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.

October Featured Information

Hurricane Season: Hurricane season officially began in June and continues through Nov. 30, so make sure you're prepared. safeGNV has information about planning for a hurricane, shelter information, weather advisories and emergency contact information. To find out how you can prepare for this year's hurricane season, please visit www.safeGNV.org.

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

  • Tuesday, Oct. 3 at 1:30 p.m.: Gainesville City Commission workshop in GPD's Hall of Heroes
  • Monday, Oct. 9 at 5 p.m.: Joint City Commission and County Commission meeting in Jack Durrance auditorium

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 and the partial completion of the new stormwater conveyance system. Once complete, the project will feature a roundabout at Southeast Seventh Street, decorative lighting, brick sidewalks, improved drainage and a new roadway surface. Construction will take place under local closures to expedite the schedule. The project is expected 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 the completion date has been extended to November due to the impacts of Hurricane Irma.  For more information, please contact Betsy Waite, project manager, at 352-393-8405 or waiteed@cityofgainesville.org.

Citizen and Customer Satisfaction

Gator Aider is Back: RTS’s Gator Aider service will be available for each UF home game three hours before kickoff at five park-n-ride locations:  Town of Tioga, Haile Plantation, Oaks Mall, University Hilton and the Downtown Parking Garage. The cost is $10 per person for a single game round trip or $50 for the season.  Return trips from Ben Hill Griffin Stadium will begin at the start of the fourth quarter.  Visit www.go-rts.com for more information.

Route 5 Gameday Detour: For each home football, University Avenue will be closed in the vicinity of Gale Lemerand Drive.  Route 5 will detour up Northwest Sixth Street to Northwest Eighth Avenue to Northwest 34th Street and back to University Avenue.  The detour will be reversed heading downtown.  This detour will start about three hours prior to kickoff and last until about two hours after the game.

Reduced Service for UF Homecoming - Oct. 6: RTS will have reduced service Friday, Oct. 6 for UF Homecoming.  There will be no service on routes 19, 21, 27, 28, 29, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 46, 62, 76, 77 and UF campus routes. There will be reduced frequency on routes 9, 10, 12, 13, 20, 23, 33, 34, 35, 43 (last run at 7:09 p.m. from Santa Fe College to Shands).  Later Gator will run as normal. Routes running are marked with an “R” in the online and printed versions of the RTS schedule. Please note that there may be detours and delays between 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. associated with the UF Homecoming Parade.

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

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.

New Public Works Director Selected: Phil Mann has been selected as the city's new Public Works director. He has been in public service to the citizens of Gainesville for 25 years, beginning as a traffic engineer and rising through the ranks to the interim Public Works Director earlier this year.   Mann is a member of the American Public Works Association (APWA) and is chair of their Emergency Management Committee.  He also represents APWA on FirstNet – the nationwide public safety broadband network that is currently under development for all first responders.  Additionally, Mann is a member of the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) and has previously served on ITE’s Board of Directors for the Florida Section.  His unique blend of education, professional background and understanding of the Gainesville provides him with the knowledge to position the Public Works Department at the forefront of future technological endeavors to deliver a citizen-centered transportation network.

Teamwork

Gainesville Greenway Challenge Volunteer Workday on Oct. 7: 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, Oct. 7. 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.

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:
Sept. 29:  JP Latin All Stars (Latin fusion)
Oct. 6: A Tribute to Eric Clapton and JJ Cale
Oct. 7:  GramFest (tribute to Gram Parsons)
Oct. 20:  UF World Music Ensembles (Jacare Brazil, Agbedidi Africa and others)

Jean Dorney Wildflower Walks Saturdays in October: Participants will enjoy the spectacular fall wildflower blooms in the piney woods of Morningside Nature Center during a guided walk. The Jean Dorney Memorial Wildflower Walks are free and take place every Saturday in October, starting at 9 a.m. at the Morningside Nature Center education building. Attendees should wear comfortable walking shoes and bring water and any field guides they would like to use. These walks are courtesy of a grant from the Friends of Nature Parks in honor of charter member Jean Dorney. 

