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.

February Featured Information

Registration Open for Gainesville 101: Citizens' Academy: Learn how Gainesville became one of the top-ranked cities in the nation. Gainesville 101: The 2018 Citizens' Academy will give residents a behind-the-scenes look at city facilities and allow residents to meet their city's leaders. This series of free classes is scheduled to begin Wednesday, March 14 and continue for seven weeks through April 25. Sessions are held from 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. Register now, as space is limited! For more information, the schedule of events or to register, please visit http://academy.cityofgainesville.org.

2018 Calendar Available for Downloading: The 2018 calendar (pdf) is available for downloading. Photographs in the calendar are finalists of the Eighth Annual Gainesville Photography Contest. The pages are 8.5"x14" and a lightweight cardstock is recommended. Please note that since this is a printable calendar, the file size is large. To download the pdf, please click here.

Fire Assessment Program Applications Due May 1: Applications for the Fire Assessment Hardship Programs, Mobile Home/RV Park Vacancy Adjustment and the Fire Flow Mitigation Credit are now available. The applications are due by May 1, 2018. For more information, please see the Fire Assessment webpage or call 352-334-5078.

Construction and Capital Projects:
Depot Avenue Segment 4: Construction is underway for this project on Southeast Depot Avenue (SE 7th Avenue) between Southeast Sixth Street and Southeast Williston Road. Progress to date includes the replacement of the stormwater culverts at Sweetwater Branch Tributary, the partial completion of the new stormwater conveyance system, upgraded streetlights, asphalt paving, decorative brick sidewalks and curb and gutter for the new roadway. Construction will take place under local closures to expedite the schedule. The project is about 75 percent complete, and is on schedule to be complete in spring 2018. For more information, please contact Stefan Broadus, project manager, at 352-393-8406 or broadusm@cityofgainesville.org.
SE Fourth Street: The bid award for the construction of the Southeast Fourth Street project between Williston Road and Depot Avenue was recently approved by the City Commission. Along with the bid award, the City Commission also added undergrounding existing overhead utilities to the scope of the project. 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 is expected to begin in early February, with roadwork starting in April. More information is available on the project website, or you may contact Stefan Broadus, project manager, at 352-393-8406 or broadusm@cityofgainesville.org.
Fred Cone Park Improvements: This Wild Spaces and Public Places project to resurface the track is complete. The installation of shade structures over the playground equipment and other general park improvements are underway. Currently, the city is facilitating the installation of an additional sidewalk between the track and bleachers to prevent sand from getting on the track. Further improvements are in the planning stage. For more information, please contact John Weber, project manager, at 352-393-8186 or weberjf@cityofgainesville.org.
Shade Structures: This Wild Spaces and Public Places project consists of installing shade structures over playground equipment and other park amenities at nine parks. Installations at Roper Park, Rosa B. Williams, Cofrin Nature Park, MLK Center, Cedar Grove Park, Fred Cone Park, Dwight H. Hunter (Northeast) Pool deck and Porters Community Center are complete, and installation of a shade structure at T.B. McPherson Park’s tennis courts is anticipated to be complete in February. This project, in conjunction with the sunscreen dispenser installation throughout city parks, encourages safe play and provides comfort for all users. For more information, please contact John Weber, project manager, at 352-393-8186 or weberjf@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 3rd St), the corner of SW 3rd Ave and SW 13th St (next to the CVS in Social 28 right across from UF's Tigert Hall), Bo Diddley Plaza, and on the SW 6th Street Trail at SW 2nd 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/.

Interactive Bike Map Available Online: An interactive map featuring Gainesville's bike resources is available online. The map includes resources such as multi-use trails, bike lanes, bike boulevards and more!

Winter Pool Hours: Winter pool hours at Northeast Pool continue through March 2018. Complete pool hours are available on the pools webpage.

Quality

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.
  • “Wednesday Bird Walks at the Wetlands”: This new tour is every Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. September through May. Discover the rich diversity of birds at north central Florida’s newest birding hotspot in a two-three-hour walking tour. Birders of all levels are welcome. Birding field trips are led by volunteers from Alachua Audubon Society.

Teamwork

Register for the 3rd Annual GAP Charity Golf Scramble: The fun starts Friday, March 9 with a 12:30 p.m. shotgun start at Ironwood Golf Course. Last year, more than $13,000 was raised, which provided summer camp scholarships for 250 Gainesville youth! If you would like to register to play or sponsor the event, please visit www.GAPgainesville.com. Registration closes March 2.

Bicycle/Pedestrian Event Opportunities: To coordinate a free bicycle/pedestrian related event, presentation or other outreach for any age group, please visit https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/CKMHNF5 or contact Bicycle/Pedestrian Program Coordinator Dekova Batey at 352-334-5070 or bikeped@cityofgainesville.org.

Gainesville Greenway Challenge Volunteer Workday on Feb. 3: 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, Feb. 3. 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 cooler 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.

