3. Final Summary of the FY 2017 – FY 2021 Strategic Plan
Statement of Issue:
This section provides a final summary of the FY 2017 – FY 2021 Leon County Strategic Plan. Specifically, the section provides a progress report on the 20 Targets & Bold Goals and 104 Strategic Initiatives that comprise the County’s current five-year Strategic Plan.
No Board action necessary.
The December 12, 2016 Board Retreat served to both close out the FY 2012 – FY 2016 Strategic Plan and to engage in the comprehensive plan year evaluation and development of the next five-year planning cycle. During the Retreat, the Board reestablished the Vision Statement and Strategic Priorities, adopted an organizational Mission Statement, and established new Strategic Initiatives. The current
FY 2017 – FY 2021 Strategic Plan was enhanced by the incorporation of specific five-year Targets and Bold Goals adopted for each priority area. The Board formally adopted the FY 2017 – FY 2021 Strategic Plan on January 24, 2017.
The following analysis is a final status report on the County’s current Strategic Initiatives, Targets, and Bold Goals. As noted throughout this section, the progress on several of these items has been impacted by the global COVID-19 pandemic, a human tragedy of historic proportions. While Leon County has responded with organizational agility and innovation, the unprecedented economic impacts and global recession unsurprisingly made it impossible to achieve some of our goals in the priority area of the economy. Most notably, the necessary “Stay at Home” orders as well as limitations on travel and public gatherings have significantly impacted the tourism economy and local unemployment rates. Likewise, while the County found innovative ways to connect with citizens remotely, the pandemic led to the cancellation of several large, annual events like the Leon Works Expo, Press the Chest, and the Honor Flight Reunion which directly support several of our strategic initiatives. However, even and perhaps especially in these challenging times, the County has remained focused on the advancement of the County’s strategic priorities.
The following provides a final status of all the Strategic Initiatives, Targets, and Bold Goals categorized by Strategic Priority alignment (Economy, Environment, Quality of Life, or Governance). At the Retreat, staff will present a printed Impact and Progress Report summarizing the results of the
FY 2017 – FY 2021 Strategic Plan, which will be shared with the community.
3A. Progress Toward Bold Goals and Five-Year Targets
At the 2016 Retreat, staff recommended, and the Board approved the adoption of specific Targets that Leon County expects to realize as an organization over the next five-year plan cycle. These Targets are aligned with each priority area and will communicate to the public and staff throughout the County the specific results that we expect to achieve through the collective execution of our Strategic Initiatives.
Additionally, the Board approved a Bold Goal, for each priority area. Bold Goals differ from Targets in that they are truly stretch goals which will be big and difficult to achieve but are worthy of staffs’ best efforts because they are big and difficult to achieve. The adoption of bold goals is something the best organizations do because they recognize that all goals should not be tied to specific programs or current resources. Bold Goals, rather, require the County to explore new partnerships, identify new opportunities, and inspire new ideas.
The following sections summarize Leon County’s progress toward the Targets and Bold Goals in each of the four (4) priority areas. Each Strategic Priority section a narrative analysis of staff’s efforts. For reference, baseline data used for the development of each of the Targets and Bold goals is also included as Attachment #1.
ECONOMY – Analysis of Bold Goal and Targets
Bold Goal: Grow the Five-Year Tourism Economy to $5 Billion
90% Goal Attained - $4.5 Billion
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, which significantly impacted both the local and statewide tourism economy, Leon County was on track to achieve this goal. Leon County contracts with the research firm Downs & St. Germain for tourism research services, including determining the quarterly tourism economy. In FY 2017, FY 2018, FY 2019, and FY 2020 the research firm estimated the total economic impact of tourism in Leon County at $895.8 million, $920 million, $1.04 billion, and $766 million respectively. For FY 2021, the annual economic impact is over $879 million, which brings the total tourism economy over the last five years to $4.5 billion, 90% of the County’s five-year Bold Goal.
The tourism economy during the first half of FY 2021 was down approximately 19% compared to
FY 2020, which also experienced significant declines due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the second half of FY 2021 saw a 68% increase in the tourism economy from the previous year. Industry experts anticipate that the omicron variant may slow the recovery of the tourism economy. However, the travel and tourism industry in Florida has been extremely resilient to changing market conditions, including in Leon County. Additionally, to help restore visitation levels and support businesses in the destination, the Board approved the use of $750,000 of American Recovery Plan Act (ARPA) revenue replacement funding to support the Division of Tourism’s Marketing/Advertising budget.
ARPA funds have allowed the Division of Tourism to aggressively target drive-market travelers by showcasing Tallahassee-Leon County as a naturally scenic mid-sized community in Florida that is not saturated with large crowds and has an abundance of parks, greenways, inspirational art, safe events, outdoor dining options, a favorable business climate and outdoor recreation including more than 700 miles of trails for biking, hiking, paddling, and equestrian activities. To reach the targeted audience, the Division of Tourism has heavily utilized media/advertising, sports bids and events, concerts, creative asset development, and media to convey the undeniable beauty of the area and the unexpected nature of our community is better than ever.
Attract 80 State, Regional, or National Championships across All Sports
110% Target Attained - 88 championships
In FY 2017, 16 championship sporting events were held in Leon County followed by another 17 championships in FY 2018. During this time, Leon County was also selected to host several NCAA championship events at the Apalachee Regional Park (ARP) over five (5) years including the 2018 and 2020 Division I Cross Country Regional as well as the 2021 Cross Country National Championship. The 2021 National Championship was the first time in the race’s 78-year history that it was held in Florida.
In FY 2019, an additional 22 events were held in Leon County including the prestigious Florida High School Athletics Association (FHSAA) State Cross Country Championship, which Leon County was awarded to host the event until 2024. In FY 2020, the County hosted 13 events including the FHSAA Football Championship (1A, 2A, and 3A) and the National Junior College Athletic Association’s Cross-Country Region 8 Championship. In FY 2021, the County hosted 20 championship sporting events bringing the total to 88 championships, 110% of the County’s five-year Target. These events include the FHSAA State Cross Country Championships, 1A – 8A FHSAA State Football Championships, Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) Cross Country National Championships AAU Track and Field Regional Championships, and the American Junior Golf Association All-Star Championships.
It should be noted that an additional nine (9) championship sporting events scheduled to occur in FY 2020 and FY 2021 were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. These events include the following:
- Florida Conference Regional Sectionals – Ultimate Frisbee – April 11, 2020
- NCAA Women’s Basketball First and Second Round – April 13, 2020
- US National Pump Track Regional Qualifier – June 6, 2020
- AAU National Track & Field National Qualifier – June 25, 2020
- NCAA South Regionals – Cross Country– November 13, 2020
- YBOA Women’s Basketball National Championships June 6 -12 2021
- YBOA Super Regionals April 26 -28, 2021
- Babe Ruth Regional Baseball Championships July 1 – 6, 2021
- NJCAA Region 8 Cross Country Championship – October 29, 2021
Co-Create 500 Entrepreneur Ventures and 11,000 New Jobs, including 400 High-Wage Jobs in High Tech Clusters
82% Target Attained - 412 entrepreneurial ventures
43% Target Attained – 4,680 new jobs
106% Target Attained - 422 high-wage jobs in high tech clusters
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Leon County experienced unemployment rates as high as 8.5%, which significantly impacted the County’s ability to meet the target for co-creating 11,000 new jobs. In FY 2017, at the start of the current five-year Strategic Plan, almost 147,000 jobs were located in Leon County. By the end of FY 2019, the number of jobs grew to almost 154,000. Following the pandemic in FY 2020, the local job market shrunk to approximately 144,500, a net loss of 2,439 jobs since FY 2017. However, preliminary estimates by the Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) show a gain of 7,119 jobs in FY 2021, for a five-year cumulative gain 4,680 jobs.
An entrepreneurial venture is a new business formation that is in the early stages of getting capitalized and then developing, organizing and managing a business toward initial profitability. New entrepreneurial ventures are reported to OEV by partner organizations such as Domi Station, Innovation Park, and the Jim Moran College of Entrepreneurship. Through these partnerships, 412 entrepreneurial ventures have started in Leon County over the last five years.
The reported high-wage jobs in high tech clusters are the result of businesses participating in the Qualified Target Industry (QTI) program as well as other local initiatives. Since FY 2017, 123 high-wage, high-tech jobs have been created through the QTI program, which was sunsetted by the Florida Legislature in June 2020. Danfoss was a past participant of QTI creating 120 jobs for their 2017 research and development expansion which aligns with the applied science and manufacturing target industries. OEV also worked to with Millennium Integrated Electronics on site location needs which resulted in the creation of three (3) high-wage tech jobs, which aligns with the IT target industry. Additionally, on December 23, 2020, it was announced that Danfoss is expanding its production facility which will create 239 new manufacturing and research jobs over the next 10 years. The IA Board voted to provide $1.4 million for the Targeted Business Program (TBP) to support the company’s expansion. Finally, in 2021, Amazon announced that its new fulfillment center in Tallahassee would create more than 1,000 new jobs, of which 60 will fall into the category of high-wage, high-tech jobs.
The total job growth reported in Leon County since FY 2017 is a preliminary estimate based upon the Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS) published by DEO. All preliminary estimates are subject to revision the following month and at the end of the year by DEO, and annual revisions can go back several years due to methodological or geographic changes.
Connect 5,000 Students and Citizens to Middle Skilled Job Opportunities
107% Target Attained - 5,354 Students & Citizens
Since the start of FY 2017, 5,354 students and citizens have been connected to skilled job opportunities, 107% of the County’s five-year Target. This progress was achieved through initiatives such as the EMS Student Internship Program as well as the Leon Works Expo and Junior Apprenticeship Program. Also in support of this Target, the County expanded the Leon Works Expo as a regional event.
Despite cancellation of Leon Works programs in 2020 due to the pandemic, the County was able to meet this target by hosting a virtual Leon Works Fall Preview in September 2021, which was attended by 2,676 middle and high school students. The next Expo is scheduled for April 22, 2022 at the Civic Center.
Host 100,000 Residents and Visitors as Part of the Amphitheater County Concert Series
58% Target Attained: 57,887 Concert Attendees
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, several concerts were either cancelled or rescheduled in 2020 and 2021. Prior to this, the County was experiencing significant annual increases in concert attendance. During 2017 and 2018, the County hosted six (6) concerts with a total of 11,203 attendees at the Capital City Amphitheater in Cascades Park: Lisa Loeb & Joan Osborne (Word of South), Shovels & Rope (Word of South), The Avett Brothers, Florida Jazz & Blues Festival, the Tedeschi Trucks Band, and the band Train. One (1) additional concert featuring Lynyrd Skynyrd was scheduled for FY 2018 but was cancelled due to a medical emergency involving Gary Rossington, one (1) of the original members of the band.
In 2019, Leon County hosted nine (9)concerts with a total attendance of 17,014, a 220% increase from the previous years. One (1) additional concert, the Florida Jazz and Blues Festival, was cancelled by the organizers. The other concerts included the 2019 Word of South Festival featuring artist Shakey Graves and the sold-out concert of JJ Grey and Mofro. The remaining seven (7) concerts were part of the Free and Family Oriented Sundown Concert Series in partnership with the Tallahassee Downtown Improvement Authority (DIA).
In 2020, the County hosted four (4) concerts with a total of 10,544 attendees. The concerts in FY 2020 included Third Eye Blind, Boyz II Men, Dennis DeYoung, and Countdown Downtown! New Year’s Eve at Cascades Park featuring Tallahassee Nights Live and Fried Turkeys. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a concert featuring the Newsboys UNITED and the DIA’s Sundown Summer Concert Series was cancelled. Four (4) additional concerts were also rescheduled.
During 2021, the County hosted nine concerts with a total of 19,126 attendees, which brings the current total to 57,887 attendees, 58% of the County’s five-year Target. The concerts held this year featured the following artists:
- JJ Greg & Mofro (2,189 attendees)
- Boz Scaggs (1,450 attendees)
- Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra Featuring the Music of Star Wars (2,102 attendees)
- Countdown Downtown! New Year’s Eve at Cascades Park (6016 attendees)
- DIA Sundown Summer Concert Series
- Revival with Special Guest Rachel Hillman (2,025 attendees)
- J.B. Zydeco Zoon (1,879 attendees)
- Lil Grizzly Boogie Band (426 attendees)
- Jazz Night (1,389 attendees)
- “Rock & Roll President” Film Screen with a performance by Bill Wharton, The Sauce Boss (1,650 attendees)
ENVIRONMENT – Analysis of Bold Goal and Targets
Bold Goal: Upgrade or Eliminate 500 Septic Tanks in the Primary Springs Protection Zone
122% Goal Attained - 610 Septic Tanks Complete or In Progress
Since FY 2019, a total of 252 septic tanks were eliminated through the completion of the Woodside Heights, Belair and Annawood Septic to Sewer Projects. Also, as part of the launch of the Advanced Septic System Pilot Program, 37 septic tanks have been upgraded so far. An additional 321 septic tank upgrades and eliminations are planned or in progress, for a total of 610 which is 122% of the five-year Bold Goal.
To help achieve this goal, Leon County has aggressively pursued state grant funds in addition to leveraging Blueprint water quality funds approved as part of the early passage of the sales tax extension. These funds will help eliminate approximately 520 septic tanks in the Woodside Heights, Northeast Lake Munson, and Belair/Annawood neighborhoods:
- 181 septic tanks have been eliminated as part of the Woodside Heights Septic to Sewer Project
- 71 septic tanks have been eliminated through construction of the Annawood and Belair Phase I projects.
- 268 septic tanks will be eliminated through the Northeast Lake Munson and Belair Phase II projects which are currently in design and permitting.
In addition, Leon County has worked closely with Florida Department of Environmental Protection and was awarded a stand-alone grant to implement an Advanced Septic System Pilot Program for the Wilkinson Woods Subdivision and the Wakulla Springs Basin Management Action Plan Priority Focus Area which will assist homeowners that are replacing failing or repairing septic tanks with passive technology higher performing nitrate-reducing systems. This program will remove or replace an additional 90 septic tanks, of which 37 have been completed through 2021.
Finally, Leon County is implementing the Woodville Septic to Sewer Project through the preliminary design of a central sanitary sewer collection system and transmission system from Woodville to the City of Tallahassee collection system at Capital Circle SE. Like the other projects, the Woodville Project is funded through sales tax and an FDEP grant. The completion of the construction portion of the Woodville project will eliminate an additional estimated 1,000 septic tanks, however, this is projected to occur outside of the current five-year strategic plan time horizon.
Plant 15,000 Trees Including 1,000 in Canopy Roads
109% Target Attained - 16,126 Trees with 1,226 in Canopy Roads
Since FY 2017, Leon County has planted 16,126 trees, of which 1,226 were planted along canopy roads. This total is 109% of the five-year target. The County was able to exceed the goal through the success of programs like Adopt-A-Tree, annual Arbor Day plantings, and the Parks & Recreation Memorial Tree Program. Additional tree plantings during this time were part of planned construction projects, park improvements, as well as a 30-acre reforestation project at the J.R. Alford Greenway and plantings at the Apalachee Regional Park. To support the planting of over 1,000 trees in the canopy roads, the Board also allocated $75,000 as part of the FY 2018 to implement an active tree planting program.
Ensure 100% of New County Building Construction, Renovation and Repair Utilize Sustainable Design
100% Target Attained - Building Sustainability Policy Adopted December 2021
To achieve this target, County staff worked to research and develop policies and procedures that ensure sustainable design is utilized in 100% of new construction, renovation, and repair. For instance, staff integrated sustainable design standards into the Facilities Design Guidelines which are used for new construction and large-scale renovations. For small renovations such as painting and carpet installation, material standards have been implemented, and internal design staff have received new training in sustainable design standards. Additionally, on December 14, 2021, the Board adopted a Building Sustainability Policy for the construction and renovation of Leon County-owned and operated buildings. The Policy supports and contributes to sustainability, codifies current County practices, and establishes green, energy efficient, sustainable, resilient, and healthy building standards and expectations for renovation and new construction projects in County owned and operated buildings.
75% Community Recycling Rate
84% Target Attained - 63% Recycling Rate in 2020
Annual county recycling rates for the previous year are calculated and published by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) each summer. For example, Leon County will receive recycling rates for 2021 during the summer of 2022. Recycling rates for past years are provided as follows.
For 2016, Leon County had a recycling rate of 55%, making it one (1) of only 20 counties in the state to achieve a rate of 50% or higher. In 2017, the County achieved a recycling rate of 66%, the ninth highest rate in the state. This increase was due in part to staff’s efforts to work with several local construction companies who recycle and use crushed concrete and asphalt. In 2018, the County achieved a recycling rate of 62%. Despite the slight decrease in the recycling rate from 2017, Leon County had the third highest traditional recycling rate in the state and the 10th highest overall recycling rate. In 2019, Leon County’s recycling rate was 57%, a 5% decrease from the previous year. This rate decrease was due to a notable decrease in construction and demolition material recycling, specifically a decrease in one (1) local contractor’s recycled asphalt material, which had a 4% impact on the County’s rate.
In 2020, Leon County achieved a community recycling rate of 63%, the 8th highest rate in the state. This is no small accomplishment given that many counties with higher recycling rates incinerate their waste and thus receive additional waste-to-energy recycling credits. Currently, only five counties in Florida have recycling rates above 70% and most have waste-to-energy facilities. These counties receive a significant portion of their recycling credits from this alternative landfill diversion operation. For example, in 2020, Pinellas County had a traditional recycling rate of 51% (compared to Leon County’s 60%), and yet achieved an 78% overall recycling rate when waste-to-energy credits were included. Leon County does not have a waste-to-energy facility yet has consistently achieved high recycling rates in the state in recent years.
While Leon County was unable to reach this Target in five years, efforts to increase community recycling by as much as possible will go on. For example, at the November 2020 meeting, staff presented the findings of Single-stream Recycling Study which concluded that negotiating a new agreement with Marpan was the most financially advantageous and best value option among all of the potential alternatives reviewed. As a result, the Board authorized the County Administrator to renegotiate the contract with Marpan. Other strategies being explored were outlined in the Annual Sustainability Program Status Report presented to the Board at the December 2021 meeting. These initiatives include diverting landfill waste through increased community composting, engaging the business community in waste reduction efforts, and expanding community education to include a Master Recyclers Training, Single Use Plastics Campaign, and single-stream recycling audits.
Construct 30 Miles of Sidewalks, Greenways and Trails
105% Target Attained - 31.6 Miles
In FY 2017, Leon County constructed 8.73 miles of sidewalks, greenways, and trails followed by an additional 9.7 miles in FY 2018, 1.86 miles during FY 2019, and 2.34 miles in FY 2020. Finally, in FY 2021, the County constructed 1.88 miles of sidewalks along Gearhart Road, Timberland Road, and in Apalachee Regional Park, in addition to the sidewalks constructed as part of newly constructed subdivisions. An additional 1.47 miles of trails were constructed at Coal Chute Pond, Apalachee Regional Park, Copperfield Circle, and as part of the Magnolia Drive Trail project. This brings the final total to 31.6 miles of sidewalks (14.3 mi), greenways (6.5 mi), and trails (10.8 mi), 105% of the County’s five-year Target.
QUALITY OF LIFE – Analysis of Bold Goal and Targets
Bold Goal: Secure More Than $100 Million in Veteran Affairs Benefits for Veterans & their Families
118% Goal Attained - $118 Million in Veteran Affairs Benefits
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for Leon County calculates and publishes the amount of Veterans Compensation & Pension and Medical Care Expenditures annually. For FY 2017, over
$38.6 million in Veteran Affairs benefits were secured for Leon County veterans and their families. This spike in funding is due in part to the opening of the Tallahassee Health Care Center, a new VA clinic opened in Leon County in October 2016. In FY 2018, $18.2 million in Veteran Affairs benefits were secured followed by an additional $20.2 million during both FY 2019 and FY 2020.
