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.

July Featured Information

Holiday Closing: In observance of the Independence Day holiday, city offices will be closed Tuesday, July 4. RTS will provide holiday service to routes 1, 2, 5, 8, 10, 13, 15, 16, 20, 26, 35, 43, 75 and 711 between 7:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Paratransit service will be available during the same service hours. No other routes will be running, including UF campus and Later Gator routes. Residential curbside collection of garbage, recycling and yard trash will not be picked up Tuesday, and will be delayed one day for the rest of the week. Have a happy and safe Fourth of July!

Fanfares and Fireworks on July 3: Gainesville’s Independence Day celebration, Fanfares and Fireworks, will be held Monday, July 3 at the bandshell at UF’s Flavet Field beginning at 7 p.m. Fireworks will begin at approximately 9:40 p.m. Visit www.wuft.org/fireworks for more information. #Fanfares17

Free Meals for Children 0-18 at Summer Break Spot: The Alachua County Food Services Program is providing free meals to any child between 0-18 years of age. Participating sites are providing free, nutritious breakfast and lunch through July 28. New this year is a food truck at Majestic Oaks, Hidden Oaks and SWAG Family Resource Center. The various locations have different dates, so be sure to check their website first. For a list of locations, serving times and more information, please visit http://www.acpsfood.com/.

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

  • Tuesday, July 11 at 10 a.m.: GRU Budget
  • Tuesday, July 18 at 1:30 p.m.: General Government and GRU budget discussion in the City Hall Auditorium (set tentative millage rate and adopt preliminary fire assessment rate)

Construction and Capital Projects:
Depot Avenue Segment 4: The City of Gainesville has entered into a contract for construction management services with Charles Perry Partners, Inc., and construction is underway on this project. The beginning stages of work include utility adjustments, replacement of the stormwater culverts at Sweetwater Branch and the construction of a new roundabout at Southeast Seventh Street. Construction will take place under local closures to expedite the schedule. The project is scheduled to be complete in spring 2018. For more information, please contact Stefan Broadus, project manager, at 352-393-8406 or broadusm@cityofgainesville.org.
Suburban Heights Beville Creek Restoration: This project consists of the stabilization and restoration of a heavily eroded segment of Beville Creek, which flows through the Suburban Heights neighborhood. The restoration includes the construction of a series of armored step pools and one cascade features known as regenerative stormwater conveyance features. Additional stabilization improvements include gabion baskets, Flexamat (a rolled erosion control blanket) and native seeding and planting. The proposed work limits begin south of Northwest 14th Avenue and continue south and east approximately 1,000 feet into Cofrin Nature Park.  Beville Creek provides wildlife with a connection from Cofrin Park to Kingwood Lake.  Construction began in early April, and will last approximately four months.  For more information, please contact Betsy Waite, project manager, at 352-393-8405 or waiteed@cityofgainesville.org.

Citizen and Customer Satisfaction

Go Gainesville Bike Share: Where will a bike take you? With four stations in the system, it is convenient and easy to travel between downtown, the Innovation Square area and UF campus by bike. Stations are located at the Rosa Parks Downtown RTS Station (700 SE Third St), the corner of Southwest Third Ave. and Southwest 13th St. (across from UF's Tigert Hall), Bo Diddley Plaza and on the Southwest Sixths Street Trail at Southwest Second Ave. You don’t have to fight for parking, and a bike is always there when you need one! The bikes can be rented by SMS text messages or via the Zagster mobile app for iPhone and Android on an hourly basis for $3/hour. Monthly passes ($15) and annual passes ($25) are also available, and then the first hour of every ride is free. For additional information, please visit http://zagster.com/gainesville/.

