Municipal Minutes e-Newsletters

Municipal Minutes is an award-winning, electronic newsletter for the Gainesville community. The monthly e-newsletter provides information about upcoming activities, projects and events in the City of Gainesville. For more information about this e-newsletter, please contact the Communications Office at 334-5017. To subscribe to this monthly e-newsletter, enter your email address in the lower left area of this webpage and click subscribe.

September Featured Information

Sign up for alertGNV!: Hurricane season continues through November. Now is a great time to sign up for alertGNV.org, a new alert system that will help keep residents, city staff and emergency personnel safe and informed with fast and reliable emergency notifications and public service announcements. alertGNV will alert residents to a variety of events, ranging from severe weather, fires, floods, hurricanes and other emergencies, to more routine announcements such as road closures and utility maintenance. Messages will be sent to residents on their preferred method of contact – cell phone, SMS, home phone, email, fax and more – to ensure real-time access to potentially lifesaving information.

Holiday Closing: In observance of the Labor Day holiday, city offices will be closed Monday, Sept. 3. The Regional Transit System (RTS) will provide holiday service, which runs between 7:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m., to routes 1, 2, 5, 8, 10, 13, 15, 16, 20, 26, 35, 43, 75 and 711. Paratransit service will be available during the same service hours. Please visit the RTS website and schedule pages at http://go-rts.com for more information. Residential curbside collection of refuse will not be affected by this holiday.

U.S. Navy Band Concert - Sept. 4: America's Navy is coming to Gainesville. The United States Navy Band, Country Current, is performing at Bo Diddley Plaza (111 E. University Ave.) Tuesday, Sept. 4 at 7 p.m. Gainesville is one of nine cities in four states to host a performance by the United States Navy Band during its 2018 tour. Country Current is the Navy’s premiere country-bluegrass ensemble, renowned for its versatility and phenomenal musicianship. Country Current performs a blend of modern country music and cutting-edge bluegrass. The U.S. Navy Band has been touring the country since 1925, and is based at the Washington Navy Yard in Washington, D.C. All Navy Band performances are free and open to the public, and this is a family-friendly event.

City of Gainesville Job Fair - Sept. 11: Opportunity is knocking – will you answer? Join the City of Gainesville Office of Equal Opportunity and other community partners for a job fair Wednesday, Sep. 11 from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. at the MLK Mulitpurpose Center in Gainesville. Register early for the event at www.employflorida.com. For more information, call 352-334-5051 or email saffogd@cityofgainesville.org.

Mayor's Book Club - Sept. 16: Join Mayor Lauren Poe and your community for the next book club! The mayor has announced his next selection is "Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City" by Matthew Desmond. The next meeting of the Mayor's Book Club is Sunday, Sept. 16 from 1-2:15 p.m. in meeting room A of the Headquarters Branch of the Alachua County Library District, which is located at 401 E. University Ave. in downtown Gainesville. The public is invited to read and participate in the discussion.

City Commission Special Meetings/Workshops: At the time of this publication, the following special City Commission meetings/workshops have been scheduled:

  • Tuesday, Sept. 4 at 5:30 p.m.: Joint meeting between the Gainesville City Commission and the UF Student Senate in the UF Senate Chambers at the Reitz Union
  • Friday, Sept. 7 at 1:30 p.m.: Public Hearing to Resolve Impasse with FOP Gator Lodge #67 in the City Hall auditorium
  • Thursday, Sept. 13 at 1 p.m.: Special meeting to discuss the Community Redevelopment Agency in the Roberta Lisle Kline conference room at City Hall
  • Wednesday, Sept. 19 at 1:30 p.m.: workshop on active shooter training in GPD's Hall of Heroes

Construction and Capital Projects:
SE Fourth Street: GRU continues to relocate the existing overhead utilities underground within the project limits. This will further enhance the transformation provided by the project that will also include reconstructing the roadway, cycle tracks and sidewalks on both sides, upgraded lighting and improved stormwater conveyance and treatment. Utility work began in February and is expected to be complete in September, with roadwork to follow. More information is available on the project website, or you may contact Stefan Broadus, project manager, at 352-393-8406 or broadusm@cityofgainesville.org.
Norton Trail Phase 2: Construction continues on the Norton Trail project as the trail alignment is being graded through the previously cleared utility corridor. Upcoming tasks include placing the lime rock base and paving the asphalt riding surface. The existing segment of the multi-use trail connects NW 53rd Ave. to NW 45th Ave. at the 2300 block near Norton Elementary School. The segment now under construction will connect NW 39th Avenue to NW 45th Avenue to create a one-mile continuous paved trail. Construction is approximately 50 percent complete, and is expected to be finished this October. For more information, please contact Stefan Broadus, project manager, at 352-393-8406 or broadusm@cityofgainesville.org.