For FY 2021, staff estimates that approximately $21 million in Veteran Affairs benefits were secured. This brings the current total to over $118 million, 118% of the County’s five-year Target. The estimate for FY 2021 is based on the projected number of Veterans Compensation & Pension and Medical Care Expenditure reported by the VA for Leon County and adjusted for the unique clients served by the County’s Veterans Office.
Construct 100 Fire Hydrants
102% Target Attained - 102 Hydrants
In FY 2017, 15 fire hydrants were constructed in the unincorporated area. To increase the number of hydrants constructed annually, during the June 2017 Budget Workshop, staff recommended and the Board approved revisions to Policy No. 14-2, “Criteria for the Placement of Fire Hydrants on Current Water Systems” and increased funding to implement a new cost sharing program. With the new program, a citizen or Homeowners Association (HOA) may make a request directly to the County for a fire hydrant. In FY 2018, 17 fire hydrants were constructed, including one (1) hydrant which was installed under the County’s cost sharing program. An additional 16 hydrants were constructed in FY 2019 followed by 20 new hydrants in FY 2020.
During FY 2021, 34 new hydrants were constructed in the in the unincorporated area, which brings the total to 102 hydrants, 102% of the County’s five-year Target. To meet this Target, Public Works worked working with Talquin Electric Cooperative to expedite installation of fire hydrants on the Prioritization List. Talquin agreed to use an outside contractor to perform installations, which helped expedite installations so the County could achieve this target by the end of the fiscal year.
Train 8,500 Citizens in CPR/AEDs
87% Target Attained - 7,396 Citizens Trained
While the County did not meet this Target, the progress is outstanding considering both the 2020 and 2021 Press the Chest events were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Historically, this annual event had an average attendance of 500 people. To encourage learning CPR at home during the height of the pandemic, EMS developed a virtual training curriculum and worked with the Library to distribute American Heart Association CPR kits which include a CPR learning manikin, visual guides, and a DVD training video. The following is an overview of the trainings held over the last five (5) years.
Leon County EMS held over 40 trainings in FY 2017 during which 1,572 citizens were trained in CPR/AEDs. During FY 2018, EMS held an additional 38 trainings during for 1,768 citizens followed by 59 trainings for 2,111 citizens in FY 2019. Last year, the County has hosted 23 trainings for 718 citizens, and in FY 2021 there were 19 training events attended by 1,227 people, which brings the total to 7,396 citizens trained in CPR/AEDs, 87% of the County’s five-year Target.
Open 1,000 New Acres of Park Land to the Public
106% Target Attained - 1,063 Acres Complete or In Progress
Since 2017, 318.17 acres of park land have opened to the public. An additional 745.19 acres are currently in progress, for a total of 1,063 acres (106%) including County and Blueprint funded park projects . The new park lands include the following:
- Northeast Running Trail: The Northeast running trail was completed in January 2018, making 43 new park acres open to the public.
- St. Marks Headwaters Greenway: In late January 2018, the first phase of the St. Marks Headwaters Greenway trail was completed making 161 of the total 754 acres of the park open to the public. Additional park acreage will be opened to the public over the next several years as subsequent phases are implemented.
- Broadmoor Pond: In June 2019, the County took ownership of Broadmoor Pond, a 27-acre passive park around a stormwater pond with a paved walking trail, informational kiosk, portable restroom, and benches.
- Orange Avenue - Meridian Street Park: In September 2019, a 5.75-acre vacant lot at the corner or Orange and Meridian was revitalized to serve as a temporary park until the construction of a StarMetro Superstop can be completed.
- Bradfordville Community Center Dog Park: In October 2019, Leon County opened the first off- leash dog park in the unincorporated area making 13.26 new park acres open to the public.
- J. Lee Vause Dog Park: In February 2020, Leon County opened a 1.5-acre dog park within the existing J. Lee Vause Park. Amenities include a drinking foundation with a dog water bowl attachment, a log tunnel, jumping hoops, and benches.
- Apalachee Regional Park: As part of the Apalachee Regional Park Master Plan, the County relocated the remote-control airfield from the lower cross country area to the adjacent parking cell. The new airfield is approximately 21 acres and was opened to the public in March 2020.
- Parwez "PA" Alam Park: In August 2021, the County dedicated Parwez “P.A.” Alam Park within Okeeheepkee Prairie Preserve. The park includes a new ADA-compliant playground which is approximately .5 acres.
- Apalachee Regional Park: In September 2021, the County unveiled several improvements covering approximately 45 acres. These include a newly constructed multipurpose building with restrooms, multiuse stage, sidewalks, wildlife viewing areas, native species landscaping and a permanent finish line structure.
In addition, to the park spaces that were opened during that last five (5) years, several park projects are currently in progress including:
- Chaires Baseball Field: Construction of a full size (60/90) baseball field will span approximately 10 acres and will be completed in February 2022.
- St. Marks Headwaters Greenway: This project is current being prepared for bid following Board approval with construction scheduled to begin in FY 2022. Future phases of this project will open an additional 590 acres of the greenway to the public.
- Debbie Lightsey Nature Park: Construction of the 118-acre park began in FY 2021 and is scheduled for completion in FY 2023.
- St. Marks Trailhead: Construction of the trailhead, which covers .97 acres, began in FY 2021 and is scheduled for completion in FY 2022.
- Skateable Art Park: A groundbreaking ceremony was held on October 26, 2021 for this .43- acre park which is scheduled for completion in the summer 2022.
- Coal Chute Pond Park: Construction of the 4.5-acre park began in FY 2021 and is scheduled for completion in early 2022.
- Pimlico Park & Man O War Park: The Killearn Acres Homeowners Association is the process of transferring ownership to the County of these two (2) neighborhood parks totaling 17.8 acres.
- Coe Landing: In 2019, the Board acquired a 3.49 acre parcel which provides access to the Lake Talquin State Forrest. Future improvements to the parcel are currently being planned.
Double the Number of Downloadable Books at the Library
164% Target Attained - 22,178 New Downloadable Books
In FY 2017, Library Services added 10,002 downloadable books to their collection. This substantial increase was the result of Leon County joining the Panhandle Library Access Network (PLAN), which allows regional libraries to cooperatively purchase E-Books, Audiobooks, EMagazines, and other electronic products. In FY 2018, an additional 1,769 books were added to the Library’s collection followed by an additional 2,505 books in FY 2019 and another 2,205 books in FY 2020.
During FY 2021, the Library added 5,597 new downloadable books to meet the growing demand, which brings the Library’s the total to 22,178 new downloadable books purchased since FY 2017, 164% of the County’s five-year Target. As of the writing of this report, the net total of downloadable books currently available through Leon County Libraries is now over 39,500.
GOVERNANCE – Analysis of Bold Goal and Targets
Bold Goal: Implement 500 Citizen Ideas, Improvements, Solutions and Opportunities for Co-Creation
104% Goal Attained - 520 Implemented
Since the start of FY 2017, the County has implemented 520 citizen ideas, improvements, solutions and opportunities for co-creation, 104% of the County’s five-year Target. These ideas are actively solicited using both “high tech” and “high touch” methods. For example. included in this list are 112 recommendations voiced by citizens during LEADS Listening Sessions, 53 recommendations from citizens regarding the Welaunee Master Plan, and 16 recommendations from the post-hurricane Listening Sessions. Several ideas were proposed by individual citizens such as Library patrons, campground visitors, and community center users. Other improvements were submitted by community organizations or citizen committees like the Commission on the Status of Women & Girls, KCCI Community Catalysts, the Miccosukee Sense of Place Working Group, and the Blueprint Citizen Advisory Committee. A list of implemented citizen ideas, improvements, and solutions is included as Attachment #2.
Reduce By At Least 30% the Average Time It Takes to Approve a Single Family Building Permit
100% Target Attained - 30% Reduction (3 Days Faster)
Average permitting times are calculated and reported to the Board on an annual basis to determine the percent reduction in permit times. In FY 2017, average permit times were reduced from 11 to 10 days. In FY 2018 and 2019, permit times reduced again to an average of 9 days. The reductions were achieved through the launch of the Project Dox software for online plans review, expansion of automatic email notification services to applicants, contracting with private sector plans reviewers to expedite the permit approval process, as well as the recruitment of a new chief building official.
In both FY 2020 and 2021, the County achieved the five-year Target by maintaining an average permit time for of 8 days for single family building permits. In FY 2021, DSEM issued a total of 6,598 building permits that contained 619 new single-family homes, which is more than any previous year. Reductions in average permitting times were achieved through the flat fee modification approved by the Board in November 2019 as well as improvements to the electronic plan review software. Staff anticipates that single family building permits will remain at or close to the current level and will maintain or improve the 8-day permitting time through additional automation and software improvements.
Achieve 90% Employee Participation in the County’s “My Rewards” Well Being Program
100% Target Attained - 90% participation
The My Rewards Program is an incentive-based wellness program designed to help employees participate in healthy lifestyle behaviors. Employees who successfully complete the My Rewards Program each calendar year will receive a 2.5% discount off their annual health insurance premium contribution for the following year. Participation in the program is reported annually as employees have until October 31st to complete the tasks/activities required for participation.
In FY 2017, 496 employees participated in the program. In FY 2018, 90% participation was achieved with 502 employees participating. In FY 2019, the County maintained this level of participation with, 507 employees participating. During FY 2020, 488 employees participated in the Program, which is 91% of eligible County employees. Finally, in FY 2021 the County maintained 90% participation with 441 employees participation in the program. To continue to achieve this level of participation, staff has adopted several new strategies including calculating and advertising the actual dollar savings for each health plan, offering a paper version of the application form, providing Division Directors with a report of employees who had not yet taken advantage of the program, and attending staff meetings in divisions with the largest number of employees who do not participate in the My Rewards program.
Reduce By 60% the Outstanding Debt of the County
123% Target Attained - 73.7% Debt Reduction
The County’s outstanding debt, including principal and interest, is calculated annually at the end of each fiscal year. Since FY 2017, the County has reduced its debt from $48.6 million to $13.5 million, a reduction of 73.7%. This target was achieved through the Board’s annual budget process as well as taking advantage of refinancing opportunities related to interest rate market reductions. It should also be noted that the County significantly reduced the remaining debt by paying off the bonds issued to acquire the Leon County Government Office Annex Building.
100% of Employees Are Trained in Customer Experience, Diversity and Domestic Violence, Sexual Violence & Stalking in the Workplace
100% Target Attained - 100% County Employees Trained
Currently, 100% of Leon County employees have been trained. Since FY 2017, Human Resources has held 107 training sessions on the topics of Customer Experience, Domestic Violence, Sexual Violence & Stalking in the Workplace, and Diversity in the Workplace. To ensure all employees received all three (3) trainings, Human Resources developed a quarterly schedule and website for County trainings and worked with department directors to schedule their employees’ attendance. Human Resources will continue to provide these training to new County employees.
5B. Strategic Initiatives
Strategic Initiatives are action items that align with and advance the County’s Strategic Priorities to serve and strengthen the community. Each year the Board renews the Strategic Plan by revising or adding Strategic Initiatives that represent new opportunities to advance the Strategic Priorities. Leon County’s first five-year Strategic Plan grew to include 154 Strategic Initiatives, 148 (96%) of which were completed between FY 2012 and FY 2016. The remaining six (6) Initiatives that were still in progress were included as part of the next five-year plan.
At the December 2016 Board Retreat, the Board adopted 44 Strategic Initiatives as part of the FY 2017 – FY 2021 Plan. An additional 14 Strategic Initiatives were adopted at the December 2017 Board Retreat, followed by 17 at the December 2018 Board Retreat, and then another 13 at the January 2020 Annual Retreat. At the most recent Annual Retreat in January 2021, 16 new initiatives were adopted brining the current total 104 Strategic Initiatives. This annual process of amending or adding Strategic Initiatives ensures that the optimized resources of the organization are aligned with the Board’s priorities.
The following sections summarize Leon County’s progress toward the Strategic Initiatives across each Strategic Priority category (Economy, Environment, Quality of Life, or Governance). As shown in Table 1, the County has completed most of the current Strategic Initiatives. A total of 100 (96%) of the Strategic Initiatives have been completed, with the remaining 4 (4%) in progress. The remaining Strategic Initiatives that are still in progress are recommended for inclusion in the next five-year plan.
Table #1 – Status of the Strategic Initiatives
Status as of Preparation of FY 2020-2021 Retreat
Status by Main Strategic Priority Alignment
Quality of Life
Please note that many of the Initiatives recorded as “Complete” do not “stop” - rather they are ongoing and will require ongoing resources and support. These items require no further Board direction and will be carried out as part of staff’s work plan.
The following is a list of completed Strategic Initiatives (and the balance of those still “in-progress”) with further detail included:
Economy - Completed
(2016-1) Utilizing a portion of the BP settlement funds, identify solutions for weatherization of the Capital City Amphitheater stage, inclusive of potential sound mitigation elements.
- 2018: At the February 13, 2018 meeting, proposed weatherization modifications were presented to the Board and subsequently approved. Modifications include the design and construction of the Amphitheater canopy extension, drainage improvements to the back of the stage, and the purchase of sound mitigation panels.
- 2020: Construction on the Amphitheater begin in June 2020 and was completed in July 2020.
(2016-2) Continue to work with FSU on the Civic Center District Master Plan to include the potential partnership to realize the convention center space desired by the County and to bring back issues related to the County’s financial and programming roles and participation for future Board consideration.
- 2017: County staff served on FSU's selection committee for a master plan consultant.
- 2018: During the IA Board Workshop on the Office of Economic Vitality’s Programs, Actions and Implementation of the Economic Development Strategic/Work Plan, staff provided a status report on the Civic Center District Master Plan and funding strategies for a new FSU Convention Center. The IA voted to authorize staff to commence the bond financing process for the issuance of up to $20 million toward the convention center as early as October 2020 (FY2021), subject to the IA Board's final approval of the scope, size, and operations plan for the hotel and convention center.
- 2019: Blueprint and OEV staff collaborated with FSU on the scope of the market feasibility study for a new convention center.
- 2020: During the March 12, 2020 meeting, the IA Board voted to accept the market feasibility study for the proposed Convention Center project and direct the staff to proceed with developing and executing a Memorandum of Understanding with FSU to formalize the development, operational, and maintenance responsibilities for the new convention center. Additionally, staff were directed to work with FSU to conduct a cost feasibility analysis and visioning session with community partners.
- 2021: At the May 27, 2021 IA meeting, the IA Board was presented with a status report on negotiations with FSU for a joint convention center project. At that time, the IA Board directed staff to discontinue the MOU negotiations with FSU on the convention center project and at a later date analyze, assess, and identify new convention center project opportunities.
(2016-3) Support the revision of Sec. 125.0104, F.S. to modify the eligibility for levying the local option High Tourism Impact Tax to include counties that are home to Preeminent State Research Universities in order to levy a sixth cent to support the convention center and arena district.
- 2017: The revision of Sec. 125.0104, F.S was adopted as part of the Board’s 2017 Legislative Priorities. As the proposal was not amended into an existing bill during the legislative session, it was again included in the Board’s 2018 Legislative Priorities.
- 2018: The proposal was not amended into an existing bill for the second year in a row. The Board adopted the proposal as part of the 2019 State and Federal Legislative Priorities program.
- 2019: The proposal was not amended into an existing bill for the third year in a row. The Board adopted the proposal as part of the 2020 State and Federal Legislative Priorities program.
- 2020: The proposal was not amended into an existing bill for the fourth year in a row. The Board adopted the proposal as part of the 2021 State and Federal Legislative Priorities program.
- 2021: Leon County’s legislative team worked closely with Capitol Alliance Group, our local legislative delegation, as well as Florida State University throughout the session to advocate for this policy request. Despite the County’s effort, the proposal was not amended into an existing bill for the fifth year in a row. However, on September 28th, the Board adopted the proposal as a 2022 Legislative Priority.
(2016-4) Continue to pursue opportunities for workforce development including:
(A) Based upon the projected unmet local market for middle skill jobs, continue to host Leon Works Exposition in collaboration with community and regional partners and launch Leon County’s Jr. Apprenticeship Program.
- 2017: The third annual Leon Works Expo was held on October 20, 2017 at the FSU Civic Center and, in December 2017, the second class of high school students successfully completed the Junior Apprenticeship Program.
- 2018: Due to the impacts of Hurricane Michael, the fourth annual Leon Works Expo was rescheduled to March 8, 2019 at the FSU Civic Center. In December 2018, the fourth class of high school students successfully completed the Junior Apprenticeship Program. Additionally, the Program was recognized by the National Association of Counties (NACo) for exceptional county programs and services.
- 2019: The Leon Works Expo was held on March 8th with 130 exhibitors and nearly 500 students from Leon. Gadsden and Wakulla County. In December 2019, the sixth class of high school students successfully completed the Junior Apprenticeship Program.
- 2020: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 Leon Works Expo and Junior Apprenticeship Program were cancelled.
- 2021: In coordination with Leon County Schools, it was determined that it was safe to resume the Junior Apprenticeship Program in fall semester. However, the Expo was transitioned to a virtual format. In partnership with Leon County Schools, CareerSource, and the Tallahassee Chamber, a virtual Leon Works Fall Preview was held in September and attended by 2,676 middle and high school students. The next Expo is scheduled for April 22, 2022 at the Civic Center.
(B) Work with partners, such as The Kearney Center and Leon County Schools, to increase access to training programs, apprenticeships, and other programs promoting middle-skilled jobs.
- 2017: In FY 2017, the County partnered with CareerSource to fund Junior Apprenticeship positions for low-income students with barriers to employment. During this time, County staff in skilled career fields also began participating in Career Luncheons at Leon County School's Success Academy at Ghazvini Learning Center.
- 2018: OEV established the Elevate Florida’s Capital for Business: Catalyzing Workforce Development Opportunities program. This grant provides funding to local organizations that demonstrate new, innovative strategies, or replicate effective, evidence-based strategies that align available assets, organizations, and resources towards shared economic growth objectives that strengthen our local workforce.
- 2019: County staff met with a Kearney Center representative to identify ways to connect Library patrons experiencing homeless with available services including employment resources. As a result, the Library implemented the following changes:
- Literacy Services staff are participating in Big Bend Continuum of Care meetings to ensure service providers are aware that the Library offers free adult literacy tutoring.
- The Big Bend Continuum of Care's Homeless Resource Guide is available at all County Libraries.
- A link to Big Bend 211 has been added to all Library computers.
- 2020: Through the Tallahassee-Leon County COVID-19 Economic Recovery Stakeholder Group, the Office of Economic Vitality supported Tallahassee Community College and Lively Technical College in their efforts to match employees who have been laid off as a result of COVID-19 with in-demand skills and trades around which training programs can be developed.
- 2021: As part of the Essential Libraries Initiative, the County is working with local partners, including Lively Technical College, to establish a heavy equipment simulator lab at the Main Library. Additionally, in December, the Board authorized the creation of an EMT to Paramedic Trainee Program within the EMS Division.
(2016-5) Continue to work with FSU to bid and host NCAA cross country national and regional championships at Apalachee Regional Park (ARP).
- 2017: In April 2017, the NCAA announced that the ARP venue will host the 2018 and 2020 South Regional as well as the 2021 D1 Cross Country Championships.
- 2018: In partnership with Florida State University, Leon County submitted a bid and was selected to host the 2019 NCAA South Regionals at ARP.
- 2019: In August 2019, Tourism staff traveled to the NCAA annual conference to learn more about future bid process to host cross country championships for the 2022-2026 Championship bid cycle.
