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.

August Featured Information

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

  • Monday, Aug. 14 at 3 p.m.: Joint meeting between the Gainesville City Commission and the Alachua County Commission in the Jack Durrance Auditorium

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

RTS Summer/Fall Break: RTS will offer reduced service Monday, Aug. 7-Sunday, Aug. 13. During reduced service (in respect to the summer schedule), there will be no service on routes 38, 46, UF campus and Later Gator routes. Reduced frequency will occur on routes 9, 10, 12, 13, 20, 23, 34, 35 and 43. Routes running during reduced service are marked with an ‘R’ in the printed and online versions of the RTS schedule. All other routes and paratransit service will run as normal. Fall service starts Monday, Aug. 14. Please visit the RTS website at www.go-rts.com for additional information.

Fall RTS Service Begins Aug. 14: RTS's fall bus service begins Monday, Aug. 14. The fall schedule is available for print or viewing on the RTS website, under the schedules tab. Routes back from summer break are 19, 27, 28, 29, 36, 37, 39, 40, 62, 76, 77, 118, 121, Later Gator D and F. Notable changes include weekday service on new route 21, weekday and weekend service on new route 33 and alignment changes on routes 16, 20, 25, 28, 36, 37, 62, 117, 121, 125 and 126. Routes that have frequency (time between buses), start or end of service time changes are 5, 8, 9, 10, 12, 13, 16, 17, 20, 23, 25, 34, 35, 38, 43, 46, 62, 711, 117, 120, 125, 126, 127, Later Gator A, B and C. Please visit the RTS website at www.go-rts.com for additional information.

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.

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.

Nonprofit Arts and Culture Industry Generates $104.5 Million: In July, it was announced that Gainesville and Alachua County’s nonprofit arts and culture industry generates $104.5 million in annual economic activity - supporting 2,847 full-time equivalent jobs and generating $9.1 million in local and state government revenues. This is according to the Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 national economic impact study, the most comprehensive economic impact study of the nonprofit arts and culture industry ever conducted in the United States. For more information or to view the findings, click here.

Teamwork

City of Gainesville and Bob Graham Center Announce 2017-2018 Fellowship Recipients: The City of Gainesville and the Bob Graham Center for Public Service are pleased to announce they have selected four University of Florida students to serve as the inaugural fellows for a joint fellowship opportunity. More than 30 students applied for the four spots. In collaboration with the Graham Center, the City Manager's Office will direct the fellows’ projects. Each fellow will work collaboratively across City of Gainesville functional areas, such as Strategic Planning, Citizen-Centered Gainesville, Communications Office, Human Resources, the Department of Doing and others. The fellows selected are Logan Leonard, Heather Ryan, Kassidy Wallace and Mateo Van Thienen and they represent four University of Florida colleges: the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, the College of the Arts and the College of Design, Construction and Planning respectively.

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, Aug. 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: 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.

Public Input Sought for the City, County Joint Assessment of Fair Housing: The City of Gainesville, Alachua County, the Gainesville Housing Authority and Alachua County Housing Authority are in the process of drafting a Joint Assessment of Fair Housing (AFH). As such, they are conducting a survey to prepare the AFH, which is an analysis of fair housing data, fair housing issues and contributing factors, and an identification of fair housing priorities and goals to affirmatively further fair housing in the region as required under the federal Fair Housing Act and local Human Rights Ordinances. Anyone wishing to provide feedback should participate in the online survey (click here for English, click here for Spanish).

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

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 3 begins Aug. 1.
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)

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

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:
Aug. 4: The Irie Ones (reggae)
Aug. 11: The Savants of Soul (soul, blues, jazz, rock, punk, ska)
Aug. 18:  Captive Eddies (original rock, reggae, roots)
Aug. 25:  The Shambles (classic rock)

Summer Heatwave Championship Basketball Games Aug. 3: Come out Thursday, Aug. 4 for the Basketball Championship Games when the Summer Heatwave basketball teams have their championship games and the champs go up against the Gainesville Police All-Stars. Games start at 5 p.m. in the Martin Luther King Jr. Multipurpose Center. Click here for more info.

Summer Heatwave Concludes with an Aug. 5 Pool Party: Another great season of Summer Heatwave continues with a free Back-to-School Pool Party at Dwight H. Hunter (Northeast) Pool (1028 NE 14th St.) Saturday, Aug. 5 from 11:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Participants can enjoy the pool, music and food hot off the grill. Teen Lounges are available through Aug. 3 at the MLK Center for kids age 11-18 (18, if still in school). There are special activities like swimming, cooking, movie night, video games and much more! Participants can register at the center, and need a wristband to participate. For more information, please visit the Teen Summer Programs 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.
-- Linda Cole: Thursday, Aug. 24 at 7 p.m. (doors open at 6 p.m.). Tickets are $20. Jazz singer Linda Cole, grandniece of the legendary Nat King Cole, will perform this evening and has already created quite a buzz around town. The Thomas Center is the perfect venue for her to showcase her talent and uphold the Cole name.

Go Urban All the Way for Artwalk on Aug. 25: At the newly renovated Rosa B Williams Center, urban hair art by the stylists of Mode Salon will be featured as part of the Aug. 25 Artwalk. Watch the amazing and talented team creating edgy hair design based on the UNCONTAINABLE art exhibition at the Thomas Center. After, visit the UNCONTAINABLE exhibition at the Thomas Center Galleries, before it closes on Sept. 9.

2017 Gainesville Dash & Splash Summer Series Continues Aug. 26: The next Gainesville Dash and Splash Summer Series race is Saturday, Aug. 26 at Dwight H. Hunter (Northeast) Pool, which is located at 1028 NE 14th St. 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 date is Sept. 30.

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.

Group Swim Lessons Available: 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.

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 from Monday, Aug. 21-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.

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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