Quality

July is Parks, Recreation & Culture Month: Every July, the Parks Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department encourages the community to enjoy parks, recreation and culture every day in many ways! There is fun for all in more than 85 park, recreation and cultural facilities located around Gainesville. Residents can stroll along miles of beautiful hiking trails under the shade of ancient oak trees or run on a competition-quality, 440-meter track at Cone Park. Grab a chair and head out to Bo Diddley Plaza for some great music at the “Free Fridays” Concert Series or take a pair of binoculars to Sweetwater Wetlands Park for some incredible birding. Teens will be on-the-go with Summer Heatwave teen programs (coed basketball, Teen Lounges and pool parties)! Register for summer camps, Pop Warner Cheerleading and Football and tennis! Splash and play in one of three municipal pools that offer monthly Splash & Dash Summer Series, Junior Lifeguarding Camp, Aquabilities for children with special needs, birthday party packages, swimming lessons for all ages, free admission “Family Fun Nights”  at Mickle Pool  and other family-friendly activities. Parents also have a variety of activities available throughout the week at Depot Park and Bo Diddley Plaza! Experience the historic architecture and exquisite art galleries at the Historic Thomas Center or enjoy a Jewel Box Concert in the Spanish Court.

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. Ranger Tours are held the first Saturday of each month at 8:30 a.m. More information is available at www.sweetwaterwetlands.org or by calling 352-393-8437.

Pool Hours - All Three Pools Open!: All three city pools are open for the summer season! For the most up-to-date hours, visit the pools webpage.

Call for Entries for Cross Creek Rising Art Exhibit: Be a part of Cross Creek Rising: The Consciousness of Land and Water for an art exhibition at the Thomas Center Galleries. The exhibit is Sept. 29, 2017-Jan. 6, 2018. The deadline for entries is Friday, Aug. 4. Create art inspired by Cross Creek and north central Florida. Five $500 prizes will be awarded. Registration information is available online.

Teamwork

Take the Gainesville Greenway Challenge and Volunteer Workdays: 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, July 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: 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.

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.

Summer Camp Options

ABCs of Fire Safety: Gainesville Fire Rescue is accepting applications for the ABCS of Safety summer camp, where kids learn all about fire safety. ABCs of Fire Safety is held at Kiwanis Safety City, which is located at 1025 NE 13th St.
Dates and Hours: Aug. 7-Aug. 10, 9 a.m.-12 p.m.
Cost: Free
Ages: Incoming kindergartners
Application deadline is July 27.

Youth Golf Camps at Ironwood: This coed camp teaches golf fundamentals, proper technique, basic USGA rules and more! There are limited spots per session. Kids will have a fun-filled day learning about the golf! Session 2 begins July 18.
Hours: Tuesday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Cost: $150, equipment is provided by Ironwood
Ages: 6-17 (6-year-olds are required to take a free golf skill evaluation by appointment)

Pop-Up Theater Camp: This summer’s Pop-Up Theater Camp is July 10-21, and is in cooperation with We the People Theater. Campers will work with theater professionals, and students take classes in voice, movement, acting and script analysis. Camp culminates with workshops and multiple performances. We the People Theater will interview potential campers and family members to make certain the family can commit to regular attendance and full participation. To register, or for more information, please visit www.WeThePeopleTheater.org or call 352-363-1294.
Hours: 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Cost: Camp fee is based on a sliding scale (free to $100)
Ages: 10-17

Earth Academy Day Camp: Earth Academy Day Camp is a nature- and science-based camp offered at Morningside Nature Center. This summer's camp themes are gamers (not the video kind), nature underground and animal architects. Registration is full; however, you may sign up to be on the waiting list.
Location: Morningside Nature Center, 3540 E University Ave.
Hours: Mon.–Fri., 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. with early and late drop off available
Cost: City residents: $121.50, Non-city residents: $182.50
Ages: 1st–6th grade for campers and 7th-12th grades for Junior Naturalists