- 2020: Tourism staff, in coordination with FSU Athletics, submitted several bids to the NCAA in February 2020. Bids were submitted for the 2022, 2023, and 2024 NCAA Cross Country South Regional Championships as well as the 2025 NCAA Cross Country National Championships.
- 2021: Unfortunately, Leon County was not selected to host NCAA Cross Country National Championships for the 2022-2026 bid cycle. However, the County may still be selected to host regional cross country championships which the NCAA will announce in Spring of 2022.
(2016-6) Implement the Economic Development Strategic Plan as adopted and may be revised by the Intergovernmental Agency.
- 2017: On February 20, 2017, the Blueprint Intergovernmental Agency Board adopted the Economic Development Strategic Plan with an associated timeline and metrics for evaluation.
- 2018: On September 20, 2018, the Office of Economic Vitality presented a two-year report on the Economic Development Strategic Plan.
- 2019: An end-of-year report was presented at the IA Board meeting in September 2019 and included an update on the Economic Development Strategic Plan.
- 2020: A Strategic Planning Workshop was held in March 2020 during which the updated Strategic Planning Goals and Objectives were presented and approved by IA Board.
- 2021: At the September 27th IA Board meeting, VisionFirst Advisors provided an update on the Economic Development Strategic Plan which is anticipated for completion by spring 2022.
(2016-7, rev. 2020, 2021) Complete and implement the joint County/City disparity study and enhancements to the MWSBE program and conduct an update to the study in 2021.
- 2019: On June 27, 2019, the Blueprint Intergovernmental Agency Board was presented with the 2019 Disparity Study. The IA Board accepted the study and directed staff to work with industry stakeholders, City Procurement, and County Purchasing to develop uniform policies and procedures and review the 2019 Disparity Study recommendations. Staff were also directed to bring back apprenticeship and mentor/protégé programs for consideration by the IA Board.
- 2020: At the January 30th IA Board meeting, the Office of Economic Vitality and the Disparity Study consultant, MGT of America, presented a Consolidated MWSBE Policy. On February 25th the County Commission approved the new joint policy and revised County Policy No. 96-1, “Purchasing Policy” to reflect this change. The MWSBE Division has developed online materials to help project managers and vendors become familiar with the new policy and associated forms.
- 2021: At the September 27th IA Board meeting, staff provided an update on the implementation of recommendations from the 2019 Disparity Study. Additionally, Dr. Fred Seamon, Executive Vice President of MGT of America, presented an update on the Disparity Study Update which will include financial data from FY 2020 and FY 2021. The Disparity Study Update is anticipated for completion by summer 2022.
(2016-8) Expand our economic competitiveness by coordinating with regional partners to host an Americas Competitive Exchange on Innovation and Entrepreneurship (ACE) conference.
- 2017: Leon County was one (1) of five (5) Florida communities selected to host the Americas Competitive Exchange Tour held from December 3-9, 2017.
- 2018: The OEV Director, Cristina Paredes, was selected as an ACE Ambassador for the 10th ACE Tour in Northern California.
- 2019: The Director of PLACE, Ben Pingree, was selected as an ACE Ambassador for the 11th ACE Tour in Puerto Rico.
(2016-9) Evaluate sunsetting the Downtown CRA and correspondingly evaluate the effectiveness of the Frenchtown/Southside CRA including the County’s partnership with the City.
- At the May 8, 2018 meeting, the Board voted to approve amendments to the Interlocal Agreement with the City of Tallahassee and the Community Redevelopment Agency to restructure the County’s participation in the Downtown District and Frenchtown/Southside District. In addition, the Board voted to accept the Finding of Necessity for the Expansion of the Frenchtown/Southside Community Redevelopment Area CRA District to include the South City, Orange Avenue and Springhill Road areas.
(2016-10) Enhance sports tourism through the exploration of an NFL Preseason game and other possible events at Doak Campbell Stadium.
- 2017: Through the Tourism Development Council, Leon County assisted FSU in funding the first Doak After Dark Concert in Doak Campbell Stadium. The Concert featured performances by Blake Shelton and Jake Owen. Additionally, in the fall of 2017, County staff held a conference call with FSU Athletics to present the benefits of hosting a preseason NFL game.
- 2018: Leon County continued to work with FSU to fund and promote two (2) Doak After Dark concerts. The first concert was held in April after the Spring Game and featured artists Vanilla Ice, Salt-N-Pepa and Rob Base. The second concert was held in October and featured Big Boi and T-Pain. In October 2018, Tourism staff met with the Senior Partnership Director for the Jacksonville Jaguars about future collaboration including a potential preseason game at FSU.
- 2019: Tourism staff worked with FSU to help fund and promote a Doak After Dark concert after the Spring Game in Doak Campbell Stadium. The concert was held on April 6, 2019 and featured artists MC Hammer, Tone Loc, and Color Me Badd.
- 2020: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, both the 2020 Spring Game and Doak After Dark concert were cancelled. The Division of Tourism continued to work with FSU to schedule concerts and other events at Doak Campbell Stadium including the 2020 Class 1A - 8A Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) Football State Championships held on December 16 – 19, 2020 which attracted nearly 40,000 visitors to Leon County.
- 2021: Due to the pandemic, FSU again cancelled its Doak After Dark concert series for 2021, but plan to resume holding concerts in 2022. Additionally, County staff continued to meet with FSU Athletics to discuss the possibility of hosting an NFL game; however, a final determination has yet to be made and FSU has not yet identified an NFL team to participate.
(2016-11) To address issues of economic segregation and diversity, evaluate establishing a microlending program for small, minority and women-owned businesses.
- 2018: OEV staff developed a Disaster Supplemental Application in collaboration with Apalachee Regional Planning Council to re-seed a Revolving Loan Fund with federal Economic Development Administration (EDA) dollars. The capital pool would be deployed to create and retain jobs at MWSBEs in Leon County and the region, with further emphasis on business resilience to hurricanes.
- 2019: OEV submitted the application for EDA funding following IA Board Approval in September 2019.
- 2020: In June 2020, EDA awarded funding for the Revolving Loan Fund. The fund - called "REVIVE!" in marketing efforts - is managed by a Loan Administrator housed under Apalachee Regional Planning Council. Performance Indicators for the fund include minority and women-owned businesses receiving loans, as well as job creation.
Also in FY 2020, following revised guidance from the us Treasury, the Board voted to allocate $1 million from CARES Act Funding for a revolving loan program, known as the SmartSteps Program, to be administered by the FAMU Federal Credit Union. The Florida Division of Emergency Management began encouraging counties to also use this strategy, and the Florida Association of Counties shared and recommended it to counties throughout the state.
- 2021: The SmartSteps Program launched in February 2021. To extend the program and further support the needs of growing MWSBE business, the Board allocated $1.1 million in ARPA funds. The City has also allocated $0.9 million to the program for microloans to businesses in the Greater Bond, Griffin Heights, Frenchtown, and Providence neighborhoods.
(2016-12) Further enhance our competitiveness in attracting national and regional running championships by making additional strategic investments at the Apalachee Regional Park (ARP).
- 2017: On October 24th, staff recommended, and the Board approved the Apalachee Regional Park Master Plan, which includes several enhancements to the cross country area. The total estimated project costs are $5.1 million and will be supported by a combination of general revenues and tourist development taxes. Enhancements to the cross country area include restrooms and operations facility with outdoor seating; events and awards stage; and improvements to the existing visitor parking for expanded overflow event parking and runner warm up area.
- 2018: As part of the ARP Master Plan, Tourism, Parks, and CMR staff worked to design a park logo and signage. Additionally, Tourism and Parks staff continued to meet with the cross country and community partners to discuss the design and enhancement of the cross country area.
- 2019: The engineering design phase of the project was completed, and the construction phase was put out for bid.
- 2020: On January 28, 2020 the Board approved the bid award to Mejia International Group Corporation for construction of Phase 1 ARP facility improvements. In May 2020, the design of Phase 2 improvements began.
- 2021: In March 2021, Phase 1 of the improvements was completed including a multipurpose building/restroom facility, stage, finish line structure, sidewalk, landscaping, signage, and three (3) wildlife viewing platforms. Additionally, on April 13, 2021, the Board approved the bid award to Shaffield Building Specialties for construction of Phase 2 ARP facility improvements In October 2021, several improvements were completed in November 2021 including the signature, entrance, boat launch, and observation platform. Additional Phase 2 improvements, including a dog park as well as biking and hiking trails, are currently in the planning stage.
(2017-1) Evaluate expanding Leon Works as a regional event and to different segments of the community.
- 2019: By partnering with the Gadsden and Wakulla County school districts and chambers of commerce, the 2019 Leon Works Expo was expanded as a regional event with participation from a broader range of regional businesses and schools. Participation by schools in Leon County was also expanded with the attendance of students from both FAMUDRS and Florida High.
- 2020: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 Leon Works Expo was cancelled. However, prior to its cancellation, schools in the following surrounding counties had committed to attend: Calhoun, Gadsden, Gulf, Jefferson, Liberty, Madison, Putnam, Taylor, and Wakulla.
- 2021: In partnership with Leon County Schools, CareerSource, and the Tallahassee Chamber, a virtual Leon Works Fall Preview was held in September and attended by 2,676 middle and high school students from the region. The next Expo is scheduled for April 22, 2022 at the Civic Center.
(2017-2) Explore the creation of local Enterprise Zone incentives to be managed by the Office of Economic Vitality in support of economic growth and development.
- 2018: On December 5, 2017, the Blueprint Intergovernmental Agency approved a proposal for the Urban Vitality Job Creation Pilot Program which is aimed at creating jobs in economically distressed areas of Leon County. The Program specifically offered targeted assistance to Southside businesses to help generate more employment opportunities. Employers that were located or intended to relocate to the Southside community were eligible to participate. These employers were required to pay an average annual wage at or above 75% of Leon County’s average annual wage.
- 2019: To market the Pilot Program, staff completed a direct mail campaign to all the businesses in the area, however the incentive met with minimal applicants. During a performance review and update, three (3) key updates were enacted: geographic limitations were removed, making the incentive available county-wide; industry limitations were removed, making the incentive available to all business types; and eligibility became open to businesses hiring recent completers of Bethel, CareerSource, TEMPO, and CESC training programs at ALICE or better wages (11.00/hr). Additionally, a new awareness and promotion effort was mounted that included social media, email, and physical materials sent to OEV’s extensive list-host and obtaining thousands of views via Facebook. The program was also promoted by MWSBE and Business Development staff through business consultations and other radio and television appearances.
- 2020: Despite the 2019 updates to the program and increased promotional efforts, business interest in the program remained insufficient to warrant a second round of updates. With low barriers to entry, the program appeared not to carry a high enough financial incentive, and to raise the incentive would have made the social return on investment difficult to justify. Furthermore, a collaboration between the MIT Sloan School of Management and Leon County found that the funds could have greater impact if directed toward ecosystem training partners directly – that is, to assist in expanded trainings offered by entities such as ReFire Culinary and the DISC Village LIFT program. Thus, the Urban Vitality Jobs Pilot sunset at the end of FY 2020 and further workforce development support for ecosystem partners was utilized. For example, to address the impacts of COVID-19 on local businesses, OEV implemented the COVID-19 Economic Disaster Relief (CEDR) Grant for business, the Local Emergency Assistance for Nonprofits (LEAN) Grant for nonprofits, and the Leon CARES Small Business Assistance Program. Staff continues to review the findings of the MIT study recommendation and explore opportunities and partnerships to address this workforce need.
(2017-3) Continue to partner with Shop Local 850 to promote Leon County’s local businesses and entrepreneurs and develop new data sources to analyze the economic impacts of shopping local.
- 2018: Shop Local 850 held their first "Shop Local Weekend" on December 8-10, 2017. In support of the campaign, Leon County promoted the event through print, radio, and social media. CMR also issued a news release and participated in a press conference for the campaign.
- 2019: The organization Shop Local 850 has since become inactive; however, OEV continued to promote shopping local through an annual Small Business Saturday campaign. To support this campaign, staff produced three (3) videos highlighting the broad range of local businesses that call Tallahassee-Leon County home. The videos were released in conjunction with the week of Thanksgiving, leading up to Small Business Saturday on November 30th. Following authorization by the IA Board at the September 5, 2019 meeting, OEV also contracted with Buxton Company to deploy its data platform toward the understanding and benefit of local small businesses. The platform provides detailed consumer segment data within custom drive times that inform buying power, socio-economics, and psychographic profiles around a given business. It also can analyze customer profiles for visitors to a specific business over a given timeframe.
- 2020: OEV implemented several new strategies to support shopping local during the COVID-19 pandemic. This included sponsoring the "For the Love of Tally" campaign led by local startup Swellcoin as well as establishing the “Open 4 Takeout” map. In addition, OEV continued its annual Small Business Saturday campaign for the second year in a row.
- 2021: OEV launched the Love Your Local campaign during the 2020 holiday season as a year-long campaign to promote supporting local in Tallahassee-Leon County. The campaign is still on-going as the team has stood up a webpage, a social media campaign, and continues to distribute yard-signs and other marketing materials. Additionally, OEV held its 4th annual Small Business Saturday, incorporating the Love Your Local brand.
(2017-4) Explore ways to expand how local businesses can do business outside of the community.
- 2017: Leon County was one of five (5) Florida communities selected to host the Americas Competitive Exchange (ACE) Tour held from December 3-9, 2017. The purpose of the ACE tours is to build cooperation networks throughout the Americas and beyond to create better innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystems that promote sustainable and inclusive economic development and increased trade
- 2018: Since FY 2018, OEV has partnered with the International Trade Administration to assist Tallahassee-Leon County companies that want to sell their products and services abroad. A federal expert on global trade now regularly provides free help and resources to local businesses seeking to become export ready for the global economy. Additionally, subsequent to the completion of the Targeted Industry Study, a marketing and communications plan was developed to build business interest in Tallahassee-Leon County as a great place to locate and/or grow a business. The plan includes marketing tactics on a local, regional, national, and international basis.
- 2019: In 2019, OEV partnered with the MagLab to promote the “Magnetic Capital of the World” campaign to support project recruitment. The campaign launched in March and included billboard ads on I-10 and Capital Circle, as well as promotions through digital platforms, trade shows, and industry events.
- 2020: In 2020, the Big Bend Manufacturers Association (BBMA) was created with the signing of a MOU between OEV and Florida Makes and the development of a 501c6 non-profit organization. Organizational by-laws and articles were written, and member recruitment began.
- 2021: The BBMA Board has been created and includes business leaders from local manufacturing and finance organizations. The BBMA board is currently working to define their resource systems (website, social media, etc.) platforms, and plans for membership recruitment are being finalized.
(2017-5) Raise awareness of County trails through the Division of Tourism Strategic Plan.
- 2018: In May 2018, Leon County launched Trailahassee.com 2.0 and initiated targeted outreach to prominent outdoor media outlets. Site traffic and engagement increased 33% as a result. The County also participated in an International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA) Trail Lab to learn from industry experts about how to build and promote a model community trail system.
- 2019: In partnership with the Tallahassee Mountain Bike Association, Leon County was awarded the bid to host the Southern Off-Road Biking Association (SORBA) Summit in March of 2020. Additional efforts included, on a monthly basis, featuring trails throughout the community on Trailahassee.com, VisitTallahassee.com, and Tourism’s bi-weekly publication titled “What’s Happening in Tallahassee.”
- 2020: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 SOBRA Summit was cancelled. This event would have brought over 150 top bikers from their designated associations across the southeast to see the County’s trails.
- 2021: During the April 2021 Budget Workshop, the Board approved the use of $750,000 of American Recovery Plan Act (ARPA) revenue replacement funding to support the Division of Tourism’s Marketing/Advertising budget. ARPA funds have allowed the Division of Tourism to aggressively target drive-market travelers by showcasing the more than 700 miles of trails for biking, hiking, paddling, and equestrian activities.
(2018-1) To further promote Leon County as a biking community, pursue the International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA) Designation.
- 2018: The Tourism Sports Council formed an IMBA work group to pursue the designation. Leon County Parks and Recreation also began working to design and construct single track trails at Alford Greenway and Apalachee Regional Park, which will increase the community’s inventory and assist with receiving the IMBA designation.
- 2019: Tourism and Parks and Recreation completed and submitted the required IMBA Self-Assessment.
- 2020: In March 2020, IMBA staff were scheduled to visit Leon County to conduct a final trail assessment before determining whether the designation would be awarded. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, IMBA site visits were postponed and conducted in November 2020.
- 2021: IMBA staff provided the County with the results of the site visit, which determined the community was 13.5 points away from the 60 points needed to receive the IMBA Designation. County staff are currently evaluating IMBA’s report and preparing an analysis with recommended improvements to receive the Designation.
(2020-1) Conduct an updated market feasibility study and evaluation of the Fairgrounds relocation/modification.
- 2020: At the July 9, 2020 workshop, the IA Board directed Blueprint staff to fund an updated market study on the Fairgrounds in FY 2021 as well as integrate this project into Blueprint’s five-year Capital Improvement Program (CIP). At the September 17, 2020 meeting, the IA Board approved the FY 2021 - 2025 CIP budget, which included full funding for the Fairgrounds project. At that same meeting, the IA Board authorized procurement activities for an updated market feasibility study for the Fairgrounds site to include an evaluation of relocating the Fairground activities. Consistent with this direction and as authorized by the IA Board, Blueprint utilized a continuing services agreement for planning consult services to contract with HDR Engineering, Inc. to perform the study.
- 2021: At the December 9, 2021 IA Board meeting, HDR Engineering, Inc presented the Market Feasibility Assessment and Alternative Site Analysis. The IA Board voted to accept the report and allocate $200,000 from the Blueprint Reserve Account for Master Plan services for the Fairgrounds Project.
(2020-2) Work with the City of Tallahassee to develop a branding strategy for the community’s trail system.
- During the May 26, 2020 IA Board meeting, staff presented the results of the rebranding survey for the Capital City to the Sea regional trail network. The IA Board directed Blueprint to share the top 3 recommendations from the rebranding survey with the Capital Regional Transportation Planning Agency (CRTPA) for further consideration. As of the writing of this agenda item, the CRTPA has not yet agendaed the recommendations for consideration.
(2021-1) Continue to pursue and position the County to accept and further advance local priorities to distribute additional CARES funding in support of individual assistance, small business assistance and vaccinations
- Immediately following the enactment of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), Leon County conducted an extensive evaluation of the specific statutory and administrative requirements for these funds, local government best practices, and conducted extensive community outreach with local nonprofits, human service agencies, public health and healthcare partners, and the local business community to identify any community recovery needs that remain unmet following the extensive relief provided by Congress over the past year. Using this feedback, staff developed a proposed expenditure plan for the County’s $57.0 million allocation of Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds under the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), which was presented and adopted by the Board during the April 2021 Budget Workshop. Also during this Workshop, the Board accepted $7.01 million in additional federal funding from the U.S. Treasury for Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA 2) to pay rent and/or utilities (including internet services) for eligible applicants.
(2021-2) Evaluate potential enhancements to the Lake Talquin/Urban Fringe (LT/UF) zoning district to provide more opportunity for commercial uses that are functionally supportive and related to eco-tourism or natural resource-based activities along the southern shoreline of Lake Talquin.
- 2020: On December 8, 2020, the Board was presented with an evaluation and status report on the County’s ability to host, promote, and support fishing tournaments on Lake Talquin. Based on input from local fishing clubs, the report found that there are two (2) significant barriers for consistently hosting large fishing tournaments on the Leon County side of the lake: (1) adequate parking and (2) private sector services to support fishing activities.
