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ALACHUA ‒ The City of Alachua has been awarded the Florida League of Cities (FLC) Hometown Health Award that recognizes health members that meet the nine best practice standards for employee health promotion.

The FLC is government sector lobbying association and is a member of the National League of Cities (NLC), which is a advocacy organization that represents the country's 19,495 cities, towns, and villages along with 49 state municipal leagues. In Florida there are 411 participating municipalities. The FLC lobbies on both a state legislature and federal congressional level for programs and education that help cities improve their local government and living conditions of the towns’ residents.

The FLC recognition included "the City of Alachua has not only achieved great participation in Hometown Health, but has also demonstrated a true commitment to employee well-being. Employers play such a vital role in creating a workplace that supports a healthy environment and health conscious culture.”

FLC Health Account Executive Lindsey Larson presented the award to the City Commission at the Sept. 14, 2020 Commission meeting. She noted the City's accomplishments in safety training in all areas of city operations, special reviews and training by outside consultants, health screening and the City's support by contributing 50 percent toward health club memberships for employees.

The City maintains a variety of wellness incentive programs throughout the year. Most recently, a step challenge to encourage more active behaviors, was completed with great success. Participants electronically recorded walking step numbers for five straight weeks. The total number of steps recorded was a staggering 8,281,168, which is the equivalent of 3,845 miles. This is just one example of the programs administered by the City that promote a healthy and safe workforce. The award specifically recognized the efforts of the Compliance and Risk Management Department under the direction of Grafton (Cap) Wilson. Larson also cited the efforts of Compliance and Risk Management Coordinator Anne Marie DiRocco, Human Resource Manager Donna Meyers, and Lisa Freeman from the Human Resources Department and Robert Purdy, Safety Specialist for the City.

The Alachua City Commission has issued a proclamation commemorating Constitution Week. The Constitutional Convention Public Law 915 guarantees the issuing of a proclamation each year by the President of the United States designating Sept. 17 – 23 to be Constitution Week to celebrate and commemorate the drafting of the Constitution. At the Sept. 14 meeting the City Commission presented Kay Hall, Regent for the Gainesville Chapter of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, with a proclamation announcing the recognition of Constitution Week.

In other business, the Commission turned their attention to financial matters and infrastructure. During the month of August 2020, the city manager presented the City Commission with the proposed FY 2020-21 budget by major fund types. The tentative budgets presented, at that time, totaled $40,644,612, which is $12,049,821 less than the FY 2019-20 amended budget of $52,694,433. The General Fund tentative budget is based on a tax rate of 5.3900 mills. This tentative millage rate is 4.83 percent more than the rolled-back rate of 5.1416 mills.

A final public hearing on these matters will be held at the Sept. 28, 2020 Commission meeting at 6 p.m. in Alachua City Hall, James A. Lewis Commission Chambers. The public is invited to add input at the meeting.

The Commission approved a bid for the City’s Roadway Improvements Project. On Aug. 5, 2020, the City solicited formal bids from qualified vendors to furnish all necessary equipment, supervision, labor, materials and incidentals to complete the City of Alachua FY 2020 Roadway Improvements Project. The City received seven bids. V.E. Whitehurst & Sons, Inc. was the lowest bidder with a Base Bid of $137,445 and an Alternate 1 bid of $61,755, for a total of $199,200. The Commission approved the bid with the stipulation that it cannot exceed $250,000.

The last order of business at the meeting was to approve state funding for the City's portion of Alachua County CARES Act Plan. The State of Florida Division of Emergency Management allocated $46.9 million in Federal CARES Act funding to Alachua County. Subsequently, on July 7, 2020, the County approved the Alachua County CARES Act Plan. The Alachua County CARES Act Plan, as amended on Aug. 3, 2020, designates $159,000 to the City of Alachua for COVID-19 response related expenses. The award will be used for personal protective equipment (PPE) and medical supplies, disinfecting public areas and facilities, quarantining health and public safety personnel, preparing public buildings for customers, homeless care, equipping public employees to telework and food delivery to housebound and elderly residents.

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