Foundations Academy Summer Camp at the Albert “Ray” Massey Recreation Center, Eastside Recreation Center, Clarence R. Kelly Community Center and Porters Community Center. Each session is action-packed, filled with exciting experiences, and focuses on The Six Pillars of Character® program: Trustworthiness, Respect, Responsibility, Fairness, Caring and Citizenship. Free swimming lessons are included in all sessions. Camp is offered in three-week sessions.
Hours: Mon.–Fri., 7 a.m.–6 p.m.
Cost: City residents: $150, Non-city residents: $224.25 (plus $25 field trip fee)
Ages: 1st–5th grade

Foundations Academy Teen Summer Camp is at the T.B. McPherson Center, which is located at 1717 SE 15th St. Camp focuses on S.T.E.A.M., sports, personal finance, life skills and mentoring.  Each session is action-packed, filled with exciting experiences, and focuses on The Six Pillars of Character® program: Trustworthiness, Respect, Responsibility, Fairness, Caring and Citizenship. Free swimming lessons are included in all sessions. Camp is offered in three-week sessions.
Hours: Mon.–Fri., 7 a.m.–6 p.m.
Cost: City residents: $150, Non-city residents: $224.25 (plus $25 field trip fee)
Ages: 6th–8th grade

Summer Camp Counselor-in-Training (CIT) Program: CITs are at the Albert “Ray” Massey Recreation Center, Eastside Recreation Center, Clarence R. Kelly Community Center and Porters Community Center. Selected participants will go through a well-rounded program with staff at each location that will cover problem solving, community service, activity and program development and mentoring.  A typical day may consist of helping to plan and organize games and activities, assisting with lunches or snack, or assisting during field trips.
Ages: 9th–12th grade

Aquatic Leadership Summer Camp: Formerly Junior Lifeguard Camp, the purpose of this fun summer camp is to increase self-confidence and promote safe behavior in the aquatic environment. Throughout the course, campers learn a wide range of skills, including first-aid, CPR and rescue techniques. The program will encourage campers to take on leadership roles as well as challenge them mentally and physically. Besides learning the primary responsibilities of a lifeguard, this course is action-packed with fun activities, games and free swimming. Registration is open, but spaces are limited, so register early!
Hours: 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
Cost: City residents:  $82.75, Non-city residents: $124.25
Ages: 11-15

Teen Summer Programs - Summer is Sizzling with Heatwave: Sign up now to be in the best free summer basketball league in Alachua County! Summer Heatwave has been a partnership between PRCA, GPD, the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office (ACSO) and the State Attorney’s Office 8th Judicial Court Circuit. Last year, the basketball league had more than 500 participants from across Alachua County. Coed basketball is open to all players, regardless of skill. Basketball continues until Aug. 3, with championship games played with staff from GPD and PRCA. There will also be Teen Lounges and three Operation Respect Yourself Parties during the summer. The next Pool Parties are July 22 from 11:30 a.m.-4 p.m. at H. Spurgeon Cherry (Westside) Pool and Aug. 5 from 11:30 a.m.-4 p.m. at Dwight H. Hunter (Northeast) Pool. Pool Parties have free admission, music and food provided by GPD.
Ages: 11-18 (18, if still in school)

Upcoming Events

"Free Fridays" Concert Series Continues: The region’s longest-running and largest free outdoor concert series features local and regional musical talent at the Bo Diddley Plaza. The 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. The concerts are Fridays from 8-10 p.m. from April 14 to Oct. 20. Upcoming performers include:
July 7: The All-American Song Fest: The High Nooners (A musical tribute to the American west By Michael Claytor and friends)
July 14: The Delta Troubadours (rock, blues rock, garage rock)
July 21:  Wax Wings (jazz, folk)
July 28:  Bridget Kelly (blues)

Aquabilities Starts July 10: Aquabilities is a free, adaptive program offered through a partnership with the non-profit corporation, Noah’s Endeavor, Inc., for children with special physical and developmental needs. The program teaches children to be comfortable in the water, and to improve their swimming, motor and water safety skills. The first session begins July 10. Register online at www.noahsendeavor.org/aquabilities. For more information on Noah’s Endeavor, please call 352-275-9639 or email at info@noahsendeavor.org.