- 2021: On November 9, 2021, the Board was presented with a status report on this Strategic Initiative. The report included a spatial analysis which identified several parcels with waterfront access that have potential for waterfront commercial uses like a marina. However, upon further inspection, these parcels all had site constraints that likely limit potential commercial development and did not support changes to the Comprehensive Plan or Land Development Code. As a result, the Board voted to accept the status report and take no further action at this time.
Environment – Completed
(2016-13) Implement the adopted Basin Management Action Plan (BMAP) for Wakulla Springs including bringing central sewer to Woodville and implementing requirements for advanced wastewater treatment.
As part of the seven-year Tentative Leon County Water Quality and Springs Protection Infrastructure Improvement Plan, FDEP has committed to providing approximately $31.9 million in grants through FY 2024 for wastewater projects in Leon County. This includes $4.6 million from the Springs Restoration Grant Program for the Northeast Lake Munson project and $1.75 million for the Belair/Annawood Sewer System Project. In addition, the County was awarded a four-year Federal Section 319(h) Educational Grant totaling $60,000 with a $40,000 match requirement. As part of this grant, Leon County will educate citizens on proper operation and maintenance of septic tanks and impacts to groundwater if not properly maintained.
In addition, Leon County staff participated in the FDEP Onsite Sewage Treatment and Disposal Systems (OSTDS) Committee and as a result, in January 2019, FDEP adopted an updated BMAP for Wakulla Springs, which includes an OSTDS Implementation Plan.
(2016-14) Develop strategies to increase recycling and reuse rates.
- 2018: Leon County reached a recycling rate of 66%, an 11% increase over the previous year. This increase is due in part to staff’s efforts to work with several local construction companies who recycle and use crushed concrete and asphalt.
- 2019: To continue to increase the County’s recycling rates, staff worked with Sustainable Tallahassee to develop educational materials for commercial properties in the unincorporated area which do not currently have a recycling account. Sustainability and DSEM staff began evaluating strategies to ensure that all new commercial development includes adequate space for a recycling dumpster on site. Additionally, a recycling bin and dumpster inventory was conducted to ensure proper recycling at all County facilities and parks.
- 2020: Marpan Recycling, the single-stream recycling provider for both Leon County and the City of Tallahassee, indicated that the continued decline in the global recyclables market had rendered its single-stream recycling operation financially unsustainable. In response, on February 11, 2020, the Board authorized the County Administrator to execute an amendment to the contract with Marpan Recycling for single-stream recycling services. Additionally, the Board approved jointly hiring a consultant with the City to analyze options and long-term strategies.
The consultant’s final report and recommendations were presented to the Board on November 17, 2020. The study concluded that negotiating a new agreement with Marpan was the most financially advantageous and best value option among all of the potential alternatives reviewed. As a result, the Board voted to authorize the County Administrator to renegotiate a contract with Marpan Recycling for single-stream recycling services and to present a draft agreement to the Board for approval in early 2021
- 2021: On March 9, 2021, the Board approved a new contract with Marpan Recycling in order to ensure the continuation of the County’s single-stream recycling program. Additionally, as part of the Annual Sustainability Program Status Report, the Board was presented with proposed waste reduction and recycling initiatives. Several of these initiatives are in in progress or have been implemented including a pilot composting drop-off site at the Solid Waste Facility and a backyard and counter-top compost bin sale which were launched in March 2021.
(2016-15) Implement the Apalachee Landfill closure process in an environmentally sensitive manner which complements the master planning for the site.
- 2017: Public Works worked to identify projects that could be performed internally to eliminate over $4.5 million in expenses associated with closure construction.
- 2018: On October 10, 2017 and April 10, 2018, the Board awarded Phase I and Phase II of the Landfill Closure Capital Improvement Project respectively. Additionally, during FY 2018, Public Works completed hauling of 222,200 cubic yards of soil from F.A. Ash Borrow Pit to the Landfill Site.
- 2019: As part of the preliminary phases of the closure process, staff and the project vendor identified hazardous site conditions and determined that design modifications were necessary to ensure the landfill is closed in the most environmentally sensitive manner. At the request of the vendor, the Board amicably terminated the agreement for the Landfill Closure Construction Project, which allowed the vendor to pursue other work opportunities while the design modifications are ongoing.
- 2020: In September 2020, the County submitted the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) permit with 90% design plans. The County subsequently received and responded to a request for additional information from FDEP in October 2020.
- 2021: On December 14, 2021, the Board authorize staff to negotiate the consulting, engineering and related service fees with HDR Engineering, Inc. who will serve as the engineer of record for the Landfill Closure Project and, once a construction contractor is selected, will provide quality assurance, pay request evaluations, engineering support, and certification of construction for each stage of the closure process.
(2016-16) Convene the Leon County Sustainable Communities summit on a bi-annual basis.
- 2017: The 2017 Summit, “Exploring Our Backyard,” included two (2) different events. On February 8, 2017, an industry workshop was held for approximately 50 businesses and stakeholder groups. The community conference was held on February 18, 2017 with over 220 participants.
- 2019: The 2019 Summit was held on March 23, 2019 at the J.R. Alford Greenway. The event featured hands-on activities, workshops, tours, and an opportunity to provide input on the County's Sustainability Action Plan.
- 2021: The 2021 Sustainable Community Summit: Sustainability in Action was held in April and featured eight (8) virtual events on topics including composting, beekeeping, integrating sustainability into your work, and more. The Summit also included limited in-person sessions on topics including composting and bird watching.
(2016-17, rev. 2020) In partnership with the Canopy Roads Committee, update and implement the long-term management plan for the Canopy Roads including an active tree planting program.
- 2017: During the April 25, 2017 Budget Workshop, the Board approved including $75,000 in the FY 2018 budget to develop an active tree planting program that will support the County’s Target to plant 1,000 of trees in canopy roads.
- 2018: Public Works and the Canopy Road Citizen Committee worked collaboratively to establish goals for the update of the Canopy Road Management Plan, including identification of target areas for replanting within the Canopy Road Protection Zones.
- 2019: In March 2019, the Board and the City Commission approved the updated Canopy Roads Management Plan.
- 2021: To date, Leon County Public Works has planted over 1,200 trees in support of the active tree planting program on Canopy Roads. During 2021, the Canopy Roads Committee also worked with the Planning Department to develop a proposed policy and criteria for adding County roads to the canopy road system, which was adopted by the Board on July 13, 2021.
(2016-19) Successfully launch a commercial and residential Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program and identify opportunities, including the Leon County Spring Home Expo, to train industry professionals on sustainable building practices for participation in the PACE program.
- 2017: On August 8, 2017, Leon County announced the launch of the residential PACE.
- 2018: In August 2018, Leon County launched the commercial PACE program with Greenworks Lending and the Florida Development Finance Corporation (FDFC). Training on the PACE program was incorporated into the 2018 Leon County Spring Home Expo held on April 28, 2018. Staff also worked with the Office of Economic Vitality to continue promoting the commercial and residential PACE program and exploring diverse strategies to reach new audiences.
- 2019: To promote the PACE program, a press release and article in the Democrat were published announcing the expansion of the program to include commercial properties. Presentations were provided to the Tallahassee Builders Association and the Tallahassee Board of Realtors. Additionally, the County’s vendor for the PACE program participated in the 2019 Sustainability Summit.
- 2020: The County's first two (2) commercial PACE (C-PACE) projects began in FY 2020. Both projects are local hotels and have a total project value of $2,349,808.
- 2021: As of December 2021, $1,850,270 in residential PAC) loans have been made for 148 homes, and $3,558,938 in commercial PACE loans have been made for three (3) commercial buildings. The County continued the residential PACE Program by joining the Florida PACE Funding Agency, which will also provide expanded commercial PACE programming.
(2016-20) Add environmental education kiosks, trail markings/mapping at Greenways and Parks.
- 2017: In coordination with Community & Media Relations, a standard kiosk design was developed and installed at the Jackson View Boat Landing and Miccosukee Greenway.
- 2018: Kiosks were installed at both Lake Henrietta Park and St. Marks Greenway. Installations of trail markings/mappings were completed for Northeast Park Trail and a trail assessment for the J.R. Alford Greenway was completed in April 2018 to determine locations of trail markings, related signage, and mapping.
- 2019: New trail markings and signage were included in J.R. Alford Greenway trail construction project, which was awarded in August 2019 and scheduled for completion in spring 2020. At Fred George Greenway, mapping of the routes was also completed in preparation for the installation of markers in spring 2021.
- 2020: Installation of trail markers at J.R. Alford Greenway was completed in December 2020.
- 2021: Seven (7) additional trail maps and educational kiosks were installed during 2021 including four (4) at the Miccosukee Greenway, one (1) at Gardner Landing, and two (2) at J.R. Alford Greenways. Educational signage regarding invasive exotic species was also installed at the Gil Waters Preserve, and installation of trail markers at Fred George Greenway is scheduled for completion by spring 2022.
(2016-21) Explore new opportunities for solar on County facilities.
- 2017: The Office of Resource Stewardship’s building (South Monroe) was identified as the initial location for a solar array installation. A budget of $50,000 was set for the project.
- 2018: In August 2018, installation of a 19kW solar array on the Office of Resource Stewardship was completed. Additionally, at the April Budget Workshop, the Board voted to approve using the $190,000 from the BP Oil Spill settlement to pay for the installation of demonstration solar energy improvements on the following County buildings: Leon County Courthouse, the Transfer Station, the Northeast Branch Library and the restroom facility at the Apalachee Regional Park.
- 2019: Installation of two solar arrays on the Northeast Branch Library and the Transfer Station were completed in October 2019. Solar panels were also integrated into the construction plans for the new restroom facilities at Apalachee Regional Park. Additionally, as part of the April 2019 Budget Workshop, the Board approved $50,000 in solar funding for FY 2020.
- 2020: The County established a partnership with the FSU-FAMU College of Engineering to analyze new opportunities for innovative solar arrays at County facilities. As part of this partnership, which began in the fall 2020 semester, students will also design a solar array for installation at a County facility or park. Depending on the outcome of the engineering students’ project, the funds in FY 2021 could be used to install their designed solar array.
- 2021: On July 13, 2021, the Board authorized the County Administrator to execute an interconnection agreement with Talquin Electric Cooperative, Inc. for a solar array and to execute future interconnection agreements requested by the relevant utility company (City of Tallahassee Utilities or Talquin Electric Cooperative) as the County continues to install solar energy systems at County facilities. Currently, an array is being installed at Fleet Management and will be complete in early 2022. Additionally, In April 2021, FSU-FAMU College of Engineering students concluded their year-long project and proposed an innovative solar shade array that could be installed in a County park. Staff is further analyzing the potential of this project for implementation.
(2016-22) Support the protection of Lake Talquin.
- 2020: On November 17, 2020, the County Attorney presented a memorandum to the Board providing an update on the County’s efforts to address the impaired status of Lake Talquin. The memo also requested Board authorization for the Chair to send a letter to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency supporting a direct water quality based effluent limitation (WQBEL) process on the BASF plant in Attapulgus, Decatur County, Georgia, which is largest single source contributor of Lake Talquin pollutants. The Board voted to provide authorization to the Chair and a letter was sent on November 20, 2020. In addition, the County solicited and received letters of support from both U.S. Representative Al Lawson and State Representative Ramon Alexander.
- 2021: In March 2021, the County was notified that the EPA had declined to exercise its authority to initiate the WQBEL process. However, FDEP held a public technical workshop on March 31, 2021 to receive comments on the final model set for Lake Talquin and the contributing watershed. Once the model set is finalized, it will be used to derive the TMDL for Lake Talquin. The draft TMDL document was issued in August 2021 and comments were provided to the FDEP. Rulemaking to adopt the TMDL is expected in 2022.
(2016-23) Reduce nitrogen impacts in the PSPZ (primary springs protection zone) by identifying cost effective and financially feasible ways including:
- Develop a septic tank replacement program.
- 2019: At the July 9, 2019 meeting, the Board adopted Policy No. 19-4, Springs Restoration Grants and Septic System Upgrades which outlines the selection of existing septic tanks in the Wakulla Springs Priority Focus Area for upgrade to advanced nitrogen reducing systems. During 2019, the County also began accepting applications from property owners.
- 2020: During FY 2020, approximately 125 applications for the program were received and eight (8) septic tanks were installed using advanced treatment.
- 2021: An additional 40 applications for the program were submitted to Public Works and 29 systems were installed in 2021.
(2017-6) Work with Sustainable Tallahassee and community partners to evaluate developing a community-wide climate action plan.
- 2018: On May 22, 2018, as recommended by staff, the Board authorized the County to participate in the Capital Area Sustainability Compact (CASC). The Board also authorized staff to participate on the CASC Executive Committee and approved proceeding with a new Greenhouse Gas inventory of County operations to update the Sustainability Action Plan for County operations. On December 11, 2018, the Board was presented with an update on the proposed compact and authorized the County Administrator to sign the finalized compact document. Other members of the compact include the City of Tallahassee, Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare, Capital Regional Medical Center, Florida State University, Florida A&M University, Tallahassee Community College, and Leon County Schools.
- 2019: As part of the April 2019 Budget Workshop, the Board received an update on the Compact including the progress being made by the CASC Executive Committee to establish general direction for CASC, as well as working groups focused on specific topic areas. The Compact Steering Committee, Energy Working Group, Waste Working Group, and Transportation Working Group continue to meet every six (6) weeks.
- 2020: On November 17, 2020 the Board was presented with a status update on the Capital Area Sustainability Compact Administrator Role. At this time, the Board voted to ratify the recommendation of the Compact members to approve the Apalachee Regional Planning Council as the Compact Administrator and allocate $4,970 for the role. Additionally, the Board directed $3,830 to Sustainable Tallahassee in one-time support to assist the organization through the transition of the administrator role and a new strategic planning process.
- 2021: In January 2021, the Compact Steering Committee began meeting to set targets and focus areas for the year. The Committee determined that the year's project would be to help member organizations who have not yet done so to conduct an organizational greenhouse gas inventory. Additionally, there are three (3) working groups focused on Energy, Transportation, and Waste. As part of the FY 2022 budget, the Board allocated $8,800 to the Apalachee Regional Planning Council to continue acting as the Compact Administrator.
(2017-7) Continue to work with the State as a host community in evaluating pilot technologies for new advanced wastewater treatment septic tanks.
- 2017: On October 24, 2017, the Board accepted a grant of $750,000 from FDEP’s Springs Restoration Grant Program for the Passive Onsite Sewage Nitrogen Reduction Pilot Project in the Wakulla BMAP.
- 2018: On September 4, 2018, the Board accepted an additional FDEP matching grant of $750,000 for the construction of advanced passive on-site sewage treatment and/or disposal systems in the Wakulla Basin Management Action Plan Primary Focus Area 1 in the southeast region of the county.
- 2019: At the July 9, 2019 meeting, the Board adopted Policy No. 19-4, Springs Restoration Grants and Septic System Upgrades which outlines the selection of existing septic tanks in the Wakulla Springs Priority Focus Area for upgrade to advanced nitrogen reducing systems. During 2019, the County also began accepting applications from property owners.
- 2020: In April 2020, the Board awarded the bid for Septic Services, Continuing Supply to Brian’s Septic Service, and Apalachee Backhoe and Septic Tank LLC. These contracts will primarily be used to repair or replace on-site septic systems associated with the Advanced Septic System Pilot Project. The first eight (8) installations of advanced wastewater treatment septic tanks were completed in calendar year 2020.
- 2021: A total of 165 applications for the program have been submitted to date. During calendar year 2021, an additional 29 systems were installed.
(2017-8) Continue to work with the State to seek matching grants to convert septic to sewer systems.
- 2017: In FY 2017, Leon County was awarded a matching grant of $1.5 million from the Springs Restoration Grant Program for the Woodville Sewer Design.
- 2018: In FY 2018, Leon County was awarded three (3) additional matching grants from the Springs Restoration Grant Program: (1) $17 million for the Woodville Sewer construction; (2) $4.5 million for the Northeast Lake Munson and Belair/Annawood Sewer System Projects; and (3) an additional $350,000 for the Woodside Heights Wastewater Retrofit Project.
- 2020: In FY 2020, Leon County was awarded two (2) additional matching grants from the Springs Restoration Grant Program: (1) $3.75 million for Phase 1A of the Woodville Sewer System Project and (2) $1.85 million for the Northeast Lake Munson Sewer System Project.
- 2021: To date, a total of $63.6 million is committed by the State and County in support of septic projects. The County has committed $2.0 million in existing sales tax funding and $29.2 million from the Blueprint 2020 sales tax for a total of $31.2 million. The State has committed $32.4 million in grant funding.
(2018-2, rev. 2020) Develop and enact the County’s Integrated Sustainability Action Plan to further reduce the County Government’s carbon footprint.
- 2019: During the April 2019 Budget Workshop, the Board approved the proposed Integrated Sustainability Action Plan (ISAP), a sustainability strategic plan that contains specific goals and strategies for a variety of topics, including energy, water, waste, and transportation. In preparation for the development of an updated Integrated Sustainability Action Plan) staff conducted a greenhouse gas inventory of county operations; reviewed action plans from numerous other municipalities; and engaged the community to seek their feedback on individual action items. This cumulative effort resulted in an Action Plan that contains 18 goals and 94 action items. Collectively these action items are intended to foster a more sustainable future in areas such as waste reduction, fleet operation and energy reduction as well as reduce the County’s GHG emissions 30% by the year 2030.
- 2020: As part of the Annual Sustainability Program Status Report presented to the Board each December, staff provided an update on ISAP initiatives in the areas of Resource Conservation, Policy and Program Administration, Civic Engagement and Community Partnerships. At this time, the County had completed 3 of the 18 goals and 36 of the 94 action items outlined in the ISAP.
- 2021: Sustainability staff continued to work with County departments to implement the goals set forth in the ISAP and provided a progress update in December 2021 as part of the Annual Sustainability Program Status Report.
(2018-3) To increase information available to the public regarding blue-green algae blooms, fishing advisories, invasive species, and general water quality, add education kiosks at Leon County boat landings.
- 2019: The Office of Resource Stewardship conducted a kiosk inventory to determine the quality of existing kiosks, identify additional kiosk locations, and prioritize installation of new kiosks. CMR and Public Works worked in collaboration to develop content and design the kiosks, the first of which were installed at the Lake Jackson landings. Kiosks were then placed at 15 County boat landings.
- 2020: By the end of January 2020, an additional 17 kiosks were placed at County boat landings and other passive park facilities.
(2018-4) Pursue NACo’s SolSmart designation.
- 2019: County staff contacted a SolSmart representative in December 2018 to obtain feedback on the SolSmart application. It was determined an Ordinance addressing solar energy systems would satisfy a number of criteria needed for SolSmart designation.
- 2020: In June, Leon County was awarded the SolSmart Gold Community Designation, the program's highest honor recognizing how local governments find innovative ways to make going solar faster, easier and more affordable. Leon County was only the third county in Florida to be recognized as a SolSmart Gold community.
(2020-4) To further reduce litter and trash in rural areas and the Apalachicola National Forest, launch a targeted public outreach effort encouraging the use of County Rural Waste Service Centers.
- As part of the June 2019 Budget Workshop, the Board voted to eliminate fees at the Rural Waste Service Centers and fund the centers entirely with general revenue beginning in FY 2020. This action was taken to incentivize households to use the County’s waste disposal sites and reduce illegal dumping and roadside litter. To ensure the public was aware of this change, Community & Media Relations launched a public awareness campaign including a press release, social media posts, and updating the Rural Waste Service Centers’ printed information rack card to highlight that services are now free of charge.
To further encourage use of the County’s Rural Waste Service Centers as a means to reduce littering and illegal dumping in the Apalachicola National Forrest, additional strategies were implemented in January 2021. These strategies were all targeted to households bordering the Forest and included designing and mailing an informational postcard, social media posts using the Nextdoor app, and printed materials placed at branch libraries.
