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Ralph Murray, Jr.
March 11th, 2002

Interview with Dianna Kosman-Rothseiden
March 8th, 2002

New DRI-Old DRI
Dominate Alachua Commission Meeting

March 6th, 2002

DRI Attorney Apgar's Opinion
On Proportionate Share

March 4th, 2002

Pine Hills Cemetery
Begins Unmarked Grave Identification

March 3rd, 2002

Big Red Waste Sells Commercial Division
March 1st, 2002

ORC Report About WACO's
Comp Plan Amendments

March 1st, 2002

Alachua City Workshop
February 28th, 2002

DCA Memo Regarding ORC Report
(Objections, Recommendations, Comments)

February 28th, 2002

Municipal Leaders Steering Committee
February 28th, 2002

High Springs featured in
Simply The Best Magazine

February 25th, 2002

Update on Bomb at High Springs Herald
February 21st, 2002

Bomb Left At High Springs Herald
February 19th, 2002

New Police Station and
Spencer House Topics of Workshop

February 15th, 2002

High Springs Commission
Supports County Visioning and Planning

February 15th, 2002

Proportionate Share
Proposed Text Amendment

February 12th, 2002

Future Land Use Map
Draft Ordinance

February 12th, 2002

Attorney General Opinion
Sought for Proportionate Share

February 11th, 2002

Rally In Tally
February 6th, 2002

$31 Million Price Tag for
City Improvements

February 6th, 2002

High Springs New Chamber President
Challenges Membership

February 4th, 2002

DRI Contingent on List of Conditions
January 29th, 2002

Headlines from the Past
Lewis, Cain, Pope

January 24th, 2002

City of Alachua Debt
Revealed to be $24 Million

January 23rd, 2002

Mayor Calls for
Industrial Development Moratorium

January 23rd, 2002

More

High Springs Commission
Supports County Visioning and Planning

High Springs Commission
Supports County Visioning and Planning

Patricia C. Behnke

Tommy Hines, Newberry City Commissioner and vice chair of the Alachua County/Municipal Leaders Steering Committee, told the High Springs City Commission during a presentation on Thursday night, "I'll be honest, you're the only commission we've been worried about going along with it."

Hines referred to the plan set forth by the steering committee that has been meeting for over a year to form a coordinated effort between the ten pieces of the puzzle that make up Alachua County: the county itself and its nine municipalities. This visioning and planning process would combine resources and give each community a vehicle for making decisions that will impact future growth.

The committee has come up with a design for improving and simplifying the annexation process and bringing together the ideas of all the municipalities for a shared vision within the county. But success of the process depends on participation of all pieces of that puzzle.

"We're the first county in the state to do this," Hines pointed out after a presentation that showed the rapid development within the Alachua County over the last twenty years.

This visioning process pools resources and allows everyone to have a say in the way that the county grows. "We get to tell the county what we want for the first time," noted Hines.

Hines informed the commission that the cost would amount to $1 per resident in either in-kind contributions or cash or both. Alachua County, Waldo, Newberry, and Micanopy have already signed a resolution of support. Gainesville has not signed the resolution, but Hines said that they were certain to do so soon. The cost to High Springs would be approximately $3,900 to take advantage of becoming a part of a process that will help communities manage the rapid growth taking place in the county.

Commissioner John Hill questioned the amount of total money needed. Hines and Commissioner Jim Gabriel, who is also chair of the steering committee, told Hill several times that they were considering several possibilities on how to proceed but they were hoping that the total cost would be somewhere near $250,000.

"I do not like to commit money when we don't know where it's going. You're the same in Newberry," Hill told Hines.

"Yes, but we're also concerned about the amount of annexation," Hines responded. "You have the greatest opportunity tonight to meet the needs of your community. This has never been done before and whether we like it or not, growth is coming."

Commissioner Georgan Roberts said that she would like a workshop to be held to provide her with more information.

"We've only brought it up one time. I'd like to table it and bring it up at a workshop," Roberts told her fellow commissioners. "I just don't know about this, we've visioned just fine in High Springs."

"I respectfully disagree with another workshop," Gabriel told her. "It's time to stop workshopping and move forward."

Gabriel urged his fellow commissioners to participate. "You keep making the mistake that this is something the county is making us do. High Springs will become what your vision is. It's not the county, it's just the opposite."

City Attorney Jim Pendland told the commission that he thought High Springs would benefit from the participation; however, he asked them to be very certain before they agreed to anything.

But it was the words of City Manager Bob Phillips that changed the tone of the evening. "I came in tonight with an open mind but with concerns. Now after the presentation I feel comfortable with the process and the outline for the visioning will provide a good product."

He further told the commissioners that because of a position vacancy in city hall, the money would be available for the project.

"I recommend that the city commission involve themselves in this process," he said.

The motion to approve the resolution passed 5-0.


In Other Commission Business

Pine Hills Cemetery, a neglected and historic burial ground in High Springs, will receive the help of All Coast Engineering, Inc. to help determine unmarked gravesites. The cemetery committee hopes to preserve some of the history of the place while ensuring that new burials do not take place upon old ones. Within the next two weeks the firm, along with Coughlin and members of the committee, will spend at least three days marking sites determined to contain bodies. The cost, covered in the cemetery funds, will be $1,500 per day.

A new subdivision near the intersection of Hwy. 441 and Boat Ramp Road south of the Santa Fe River changed its conditional use permit from 80 platted lots to 40. The change came as a result of the Department of Transportation's recommendation that the roads in the area could not withstand the impact of 80 lots.

Jeannette Peters, Executive Director of the High Springs Youth Center, reported that funds were available for the Youth Center to operate at least through June. A surprise donation of $4,000 from the High Springs Rotary Club will help further their goals. They hope to have incorporation of a non-profit corporation complete within several months and then major sources of grant funding will be sought. The Youth Center now charges $5 per child per week.

Phillips introduced Penny Banks the new codes enforcement officer for High Springs. Banks told the commission that he had an agenda for his first weeks on the job. First he would deal with citizens' complaints, then buildings in disrepair, and then municipal leans.

The Riverland subdivision off of County Road 27 in the north end of town has been waiting for paving for seven months. In that time the lowest bidder for the project raised his rates by $20,000. The residents and commission decided to get another local bid in the next week and at the next meeting a decision would be made on paving the road.

Phillips presented a revised plan for use of the Civic Center.

The commission decided to waive fees for local High Springs senior citizen activities, churches, school activities, and fundraisers for children, although these groups will still have to pay a $100 returnable security deposit. All other non-profit organizations will pay a $50 cleaning fee and other groups will still pay the $150 fee. Certain organizations like the Scouts, Elder Care Meal Program, and the Chamber of Commerce will be grandfathered in regarding fees.

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