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ALACHUA COUNTY - Alachua County has released the second amendment to Emergency Order 20-30. It changes the requirements concerning gatherings. See below for the new requirement language.

Groups with more than 50 people are not permitted to congregate in a space that does not readily allow for appropriate social distancing and may be ordered to disperse by law enforcement or codes enforcement. Groups of any number who are not socially distancing will be required to socially distance and may be ordered to disperse by law enforcement or codes enforcement if they do not comply. Social distancing, for the purpose of this provision, requires adherence to the social distancing recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and the Surgeon General of Florida and requires 6-foot spacing between persons of different households.

View the full order.  

Details of Order

THEREFORE, IT IS ORDERED THAT:

  1. Except as herein noted Executive Order 20-139 shall govern the residents and businesses in Alachua County.
  2. Operations of services and activities.
  3. All services and activities permitted to be operated by Governor DeSantis’ Executive Orders (in existence as of this Emergency Order and executed subsequent to this Emergency Order) may operate in Alachua County pursuant to the standards contained herein and referenced by this Emergency Order. All services and activities shall operate in accordance with OSHA and CDC guidelines applicable to their business.
  4. All services and activities, in which persons are required to wear facial covering, shall post the appropriate signage in color in both English and Spanish, available here. http://alachuacounty.us/covid-19/ or by calling 311 (for preprinted sign). Signs shall be at least 11in x 17in. Signage shall be posted in conspicuous locations which are clearly visible to the patrons and employees throughout each physical location reminding patrons and employees to observe social distancing requirements and to use facial coverings, as required by this Emergency Order. Signage shall be posted, at a minimum, at all points of access (including employee points of access) and throughout the service and activity. Whenever possible, signage shall be posted between 4ft and 5ft as measured from the floor to the bottom of the sign. This subsection (2(b)) will be effective July 1, 2020.
  5. Use of facial coverings.
  6. Persons working in or visiting grocery stores, restaurants, in-store retail establishments, pharmacies, construction sites, public transit vehicles, vehicles for hire, along with locations where social distancing measures are not possible shall appropriately wear facial coverings as defined by the CDC, in a manner which covers the mouth and orifices of the nose.
  7. Facial covering includes any covering which snugly covers the nose and mouth, whether store bought or homemade, and which is secured with ties or ear loops. The Centers for Disease Control provide examples of homemade facial coverings. Persons should not utilize N95 rated masks, as those are critical supplies for health care workers, police, fire, emergency management, or other persons engaged in life/safety activities. Persons who wear facial coverings should review the CDC and Florida Department of Health guidelines regarding safely applying, removing, and cleaning face coverings.
  8. A facial covering shall not be required for children under six, persons who have trouble breathing due to a chronic pre-existing condition or individuals with a documented or demonstrable medical problem. It is the intent of this provision that those individuals who cannot tolerate a facial covering for a medical, sensory or any other condition which makes it difficult for them to utilize a facial covering and function in public are not required to wear one. It is recognized that 12 https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html Alachua County Second Amendment to Emergency Order 20-30 Page 5 of 7 this requirement is broader than what might be considered to be a covered condition under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
  9. This Emergency Order does not change or alter any social distancing requirements imposed by this or in any other emergency order.
  10. This Emergency Order does not change any requirements for wearing facial coverings imposed by regulatory bodies or orders from the Governor.
  11. Facial coverings do not have to be worn while actively eating or drinking.
  12. Groups with more than 50 people are not permitted to congregate in a space that does not readily allow for appropriate social distancing and may be ordered to disperse by law enforcement or codes enforcement. Groups of any number who are not socially distancing will be required to socially distance and may be ordered to disperse by law enforcement or codes enforcement if they do not comply. Social distancing, for the purpose of this provision, requires adherence to the social distancing recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and the Surgeon General of Florida, and requires 6 foot spacing between persons of different households.
  13. Severability. Any provision(s) within this Emergency Order that conflict(s) with any State or Federal law or constitutional provision, including the State’s preemption of the regulation of firearms and ammunition codified in section 790.33, Fla. Stat., or conflict(s) with or are superseded by a current or subsequently-issued Executive Order of the Governor or the President of the United States, shall be deemed inapplicable and deemed to be severed from this Emergency Order, with the remainder of the Emergency Order remaining intact and in full force and effect. To the extent application of some or all the provisions of this Emergency Order is prohibited on the sovereign land of a federally or state recognized sovereign Indian tribe, such application is expressly excluded from this Emergency Order.
  14. Effective Date; Duration. This Emergency Order supersedes any inconsistent emergency order. This Order shall be effective upon filing with the Clerk of the Court and will stay in effect during the pendency of the state of emergency or until adoption of subsequent order or repeal.
  15. This Emergency Order is in addition to the Executive Orders issued by Governor DeSantis.
  16. This Emergency Order applies to incorporated and unincorporated areas within Alachua County, but has no application outside of Alachua County. Municipalities have the authority to enforce this County Order within their jurisdiction. Municipalities are authorized to impose regulations which are more stringent than those set forth herein.
  17. The County or municipalities within its boundaries will direct any establishment to cease and desist operations that are in violation of this Emergency Order and may treat violations as a Alachua County Second Amendment to Emergency Order 20-30 Page 6 of 7 violation of County or Municipal ordinance as appropriate. The County has jurisdiction countywide to enforce the terms of this Order.
  18. This Emergency Order does not apply to operations of local governments within the county, to the State University System, State College System, the State of Florida, or Federal agencies who are encouraged to adopt their own rules and procedures regarding the matters set forth herein.
  19. Except as provided herein, any violation of these emergency measure(s) shall be a violation of Sec. 252.50, Fla. Stat., and may be punishable as provided therein and shall be enforced by law enforcement as provided by law. Notwithstanding the provisions herein, the County may alternatively enforce these emergency measure(s) by issuing a citation imposing a fine not to exceed $500 per violation, pursuant to Chapt. 162, Fla. Stat. All other remedies available at law or equity, including injunction, remain available to the County.
  20. A violation of section 3 of this Order is a noncriminal infraction. A violation of section 3 of this Order does not authorize the search or arrest of any individual. Prior to issuing any citation, the individual will be asked to comply with the order or be able to explain how 3(c) applies to them. Failure to comply with the requirements of section 3 of this Order presents a serious threat to the public health, safety, and welfare, pursuant to Chapt. 162, Fla. Stat., and a citation may be issued immediately for such violation. The County shall enforce the first violation of section 3 of this Emergency Order through a fine of $125.00 to the violator. The second violation of section 3 of this Emergency Order shall be subject to a fine of $250.00 to the violator. All subsequent violations of section 3 of this Order shall constitute a Class V violation under Art. II, Chapt. 24 of the Alachua County Code of Ordinances, requiring a mandatory court appearance and subject to a fine not to exceed $500.00. All other remedies available at law or equity, including injunction, remain available to the County, even after issuance of a citation. The municipalities may enforce this Order as provided by Florida law and municipal code.
  21. This Order supersedes and replaces any conflicting provisions of prior orders.