Citizen and Customer Satisfaction

More CleanCubes Coming to Midtown: The Solid Waste Division completed the installation of five additional solar-compacting trash and recycling units (called CleanCubes) on West University Avenue between NW 13th and 16th Streets near midtown. The new units provide more capacity and better monitoring of trash and recycling generated by activities such as Gator football games. A few weeks ago, five additional units were installed on NW First Avenue as part of the streetscaping improvements. CleanCubes save the city money, while providing approximately five times as much trash capacity as a conventional trash can. Due to the reduction in collection costs, each unit usually pays for itself within three to five years.

Quality

Westside Pool Will Be Open Year Round in Fall: PRCA is facilitating the installation of geothermal pumps at H. Spurgeon Cherry “Westside” Pool. Work began in early August, and it is anticipated that the pumps will come online in October 2018. Service to the pool will not be disrupted. Geothermal pumps, together with solar blankets, will allow Westside Pool to remain open all year long, starting this fall.  Westside Pool historically has the highest usage of all three city pools, with 56,651 people visiting in 2017! Westside Pool will be the second city pool open year round. The Dwight H. Hunter “Northeast” Pool has been open year round since 2010 after geothermal pumps were installed. This project is funded with the Wild Spaces & Public Places half-cent sales tax.  The half-cent sales tax is being collected in the county from Jan. 1, 2017 to Dec. 31, 2024, and is used to create, improve and maintain parks and recreational facilities and acquire and improve environmentally-sensitive lands. For more information, please contact Betsy Waite, project manager, at 352-393-8187 or waiteed@cityofgainesville.org.

Nominations Sought for Environmental Contributions: PRCA and the Nature Centers Commission citizen advisory board are seeking nominations for the annual Star Awards. Nominations are accepted in the categories of Star Volunteer, Star Good Neighbor and Star Green Business. The Star Volunteer Award honors the volunteer who has contributed the most time, energy and enthusiasm volunteering in City of Gainesville nature parks or programs during the year. The Star Good Neighbor Award recognizes the efforts of individuals, groups or organizations that help to maintain and preserve natural areas within the City of Gainesville. Awardees are recognized for their positive impact in promoting environmental awareness, environmental stewardship or other environmental contribution. The Star Green Business Award recognizes environmentally-friendly businesses operating within the City of Gainesville. For more information, including how to nominate, please visit https://tinyurl.com/StarAwardsGNV2018. Nominations are due by Oct. 31, 2018.

Sweetwater Wetlands Nature Park Tours: Tours are free with park admission, and begin from the Welcome Classroom Pavilion. Please wear comfortable shoes and bring water and binoculars. More information is available at www.sweetwaterwetlands.org or by calling 352-393-8437.

  • Ranger Tours are held the first Saturday of each month at 8:30 a.m. and the second Sunday at 5 p.m.

Teamwork

Gainesville Greenway Challenge Volunteer Workday on Sept. 1: The Gainesville Greenway Challenge is a year-round effort whose aim is to restore natural habitat in Gainesville by removing invasive non-native plant species that threaten an ecosystem’s health.  Join the challenge and help us to eradicate the region’s most aggressive invasive plants in Gainesville’s nature parks! The Gainesville Greenway Challenge volunteer workdays take place on the first Saturday of every month from 9-11:30 a.m. Participants will work in local nature parks, removing non-native invasive plants to restore native habitat for the plants and animals that live there, and for people to enjoy. Groups can also arrange for special dates. Volunteers will work outdoors and should bring sunscreen, insect repellent, protective gloves and closed-toe footwear appropriate for wet conditions. The next volunteer workday is Saturday, Sept. 1. Pre-registration is required; you may fill out the form online. For more information, email gnvgreenwaychallenge@gmail.com or call 352-393-8428.

Giveback Thursdays: Take advantage of the warmer weather and enjoy an opportunity to be out in nature every Thursday at a local nature park. Staff provides gloves, buckets, water and bug spray to attendees, and help with removal of invasive plants and trash. For more updates, please visit www.facebook.com/gnvgreenwaychallenge. For more information, email gnvgreenwaychallenge@gmail.com or call 352-393-8428. Check out the Challenge on Instagram @gnvgreenwaychallenge!

Sustainability

Seasonal Energy Tips from GRU: Be sure to check out the seasonal and year-round energy saving tips from GRU. Did you know that for each degree you increase the temperature from the recommended setting (68 in the winter and 78 in the summer), you can increase your energy bill by up to 4%? For more tips for this summer, please read more.