Sustainability

Garbage Overflow Bags Available: Yellow bags for garbage overflow can be purchased at any of the Publix Super Markets.  Ask for the yellow bags at the service counter.

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

32nd Annual Hoggetowne Medieval Faire Continues: The Alachua County Fairgrounds is transformed into a bustling medieval marketplace for the 32nd Annual Hoggetowne Medieval Faire. Come be swept away by medieval magic as troupes of actors, street performers and musicians journey back to the days of yore on Feb. 2-4. Join the crowd and cheer for your favorite contender as mounted knight’s joust in full plate armor on the tournament field. Applaud street performers who dance, juggle and jest for your amusement. Listen to minstrels playing period music and enjoy continuous live entertainment on eight stages. Browse through the bustling medieval marketplace for that perfect gift or trinket. Come early to enjoy a day packed with excitement and medieval merriment. Faire hours are 10 a.m.-6 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, and 9 a.m.-5 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 2. Admission is $18 for adults, $8 for children age 5-17 and free for children under 5. Tickets on Friday are $9 for adults and $4 for children age 5-17. For more information, call 352-334-ARTS or visit http://www.hoggetownefaire.com/.

School Day at the 32nd Annual Hoggetowne Medieval Faire: Toss aside your textbooks and become immersed in history during the 32nd Annual Hoggetowne Medieval Faire. All schools and home-school groups are invited to enjoy a field trip filled with magic, history and adventure at the Alachua County Fairgrounds Friday, Feb. 2. Schools that register in advance will receive discounted admission for students and chaperones and a 50-page educational guide to supplement classroom activities before and after the faire. Individuals with disabilities, children under five are admitted free. For more information call 393-8536 or visit www.hoggetownefaire.com.

Basketball for All: Basketball for All is a free, adaptive program is 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 on the court, while they have fun and learn important safety skills.  For additional information, please contact Noah’s Endeavor at 352-275-9639 or info@noahsendeavor.org or visit their website at www.noahsendeavor.org. Basketball for All is held at the Martin Luther King Multipurpose Center (1028 NE 14th St.) on the following remaining Sundays from 2-4 p.m.: Feb. 4, Feb. 11 and Feb. 18.

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. All shows start at 7 p.m., and doors open at 6 p.m. Tickets are $20-$30 (general admission and VIP tickets available).
-- Kenny and Amanda Smith: Thursday, Feb. 8
-- Tim Kliphuis: Wednesday, April 11

GPD Bike Rodeo Feb. 10: The Bicycle/Pedestrian Program is conducting an on-bicycle safety training course “Bike Rodeo” for the Gainesville Police Department Saturday, Feb. 10 from 11 a.m.–1 p.m. at the T.B. McPherson Recreation Center (1717 SE 15th St.). Don’t forget to bring your helmet and bike! For more information on this event, contact Dekova Batey at 334-5070 or bikeped@cityofgainesville.org.

Women’s Club Fundraiser Dinner Theatre Feb. 11: The Gainesville Woman’s Club is hosting an entertaining afternoon of theatre and socializing for a good cause - the Gainesville Arts and Parks (GAP) Foundation, Inc. The event is Sunday, Feb. 11 at 12 p.m. at the Gainesville Woman’s Club, which is located at 2809 W. University Ave. The fundraiser kick offs with a silent auction from 12-1 p.m. with auction items such as restaurant gift cards, local spa gift cards and many other items. The highlight of the afternoon is the play “The Big Questions,” which will be performed during lunch. “The Big Question” follows the challenges of big city life when people go to find fame and fortune but find romance instead. The play and lunch begin at 1 p.m. The donation for this benefit event is $45, and includes delicious food provided by Chef Brothers and the theatrical performance. Tickets are available for purchase by calling 352-376-3901 or by visiting http://gfwcfl-gainesvillewomansclub.org. For more information, please contact the Gainesville Woman’s Club at 352-376-3901 or gwcwomansclub@att.net.

Black History Month Concert Feb. 11: Celebrate Black History Month with a double bill concert at Bo Diddley Plaza Sunday, Feb. 11 at 2 p.m. The concert features the bands Dr. Neu & BluJaFunk, featuring renowned trumpeter Longineu Parsons II, plus Billy Buchanan and his Rock 'n Soul Revue. The public is invited to bring their blankets and lawn chairs to the beautiful downtown amphitheater and enjoy this free world-class concert that celebrates many of the great pioneer artists of Black music. The concert kicks off with Dr. Neu & BluJaFunk, a name put together from the music genres they cover: blues, jazz and funk. Dr. Neu is Longineu Parsons II (trumpet/flugelhorn/flutes/lead vocals), who has been hailed by critics internationally as one of the world’s finest trumpet players. Next on the bill are Billy Buchanan and his Rock 'n Soul Revue. They perform hit songs by soul greats that include Ray Charles, The Drifters, Sam Cooke, James Brown, Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Jackie Wilson, Stax Records icons, Motown superstars and many more. More information is available at www.BlackHistoryGnv.org.