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ALACHUA COUNTY - The Alachua County Development Review Committee will meet on Thursday, July 9, 2020, at 1:30 p.m. This is a virtual meeting. The public may attend virtually through 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 Development Review Committee through email at developmentreview@alachuacounty.us.

Comments can also be made 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 Development Review Committee 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 DEVELOPMENT REVIEW COMMITTEE MEMBERS.

Items for the Development Review Committee meeting: Arbor Greens Planned Development (PD) Phase 2, Unit 4a and 4b - This is a Final Development Plan and Plat Review for a 61 single lot subdivision in two phases on approximately 12.64 acres on a portion of Tax Parcel Number 04311-000-000 north of the 900 block of N.W. 136th Street. For more information, contact the Alachua County Growth Management Department at 352-374-5249, or Angeline Jacobs at ajacobs@alachuacounty.us.

Argos Cement East Personal Wireless Service Facility Tower - This is a Preliminary and Final Development Plan Reviewfor a 199.00 foot monopole personal wireless telecommunication facility on approximately 0.23 acre of project area on a portion of Tax Parcel Number 01811-000-000 at the southeast corner of N.W. 234th Street and N.W. 50th Lane, in the area of Newberry. For more information, contact the Alachua County Growth Management Department at 352-374-5249, or Leslie McLendon at lmclendon@alachuacounty.us.

