars for the $1.5 million, plus hospital supportive funding at about $500,000, Department of Children and Families (DCF) funding of about $200,000 and insurance funding of $400,000.”

The second part of the meeting will focus on the 2022 ballot initiative timeline regarding the 1 percent surtax for the Alachua County Trust for Public Land.

Ballot language for the surtax would need to be submitted to the Supervisor of Elections by March 1 in order for the measure to be included on the November 2022 ballot, which would require a 50 percent plus one majority vote to succeed.

The public may attend and participate in this meeting virtually and in-person. Public comment will be taken both virtually and in-person. Masks are strongly encouraged for those who are unvaccinated. The commissions will take public comment in person or by calling 1-800-741-8011.

Those wishing to attend the meeting virtually can do so by tuning in on Cox Channel 12, Facebook, or the County’s Video on Demand website.

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