Upcoming Events

"Free Fridays" Concert Series Continues: The region’s longest-running and largest free outdoor concert series returns to feature local and regional musical talent at Bo Diddley Plaza. Our concerts under the stars showcase diverse musical acts sure to delight music lovers with classic rock, reggae, R&B, soul, ska, funk, blues and more. Each Friday night from 8-10 p.m., a new band brings their original and cover tunes to the Bo Diddley Plaza concert stage. Free Fridays – it’s where to be on Friday nights! The full schedule is available at www.FreeFridaysGNV.com.
Sept. 7: The Shambles (classic rock)
Sept. 14: The Impostors (tribute to The Beatles)
Sept. 21: Michael Claytor & His Friends (folk, pop)
Sept. 28: Gilberto De Paz and Tropix (Latin fusion)

Fall Jewel Box Concert Series Continues: The Jewel Box Concerts are a series of multi-genre musical events which feature a spectrum of national and international touring artists from folk to classical and from jazz to bluegrass. The Thomas Center is located at 302 NE Sixth Ave. in Gainesville. The Jewel Box Concerts at the Thomas Center are sponsored in part by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture. Tickets available for purchase at online. The ticket office for the Jewel Box Concerts is 904-886-8378.
-- Verlon Thompson: Friday, Sept. 21 at 7 p.m. (doors open at 6 p.m.). Tickets are $20 (general) to $30 (VIP). Thirty years as a professional songwriter and traveling troubadour serve as credentials. As a solo performer and as the trusted sidekick of Texas Americana songwriting icon, Guy Clark, Verlon Thompson has viewed the world from stages everywhere from Barcelona to Binger, Oklahoma (his hometown). Along the way, Thompson’s compositions have been recorded by Jimmy Buffett and Alan Jackson, Anne Murray, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Kenny Rogers, Randy Travis, Del McCoury, Sam Bush, Trisha Yearwood and many more!
-- The Grascals: Thursday, Nov. 1
-- The Curry's Christmas Show: Wednesday, Dec. 19

Fall Swim Lessons:Make a splash at one of our city pools by learning or practicing your swimming skills! We have convenient group and private lessons offered continuing through October. Sign up early to guarantee a spot in our program. Prices and schedules are available on our swim lessons webpage.

Sign Up for Foundations Academy and Lay the Groundwork for Success: Consider choosing Foundations Academy for your child's after-school enrichment program. A foundation is an underlying basis, principle or groundwork for something. At Foundations Academy, we strive to lay the groundwork for success by creating an atmosphere where students, parents, staff and community members work together to create an inspirational and safe place for students to learn and grow. Foundations Academy takes place through Friday, May 31, and is open for kids in grades 1-8. Foundations Academy is available at the four following locations: Albert “Ray” Massey Recreation Center (1001 NW 34th St.), Clarence R. Kelly Community Center (1701 NE Eighth Ave.), Eastside Community Center (2841 E. University Ave.) and Porters Community Center (512 SW Second Ave.). Complete information is available on the When School is In webpage.

Events on the Promenade at Depot Park: Come out for Events on the Promenade with fun activities all month long. September highlights include boot camp class, swing dance lessons, storytime, family-friendly bike rides, games and more! For a full lineup of events, visit http://www.depotpark.org/events and follow us on https://www.facebook.com/depotpark/.

Bo Diddley Plaza Activities: Head to Bo Diddley Plaza to decompress after work, listen to great music or find an amazing variety of seasonal produce! There’s Yoga on Mondays and Thursdays at 6 p.m., the Union Street Farmers Market on Wednesdays (4-7 p.m.) and free Capoeira classes on Saturdays at 11:30 a.m. There are also many community events taking place at the plaza. Check out a full listing of events at https://www.facebook.com/pg/BoDiddleyPlazaGNV or www.bodiddleyplaza.com

Art Exhibitions at the Thomas Center Galleries:
-RockPaperScissors | Playing with Material Change RockPaperScissors | Playing with Material Change is what happens when artists are inspired by the very materials they hold, stitch, carve, fold, print, cut, weave or shape. Each piece in the RockPaperScissors exhibit telegraphs a bit of creative obsession with tactile satisfaction — from the way pigment integrates with the fiber of cotton rag paper, to the touch of silk threads intertwining, to the cold smooth feel of alabaster as it is endlessly polished by the artist’s hand. Materiality itself acts as muse in RockPaperScissors, giving viewers a glimpse into how artists both command and yield to their materials in the creative process. The exhibition opening is Friday, Sept. 28 from 7-9 p.m. during ArtWalk, and features music from The Ramblin’ Mutts. The exhibition continues through Friday, Jan. 4, 2019.

Gainesville Police Department Community Calendar: Did you know that GPD has a community calendar? The calendar shows meetings like neighborhood crime watch meetings, the Black-on-Black Task Force meetings and the Homeless Coalition meetings. Click here to find out the dates of these meetings and more!

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