Park Lane Planned Development - Campus USA - This is a Revised Final Development Plan and Floodplain Development Permit Review for an approximately 5,000 sq. ft. free standing credit union with separate drive through teller structure and future approximately 8,000 sq. ft. retail building on approximately 2.385 acres on Tax Parcel Numbers 06861-001-013, 06861-001-001 and 06861-006-000 at the intersection of S.W. 58th Place and Tower Road. For more information, contact the Alachua County Growth Management Department at 352-374-5249, or Angeline Jacobs at ajacobs@alachuacounty.us. View the Development Review Committee Agenda. The meeting will be televised on Cox Cable Channel 12, and on the County's Video on Demand website. If you have a disability and need an accommodation in order to participate in a County program, service or public meeting, please contact the Alachua County Equal Opportunity Office at (352)374-5275 at least 2 business days prior to the event. TTY users, please call 711 (Florida Relay Service).

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HIGH SPRINGS – On June 17 three police cars parked at a local church with lights on as a group of youngsters gathered around. Police departments and the religious community are joining forces locally in the midst of controversies and demonstrations occurring over policies and actions by police, especially within African American communities. Deaths of unarmed blacks by police in different areas of the country have in some cases created anger toward the police.

With turmoil and negative press regarding police, local police departments want their communities to know them as people not just uniforms. Throughout the year police departments in Alachua and High Springs interact and connect with the community. Each year the High Springs Police Department (HSPD) and Fire Department distribute Christmas gifts to kids who might otherwise have no Christmas. They also host an annual community fair to meet and interact with residents in a non-stressful situation. The Alachua Police Department (APD) is heavily involved with local schools and programs for at-risk children. At Christmas they arrange the “Shop with a Cop” event taking a group of children on a Christmas shopping spree to Walmart using donations.

These are just a few of the things police officers do on their own time to help the community. Unfortunately, it is often the negative actions by a few bad cops that people hear about and the good deeds go unnoticed.

One HSPD officer, Adam Joy, is also an ordained minister. Joy has been a police officer for 13 years, but has also pursued the ministry as a dual occupation. Joy founded Deeper Purpose Community Church in April 2017. Raised in the Church of God in Christ, Joy became a licensed minister in 2007, an ordained elder in 2012, and graduated from Church of God by Faith Theological Institute (CTI) of Jacksonville in December 2018 with his Diploma of Christian Pastor Studies & Certification. His wife, Cherie Muse Joy, assists as the women's religious counselor at the church.

The church has separate programs geared toward youth. Deeper Purpose Youth & Student Ministries (DPYSM) was founded in February 2015 by Joy, who in the months leading up to its founding, would take a portion of his paycheck from his full-time job as a police officer and put it toward youth related activities, outreach, and projects. Friends and family also began to donate. Joy says that since being founded, DPYSM has poured thousands of dollars back into communities in and around North Central Florida.

Each Wednesday, the church holds a separate service for youth with different themes or activities each time. With the controversy occurring over police relations, Joy invited several officers from the High Springs and Alachua police departments to attend a Community Youth and Police Relationship Summit for a question and answer session with community youth.

On June 17 local police and the ministry united at the church as a circle of chairs filled with youths between ages 6 and 17 sat in front of the police cars parked at the church with lights on. “The purpose of this special night was to bridge the gap more and to build more trust and understanding between our community’s youth and law enforcement, as well as building better relationships between the two, by engaging in conversation,” Joy said. “I feel that good lines of communication between our youth and law enforcement are important for the trust of the community and understanding of who each person is.

School Resource Officer Jason Taylor and Officer Joe Tillman from High Springs Police Department, as well as Tiausha Brown from the Alachua Police Department, attended. An interactive discussion followed with both youth and officers asking and answering questions to better understand viewpoints from each. But the gathering also offered recreational activities as Officers Tillman and Brown faced off against the teens in basketball. Officer Taylor let the smaller youth play games with K9 Justice. Pizza, subs donated by High Springs Subway, cupcakes, chips and drinks were a popular addition to evening’s activities.

“This was originally going to be a one-time event, but it went so well that I would like to make it once every three months, so everyone can address issues that are current,” Joy said.

