BOCC to tackle zero waste, rental unit permits, church purchase

In a special meeting at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday afternoon the Alachua County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) will determine the next steps in developing a zero waste strategy, determining how to implement a residential rental unit permit and inspection program, and decide if a High Springs church is a potential site for county offices.

Kessler Consulting, Inc. (KCI) will present a report prepared for the Solid Waste and Recovery Department that addresses an understanding of zero waste, the current county waste system, county disposal trends, and zero waste strategies.

In 2018, Alachua County retained KCI for professional services to develop a community wide zero waste strategy report with the City of Gainesville. The project was initiated the following year. It provides direction for devising the means, methods, and infrastructure necessary to sustainably manage materials within both jurisdictions and, once completed, will establish obtainable milestones for achieving zero waste goals.

The purpose of this preliminary report is to gain insight from stakeholders regarding the zero waste strategies being considered by the county and city and their importance to the community.

Combined, the county and Gainesville spent more than $12.4 million collecting and managing over 800,000 tons of solid waste during FY 2018 and over 560,000 tons in FY 2019. This equated in 2019 to 1.5 tons of waste per capita (per person), collected and processed.

Zero waste, as a social movement, requires a consortium of local leaders, businesses, and residents to become viable and achievable. In 2017, Gainesville Commissioner Hayes-Santos presented recommendations for the city to establish a diversion goal of 90 percent by 2030 and be defined as a zero waste city by 2040.

Upon receiving the presentation the BOCC will direct KCI on priorities and further analysis of strategies that will provide estimated waste reduction and diversion potentials, potential public and private partnerships and an initial macro-scale assessment of cost for implementing strategies.

The second item on the agenda is a residential rental unit permit and inspection program presentation that would involve all residential units rented in Gainesville (about 15,000) and in Alachua County (7,036).

Funding for this program will depend on whether the program is contracted to a third party or implemented in house. In house first year expenses would be approximately $454,000. On-going yearly expenses would be approximately $345,000 and revenues will be based on the fees collected for the permit.

The last agenda item is a discussion of purchase of Fellowship Baptist Church in High Springs. The asking price for the church and surrounding nine acres for $3.3 million.

The BOCC will direct the staff on whether to proceed with the possible option contract for the Fellowship Baptist Church as a potential location for county offices and facilities.

The public may attend and participate in this meeting virtually and in person. Public comment will be taken both virtually and in person. The public may also attend virtually through Cox Channel 12, Facebook, and the County’s Video on Demand website. The board will take public comment in person or by calling 1-800-876-7516.

Attendees must wear a facial covering at all times. Public seating will be made available up to the capacity that permits adequate social distancing. 

The public may submit comments, written or photographic documents to the board through email (bocc@alachuacounty.us) before the meeting or by participating when prompted to by the chair of the board.

See the full agenda and links to backup materials by clicking here.

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