Westside Afterschool Program Bike Rodeo Feb. 12: The Bicycle/Pedestrian Program is conducting an on-bicycle safety training course “Bike Rodeo” for Westside Recreation Center afterschool participants Monday, Feb. 12 at the Albert “Ray” Massey (Westside) Recreation Center (1001 NW 34th St.). For more information on this event, contact Dekova Batey at 334-5070 or bikeped@cityofgainesville.org.

Plan for Spring Break Camps (March 26-30): Plan ahead for spring break (March 26-30) and check out the options offered by PRCA to make it a great week for kids, and convenient for busy parents. During camps, kids will enjoy games, activities and crafts that encourage achievement, a sense of community, good health and strong character!
Earth Academy Day Camp awakens your child's innate curiosity while encouraging an environmental ethic and appreciation of the natural world! This nature-based day camp is held at Morningside Nature Center's 416-acre nature sanctuary and uses hands on fun to focus attention on natural and cultural history.
Location: Morningside Nature Center, 3540 E University Ave.
Hours: Mon. - Fri., 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Cost: City Residents: $127.50, Non-City Residents: $191.75
Ages: 6-13

Creative Expressions Camp at Albert “Ray” Massey Recreation Center (1001 NW 34th St.): Campers will work on a variety of art projects throughout the week. During Finale Friday, families are invited to walk through the museum where their work will be displayed. Campers will be kept busy while having fun with hands-on activities!
Hours: Mon. - Fri., 7 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Cost: City Residents: $52.50, Non-City Residents: $78.50
Ages: 6-13

SCORE! Sports Galore Camp at Eastside Community Center (2841 E. University Ave.): It's all about teams this week. Campers come up with a team name, mascot, colors, cheer or chant. On finale Friday, everyone joins together for a variety of sports challenges, games and a cookout.
Hours: Mon. - Fri., 7 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Cost: City Residents: $52.50, Non-City Residents: $78.50
Ages: 6-13

Free Environmental Education Fall Programs Continue: The free, educational and fun-filled programs at Morningside Nature Center continue through May at Morningside Nature Center. There are many chances to explore our local heritage and environment. These fun, interactive programs provide a great chance for children (accompanied by an adult) to travel back in time to the 1870s at the Living History Days on the Living History Farm, or make new animal friends at Barnyard Buddies or Frogs and Friends Friday!
Living History Days: C’mon home to the Living History Farm and experience a time when the rooster’s crow and the rising sun, not an alarm clock, welcomed a new day! During Living History Days, interpreters portray day-to-day life on an 1870 Florida farm. Living History Days take place the first Saturday of the month from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The Saturday dates are Feb. 3, March 3, April 7 and May 5. Step back in time, enjoy nature, and experience Florida as it was!
Barnyard Buddies Program:
Morningside Nature Center has a farm, e-i-e-i-o! On this farm, youngsters, with an adult, can meet and greet farm animals by helping staff with afternoon feeding on the Living History Farm. This program is free, but the animals love donations of carrots, squash, apples, sweet potatoes and melons (please give these items to a staff member and not directly to the animals). With a sheep here, and a cow there, learning about heritage breeds is fun! This program takes place Wednesdays at 3 p.m. at the Living History Farm.
Frogs and Friends Friday:
At the Frogs and Friends Friday program, children, with an adult, can join a Morningside Nature Center animal caretaker for an exciting and educational program featuring live amphibians and reptiles. Youngsters, with an adult, can join an animal caretaker for an exciting and educational program featuring live amphibians and reptiles. This free program begins at 2 p.m. the first Friday of the month in the Education Building. Frogs and Friends Friday dates are Feb. 2, March 2, April 6 and May 4.

Art Exhibitions at the Historic Thomas Center Galleries: -INTO THE LIGHT The Rediscovered Painting of Louise Leak American artist Louise Leak (1939–1977) spent her abbreviated life in feverish pursuit of creative endeavor. The extraordinarily talented printmaker, painter, poet and dancer met an untimely death at age 38, leaving behind an abundance of work exploring her complex interior life. Leak’s sister, Gainesville resident Jane Myers, has amassed a large portion of the scattered body of work, including paintings only recently discovered after nearly 40 years hidden among the stored belongings of a friend of the artist. This exhibition showcases Leak’s work as a printmaker, from exquisite small prints to virtuoso major works. Together with paintings, sketches, and ephemera, the work affords an intimate glimpse into a young woman making her voice heard in the California art scene of the 1960s. The exhibition continues through Saturday, Aug. 18.
-Alachua County Public Schools Visual Arts Program Showcase is in the Doris Bardon Gallery through Saturday, March 3. This exhibit showcases the work of local students through a partnership with the Alachua County Public Schools Visual Arts Program. The opening reception is Thursday, Feb. 1 from 6:30-8 p.m.

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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