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GAINESVILLE — The popular IdentoGo TSA Pre✓® Mobile RV event is returning again to Gainesville Regional Airport (GNV). The event will run from Monday, July 27 – Friday, Aug. 14, 2020. The Mobile Enrollment Center will be located on the airport property at 3880 N.E. 39th Ave., Gainesville, Fla., 32609, at the east end of the terminal. In addition to TSA Pre✓® , qualified individuals may register for the Transportation Worker Identification Credential, also known as TWIC®.

IdentoGo, the company that manages the event, offers 12 appointments per hour. Applicants should note that appointments are limited and are available on a first come, first serve basis, so register as soon as possible. Health and safety measures practiced in the Mobile Enrollment RV include social distancing, no more than four customers permitted at one time, wearing a face covering and social distancing.  Please note this event is for TSA Pre✓® only, not Global Entry.

GNV has hosted four previous enrollment events, allowing thousands of people to easily enroll in the popular expedited screening program without having to drive to Jacksonville, Orlando or Tampa. To accommodate increased passenger traffic, GNV added a second screening lane in May 2018 and added TSA Pre✓® in October 2018. TSA Pre✓® is now available for all flights at GNV.

TSA Pre✓® enables identified low-risk air travelers to enjoy a smart and efficient screening experience. For TSA Pre✓® travelers, there is no need to remove shoes, 3-1-1 liquids, laptops, light outerwear or belts. Today, TSA Pre✓® has more than 450 lanes at 200+ U.S. airports.

The TSA Pre® application program allows U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents to directly apply for TSA Pre®. Once approved, travelers will receive a “Known Traveler Number” (which can be added to a travelers airline profile and reservations) and will have the opportunity to utilize TSA Pre® lanes at select security checkpoints when flying on over 70 carriers that currently participate in TSA Pre®.

 TWIC ® is required by the Maritime Transportation Security Act for workers who need access to secure areas of the nation’s maritime facilities and vessels. TSA conducts a security threat assessment (background check) to determine a person’s eligibility and issues the credential. U.S. citizens and immigrants in certain immigration categories may apply for the credential. Most mariners licensed by the U.S. Coast Guard also require a credential.

 To participate in GNV’s enrollment event, follow these steps to pre-enroll:

  1. Visit https://www.identogo.com/precheck to access the application page
  2. Click “Start Application Now”, then click “New Enrollment”
  3. Fill out Steps and choose “Next” at the bottom of each screen
  4. Type in your location at Zipcode/City/Airport Code box – search
  5. Choose location “Gainesville, FL - RV Pop-Up: GNV - Gainesville Regional Airport 7/27-8/14” and click “Next”
  6. Select your desired appointment time (Please be sure to make note of your appointment time, no reminders will be sent out.)

The hours for the IdentoGo TSA Pre✓® Mobile RV Event at GNV will be: 7/27 – 8/13: 9 a.m. - noon, 1 p.m. – 5 p.m. (closed from noon to 1 p.m. for lunch); 8/14: 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.(Closed Saturdays and Sundays) 

Convenient parking will be available in the “Long-term East Overflow Lot” (employee lot). Truck parking is available on a limited basis. Please call the airport parking office at (352) 494-2240 to gain entrance to the parking field past the airport terminal on the right. Truck parking is $9/day.  

  • Do not enter the enrollment RV if you have symptoms, are awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test, or have been advised to self-quarantine
  • If you are exhibiting symptoms, have a cold, or suspect you have the flu, please contact IdentoGo (not GNV) to reschedule and fingerprint at a later date
  • Please have identification documents and payment in your hand when you approach the agent or greeter
  • Do not place personal items (purses, hats, cell phones, etc) on the counter or desk.
  • Practice social distancing - please maintain a 6' distance between other customers
  • Wait times may be longer than normal due to sanitizing protocol of equipment and surfaces between appointments.

IMPORTANT! To complete the application process, you will need to bring documentation proving identity and citizenship status! If you have a valid U.S. passport, that is all you need for ID! You will finish the process onsite by providing your fingerprints for a background check.

The application fee is $85 (good for five years) and can be paid by credit card, money order, company check, or certified/cashier's check. Cash and personal checks are not accepted.

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NEWBERRY – For the past 74 years Newberry has hosted an event to celebrate the community’s rural history and the crop the town has become known for—watermelons. But this year, the milestone 75th Anniversary almost didn't happen due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Due to the need for social distancing to slow the infection rate, all public events in the spring were canceled, including traditional spring festivals in many small towns.

