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.

May Featured Information

Holiday Closing: In observance of Memorial Day, city offices will be closed Monday, May 28. Additionally, RTS will run its holiday service, which will be run between 7:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.  Please visit the RTS website and schedule pages for more information. Gainesville's curbside residential collection service for solid waste, recycling and yard trash will not be picked up on the holiday and will delayed by one day for the entire week.

District 1 Run-Off Election May 1: The City of Gainesville elections for district one and the at-large (seat 1) commissioners were held Tuesday, March 20. Because no candidate received the 50 percent majority in the district one race, the race will go to a runoff, which will be held Tuesday, May 1. Charles Goston and Gigi Simmons are on the ballot for the district one commissioner. For additional information on the election or the upcoming runoff, please visit http://VoteAlachua.com or call 352-374-5252.

Thank You, Commissioner Budd, for Your Service!: Thank you, Commissioner Budd, for serving the City of Gainesville. We appreciate the hard work and dedication you gave the city and its residents over the years and wish you the best in your future endeavors! The last meeting for the outgoing commissioner, known as sine die, will be held at the regular scheduled City Commission meeting Thursday, May 3.

Congratulations to Commissioner-Elect Gail Johnson: Congratulations to Commissioner-elect Gail Johnson, who won the at-large commission seat on Tuesday, March 20. A swearing-in ceremony will be held Thursday, May 17. The winner of the May 1 District 1 run-off will also be sworn in at this time.

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 (Southeast Seventh Avenue) between Southeast Sixth Street and Southeast Williston Road. The replacement of the stormwater culverts at Sweetwater Branch Tributary and the new stormwater conveyance system have been completed. Upgraded streetlights, asphalt paving, decorative brick sidewalks and new curb and gutter are nearing completion for the new roadway. Construction is taking place under local closures to expedite the schedule. The project is about 85 percent complete, and is on schedule to be complete in spring 2018. For more information, please visit the project website or 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. More information is available on the project website, or you may contact Stefan Broadus, project manager, at 352-393-8406 or broadusm@cityofgainesville.org.

Wild Spaces, Public Places Project Updates:
Albert “Ray” Massey Westside Park Improvements: This Wild Spaces and Public Places project consists of multiple improvements to athletic fields that are more than 40 years old.  One improvement that is currently underway is the installation of netting between baseball fields one and two and the concessions area.  The contract for the netting installation has been signed, and work is expected to be completed by the end of May. This will improve safety. Further field improvements are in the planning stage. For more information, please contact John Weber, project manager, at 352-393-8186 or weberjf@cityofgainesville.org.
Lincoln Park Improvements: This Wild Spaces and Public Places project consists of multiple improvements to the park.  Field grading and other field improvements, such as new bases, home plate and pitcher’s rubber, were installed and completed by city staff. For more information, please contact Nat Davis, project manager, at 352-393-8179 or DavisNR@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/.

Spring Pool Hours: Spring pool hours started in March, and continue through June 3. Currently, both the H. Spurgeon Cherry (Westside) Pool and Dwight H. Hunter (Northeast) Pool are open for the season. The Andrew R. Mickle, Sr. Pool reopens Friday, May 25. Complete pool hours are available on the pools webpage.

Quality

Downtown Festival & Art Show Call to Artists: Join a tradition of artistic excellence by submitting an artist application for the 37th Annual Downtown Festival & Art Show. Recognized as one of the top fine art shows in the country, the festival is sponsored by the City of Gainesville Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department. On Saturday, Dec. 1 and Sunday, Dec. 2, more than 240 artists will display original oils and acrylics, vibrant watercolors, captivating sculptures, dazzling jewelry, decorative ceramics and vivid photography in historic downtown Gainesville. They will compete for $20,000 in cash prizes. Applications for the Downtown Festival & Art Show are available upon request at 352-393-8536 or online at www.gainesvilledowntownartfest.org. The application deadline is Thursday, May 17, 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 3 p.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

Gainesville Greenway Challenge Volunteer Workday on May 5: 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, May 5. 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