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 http://www.evansmediasource.com//index_files/shakeragpurchase.htm. The ticket office for the Jewel Box Concerts is 904-886-8378.
-- Both Sides Now: A Tribute to Joni Mitchell: Thursday, July 20 at 7 p.m. (doors open at 6 p.m.). Tickets are $20. This evening will be led by Cathy DeWitt and music director Richard Bassil, and features some of Gainesville's finest performers. This will be a special evening dedicated to the biggest fan of Joni Mitchell, the late Jewel Box Concerts promoter, Joseph Saccocci (1952 -2017).

2017 Gainesville Dash & Splash Summer Series Continues July 29: The next Gainesville Dash and Splash Summer Series race is Saturday, July 29 at H. Spurgeon Cherry (Westside) Pool, located at 1001 NW 31 Dr. This year, the four races will have a variety of formats and new routes. Test the hills of Eighth Avenue or get out on Gainesville’s wooded trails! Each race has a running and swimming component. Don’t wait - sprint to enter! When you register early (more than two days before the race), you’ll save money and receive a unique t-shirt for each race. The entry fee for each race for early registration (more than two days before the race) is only $18.25 for city residents and $24.25 for non-residents. After early registration ends, the fees are $24.25 for city residents and $36.25 for non-residents. Proof of residency, a GRU bill or voter ID card is required at time of registration. You may register online at http://tinyurl.com/gnvDashnSplash. Remaining dates are Aug. 26 and Sept. 30.

Private Swim Lessons Available: Interested in racing a biathlon, triathlon or joining a club swim team? Maybe you just want to get better? Instructors will customize to meet your individual needs! Lessons are for those age three and older - a parent/guardian must be present on deck with children under 10-years-old. For times, fees and other information, visit our swim lessons webpage.

Group Summer Swim Lessons: Make a splash at one of the city pools this summer learning or practicing your swimming skills! There are convenient group lessons that continue through August. Sign up early to guarantee your spot. For times, fees and other information, visit our swim lessons webpage.

Pop Warner Football & Cheerleading Registration Through July 20: Registration for Pop Warner football and cheerleading runs through July 20, or until the teams are filled. The mission of Pop Warner Little Scholars is to enable young people to benefit from participation in team sports and activities in a safe and structured environment. Through this active participation, Pop Warner programs teach fundamental values, skills and knowledge that young people will use throughout their lives. Pop Warner seeks to provide fun athletic learning opportunities for children, while emphasizing the importance of academic success. Specifically, Pop Warner seeks to familiarize players and spirit participants with the fundamentals of football, cheerleading and dance.  Pop Warner is for boys five–11 years-old and girls five–13 years-old. For more information, please visit our Pop Warner webpage.

Depot Park Music and Activities: Head out to the beautiful, Depot Park for a full lineup of weekend Events on the Promenade with music and activities. Each Friday evening features a family-friendly DJ from 7-9:30 p.m. Saturday evenings feature live music from 7-9 p.m. and Sundays feature hands-on arts activities from 2-4 p.m. in the kid’s area. Attendees are encouraged to bring their lawn chairs and blankets and maybe a picnic to sit and relax. You can also get fit at the park with Gainesville Move @ Depot Park. Weekly fitness classes like yoga and capoeira are available for low to no cost, so get up and get out to the park! For a full lineup of events, visit www.depotpark.org/events and follow them on www.facebook.com/depotpark.

Art Exhibitions at the Historic Thomas Center Galleries:
--UNCONTAINABLE | Urban Art from Vandalism to Movement features a collection of work from 26 globally-recognized urban artists, some of which has never been exhibited. The roots of urban art can be traced to late 20th century graffiti – the stealth "writing" and tagging on buildings and train cars.  The exhibition is in both the Main and Mezzanine Galleries and runs through Saturday, Sept. 9.

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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