(2018-5) Ensure County’s water quality and stormwater regulations, programs and projects are evaluated and implemented holistically to advance the County’s adopted strategic priority: to protect the quality and supply of our water.
- 2019: In October, the Board was presented a comprehensive report on the County’s holistic approach to protect watersheds through land use planning, regulatory measures, water quality monitoring, and capital improvements for needed infrastructure. The report also provided an overview of all the County’s programs and initiatives related to water preservation and described the continuity of the policy-making process to identify environmentally sensitive areas, enforce regulatory requirements, test and measure water quality, and invest in infrastructure for the protection of local water bodies to ensure that these resources can be enjoyed by future generations.
- 2020: In December 2020, the Board was presented with two (2) reports on water quality including the Review of Leon County Stormwater Management Facilities and the Annual Leon County Water Quality Monitoring Program Status Report. At this time, the Board directed staff to prepare two (2) agenda items for consideration. The first item will include a review of other counties’ maintenance schedules, testing, metrics for commercial and residential stormwater ponds, including their intergovernmental coordination with cities, and seek input from the Water Resources Committee to identify innovative strategies for stormwater management. The second requested item will explore options for a comprehensive watershed management plan that addresses both quality and quantity, in collaboration the City and counties in the region, to include an analysis of the ponds in historically minority neighborhoods.
- 2021: At the July 13, 2021 meeting, the Board accepted a status report on maintenance schedules, testing and metrics for commercial and residential stormwater ponds in other jurisdictions. On December 14, 2021, the Board was presented with a report evaluating the of development of a comprehensive watershed management plan. The Board accepted the report and directed staff to prepare an agenda item to include input from the Water Resources Committee on report, whether additional data is needed to be collected prior to the State finalizing the stormwater rules in order to best position the County to pursue the Basin Plans, and opportunities to best position the County for future Resilient Florida grant funding. An agenda item including the requested information will be presented at the Board’s January 25, 2022 meeting.
(2018-6) Develop and enhance communications strategies to inform citizens of the County’s overall water quality and stormwater policies, as well as emergent issues impacting individual water bodies or ground water.
- Following the adoption of this Strategic Initiative at the 2018 Annual Board Retreat, staff began developing communication strategies to better inform citizens of the emergent issues impacting individual water bodies and ground water. At the October 15, 2019 meeting, the Board was presented with an update on these communication tools which included the installation of new educational kiosks at County boat landings, annual On-The-Water Clean Up events, and the Clean Water and You School. At this time, the County also launched LeonCountyWater.org, a one-stop water resources website with all the environmental, recreational, and instructional information related to water bodies in Leon County. The website identifies the various laws, regulations, and jurisdictions responsible for area water bodies, safe drinking water, stormwater, wastewater, and flood prevention. The “Leon County Water” website is designed with an emphasis on the user experience which encourages the exploration of the County’s rivers, lakes and campsites, as well as providing convenient access to water quality reports across multiple agencies and interactive water maps that demonstrate how personal pollution carried by a single drop of water impacts water quality.
(2020-3) Implement zoning changes that allow for solar energy farms in the unincorporated area while preserving the rural character of our community.
- On January 28, 2020, the Board adopted an Ordinance Amending Section 10-1.101 of the Land Development Code, Entitled “Definitions” and Creating a New Section 10-6.820, Entitled “Solar Energy Systems.” The amended Ordinance provides specific standards within the Leon County Land Development Code (LDC) for proposed solar energy systems. Following the first public hearing for the Ordinance, the Board directed staff to meet with solar industry stakeholders who expressed concerns over some of the proposed setback requirements. Staff met with interested parties and a consensus was reached by the group to recommend utilization of a tiered system for requiring setbacks for utility-scale systems and revisions to the accessory ground-mounted provisions to require additional standards and limitations.
(2021-3) Develop a policy and criteria for adding County roads to the canopy road system.
- On July 13, 2021, the Board adopted “Designation Procedure for New Canopy Roads” Policy. To develop the policy, the Canopy Roads Citizen Committee (CRCC) worked with staff from Planning, Leon County Development Support and Environmental Management, Leon County Public Works, City Growth Management, City Community Beautification, and County and City Attorneys’ Offices. The Policy authorizes the Board to request that the CRCC evaluate a specific road or road segments and make recommendations to the Board regarding canopy designation. The proposed policy also provides a mechanism for citizens to initiate a request to the CRCC in addition to requiring a minimum of 90% support among affected landowners with frontage along a proposed canopy road.
(2021-4) Develop a Sustainable Business Recognition Program.
- Following the adoption of this Strategic Initiative at the 2021 Annual Board Retreat, staff reviewed other similar recognition programs around the country and drafted recognition criteria lists for review by partners, businesses, and the Office of Economic Vitality. After integrating the feedback provided by these partners, the Sustainable Business Recognition Program – also known as Sustanabiz – was launched on Earth Day, April 22, 2021. Two (2) businesses, Square Mug Café and Architects Lewis + Whitlock, have been recognized through the program. The Office of Sustainability is currently working to encourage additional businesses and organizations to participate in the program and have developed a website with resources to assist with meeting the program criteria.
Environment – In Progress
(2016-18) Complete an evaluation of transportation fee alternatives to replace the existing concurrency management system of mobility fees.
Reduce nitrogen impacts in the PSPZ (primary springs protection zone) by identifying cost effective and financially feasible ways including:
(2016-23B) Evaluate requiring advanced wastewater treatment (AWT) for new construction.
- As authorized by the Board, the County contracted for engineering consultant services to develop the Comprehensive Treatment Facilities Plan. The draft plan will provide recommended alternative treatment methods for the unincorporated area. These recommendations will then form the basis for an ordinance regarding alternative treatment systems to be presented to the Board in December 2022.
Quality of Life - Completed
(2016-24) Continue to expand recreational amenities to include:
(A) Develop and implement a master plan for the Apalachee Regional Park.
- 2018: At the October 24, 2017 Workshop, the Board approved Stage I of the Apalachee Regional Park Master Plan and directed staff to move forward with Stage I of the Plan as presented. The total estimated project costs are $5.1 million and will be supported by a combination of general revenues and tourist development taxes.
- 2019: In accordance with the ARP master plan, the FY 2019 adopted budget and carryforward included an additional $991,627 in funding for the implementation of the plan. During this time, the engineering design phase of the project was also completed.
- 2020: On January 28, 2020, the Board awarded the construction contract for Phase 1 of the Apalachee Regional Park Cross Country Facility improvements to Mejia International Group Corporation. Construction began in March 2020.
- 2021: In March 2021, Phase 1 of the improvements was completed including a multipurpose building/restroom facility, stage, finish line structure, sidewalk, landscaping, signage, and three (3) wildlife viewing platforms. Additionally, on April 13, 2021, the Board approved the bid award to Shaffield Building Specialties for construction of Phase 2 ARP facility improvements. In October 2021, several improvements were completed including the signature, entrance, boat launch, and observation platform. Additional Phase 2 improvements, including a dog park as well as biking and hiking trails, are currently in the planning stage.
(B) Develop a program to establish a signature landscaping feature with a regular blooming season.
- 2017: At the April 2017 Budget Workshop, the Board approved staff’s proposed planting program of the native Southern Crab Apple at Pedrick Pond Park and $35,000 was included in the FY 2018 capital budget.
- 2018: Sample plantings of the Southern Crab Apple and two (2) hybrid varieties were completed off-site to evaluate growth patterns and assist staff in developing maintenance procedures.
- 2019: Planting of 125 Southern Crab Apple trees was completed at Pedrick Pond Park.
- 2020: As part of the 2020 Arbor Day tree planting, Southern Crab Apple trees were planted at Martha Wellman Park. Four (4) additional signature trees were planted at the entrance to the Canopy Oaks Park tennis courts as part of the court renovation project.
- 2021: In January 2021, five Southern Crab Apple trees were planted as part of the new cross country construction projects at Apalachee Regional Park. For Arbor Day 2022, the County plans to plant an additional 200 trees to honor the fast-approaching Bicentennial.
(C) Implement the Tallahassee-Leon County Greenways Master Plan.
- 2017: At the February 2017 Intergovernmental Agency Board meeting, the IA Board approved funding the planning and design of five (5) greenways projects included in the Greenways Master Plan. During the June 2017 Budget Workshop, the Board also approved funding to open additional greenway acreage at St Marks Park and Fred George Park.
- 2018: The “Capital City to Coast” greenway and trail network was completed with the opening of the 0.4-mile segment of Capital Cascades trail in late August 2018. This project from Pinellas Street to Gamble Street expands the local greenways network through central Tallahassee and completes the connection to the St. Marks Regional Trail. Additionally, Blueprint secured design services for Capital Circle Southwest Greenways, including Broadmoor Spur Trail, Golden Aster Trail, and Debbie Lightsey Nature Park.
- 2019: On February 28, 2019 the IA Board authorized Blueprint to proceed with procurement of planning and design services for the Lake Jackson and Lake Jackson South Greenways project. Once completed, this project will create a 3.3-mile connection from Lake Jackson Mounds State Park to Lake Ella at Fred O. Drake Park in Midtown Tallahassee. The design is anticipated to be completed by the end of 2022 with construction beginning in 2024. In addition, the CRTPA approved a Bike-Ped Masterplan for Leon County which will be used to develop an implementation plan for funding and constructing additional Greenways projects.
- 2020: An agenda item providing a status update on the implementation of the Tallahassee-Leon County Greenways Masterplan (GWMP) and criteria for prioritizing projects included in the GWMP was considered by the IA Board at their May 26, 2020 meeting. At this meeting, the IA Board approved the proposed prioritization criteria and directed Blueprint to develop a draft prioritized greenways project list for IA Board consideration at a future meeting.
- 2021: During the May 27, 2021 workshop, the IA Board approved the Proposed FY 2022 Greenways Masterplan Work Plan. The FY 2022 allocation for this project is $760,000, which will contribute towards design and construction of the greenways components of the Lake Jackson Greenways, and construction of portions of the Southwood Trail. Additionally, in 2021, construction began on the Capital Circle Southwest Greenway Project and the Debbie Lightsey Nature Park.
(D) Evaluate additional trail expansion opportunities.
- 2017: In partnership with the Florida Greenways & Trails Foundation, Leon County convened a meeting of county administrators and staff from counties along the proposed Nature Coast Regional Connector Trail. On July 11th, the Board adopted a resolution supporting the development of the Nature Coast Regional Connector Trail from Tallahassee to Dunnellon including support for the allocation of state funds to assist in designing, building, and maintaining the trail system.
- 2018: Supporting the SunTrail Network including the Nature Coast Regional Connector was included in the Board’s 2018 State Legislative Priorities. The Nature Coast Regional Connector is currently included as a “priority” trail segment in the most recent FDEP trail plan. Leon County staff continues working with the Florida Greenways and Trails Foundation to support funding for the SunTrail Network and future opportunities to connect Leon County to the statewide trail network.
- 2019: The County hosted public meetings to refine the scope and award bid for Phase II of the St. Marks Headwaters Greenway, which includes the design of a trail head on Buck Lake Rd with approximately 30 parking spaces; permanent restroom; construction of two (2) boardwalks and a pedestrian bridge; and approximately 4 miles of trails. Additionally, the design of approximately five (5) miles of single-track trail at the Alford Greenway was completed.
- 2020: Construction of the single-track trail at the Alford Greenway was completed in August 2020. The design of a 1.1 mile trail segment connecting the Southwood Trail to the County’s Tram Road project was initiated this year with construction scheduled for 2021. Construction of this trail is funded through a cost-sharing agreement with the City of Tallahassee. The County also entered design and permitting phase of the St. Marks Headwaters Greenway project which includes four (4) miles of trail. Additionally, during FY 2020, the IA Board approved the proposed concepts for the Capital Circle Southwest Greenways, including Broadmoor Spur Trail, Golden Aster Trail, and Debbie Lightsey Nature Park.
- 2021: During the May 27, 2021 workshop, the IA Board approved the proposed FY 2022 Bike Route System Work Plan, which includes multiple proposed trail projects for implementation. Additionally, several projects that include trails are currently in the design phase including the St. Marks Headwaters Greenway project, the Capital Circle Southwest Greenways, and the Lake Jackson and Lake Jackson South greenway projects.
(E) Work with partners to utilize rights-of-way and utility easements to further expand the trail system.
- Throughout the implementation of the Greenways Master Plan, Planning staff have supported Blueprint in achieving this Initiative by identifying partnership opportunities as part of new development or redevelopment within the community.
(F) Identify opportunities to create dog parks in the unincorporated area.
- 2017: On October 24, 2017, the Board approved Phase I of the Apalachee Regional Park Master Plan, which includes a large and small breed dog park.
- 2018: As part of the FY 2019 Capital Improvement Program (CIP) budget, the Board approved $30,000 to construct a new dog park at J. Lee Vause Park. The CIP included out year funding to complete an additional two (2) dog parks in the unincorporated area.
- 2019: In November 2019, the County opened its first dog park in the open space adjacent to the Bradfordville Community Center. Improvements to the space were made through the realignment of existing funding. The CIP includes annual funding of $30,000 to construct two (2) additional dog parks in the unincorporated area of the County.
- 2020: In February 2020, Leon County opened the J. Lee Vause Dog Park. The new dog park is located inside the existing J. Lee Vause Park and provides 1.5 acres of space within the park’s wooded area. Amenities include a drinking fountain with a dog water bowl attachment, a log tunnel, jumping hoops and benches.
- 2021: Robinson Road Park was identified as the third site for a dog park with construction planned to begin in FY 2023. Planning also began for the fourth dog park at Apalachee Regional Park.
(2016-26) Continue to evaluate emergency medical response strategies to improve medical outcomes and survival rates.
- 2017: EMS continued to evaluate new emergency medical response strategies through ongoing efforts including participation in the Tallahassee Care Consortium and multidisciplinary quality meetings with local hospitals.
- 2018: In addition to all ongoing efforts, EMS partnered with the FSU College of Medicine to study outcomes for cardiac arrest patients treated with an IV or an IO. The research was accepted for presentation at the National Association of EMS Physicians Annual Meeting and Scientific Assembly and was published in the Prehospital Emergency Care Journal. Leon County was also awarded $52,053 in Florida Department of Health EMS Matching Grants to improve and enhance pre-hospital emergency medical services. EMS used the funds to purchase of 20 video laryngoscopes, which will provide visual aid to paramedics assisting patients who are experiencing difficulty breathing and will result in improved primary intubation success rates.
- 2019: In addition to all ongoing efforts, EMS began a comprehensive medical protocol update which was completed in December 2020.
- 2020: In partnership with the FSU College of Medicine, EMS staff studied outcomes for cardiac arrest patients treated with a supraglottic airway device or an endotracheal tube. The research was accepted for presentation at the National Association of EMS Physicians Annual Meeting and Scientific Assembly. During FY 2020, EMS was also awarded two (2) program grants from the Florida Department of Health. The first project is to implement operations monitoring software that will assist in the management of the EMS system and provide additional quality assurance. The second project is to implement an intersection traffic light pre-emption system that allows ambulances to obtain green lights in their path of travel thereby improving response and transport times and decreasing the risk of an intersection accident.
- 2021: Coinciding with release of American Heart Association recommendations, EMS completed an update of all medical protocols to reflect best practices.
(2016-27) Work with the City of Tallahassee to develop a new CHSP process in light of the United Way’s decision to conduct a separate funds distribution process.
- On December 12, 2017, the Board approved a revised Memorandum of Understanding with the City of Tallahassee on the Community Human Services Partnership (CHSP). The new MOU memorialized the County and City’s continued support and commitment to the CHSP; defined the roles and responsibilities of the County and City Commissions, citizens serving on the Citizen Review Teams, and County and City staff; included policies adopted by the County and City Commissions for the CHSP (e.g. eligible organizations, the CHSP funding categories, two-year funding cycle, etc.); and, established a timeline for review of the CHSP funding categories by the County and City Commissions.
(2016-28, rev. 2017) Implement the Joint County-City Affordable Housing Work Group’s recommendations to develop a holistic plan for the redevelopment of a multifamily affordable housing project and identification of additional transitional housing opportunities through community partnerships.
- 2017: On October 26th, the County and City held a Joint Workshop on the Affordable Housing Workgroup Final Report. The meeting included a presentation of the Workgroup’s recommendations, staff’s analysis, and opportunities for greater collaboration among County and City governments and affordable housing stakeholders. Both the County and City Commissions accepted the final report and approved 13 staff recommendation to support the recommendations of the Workgroup.
- 2018: On June 19th, the Board was presented with a status report on the Workgroup’s recommendations. In support of several of the Workgroup’s recommendation, the Board voted to take the following actions:
- Approve a budget amendment allocating one-time funding of $5,000 for United Human Services Partnership to provide administrative support to the Tallahassee-Leon County Housing Leadership Council.
- Authorize the County Administrator to issue a request for qualification in conjunction with the City of Tallahassee and the Housing Finance Authority of Leon County to identify an organization that may serve as a community land trust
- 2019: On July 9th, the Board the voted to authorize the County Administrator to negotiate an agreement with the Tallahassee Lender’s Consortium to serve as the Community Land Trust for Leon County and bring back a proposed agreement to the Board for final consideration and approval.
- 2020: On March 10th, the Board approved the agreement with Tallahassee Lenders’ Consortium to serve as the Community Land Trust. As part of the agreement, the Tallahassee Lenders’ Consortium will be required to submit an annual report to the County by October 1 of each year.
- 2021: As part of the March 23, 2021 Workshop on Affordable Housing Initiatives in Leon County, the Board was presented with an update on the implementation of the Affordable Housing Work Group’s recommendations including the establishment of a Community Land Trust, creation of a Housing Leadership Council, and partnership with Purpose Built Communities on the redevelopment of Orange Avenue Apartments. A joint County-City workshop on affordable Housing is also scheduled for February 22, 2022.
(2016-29) Continue to serve our seniors through programs and partnerships, including:
(A) As Florida's first Dementia Caring Community, support the Florida Department of Elder Affairs in the further development of the pilot program, provide enhanced paramedic training and engage local partners in making the County a more dementia-friendly community.
- 2017: In support of this Strategic Initiative, the Department of Elder Affairs, Leon County and the City of Tallahassee jointly established the City of Tallahassee/Leon County Dementia Care and Cure Advisory Council. The Council was responsible for developing best practices, training programs and materials that other communities could use. As a result, Leon County launched a public education campaign to increase awareness of dementia and the available services and provided ongoing dementia sensitivity training for EMS staff.
- 2018: On October 29, 2018, the County received a correspondence from the Department of Elder Affairs (DOEA) indicating that Advisory Council had achieved its intended goals and transitioned to operationalized local Dementia Care and Cure Initiative (DCCI) task forces. Consequently, the Department of Elder Affairs recommended that the Advisory Council be dissolved. On November 20, 2018, the Board was presented a status report on this Strategic Initiative and approved the dissolution of the Advisory Committee.
(B) Exploring opportunities to address fraud/scams targeted towards seniors.
- 2017: Staff arranged for shredding services to be available twice a year at each community center and will continue to work with the Senior Outreach Program to co-promote the opportunity to shred sensitive documents free of charge.
- 2018: The Senior Outreach Program hosted several Lunch & Learns focusing on identify theft and other fraud/scams targeted towards seniors. These events were hosted with partner organizations such as the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation, Florida Public Service Commission, Florida Department of Financial Services, Florida Department of Elder Affairs, Bureau of Elder Rights, AARP, Consumer Protection Division, Office of Attorney General, and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
- 2019: To provide timely presentations to Leon County seniors on current fraud attempts and scams, the County continues to partner with the Leon County Sheriff’s Office, the Florida Attorney General’s Office (Consumer Protection Division), the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation, the Florida Public Service Commission, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, as well as AARP.