“This was our 75th anniversary and we really wanted to celebrate that,” said vendor coordinator Christina Bridwell. “We are the longest running consecutive festival in the United States and felt that as the state was reopening that the festival would bring hope and a sense of normality to the community.”

Bridwell said they had been working on the festival for months and had the sponsors and vendors lined up before the stay at home orders. “However, we also wanted to be safe and follow the guidelines, Bridwell added. “We tried to be cognizant of social distancing and sanitation though as well, so even though much of the work had already been done, it was not until May 20 that we made the final decision to go ahead with it,” Bridwell said.

This year, festival coordinators spaced vendors farther apart than in the past and put hand washing stations throughout the event as well as hand sanitizer and also recommended that attendees wear masks.

Bridwell said, “We want to make this is a successful event to show we can have festivals safely. There are other festivals and events sponsors that are looking at us to see how this goes. We really wanted to keep the tradition going.”

The Newbery Watermelon Festival has a rich history that started in 1946 at the end of World War II. It was not only a celebration of the town’s livelihood, but also a festival to bring happiness and normalcy back at the end of a tumultuous time. Seventy-five years later the world is facing another crisis and the festival committee felt there was again a need to bring the community together,

Newberry began as a mining town in the 1880s after phosphate was discovered in the western part of Alachua County. In 1893, the Savannah, Florida and Western Railway was extended south from High Springs to Newberry, providing transportation for the mines and leading to its formation as a railroad town and trading center. By 1896 there were 14 mines operating nearby. Newberry grew quickly, with hotels, boarding houses, and saloons to accommodate the often transient workforce. But the demand for phosphate ended abruptly in 1914 when war was declared against Germany who was the principal customer for Newberry's phosphate.

The remaining community had to find a new way to produce income and the local economy turned from phosphate production to agriculture and new commodity crops. It was particularly successful in producing watermelons and Newberry became well known for their watermelons. In 1946, the year after the end of World War II, a committee of local citizens decided to hold a festival celebrating watermelon production and the Newberry Watermelon Festival was born. Until this year, the event has been held annually on the third Saturday in May.

The festival is organized and produced by a committee of local residents with the support of the city and business sponsors. The event is produced with a large group of volunteers, including Police Explorers who help manage traffic and parking. Sponsors provided donations either as cash or in-kind products. The festival also gets additional funds by charging for parking. Some of the money raised is used to fund three $1,000 scholarships for Newberry High School seniors to cover tuition and books to attend Santa Fe College. Any additional money goes to the schools for supplies and to the Red Cross for any local need that arises.

The festival also hosts several special events and contests celebrating the rural history of the town, such as hog calling, watermelon seed spitting and watermelon rolling contests. A separate area is set up for a kids playground featuring bounce houses and a miniature train ride with the cars pulled by a tractor. The festival is meant to be a family event with various activities for a younger audience, including The Rage, a mobile Laser Tag game with different sections and objectives similar to a video game set up.

On the opposite side of the event was Mister Crabs Entertainment Center. Referred to as “edutainment,” the booths featured various educational material on butterflies, hermit crabs and other sea creatures. They also offered hermit crab adoptions, crab races and a butterfly tent where kids could feed the butterflies. Other vendors served a variety of food or sold products and crafts. Some vendors offered services or public information and being an election year, several candidates also hosted vendor tents.

But one of the big draws is always the free watermelon slices to cool down on a hot day. The servers, all wearing masks and gloves for everyone's safety, handed out slices to a seemingly never-ending line of eager customers. The melons are donated each year by local farmers; this year it was by Frey Farms. Any watermelons still available after 2 p.m. could be purchased with the remainder donated to local food banks and churches. Although the festival closed at 4 p.m., the celebration continued with live music from the Ronny McKinnley band from 6-10 p.m. While the event was smaller than in years past, it still went on and was well attended. Similar to its roots in 1946, the festival again brought enjoyment and a sense of normalcy during challenging times.

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ALACHUA COUNTY, FL - Alachua County-Notification methods of COVID-19 test results for individuals receiving a test in Alachua County vary. Some may be contacted with positive results from their ordering physician or a commercial laboratory prior to the Alachua County Health Department (ACHD) receiving the lab confirmation.
 