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

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 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.
-- Peter Rowan and Sam Pacetti: Thursday, May 3

"Free Fridays" Concert Series Kicks Off: 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 May 4 to Oct. 19. Upcoming performers include:
May 4: Sing Me Back Home (tribute to Tom Petty, Glenn Campbell, Merle Haggard and Gregg Allman)
May 11:
The Nancy Luca Band with Anna Marie
May 18:
A Tribute to Jackson Browne
May 25:
The Gainesville Big Band (big band and jazz standards)

2018 Gainesville Dash & Splash Series Continues May 19: If you want to test your athletic ability or reach a new goal, then lace up for this exciting series of races! The next race is Saturday, May 19 at the H. Spurgeon Cherry (Westside) Pool, which is located at 1001 NW 31st Dr. This year, the races will have a progressive length for the swimming and running courses.  Test the hills of Eighth Avenue or get out on Gainesville’s wooded trails! 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 $19 for city residents and $25 for non-city residents. After early registration ends, the fees are $25.50 for city residents and $38 for non-city residents. Proof of residency, a GRU bill or voter ID card is required at time of registration. You may register online at tinyurl.com/DashnSplash18. Remaining dates are June 30 and July 28.

American Red Cross Lifeguarding & Safety Classes Return: Want to qualify for a great summer job? Get certified as a Professional American Red Cross Lifeguard! For those 15 years and older, the course is $175 and includes books and materials. Lifeguarding re-certification and adult/pediatrics first aid/CPR/AED classes are offered as well. Please visit our lifeguarding and safety classes' page for more information.

Foundations Academy After-School Program Events: Foundations Academy takes place until Friday, June 1; activities play a vital role in the development and well-being of younger residents of the Gainesville community. Foundations Academy is a fun-filled, educational program for children, and has 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. To sign up your child for a great after-school experience, full information is available on the Foundations webpage.

Free Environmental Education Fall Programs Wrap Up: The free, educational and fun-filled programs at Morningside Nature Center conclude in 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! Programs will resume in September.
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 remaining Saturday date is 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. The remaining Frogs and Friends date is May 4.

Summer 2018 Adult Coed Softball: Our softball leagues are so popular, we added an extra season. Make a home run by signing your team up for Adult Coed Softball! Two Coed and a Men's League are offered. Register by May 25.  For fees, registration dates, required forms and more, please visit the adult athletics webpage.

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.

Pop Warner Football & Cheerleading Registration June 1-July 20: Registration for Pop Warner football and cheerleading opens June 1 and 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.

Summer Heatwave Starts June 3: Get your team together and sign up for best free summer basketball league in Alachua County!  Join hundreds of youth from across Alachua County this summer. Basketball starts June 3, and is available for age nine–18 (18, if still in high school). Coed Basketball is open to all players, regardless of skill. The league continues through Aug. 2, with championship games played with staff from GPD and PRCA. There will also be Pool Parties during the summer. For all dates and details, please visit the teen summer programs webpage. Summer Heatwave is a partnership between Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs (PRCA), the Gainesville Police Department (GPD), Alachua County Sheriff’s Office (ACSO) and the State Attorney’s Office 8th Judicial Court Circuit.

Plan Now for Summer Camp: Start planning now for when school is out! We offer eight camp opportunities, with a variety of learning experiences and activities:

Read all the details on our vacation camps webpage.

ACPS artArt 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.
-THE VIEW FROM PARADISE The Paintings of Alyne Harris is coming to the Doris Bardon Gallery May 25-Aug. 18. Alyne Harris is a Gainesville native painter whose work appears nationally in exhibitions and private collections. She is recognized in the folk art or “outsider art” canon as a significant southern self-taught artist. The Doris Bardon Gallery is honored to host this exhibition of Harris’ work, much of it from private collections and not previously exhibited. The opening reception is Friday, May 25 from 7-10 p.m. during ArtWalk Gainesville, and features a talk by curator Anne Gilroy and music by The Ramblin' Mutts Blues Band!

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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