- 2020: During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Senior Outreach Program’s Lunch & Learn series was temporarily suspended. However, Community & Media Relations and Emergency Management compiled several online resources for detecting and reporting scams related to pandemic and other disasters.
- 2021: In accordance with the Board’s decision to transition to Phase 3 of the County’s Re-Opening Plan, the County resumed in-person programming including the Senior Outreach Program’s Lunch & Learn series, which frequently includes presentations and resources to avoid fraud and scams.
(C) To continue to support Choose Tallahassee’s efforts to market our community as a retirement destination.
- 2017: Per the joint project services agreement with Choose Tallahassee, Tourism Development provided administrative support to the organization including marketing expertise and guidance to support their marketing efforts.
- 2018: In December 2017, the Board approved a revised agreement with Choose Tallahassee to reflect a renewed marketing and staffing approach desired by their organization. Under this agreement, Leon County provides Choose Tallahassee with $10,000 annually to support various marketing initiatives and Tourism staff serves on their Executive Committee, but no longer provides administrative staff support.
- 2019: Tourism staff continued to provide Choose Tallahassee with technical support to develop their annual marketing plan and attended the organization’s Executive Team meetings. The County provided $10,000 to support the organization’s annual marketing plan.
- 2020: Tourism staff continued to serve on Choose Tallahassee’s marketing committee and as ex officio members of the Board of Directors providing marketing insight and technical support. The County provided $10,000 to support the organization’s annual marketing plan.
- 2021: On January 26, 2021, the Board was presented with a status update on the joint project services agreement with Choose Tallahassee. At this time, the Board voted to authorize a three-year continuation of the agreement and allocate $10,000 annually to support Choose Tallahassee’s marketing plan. Additionally, the County is currently coordinating with the City to pursue designation as an AARP Age-Friendly Community.
(2016-30) Identify and evaluate pretrial alternatives to incarceration for low level and nonviolent offenders through regional partnerships and state and national efforts, including data-driven justice initiatives.
- 2017: Leon County took part in several ongoing initiatives, such as participation in NACo’s biweekly Data Driven Justice conference call; collaboration with CareerSource Capital Region to offer monthly on-site Resume Writing Workshops and increase employability opportunities to pre and post sentenced offenders; training with NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) for staff development regarding management of offenders with mental health illness; and collaboration with 2-1-1 Big Bend to provide staff training on suicide prevention based on literature that individuals in the criminal justice system have a higher rate of suicide.
In partnership with the State Attorney's Office (SAO), Leon County facilitated modifications to the adult civil citation program by working with local law enforcement agencies and other agencies throughout the 2nd judicial circuit to support a uniform circuit-wide program. A memorandum of understanding establishing the program was signed by all parties in April 2017, and a Status Report on the Adult Civil Citation Program in Leon County was presented to the Board at the November 28, 2018 meeting.
- 2018: Efforts in support of this Strategic Initiative include Intervention and Detention Alternatives staff completing the Ohio Risk Assessment System training to develop enhanced case management plans for offenders participating in Mental Health and Veterans Treatment Courts. Leon County also partnered with the Florida Department of Corrections and the United States Probation Office to hold an Employment and Community Resource Fair on April 18, 2018. The goal of this event was to help connect offenders with local employers and other resources to develop a foundation for their success.
Additionally, in April 2018, representatives from IDA, Leon County Sheriff's Office, 2nd Judicial Court Administration, and the local behavioral health service provider attended the Best Practices Implementation Academy sponsored by SAMHSA to learn about efforts throughout the nation to reduce the number of individuals with behavioral health issues in the criminal justice.
- 2019: The FY 2019 budget included the State Attorney’s Office request of $20,000 to implement a diversionary program aimed at addressing “minor offenses through making strong interventions without unintended lasting lateral collateral consequences.” This funding was used to cover the costs in the form of a “scholarship” for indigent offenders to enter the program. IDA also coordinated with criminal justice stakeholders to assist Apalachee Center in their submission for and award of $1.2 million in funding through the Criminal Justice Mental Health and Substance Abuse Reinvestment Grant. Additionally, County staff were accepted into FUSE (Frequent Users System Engagement), a pilot learning community, sponsored by the Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH).
- 2020: IDA staff participated in Refuge House's "We Know Prostitution Hurts" Community Conversation and Training, which helped to advance staff's understanding of the connection between prostitution, mental health, substance abuse, and other criminal offenses. In addition, the training identified resource and services necessary to stopping the cycle of prostitution. During FY 2020, the County was also selected to participate in MIT’s Sloan School of Management’s USA Action Learning Lab for the purpose of exploring opportunities to further enhance re-entry efforts. Additional details about the USA Action Learning Lab is provided under a separate Strategic Initiative (2017-2).
- 2021: On July 13, 2021, the Board approved an agreement with the City to establish a Landlord Risk Mitigation fund which will increase accessibility to affordable housing for individuals returning to the community from incarceration. Access to affordable housing is proven to reduce recidivism and enhance public safety.
(2016-31) Work with community partners to expand appreciation of local veterans including recognition of National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.
- 2017: In partnership with Honor Flight Tallahassee, an Honor Flight Reunion Dinner recognizing National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day was held on Thursday, December 7, 2017.
- 2018: The second annual Honor Flight Reunion Dinner was held on December 7, 2018 at the Florida National Guard Armory.
- 2019: The third annual Honor Flight Reunion Dinner was held on December 5, 2019 at the Florida National Guard Armory.
- 2020: In compliance with CDC guidelines and the County’s COVID-19 Response and Re-opening Plan, the 2020 Honor Flight and the Reunion Dinner was cancelled.
- 2021: While the annual Honor Flight was able to safely resume in September, organizers asked that the Reunion Dinner on Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day be cancelled due to the spread of COVID-19 variants.
(2016-32) Increase safety in the unincorporated area through the development of a new street lighting program and evaluation of the need for additional signage.
- 2017: On February 7, 2017, staff recommended, and the Board adopted the proposed Policy, “Street Lighting Eligibility Criteria and Implementation” and, as part of the FY 2018 budget process, $125,000 was included annually in the five-year capital improvement plan to support the street lighting program.
- 2018: In FY 2018, streetlight installations were completed at seven (7) intersections.
- 2019: In FY 2019, streetlight installations were completed at nine (9) intersections and along one (1) road segment.
- 2020: In FY 2020, streetlight installations were completed at nine (9) intersections.
- 2021: In FY 2021, streetlight installations were completed at seven (7) intersections. A detailed overview of these projects was included in the Annual Street Lighting Program Status Report presented at the Board’s December 14, 2021 meeting.
(2016-33) Improve pet overpopulation by engaging vested community partners in the implementation of spay and neutering strategies.
- 2017: In April 2017, Leon County conducted the first neighborhood sweep to provide education and voucher disbursements. Staff continues to work with community partners to schedule regular sweeps in the unincorporated areas.
- 2018: During the June 2018 Budget Workshop, the Board approved a funding request from Be the Solution, Inc. (BTS) for $16,626 to pay for an increased number of spay and neuter community vouchers. Additionally, in FY 2018, Leon County assisted community partners in developing a spay and neuter transport program which provides rides for pet owners who could not otherwise transport their animals to a clinic.
- 2019: During the April 23, 2019 meeting, the Board was presented with a report on the Tallahassee Animal Services Shelter Operational Assessment conducted by the University of Florida Maddie’s Shelter Medicine Program and Team Shelter USA.
- 2020: Leon County Animal Control continued to work with community partners to assist with the distribution of low/no cost spay and neutering vouchers.
- 2021: In collaboration with the City and the nonprofit It’s Meow or Never, the County launched an educational campaign on what to do when stray animals are found in a neighborhood. Materials developed for the campaign include information regarding local spay and neuter programs. County staff also coordinated with the Animal Shelter Foundation as it opened a new low cost spay/neuter clinic this year.
(2016-34) Continue County support of primary healthcare through participation in Carenet in order to increase access to affordable healthcare for those in need.
- 2017: The adopted FY 2017/2018 budget included $1.7 million to support the primary healthcare program. In addition, at the April 2017 Budget Workshop, staff presented a status update on the Healthcare Competitive Provider Reimbursement Pool including several recommendations to enhance the efficiencies and effectiveness of the Carenet Program; all of which were adopted by the Board.
- 2018: In accordance with the approved recommendations, healthcare providers were provided with revised contract agreements including definitions for the types of patient visits eligible for reimbursement and provisions in which repayment to the County would be required. County funds were utilized to draw down an additional $440,903 in Low Income Pool funding from the federal government. The FY 2019 budget also included $1.7 million to support the primary healthcare program.
- 2019: County funds were utilized to draw down an additional $696,341 in Low Income Pool funding from the federal government. The FY 2020 budget also included $1.7 million to support the primary healthcare program.
- 2020: County funds were utilized to draw down an additional $1.3 million in Low Income Pool funding from the federal government. The FY 2021 budget also included $1.7 million to support the primary healthcare program.
- 2021: County funds were utilized to draw down an additional $679,739 in Low Income Pool funding from the federal government. The FY 2022 budget also includes $1.7 million to support the primary healthcare program.
(2016-35) Explore opportunities to increase to high-speed internet access through a “mobile hot spot” library lending program.
- 2018: The FY 2018 budget included $13,250 to support a “mobile hot spot” pilot project that was launched in June 2018. At any of the Library’s locations, one of the 24 mobile hot spot devices with a limit of 2.5 GB could be reserved and checked out for two (2) weeks. Continued funding of the program was included in the FY 2019 budget.
- 2019: Continued funding of the program was included in the FY 2020 budget and allowed or the purchase of 11 additional devices to meet demand.
- 2020: During the pandemic, the Library promoted its mobile hot spot program as option for households in need of internet for working or going to school remotely. During FY 2020, mobile hot spots were checked out almost 400 times.
- 2021: In December 2021, the County’s Library was awarded a Federal Communications Commission Emergency Connectivity Fund grant in the amount of $78,998 for a one-time of purchase of both equipment (Wi-Fi hotspots, tablets and laptops) and associated broadband and support services for patrons of the Leon County Library.
(2017-9) Continue to work with the Florida Department of Transportation for safety improvements on State and County roadways to include accessibility enhancements, street lighting installations, sidewalk additions, safety audits, and intersection improvements.
- 2017: Leon County began coordinating with the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) to add streetlights at intersections included in the Street Lighting Project List. In addition, Leon County coordinated with FDOT to complete safety enhancements on several roads including Lafayette Street, Old Bainbridge Road and Knots Lane, and Old Bainbridge Road from S.R. 63 (U.S. 27) to the Gadsden County line.
- 2018: Leon County coordinated with FDOT to implement safety enhancements on Smith Creek Road from South of the Fire Department to State Road 20 and on Woodville Highway from Old Woodville Highway to the Wakulla County line. Additional enhancements began on Oak Ridge Road and Wakulla Springs Road and North Monroe from Harriet Drive to Clara Kee Boulevard.
- 2019: Leon County coordinated with FDOT to complete safety enhancements on Woodville Highway from Old Woodville Highway to the Wakulla County line, Oak Ridge Road and Wakulla Springs Road, and on North Monroe from Harriet Drive to Clara Kee Boulevard.
- 2020: Staff continued to explore grant opportunities through FDOT's Safe Routes to School Program to complete the Safe Routes to School sidewalk list. In January 2020, Public Works began the required survey and data collection process in anticipation of the grant cycle opening from September – December. Additionally, on November 17, 2020, the Board approved a Resolution in support of an FDOT grant application to construct Safe Route to School Sidewalk projects on Woodville Highway, Canyon Creek Road, Shumard Road, Westway Road and Sherborne Road
- 2021: On June 8, 2021, the Board approved a new State Highway Lighting, Maintenance, and Compensation Agreement with FDOT. The Agreement specifies the County’s responsibilities to maintain the lighting and/or lighting systems on the State Highway System in the unincorporated area of Leon County and authorizes the County to receive annual reimbursement for maintenance costs. Additionally, design commenced in April 2021 for FDOT-funded safety enhancements on Old Bainbridge Road at Capital Circle Northwest. After the design is completed in early 2022, another agreement will be brought back to the Board to receive funding from FDOT for construction.
(2017-10) As part of sense of place initiative for Miccosukee, evaluate the opportunity to combine activities from the existing community center into the Old Concord School.
- 2018: At the April 2018 Budget Workshop, the Board accepted the Miccosukee Rural Community Sense of Place Plan, including objectives such as consolidating and enhancing the County’s Miccosukee Community Center with the amenities at the Concord School site and centralizing the available public services in the area by incorporating the community center function into the Concord School. In addition, the Board adopted a funding strategy to support renovation of the Old Concord School.
- 2019: Staff continued to support and assist the Miccosukee Working Group in identifying the needs of its community and evaluating the future of the community center. In support of several other goals of the Miccosukee Sense of Place Plan, the Department of State and Florida State University engaged the Miccosukee Working Group to archive and conduct oral histories. Initial discussions about Future Land Use, Zoning, and the Residential Preservation Overlay were led by staff, as well as a public open house held on the Future Land Use Element Update of the Comprehensive Plan.
- 2021: On February 16, 2021, the Board accepted the final status report on the Miccosukee Sense of Place Plan, which included several recommendations regarding the Old Concord School. Following the Board’s acceptance of the status update, staff proceeded with identifying a project architect to develop multiple concept designs and oversee implementation of the renovation. Additionally, staff developed an engagement plan with the architect to ensure community input is considered throughout the project’s design. The concept designs will ensure the building meets current building codes, is visually appealing, and can meet versatile programming uses. After incorporating community feedback, a final design, project timelines, and estimated cost will be developed. At minimum, the renovation will include building systems such as air conditioning, plumbing and electrical along with a new visual appeal of flooring, paint, windows, and furniture.
(2018-7) Enhance partnership with CareerSource to increase job and economic opportunities for local veterans.
- Since the December 2018 Board Retreat, staff from various departments including Human Services and Community Partnerships, Human Resources, Library Services, Office of Economic Vitality (OEV), and the Office of Intervention and Detention Alternatives have been collaborating with CareerSource Capital Region to enhance the County’s partnership in support of the newly adopted Strategic Initiative. The County and CareerSource are continuing several on-going efforts in this area such as OEV’s discussions of opportunities that exist for talent development for local veterans during business consultations; Career Coaching and Resume Review sessions available throughout the library branches to reach all areas of the community; partnership with Veterans Treatment Court in collaboration with the 2nd Judicial Circuit; and the multitude of services and referrals provided by the Veteran Services Division.
The County’s partnership with Career Source Capital Region has also been strengthened through the implementation of new programs or services designed to increase job and economic opportunities for local veterans. In April 2019, Human Resources began sending welcome letters to veterans applying for employment with the County to first, thank them for their service to their country and community and secondly, to provide information on programs and services available to them at the local, state, and federal levels. To effectively measure the impact of these initiatives, CSCR has developed a local code in the state’s Employ Florida database that will identify individuals served, provided services, and participant outcomes for veterans referred from Leon County Government to CSCR for assistance.
As the County continues enhancing this partnership, staff have collaborated with CareerSource to highlight national events for veterans such as “National Hire A Veterans Day” as well as local events such as CSCR’s “Veterans Connect Sessions” providing an environment for veterans to network, talk, and learn about benefits.
(2018-8) Develop a formal policy to implement the private dirt road safety stabilization program to be funded through L.I.F.E. (2% of sales tax extension).
- 2019: During the June 2019 Budget Workshop, the Board approved a proposed L.I.F.E. Rural Road Safety Stabilization Program Policy and an associated Resolution establishing the Program as a paramount public purpose. The Policy established uniform procedures to ensure proper accountability and legal consistency in administering and managing the roadway improvements associated with this program. The application cycle was subsequently opened to the public in August 2019.
Given the significant limited financial ability of some neighborhoods to properly maintain their roads, the Policy and the associated Resolution established the paramount public purpose to dedicate a portion of L.I.F.E. funding for the repair and improvement of private dirt roads in which property owners are deemed low-income without sufficient financial means to properly maintain their roads to a safe minimum standard.
- 2020: Public Works and CMR implemented several promotion and outreach strategies for the Rural Road Stabilization program including, news advisories, targeted Facebook and Nextdoor ads, printed door hangers, and rural County Library displays. Public Works staff continues to provide information on the program with citizens who currently utilize the County’s private road repair program. However, the COVID-19 pandemic halted a door-to-door outreach campaign which would have targeted neighborhoods that could potentially be eligible for the program. Despite these barriers, the County was able to complete three (3) projects during FY 2020.
- 2021: To date, the County has received 34 applications for the program, of which eight (8) projects have been completed and one (1) is currently awaiting scheduling:
- Mamie Lane (.138 miles);
- Daniel Lee Trail (.091 miles):
- Johnherb Lane (.092 miles);
- Willie Frances Trail (.135 miles); and
- Backforest Lane (.30 miles;)
- Minnie Rose Lane (0.280 miles);
- Kinfolks Loop (0.721 miles);
- Silver Branch Drive (0.717 miles); and
- Kin Crosse Lane (.176 miles. Awaiting scheduling)
Of the remaining 25 applications, eight (8) did not meet the minimum program eligibility criteria and 17 are pending further evaluation. Public Works staff is currently working with these applicants to submit the required right-of-entry and income verification forms.
(2018-9) Conduct a comprehensive human service needs assessment in order to align CHSP funding with the highest human services needs in the community.
- On January 28, 2020, the Board was presented with the CHSP Needs Assessment Report that was conducted by the Center for Health Equity (CHE), along with several options prepared by County staff to improve the CHSP process and to optimize our limited human services funding to address the greatest human services needs of the community. The item also included a peer review of the needs assessment conducted by Dr. Gary VanLandingham, Professor at the Askew School to provide an additional independent evaluation of the needs assessment’s methodology and findings. According to the Peer Review, the needs assessment utilized a reasonable approach and methodology for collecting data. However, the peer review found insufficiencies with the methodology utilized for developing the funding allocations and ultimately recommended additional analysis should be conducted to determine the highest human service needs in the community and offered technical assistance that could be provided by the Askew School to perform the additional analysis. At that time the Board did not move forward with the recommendation of the Peer Review to engage the Askew School and instead approved the following options:
- Create a new CHSP Promise Zone category funded by both the County and City by expanding the Promise Zone area to include additional high poverty census tracts (generally found in the 32304 area), and direct staff to provide options for the level of County funding for CHSP and the Promise Zone to be considered as part of the upcoming budget process.
- Refine the outcome measures presented in the Needs Assessment with human service stakeholders to be implemented in the second year of the upcoming cycle.
It is important to note that with the exception of the Promise Zone category, the Board’s action maintained the existing CHSP human service categories and current funding allocations assigned to each category.
Subsequently, on January 29, 2020, the City Commission was presented the CHSP Needs Assessment Report and provided similar options by City staff as presented in the agenda item. The City Commission approved the following options:
- Direct the City Manager that the current CHSP human service categories and funding formulas for those categories be maintained for the upcoming CHSP funding cycle.
- Approve the proposed expansion of the Promise Zone boundaries to include additional low-income census tracts with the condition that the County provides additional funding to support Promise Zone funding category.
- Direct the City Manager to coordinate with the County to review the proposal from the Askew School of Public Policy to develop additional analysis and recommendations regarding the Needs Assessment and provide the City Commission with any recommendations for further action.
On February 11, 2020, the Board requested a status report on the options approved by the Board and the City Commission. On February 25, 2020 following several requests from UPHS, the Board directed staff to draft an agenda item for consideration of coordinating with the City to engage the FSU Askew School of Public Policy to conduct a peer review of the Needs Assessment, evaluate the programs funded by CHSP, and provide recommendations for uniform outcome measures to determine the effectiveness of the programs in addressing the highest human service needs in the community.