"Once the Alachua County Health Department receives a laboratory confirmed COVID-19 test result, contact will be initiated within 24 hours for investigation that includes education and contact tracing," stated Paul Myers, Administrator of the ACHD. "Persons contacted by health officials will be asked for name and date of birth only, and are encouraged to cooperate with a short interview that supports our disease mitigation efforts. Health officials will not ask for financial information, or other personal information such as a social security number or address."
 
The Alachua County Health Department test result hotline, 352-334-8828, should only be called after three business days have passed since the test was conducted. Individuals who are ill should stay at home and avoid contact with others, regardless of test results.
 
Some individuals may receive a call from an 833-917-2880 number asking for name and date of birth, and may be provided with a negative test result. This number is legitimate and is a Department of Health sponsored initiative to support test result notification.
 
For more information, visit http://alachua.floridahealth.gov/.
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ALACHUA – The City of Alachua has approved the Business Incentive Program to spur economic development within the city. During the Sept. 23, 2019 meeting, the Commission directed staff to develop legislation to initiate a Business Incentive Program to encourage economic development and business relocation by maintaining a welcoming business environment, create business growth and increased employment in Alachua.

The program consists of six specific business incentives. The Business Development Electric Discount provides an incremental discounting of Alachua electric rates over a five-year period. The Electric Contribution in Aid of Construction provides for the discounting of costs associated with the extension, addition and/or modification of City of Alachua electric infrastructure. The City will also offer expedited permit approval.

Since much of the program is geared toward attracting high tech and biotech businesses and startups, the City is also offering funding incentives for small businesses. These will include an Incubator/Accelerator Graduate Lease Subsidy, which provides for rental subsidies for incubator and/or accelerator graduates. A Small Business Assistance Program will provide for reimbursable matching funds related to City of Alachua fees/charges for small businesses. The final part of the program is a Tech Matching Grant Fund which will provide matching funds for technology-focused events and programs.

In other business, the Commission approved on first reading a preliminary plat and final (PD) planned development plan for Phase 1 of the Tolosa PD-R. The proposed new subdivision is sited on an 18.74-acre property and consists of 43 lots with associated common areas and rights-of-way. The proposed subdivision is located north of Northwest 158th Avenue and west of Hipp Way. Access would be provided by one ingress/egress point located on Hipp Way, with a stabilized emergency access point onto Northwest 158th Avenue. The initial Tolosa PD-R Zoning was approved on June 10, 2019 for the development of 160 residential units consisting of 120 single-family houses and 40 multifamily units. At the June 9, 2020 meeting of the Planning and Zoning Board, the Tolosa Final PD Plan was approved unanimously and forwarded to the City Commission with a recommendation to approve.

In other business, the Commission approved a contract with Jacobs for $65,000 to provide engineering services to assist in the engineering design for wastewater lift station modeling. Funds for the project will come from the Waste Water Fund.

The Commission also amended the Fiscal Year 2019-2020 Budget for the receipt of unanticipated revenue to establish the Children's Trust Grant Special Revenue Fund. The Children's Trust of Alachua County (CTAC) Board approved grant rankings on Feb. 10, 2020 and directed that contracts be executed with the recommended grant recipients. These rankings resulted in an award $135,002 to the City of Alachua for the proposed youth enrichment program.

Brightmark, LLC, a private company focused on transforming plastic waste into renewable fuel, is considering locating in Alachua to expand its operations. The firm is projected to create 352 new jobs over three years beginning in 2023 with an average annual compensation of approximately $41,870.

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) offers several incentives to prospective and expanding businesses, such as Brightmark. The Qualified Target Industry (QTI) Tax Refund is such a program. If approved for the program, a company may receive refunds on taxes it pays including corporate income tax, sales tax, and ad valorem tax following job creation.

Brightmark, LLC. is making application for participation in the QTI program totaling $1,760,000. The total award amount is derived from a formula developed by DEO that places valuation on each new job created. Brightmark qualified for $5,000 per expected new job created. The QTI program requires a 20 percent local government match. The local government match totals $352,000 divided equally between Alachua County and the City of Alachua.

The company may only receive refunds on taxes paid and must demonstrate job creation and will only receive a refund for actual jobs created. The company must have paid taxes to the City of Alachua totaling at least the City's refund amount to receive the refund. The City's share of the funding, $176,000, is payable over four years following job creation from each prior year.

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