Old Florida Seed and Story Swap – Oct. 7: The Old Florida Seed and Story Swap is Saturday, Oct. 7 from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. at Morningside Nature Center, and is presented by PRCA in partnership with Forage Farm. This free event focuses on the preservation of our precious agricultural heritage and diversifying your own garden. Bring your seeds to swap with others in the gardening community. Please, no live plants, seeds older than 5 years or seeds from invasive exotics. No seeds to swap?  Well, come on down anyway and see what’s growing in our 1870 Heirloom Kitchen Garden! Meet fellow gardeners, while enjoying the historic farm including the one-room schoolhouse, log cabin and barnyard!

11th Annual Screaming for Safety - Oct. 12: Screaming for Safety is a free, annual event that is sponsored by GFR and allows kids to trick or treat in a safe environment. The event is Thursday, Oct. 12 from 4-7 p.m. at Safety City, which is located at 1025 NE 13th St. This annual event features great safety information, safety-related stations and trick or treating, so be sure to dress up!

Drool & Ghoul Howl-o-Ween Costume Contest and Pool Party - Oct. 21: Come out for a paw-some time Saturday, Oct. 21 from 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m. to H. Spurgeon Cherry (Westside) Pool, which is located at 1001 NW 31st Dr., for a great day at the pool for your pup! Admission is $5 per dog. This is the one day of the year that your canine pal can enjoy dogs-only swimming and fun activities all around the pool deck and splash pad. A dog-gone great costume contest will take place at 12:30 p.m. with prizes for several categories! Volunteers are also a vital part of making the event great. It’s a perfect chance for any dog lover to help out! For more information, please contact Zachary Frando at 352-393-8736 or at frandozb@cityofgainesville.org. Please note, swimming is for dogs only.

Register Now for Out of School Days: Need a place for your kids to go on teacher work days or school holidays? Out of School Days camp hours are from 7 a.m. until 6 p.m. Fees are $5.75 per day/per child for city residents (proof of residency required) and $8.75 per day/per child for non-city residents. Lunch is not provided. You may register online or at the PRCA Administrative Office, which is located on the third floor of the Historic Thomas Center, Bldg. B, 306 NE Sixth Ave. Please call 352-334-5067 with any questions. The Recreation Division offers full day camps at Eastside Recreation Center and Albert "Ray" Massey Recreation Center for 1st-5th graders on the following dates:

  • Friday, Oct. 6
  • Friday, Oct. 20
  • Monday, Nov. 20-Wednesday, Nov. 22
  • Tuesday, Jan. 2
  • Monday, April 2

Youth Coed Basketball Registration Opens Oct. 2: Youth coed basketball has no tryouts, all kids play and it's fun for everyone! For kids age 5-14, this coed basketball league develops skills on and off the court. Practices take place at the Martin Luther King Jr. Multipurpose Center (MLK). Games begin in January and take place in Alachua County and the surrounding areas. Register by Dec. 1. Volunteer coaches are needed! For more information on the program, please visit our Youth Athletics Page or call 352-334-5067.

Private Swim Lessons Continue Through October: 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.

Sign Up for Foundations Academy and Lay the Groundwork for Success: Join us for another great year of after-school fun and learning! Foundations Academy takes place through Friday, June 1. Activities play a vital role in the development and well-being of younger Gainesville residents. We are pleased to offer this fun-filled, educational program for your kids in 1st–8th grade. We have adopted the Florida Recreation and Park Association initiatives for programming to include education, health, economic development, environmental sustainability and community building in addition to Character Counts. Participants get involved in various life-long recreational and educational activities, such as tutoring, tennis, art/crafts, basketball, board games, bowling, volunteerism, citizenship and more. 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.

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).
-- Atlantic City Boys: Thursday, Nov. 2
-- The Curry's Christmas Show: Tuesday, Dec. 19
-- Rodney Dillard and the Walker Brothers: Thursday, Jan. 4
-- Kenny and Amanda Smith: Thursday, Feb. 8

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 Oct. 7, Nov. 4, Dec. 2, Jan. 6, 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 Oct. 6, Nov. 3, Dec. 1, Jan. 5, Feb. 2, March 2, April 6 and May 4.  

Art Exhibitions at the Historic Thomas Center Galleries:
--Cross Creek Rising | The Consciousness of Land & Water features tributes to the wilderness, land, and water that inspired the artistic voice of Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings. This is an exhibition of painting, drawing, sculpture and photography as its source of inspiration the natural environs of north central Florida. The exhibition is in both the Main and Mezzanine Galleries and is Saturday, Sept. 29-Saturday, Jan. 6. The opening reception is Saturday, Sept. 29 from 7-10 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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