On December 14, 2021, the Board adopted the uniform performance measures developed by the FSU Askew School of Public Policy. These measures will go into effect during the upcoming two-year funding cycle (FY 2023 and FY 2024). Additionally, at this time, the Board authorized the County Administrator to develop a Memorandum of Understanding with the City of Tallahassee and the Children’s Services Council of Leon County to partner on opportunities to collaborate and coordinate on the funding, program delivery, program evaluation, and outcome measures for children and family services, for consideration by the Board at a future meeting.
(2018-10) Implement practices and strategies to further enhance the response to mass casualty incidents; including, the delivery of Stop the Bleed campaign training which teaches citizens how to assist someone suffering from major bleeding.
- 2018: At the February 27, 2018 meeting, the Board accepted a $15,000 grant from the Big Bend Health Care Coalition for equipment and supplies which assist EMS in providing medical response in the event of a mass causality incident. At this time, Leon County EMS also incorporated Stop the Bleed training in community CPR trainings, where appropriate. Information about the Stop the Bleed campaign and training were incorporated into the County’s social media messages.
- 2019: Stop the Bleed Kits were placed at AED sites throughout County facilities and, in November 2019, the County’s Leadership Team participated in Stop the Bleed training.
- 2020: In partnership with the Big Bend Healthcare Coalition and Leon County Schools, additional Stop the Bleed kits have been deployed to all K-12 schools. EMS has implemented changes to standard operating guidelines and continues to work with first response agencies in the development of a hostile event response strategy as well as joint training exercises.
- 2021: EMS staff continues to plan joint training and exercises with partner first response agencies which had been delayed due to COVID-19. Additionally, in May 2021, EMS was awarded a grant from the Big Bend Healthcare Coalition to purchase a trailer to transport a mass casualty shelter and specialty response equipment.
(2018-11) Continue to evaluate the effectiveness of our existing County supported re-entry programs, explore other opportunities to further enhance re-entry efforts, and work with the Supervisor of Elections to assist former felons with registering to vote.
- 2019: At the April 2019 Budget Workshop, the Board was provided with a status report on the Supervised Pretrial Release Program including an analysis on the impacts of eliminating pretrial release program fees. Additionally, IDA implemented the Pretrial Assessment Tool (PAT) of the Ohio Risk Assessment System (ORAS), coordinated with Department of Children and Families to provide Trauma Informed Care to Probation/Pretrial Officers, and participated in monthly Big Bend After Reentry Coalition (BBARC) meetings to stay informed on services and events available through community partners.
To support the Supervisor of Elections’ efforts to assist former offenders with voter registration, Supervisor Early was invited to present at the Board’s February 12, 2019 meeting. During the presentation, Supervisor Early advised the Board that no additional guidance from the Legislature was needed for his office to proceed with voter registration; however, his office will continue to work with the Legislature and the State in providing data. IDA also collaborated with the Supervisor of Elections Office to distribute information regarding voter rights restoration in the IDA office and website.
- 2020: On July 14, 2020, the Board approved a grant match of in-kind contributions required for the establishment of Apalachee Center’s Forensic Intervention and Re-Entry Services Team (FIRST) to increase mental health services to individuals involved in the criminal justice system. The County contributed approximately $207,000 utilizing existing staff and office space to meet the required match of in-kind contributions and support the objectives of FIRST.
- 2021: To support this Initiative, IDA continues to provide the Public Safety Coordinating Council (PSCC) with quarterly reports from programs receiving funding through the Board approved diversionary account. The updates ensure services and outcomes align with the County's goal to reduce recidivism and the inmate population.
(2018-12) Implement a minimum grid bicycle route network.
- In furtherance of implementing the minimum grid bicycle route network, the Tallahassee-Leon County Planning Department coordinated with Blueprint Infrastructure to develop a Facilities Gap Analysis that identified approximately 150 miles of potential facilities gaps in between existing and planned bicycle facilities, that can be further vetted through the public process and evaluated for feasibility, appropriate facility type, and potential alternatives. After further coordination between the two (2) departments, Blueprint presented a proposed FY 2022 work program for the Blueprint 2020 Build the Bike Route System (BRS) project to the IA Board at their May 27, 2021 Budget Workshop. This work program will provide funding to Greenways Master Plan projects with bicycle facility components, as well as guide implementation activities on 10.7 miles of previously approved and proposed BRS projects.
(2020-5) Implement text-to-911 in coordination with the Consolidated Dispatch Agency so that individuals in emergency situations may text 911 call takers.
- In June 2021, Leon County launched text-to-911, a service that allows citizens to send a text message directly to 9-1-1 for assistance in the event they are unable to make a voice call. Over the last six (6) months, the County and the Consolidated Dispatch Agency worked with the text-to-911 vendor to complete the installation of technical infrastructure and provide training to staff. Currently, County Community & Media Relations and the Consolidated Dispatch Agency are working jointly on a public information campaign to educate residents about how and when to use text-to-911 services.
(2020-7) Coordinate with community partners to implement training for parents and students on the safe use of online applications.
- To support Leon County youth and adults in starting a conversation and practicing safe online behavior, the Library has developed a list of resources on the “Parent’s Page” of its website. These resources are grouped according to their intended age range (elementary or middle & high school) and include links to websites like NetSmartz, a project of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children which aims to help children to become more aware of potential online risks and empowering them to making safer choices on- and offline. In addition, in December 2020, the Library and Community & Media Relations launched a public information and awareness campaign stressing online and digital safety in advance of the holidays when a large number of youth and teens receive new devices. To continue building upon these efforts, the Library is exploring possible partnerships with local law enforcement agencies that typically offer in-person training on this topic but have temporarily suspended these programs due to the pandemic.
(2021-5) Coordinate with the City of Tallahassee in pursuing designation as an AARP Age-Friendly Community Network to enhance the community’s livability for residents of all ages.
- On March 10, 2020, the Board was presented with an agenda item providing an overview of the AARP Network of Age-Friendly States and Communities, including a review of the application process, membership requirements, and options for joining the network. At this time, the Board directed staff to pursue the designation in coordination with the City of Tallahassee. Following the Board’s direction, staff began coordinating with relevant community partners to develop a draft workplan and successfully complete the application process this summer. Representatives from AARP presented Leon County with the AARP Age-Friendly Designation during the Board’s September 14, 2021 meeting.
(2021-6) Relocate the proposed Northeast Park to the Welaunee area and support Blueprint accelerating the funding of the project in coordination with the Northeast Gateway project.
- During the January 26, 2021 meeting, the Board authorized the County Administrator to initiate selling the parcel of property at Proctor Road and Thomasville Road and negotiate for the purchase of the parcel on Centerville Road adjacent to the Montford Middle and Roberts Elementary Schools for the purpose of developing a Northeast Park subject to the Blueprint IA Board’s approval to modify the location of the Northeast Park project description. On April 8, 2021, the IA Board held the second and final public hearing to approve the amendments to the Northeast Park project description. At the May 27, 2021 Budget Workshop, the IA then voted to advance the full funding of the project through planned bond issuances at $10 million within the FY 2022 – 2026 Capital Improvement Plan. Most recently, at the December 14, 2021 meeting, the Board authorized the sale of the property on Proctor Road and Thomasville Road. Proceeds from the sale will be used to purchase the land needed to relocate the Northeast Park off Centerville Road.
(2021-7) Evaluate and implement options to address chronic speeding and traffic issues in the Northeast and along Deer Lake Road.
- On February 16, 2021, the Board adopted a new Traffic Calming Program Policy which revised the criteria to allow traffic calming on minor collector roads such as Deer Lake Road. Following the Board’s decision, the new Policy and program requirements were submitted to the Killearn Lakes Homeowners Association (HOA). At this time, an HOA representative advised County staff that the HOA Board of Directors did not want to proceed with traffic calming on Deer Lake Road at this time. As of the writing of this report, the County has not received petitions from 75% or more of the property owners abutting Deer Lake Road, which is required by the Policy to participate in the Traffic Calming Program.
However, the County has been able to move forward with some traffic safety enhancements that do not require a petition. For example, asphalt curbing was installed from Killearn Point Ct south to Deer Lake Elementary School to separate the sidewalk from the edge of pavement. In addition, a speed study was performed by staff and considers the installation of speed feedback signs at the bottom of the hill between Golden Eagles entrance and Kinhega Drive to make drivers more aware of their speed.
(2021-8) Implement targeted outreach and education to minority communities to encourage vaccinations.
- On January 26, 2021, the Board approved the coordinated public health communications plan to build trust and confidence in the COVID-19 vaccine and authorized the County Administrator to execute any related public relations agreements. As detailed in the plan, the campaign is intended to target minority and disadvantaged communities. For campaign creation and dissemination, CARES funding was allocated in the amount of $175,000.
On March 9, 2021, the Board then voted to authorize the County Administrator, in working with community partners, to immediately utilize an additional $500,000 to support targeted outreach and engagement in communities of color in order to build trust and confidence in the COVID-19 vaccine. Immediately following Board’s decision, the County began convening coordinating calls with the Vaccination Community Education and Engagement Task Force, Bond Community Health Center, Neighborhood Medical Center, and Florida Department of Health in Leon County. As a result of these meetings, the group established the goal of reaching 10,000 households in in targeted neighborhoods that FDOH has identified in their vaccine hesitancy assessment.
Additionally, in the less than a week following the Board’s direction, County staff executed an agreement with Dr. Elaine Bryant to administer the outreach program and employ 30 community health advocates in street teams. Leon County also amended the agreements with Bond and Neighborhood for COVID-19 testing to include vaccination clinics in targeted communities. As a result of these efforts, the County has reached over 23,500 households, vaccinated more than 4,500 people in underserved communities, and reached almost 5,000 attendees at expos, town halls, and other community meetings.
During the May 25, 2021 Budget Workshop, the Board approved the expenditure of $331,000 in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to continue supporting vaccine hesitancy engagement and promotion efforts in partnership with the Vaccination Community Education and Engagement Task Force. The City has also allocated $269,000 for a total of $600,000 to support this initiative until December 30, 2021.
(2021-9) Develop a plan to address poverty and inequities in 32304 in collaboration with the City and other community partners.
- On November 9, 2021, the Board was presented with a comprehensive report on programs, services, initiatives, and events adopted and implemented by the County and other community partners to address poverty and inequities in communities and neighborhoods within the 32304 zip code. Additionally, the report presented plans that were developed by residents of the neighborhoods in 32304. At this time the Board approved several recommendations to better coordinate, align, and enhance existing County programs and services with these plans to continue to improve the neighborhoods in collaboration with community partners. Additionally, the Board directed staff to provide a status report on these efforts in three (3) months and annually thereafter.
(2021-10) Create a Citizen’s North Monroe Street Task Force with City of Tallahassee participation, staffed by the City/County Planning Department charged with identifying opportunities to reduce crime and improve conditions along the North Monroe Corridor between Fred George Road and Tharpe Street.
- On April 13, 2021, the Board approved a Resolution to establish a 12-member Citizens’ North Monroe Corridor Task Force with members appointed by both the County and the City. The Task Force held five (5) immersive sessions and three (3) follow-up meetings. The immersive sessions provided community data and analyses, presentations from field experts, and "deep dive" discussions for each topic. The follow-up meetings were held to identify and refine the findings and opportunities to develop actionable action items for the Board’s consideration. On December 14, 2021, the Task Force’s Final Report was presented to the Board resulting in the adoption of 16 recommendations in the categories of Making Corridor Improvements, Response to Crime & Human Trafficking, and Response to Homelessness.
(2021-11) Working with community partners, develop possible options for those struggling with food insecurity by utilizing the results of Feeding Florida’s recent study on food insecurity that provides granular information down to the neighborhood block group level.
- On November 9, 2021, the Board was presented with an analysis of Feeding Florida’s recent study to determine the number of Leon County residents missing meals. At this time, staff recommended, and the Board authorized staff to partner with America’s Second Harvest of the Big Bend to conduct community meetings in collaboration with the City of Tallahassee in order to determine barriers that exacerbate food insecurity in the neighborhood block groups.
Quality of Life – In Progress
(2016-25) Complete a comprehensive review and revision to the Land Use Element of the Comprehensive Plan, including a review of inclusionary housing.
- In fall 2021, a, RFP was released for consultant services to update the Land Use Element of the Comprehensive Plan. The RFP included a review of inclusionary housing.
(2020-6) In coordination with the Leon County Health Department, work to identify an operator for a local Syringe Exchange Program.
- On December 10, 2019, the Board conducted the first and only public hearing to adopt an Ordinance authorizing the establishment of a sterile needle and syringe exchange program in Leon County. Following the public hearing, County staff and representatives from the Leon County Health Department convened all local healthcare partners that are eligible to operate a syringe exchange program under Section 381.0038, Florida Statutes. At this time, only Bond Community Health Center expressed an interest in serving as the County’s program operator. However, both Bond and the Health Department asked that efforts to establish the program be delayed while their organizations focused on COVID-19 testing and vaccination.
During the summer of 2021, staff from the County and the Health Department reconvened with Bond to discuss the statutory requirements for operating a syringe exchange program as well as the anticipated program costs. County staff also coordinated meetings with both Bond and Palm Beach County to discuss their new program to outreach, operations, and methods to meet the deliverables of the statutory requirements. Unfortunately, in August 2021, Bond informed the County that it did not have the resources to establish this type of program given that Florida Statue prohibits the use of state, county, or municipal funds to operate an exchange.
Following Bond’s decision, the eligible healthcare partners were reconvened on September 30, 2021 to discuss the establishment of a syringe exchange program. They were also asked to notify County staff by October 22, 2021 if their organizations were interested exploring the opportunity to become the County’s program operator. Only Big Bend Cares responded and notified staff that their board of directs planned to hold several meetings to discuss the topic. Their next meeting is scheduled for January 25, 2022 and will include a presentation from University of Miami on Miami-Dade County’s program.
Governance – Completed
(2016-36) Alongside community partners, engage citizens of diverse backgrounds, education, and age on issues that matter most to them through the Citizen Engagement Series and Club of Honest Citizens.
- 2017: Events during FY 2017: CES Let’s Balance, CES Disaster Preparedness, Longest Table, three (3) Library Lecture Series, FSU’s the Big Event, Created Equal and a number of Village Square events.
- 2018: Events during FY 2018: Created Equal, The Big Event, Longest Table, four (4) Library Lecture Series, CES Disaster Preparedness, two (2) Village Square events, and the Let’s Balance Budget Game as part of Leadership Tallahassee’s program.
- 2019: Events during FY 2019: Created Equal ”Ode to Understanding,” three (3) Library Lecture Series events, Eric Klinenberg: Palaces for the People event, Let’s Balance Budget Game as part of Leadership Tallahassee’s program, “How Do We Grow from Here” event with Village Square, CES Disaster Preparedness, and The Big Event.
- 2020: Events during FY 2020: Created Equal “60th Anniversary of Tallahassee Lunch Counter Sit-ins,” two (2) in-person Library Lecture Series events featuring local musician Royce Lovett and the other award-winning science fiction author Jeff VanderMeer, and one (1) virtual Library Lecture Series event “The Great Spaces Summit with Suzanne Nienaber” held in partnership with the Center for Active Design, the Knight Creative Communities Institute (KCCI) and the Knight Foundation.
- 2021: Events during FY 2021: the Village Square Annual Town Hall, Created Equal: “Stretching Towards Freedom, A Conversation about Florida Emancipation Day,” and one (1) virtual Library Lecture Series event “The Queens English: The LGBTQIA+ Dictionary of Lingo & Colloquial Phrases.”
(2016-37) Continue to Support Commissioner Desloge during his term as NACo President.
- Staff continued to assist Commissioner Desloge as needed until his term ended on July 24, 2017. Staff provided assistance with large events including NACo’ s 2017 Legislative Conference and 2017 Annual Conference in addition to hosing the 2016 NACo Fall Board meeting.
(2016-38) In accordance with the Leon County Charter, convene a Charter Review Committee to review the Leon County Home Rule Charter and propose any amendments or revisions which may be advisable for placement on the general election ballot.
- The 2017/2018 Leon County Citizen Charter Review Committee conducted six (6) meetings and three (3) public hearings between November 9, 2017 and February 8, 2018. The Committee’s Final Report and recommendations were presented to the Board on February 27, 2018. The Board voted to place on the 2018 General Election ballot one charter amendment requiring the adoption of a Code of Ethics by Ordinance. On November 6, 2018, the charter amendment passed with support from approximately 77% of voters.
(2016-39) Implement migration from Groupwise to Microsoft Outlook to better integrate with other software applications that utilize automated notifications, workflows and approvals.
- 2018: During the April 2018 Budget Workshop, the Board approved the proposal for migration to Microsoft Outlook. To determine the requirements for configuration planning, MIS met with Technical Liaisons for all County Agencies and Departments. The migration was completed in December 2018.
- 2019: MIS continues to provide training and assistance to employees including Lunch and Learn events as well as extensive reference guides and information videos available through the County’s Intranet site. In addition, MIS has begun to replace other paid software with available Outlook software products. For example, Survey Monkey has been replaced with Outlook Forms and Dropbox has been replaced with Outlook One Drive. The transition to the latter will provided a cost savings of approximately $16,000 - $30,000.
- 2020: MIS launched and provided staff training for Microsoft Teams, a unified communication and collaboration platform that allows for video meetings, file storage, and application integration.
- 2021: MIS is currently evaluating options to streamline the agenda review process with the Microsoft software OneDrive and Flow.
(2016-40) Continue the deployment of an updated permitting system that is modernized to use mobile and online technologies.
- 2017: In January 2017, DSEM implemented the new Accela Citizen Access (ACA) permit tracking and enforcement software including the mobile application for Building Inspection staff and for public use. In addition, all inspectors were outfitted with smartphones and tablet devices to utilize the software in the field.
- 2018: In FY 2018, code compliance was integrated into the ACA software.
- 2019: DSEM and MIS worked to complete several additional enhancements to the permitting system intended to further improve customer service and reduce plan review times. These include:
- Contracting with private sector plans reviewers to expedite the permit process.
- Modifications to allow for online submission of commercial as well as residential permits
- A flat fee methodology for residential building permits and an online building fee estimator (developed with stakeholders in FY 2018 and approved by the Board in early FY 2019).
- A Permits Issued Report and a Days to Approval Report which allow tracking of permit turnaround times.
- A “Waived Fee” payment type for Veterans Preference permits as well as permits related to Hurricane Michael and Baum Road Tornado damage.
- Launch of ProjectDox, an online plan review software.
- Automated scheduling of inspections when a permit application is submitted.
- Automated email notifications to environmental inspectors when an electrical release is requested.
- Automated email notifications for expiring permits.
- 2020: DSEM and MIS continued to implement enhancements to the system including GIS mapping of Leon County permits over the last 10 years and automated generation and emailing of the Certificate of Completion and Certificate of Occupancy to the applicant.
- 2021: Several enhancements to the permitting system are currently underway including the launch of Selectron and ePermits Hub. Selectron that will add interactive text messaging capabilities, and the ePermits Hub will streamline the permitting process and revolutionize how developers coordinate and communicate with DSEM by allowing remote applications, collaboration, tracking, and permitting.
(2016-41) Continue County sponsorship of employees’ participation in the Certified Public Manager (CPM) training.
- 2017: Four (4) Leon County employees graduated from FSU’s CPM Program in 2017.
- 2018: Four (4) new employees began participating in the CPM program.
- 2019: Three (3) Leon County employees graduated from FSU’s CPM Program in 2019.
- 2020: A new class of five (5) employees began the two-year program. These employees are slated for graduation in 2022 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
(2016-42) Seek opportunities for partnerships through NACo and FAC’s enterprise programs.
- Leon County continues to participate in several NACo and FAC enterprise programs including:
- NACo's Live Healthy Program which offers residents prescription, dental, and other health discounts at no cost or for a small monthly fee;
- NACo and FAC’s joint Deferred Compensation Program with Nationwide Retirement Solutions;
- NACo and FAC’s Life Insurance Program with Boston Mutual;
- NACo's U.S. Communities Government Purchasing Alliance; and
- The Florida Municipal Insurance Trust Property and Workers Compensation Program, a partnership with FAC and the Florida League of Cities.
Leon County Administration also continues to regularly discuss and evaluate new opportunities for partnership through their respective enterprise programs.
(2016-43) Continue to explore opportunities for efficiency and cost savings through intergovernmental functional consolidation where appropriate.
- 2017: In May 2017, staff pursued working with the City to evaluate the overall consolidation of animal control and/or animal shelter operations. Several preliminary meetings were conducted to discuss this matter; however, City staff indicated that the City has other higher priorities it is focused on and is unable to commit the resources to discuss this issue further with the County. The County and City of Tallahassee also collaborated on two (2) new joint efforts: (1) the shared Animal Abuser Registry and (2) the Tallahassee-Leon County Affordable Housing Workgroup.
- 2018: During FY 2018, through the consolidated Minority, Women and Small Business Enterprise (MWSBE) office, the County and City of Tallahassee implemented a joint disparity study. The County and City also proceeded with establishing a new CHSP agreement in light of the United Way’s decision to conduct a separate funds distribution process. In addition, both the City and County collaborated on a Joint Alternative Mobility Funding Systems Study.
- 2020: In FY 2020, as recommended by the joint disparity study, the Board approved a consolidated MWSBE policy with the City of Tallahassee. During this year, the County and City also jointly contracted with SCS Engineers to identify alternative long-term strategies for the future of the Single-Stream Recycling program in addition to implementing a cost sharing agreement to finance the purchase of a Bell 505 Ranger Helicopter for the Sheriff’s Office Aviation Unit.
- 2021: In FY 2021, the County implemented several efficiencies in coordination with the Sheriff. First, the County is currently partnering with the Sheriff to launch a pilot video visitation and family literacy program at the Main Library. Additionally, maintenance of the Detention Facility was consolidated under the County’s Facilities Management Division. As outlined in the July 2020 Budget Workshop, the County historically provided funding to the Sheriff to perform maintenance at the Detention Facility. This funding included nine (9) positions and related operating costs such as utilities. To increase operational efficiencies with the Detention Facility maintenance, the existing Sheriff facility maintenance staff were transferred to Leon County Facilities Management.
During the first half of the year, the County also worked extensively with the City to identify any remaining community needs resulting from the COVID-19 public health emergency. As a result, the County and City worked to develop and jointly fund several programs on a countywide basis. The cost-sharing arrangement with the City allows both entities to leverage a significant portion of their American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding to address food insecurity, small business needs, and homelessness support as part of a highly coordinated, communitywide plan.
(2016-44) Evaluate establishing a living wage for County employees and continue to provide opportunities for industry certifications and training for those employees in skilled craft, paraprofessional, and technician positions.
- 2017: As part of the FY 2018 budget process, the Board established a living wage of $12.00/hour.
- 2018: Human Resources launched the new Leon Learns Training Portal which connects county employees to training opportunities being offered by Human Resources as well as local and national training institutions. Through this system staff may sign-up for training, see training offered by outside entities and request specific training. Human Resources is developing several professional development courses and launched two (2) new trainings this year: New Supervisor Training (0-3 years) and “Dealing with Difficult People.”
- 2019: As a part of the FY 2020 budget process, the County evaluated the EMS Pay Plan and made adjustments to align the plan with the market. Additionally, at the April 23, 2019 Budget Workshop, the Board directed staff to review establishing a $13 per hour living wage for County employees as part of the FY 2021 budget process.
- 2020: During the November 2020 General Election, Florida voters approved Amendment #2, which gradually raises the Florida minimum wage to 15.00/hour by 2026. Since Leon County’s living wage was still above the published minimum wage for Leon County and in light of the State’s planned minimum wage increase, the Board kept the County’s living wage at $12/hour.
- 2021: At the May 25, 2021 Budget Workshop, the Board was presented with an analysis and recommendations regarding staff pay adjustments. At this time, the Board voted to establish a minimum living wage of $14/hour effective October 1, 2021 for all Leon County employees.
(2017-11) Partner with the Federal Alliance for Safe Housing (FLASH) to become the nation’s first #HurricaneStrong county.
- 2018: During the National Hurricane Conference on March 28, 2018, FLASH declared Leon County as the Nation's first #HurricaneStrong Community. During the year, Leon County Emergency Management continued to partner with FLASH on the County’s annual hurricane preparedness activities including hosting a new Business Ready Workshop.
- 2019: The 2019 Hurricane Season Kickoff press conference was held on May 31, 2019 and included participation from FLASH. Additionally, Assistant to the County Administrator Mathieu Cavell was selected to serve on the FLASH National Outreach Advisory Council.
- 2020: Leon County staff coordinated with FLASH to present at both the National Hurricane Conference in April and the National Disaster Resilience Conference in November 2019.
- 2021: Leon County continues to coordinate with FLASH on the County’s annual hurricane preparedness activities.
(2017-12) As part of Leon County’s Citizen Engagement Series, conduct an annual “Created Equal” event to strengthen the County’s commitment in tackling difficult subjects.
- 2017: On January 4, 2017, the County hosted the second Created Equal event with the Village Square at the Moon. Over 500 citizens were in attendance.
- 2018: On January 9, 2018, Leon County hosted the third annual Created Equal event with the Village Square at The Moon. Over 630 people registered to attend the event. Per the Board's direction, on February 13, 2018, staff presented, and the Board approved, a proposal to collaborate with the Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra and The Village Square to host the 2019 Created Equal event and approved an additional $10,000 be included in the FY 2019 budget. The FY 2019 budget included a total of $20,000 for Leon County to be the title sponsor of the event.
- 2019: On March 31, 2019, Leon County hosted “Ode to Understanding” in partnership with the Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra and the Village Square. The event was held at the Ruby Diamond Concert Hall and sold out with 1,200 attendees.
- 2020: On February 13, 2020, Leon County hosted the fifth annual Crated Equal event, which focused on the 60th Anniversary of Tallahassee Lunch Counter Sit-in. More than 1,000 people registered for the event, which was held at the Moon.
- 2021: On May 21, 2021, Leon County hosted the sixth annual Created Equal event titled “Stretching Towards Freedom, A Conversation about Florida Emancipation Day.” The event was held virtually and featured speakers from across the state of Florida, including historians and community leaders in a conversation on the significance of Emancipation Day to Florida citizens.
(2017-13) Continue to support Commissioner Maddox in his efforts to become Florida Association of Counties President.
- In support of Commissioner Maddox, staff provided assistance at the FAC conferences leading up to his swearing in at the 2019 Annual Conference on June 11-14, 2019 in Orlando. In addition, staff also worked with Commissioner Maddox’s office to coordinate the presentation of the FAC Presidential Scholarship to the child of a Leon County Government employee. Staff continued to assist Commissioner Maddox as needed until his term ended in June 2020.
(2017-14) Implement the recommendations of the Hurricane Irma After-Action Report.
- During the May 22, 2018 Board meeting, a status update on the implementation of Hurricane Irma After-Action Report was presented. The status update announced that all 65 recommendations have been completed.
(2018-13) Develop an emergency management plan for controlled release of water at the C. H. Corn hydroelectric dam.
- 2018: Leon County Emergency Management performed a site visit with City of Tallahassee at the C.H. Corn Hydroelectric dam to discuss emergency notification of area residents during rain events, as well as any recorded emergency procedures for high water and water release.
- 2019: In March 2019, the City of Tallahassee decommissioned the dam and returned day-to-day operation to the State of Florida. In preparation for this transition, Emergency Management staff met with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the Leon County Sheriff's Office to draft a plan and develop procedures. At the June 18, 2019 Board meeting, staff presented an emergency management plan that outlined actions specific to the height of water at the C.H. Corn Hydroelectric dam, including the pre-deployment of barricades, notification of nearby residents who could be affected by a controlled water release, and a public safety response plan.
- 2020: A table top exercise to test the public safety response plan was conducted in March 2020.
(2018-14) Implement the recommendations of the Hurricane Michael After-Action Report.
- During the May 28, 2019 Board meeting, a status update on the implementation of Hurricane Michael After-Action Report was presented. The status update announced that all 68 recommendations have been completed. When including the Hurricane Hermine and Hurricane Irma After-Action Reports, the County has implemented a total of 213 recommendations.
(2018-15) Pursuant to the approved ballot initiative amending the County Charter, adopt an Ethics Ordinance by December 2019.
- On June 18, 2019, the Board adopted the proposed Ethics Ordinance and directed staff to review several recommendations from the organization Common Cause Florida. A revised Ethics Ordinance was presented to and adopted by the Board on December 10, 2019.
(2018-16) Explore ways to promote and build upon Leon County’s success in citizen engagement by identifying additional ways to increase the quantity and quality of citizen input opportunities.
- During the March 12, 2019 meeting, the Board was presented with and approved the County's action plan to implement this Initiative. The plan included the Club of Honest Citizens event in May 2019 "How Do We Grow from Here" as well as hosting sit-downs on social media with various County staff. As part of the plan, the County began connecting with Leon County neighborhoods through the NextDoor app and customer service feedback surveys were added to the County’s Citizen Connect portal as well as DSEM’s permitting system. To reach "cord cutters" a Roku channel was launched to stream Leon County television programming. The County also engaged a consulting firm to develop the community-wide survey in 2021 to assist with developing the next five-year Strategic Plan.
(2018-17) Evaluate incorporating social infrastructure into the comprehensive plan land use element update.
- In fall 2021, a, RFP was released for consultant services to update the Land Use Element of the Comprehensive Plan. The RFP included the development of draft policies that will support social infrastructure throughout Leon County in key locations.
(2020-8) Complete an updated Building Permit fee study.
- On Oct. 15, 2019, the Board approved a revised building permit fee methodology that implemented a flat fee for building permits versus the current fee calculated by itemizing every component from each discipline. At the same meeting, the Board also directed staff to conduct a building permit fee study as an accompaniment to the revised building fee methodology. The building permit fee study began in January 2020 but experienced several delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In late 2021, the study was finalized by MGT Consulting Group and its findings were shared with local industry representatives and citizen committees for input. The final findings and recommendations from the study will be presented to the Board as part of the upcoming Budget Workshops.
(2020-9) Implement the Leon County Essential Libraries Initiative.
- During the May 25, 2021 Budget Workshop, the Board approved a proposed plan to implement the Essential Libraries Initiative, a re-envisioning of the Leon County Public Library System to address the changing needs of residents and trends in library use. The plan includes several enhancements to the Library such as new programs and services as well as capital improvements. As part of the plan, the Board also approved the realignment of existing positions to hire a licensed social worker to serve as the Library’s first Community Resources Specialist. Additionally, several policy revisions were adopted to support the Essential Libraries Initiative including an updated Library Code of Conduct and an Enabling Resolution to add three (3) new members to the Library Advisory Board: (1) the Director of Florida State University’s Florida Center for Reading Research or a designee; (2) the Dean of FAMU’s College of Education or a designee; and (3) the Developer of Instruction Technology (Lead Media Specialist) for Leon County Public School or a designee. The Library continues to implement the Essential Libraries Initiative, including the recent launch of Family Time & Tales, a free video visitation and family literacy program for the inmates at the Leon County Detention Facility and their families.
(2020-10) To celebrate Leon County/Tallahassee bicentennial in 2024, the County will coordinate and enhance local planning efforts with government agencies, businesses, organizations, and citizens.
- A Bicentennial Committee has been formed and includes representatives from the County, City, Tallahassee Historical Society, and other community organizations and leaders. Per the County’s program funding agreement with the Council on Culture and Arts (COCA), the organization will also be a major stakeholder in the community’s 2024 Bicentennial by facilitating, implementing, coordinating, supporting and promoting Bicentennial activities among cultural organizations.
During 2021, the Committee met three (3) times to discuss marketing options as well as a logo and website for the Bicentennial.
(2020-11) Participate in the MIT Sloan School of Management USA Lab to explore opportunities to further enhance re-entry efforts.
- In 2020, Leon County was selected to participate in the MIT Sloan School of Management USA Lab. As part of the program, a team of four (4) MIT graduate students worked with Leon County staff to evaluate reentry programs for people transitioning from incarceration as well as identifying best practices and innovative models for the reentry process. The team planned initially on spending two (2) weeks working on-site; due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the students pivoted to virtual meetings. Leon County staff coordinated virtual meetings with more than 50 community stakeholders over a three-week period.
The program concluded in May 2020 with County staff attending a final virtual discussion with the students, faculty, and other community hosts on the long-lasting impacts of Coronavirus on America both socially and economically. The student teams also presented their final reports detailing their findings and recommendations on best practices and improvements to local reentry efforts. Intervention & Detention Alternatives (IDA) staff presented the final report to stakeholder groups to assist in implementing strategies to improve local reentry efforts such as more actively working with employers to hire returning citizens. Additionally, as recommended in the report, IDA began coordinating with the Big Bend AFTER Reentry Coalition (BBARC) and the Leon County Detention Facility’s Reentry and Inmate Programs for the planning and implementation of the Sheriff’s Reentry Innovative Services & Empowerment (RISE) Center. The RISE Center will provide a centralized location for returning citizens to receive case management services and provide direct connections with community organizations for services such as housing, transportation, and employment assistance.
(2020-12) In coordination with community partners, celebrate the centennial of women’s right to vote by conducting a multimodal public information/education campaign culminating with a special community event.
- In January 2020, Community & Media Relations launched a social media campaign to celebrate the centennial anniversary of women’s suffrage. Beginning in March, during Women's History Month, posting frequency was increased. Additionally, the County coordinated with the League of Women Voters and the Supervisor of Elections to support their ongoing voting awareness campaign. Staff also began working with Village Square to plan a community event celebrating the anniversary; however, the event was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
(2020-13) Support the Complete Count Committee in educating the community and promoting the 2020 Census.
- As part of the June 2019 Budget Workshop, the Board adopted a resolution establishing a 27-member Complete Count Committee (CCC) to increase awareness and participation in the 2020 Census. The Committee consisted of 12 citizens appointed by each of the County and City Commissioners as well as 10 representatives from historically hard to enumerate communities. To lead the 2020 CCC in fulfilling their charge, five (5) staff from the County, City, as well as the joint offices of Planning and Economic Vitality were also identified to serve on the Committee. Staff convened the Committee four (4) times beginning with a first meeting in October 2019 to discuss outreach strategies. Staff continued to support Committee members with their efforts as the deadline to complete the Census was extended to October due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result of the Committee’s work, Leon County achieved a census self-response rate of 63.5%. The U.S. Census Bureau anticipates publishing the National Summary File of Redistricting Data in September 2021.
(2021-12) Conduct the redistricting process as mandated by the Florida Constitution to ensure Leon County's Commission districts reflect the results of the 2020 Census.
- On April 13, 2021, the Board was presented a status report on the Commission redistricting process and schedule. On November 9, 2021, the Board reviewed the proposed updates to the County Commission Redistricting Map and directed staff to commence with a public outreach campaign to solicit feedback. As in past redistricting years, the public outreach campaign included sending mailouts all 566 residents who live within the area impacted by the proposed changes. The mailout included a link and QR code to direct residents to the County website at LeonCountyFL.gov/Redistricting where they could view the redistricting maps and submit feedback. Printed maps were also displayed at each of the County’s Library facilities. To further ensure that the public was aware of the proposed changes and able to provide feedback, all of the County’s available print, radio, television, digital, and social media resources were also utilized. On December 14, 2021, the Board held the first and only public hearing to adopt an Ordinance adjusting the boundary lines boundary lines of Districts 1 and 2.
(2021-13) Become a member of the Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE) organization and integrate initiatives and resources of GARE in human service programs such as CHSP where possible.
- On November 17, 2020, the Board approved the County’s membership with GARE and authorized the use of 2,000 in contingency funds for membership fees. At this time, the Board also directed staff to bring back a status report in six (6) months evaluating the GARE toolkit in the CHSP process and exploring the possibility to expand the use of the GARE toolkit to other County Departments. On June 8, 2021, the Board accepted a status update on integrating GARE strategies. The status update recommended several changes that will be made to the CHSP process including:
- Mandatory diversity, equity, and inclusion training for Citizen Review Teams (CRTs) and agencies;
- Requiring agencies to provide narrative descriptions of how racial equity is being advanced within its organization, programs, and services;
- Recruiting citizens with professional or personal experience in the development, adoption, and/or implementation of policies that promote racial equity, including equity officers and workplace trainers, to serve on CRTs; and
- Providing agencies with comments and recommendation related to diversity, equity, and inclusion in the CHSP award letters.
As staff continues to explore and incorporate the Toolkit into the CHSP process, where opportunities are found that might serve other departments or Countywide, HSCP will share resources and invite other departments to participate in training opportunities. For example, while exploring the GARE website, staff shared an issue brief with the Library that GARE produced, Advancing Racial Equity in Public Libraries, that identifies best practices undertaken by public libraries to advance equity in its policies and procedures. More information in the use of these practices will be provided in future updates regarding the Essential Libraries Initiative.
(2021-14) In working with community partners, bring greater community awareness of Florida Emancipation Day (May 20th).
- As in years past, County staff attended regular meetings with Knott House and other area cultural and historical organizations to bring greater community awareness to Florida Emancipation Day. Planning meetings were chaired by the Knott House and included representatives from the John G. Riley Center/Museum, 2nd Infantry Regiment United States Colored Troops Living History Association, City of Tallahassee, Leon County Libraries, Leon County Community and Media Relations, Leon County Property Appraiser's Office, Goodwood Museum, Florida Department of State, The Grove Museum, State Archives of Florida, and the State Library of Florida.
Leon County promoted the calendar of events for Florida Emancipation Day hosted by these organizations. The County also held its own Emancipation Day events including a virtual Created Equal event in coordination The Village Square and the Florida Humanities Council. Additionally, the Library launched Poets for Freedom, a program where citizens submitted videos or recordings of original poems on the topic of freedom. Book & media displays were also installed at all libraries, and staff curated a list of downloadable e-books, e-audio and online films on the topic of emancipation.
(2021-15) Provide the Children Services Council a loan to support its initial operations.
- During its May 19, 2021 meeting, the Children’s Services Council of Leon County (CSC) authorized its Chairman to request a loan from the County to support its initial operations, and work with County staff to determine the terms of an interlocal agreement. On June 8, 2021, the Board was presented with an agenda item outlining the proposed terms developed in coordination with the CSC Chairman. At this time, the Board voted to authorize the County Administrator to execute an interlocal agreement, to provide the CSC with a loan of up to $400,000 for operating expenses.
The CSC borrowed a total of $150,000 which was repaid in full to the County in December 2021.
(2021-16) Develop a public engagement coordination and planning process with the City and Big Bend Continuum of Care for the siting of all future homeless shelters and support facilities.
- On May 11, 2021, the Board was presented with a status report on the siting on homeless shelters. At this time, the Board also authorized staff to proceed with the development of an Ordinance to amend the Leon County Land Development Code pertaining to residential facilities. On November 11, 2021, the Board conducted a public hearing to adopt an Ordinance to include coordination of the establishment of a transitional residential facility with the Big Bend Continuum of Care, and to exempt temporary cold night shelters from the Land Development Code
- Baseline Data for FY 2017 – FY 2021 Targets & Bold Goals
- Implemented Citizen Ideas, Improvements, Solutions and Opportunities for Co-Creation