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.

November Featured Information

Holiday Closings:
November 10 - City offices will observe Veterans Day Friday, Nov. 10. Residential curbside collection of refuse will not be affected by this holiday. RTS will provide holiday bus service on Nov. 10. Only routes 1, 2, 5, 8, 10, 13, 15, 16, 20, 26, 35, 43, 75 and 711 will run from 7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. depending on the route. Please plan accordingly.
November 23-24 - In observance of the Thanksgiving holiday, city offices will be closed Thursday, Nov. 23 and Friday, Nov. 24. Residential curbside collection service for solid waste, recycling and yard trash normally scheduled for Thursday will be delayed until Friday. That is the only collection day that will be affected. All bus and paratransit service will be suspended Thanksgiving Day. RTS will provide holiday bus service Friday, Nov. 25. Routes 1, 2, 5, 8, 10, 13, 15, 16, 20, 26, 35, 43, 75 and 711 will run between 7:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. All other routes will be suspended. Please plan accordingly.

Ninth Annual Gainesville Photography Contest Through Nov. 27: It's time for our annual photo contest! From Nov. 1-27, individual photographers are invited to enter the Ninth Annual Gainesville Photography Contest. Your photo could be featured in the City of Gainesville's calendar and be featured in an upcoming photography exhibition. Don't miss the opportunity to showcase your talent! No need to be a professional, any individual can enter up to ten photographs. Please read the rules, terms and conditions, as well as the scope of the submissions, before submitting any photos. Information can be found online at

Save the Date for the Longest Table - Dec. 2: On Sunday, Dec. 2 join the conversation and your City Commission at Gainesville's Longest Table! The Longest Table is about engaging with your community - your neighbors, your peers and new friends - to build and strengthen relationships in our community. Registration is required ( Enjoy dinner at Depot Park and dialogue designed to strengthen relationships and unite our community as we all work together to enhance the quality of life in Gainesville and Alachua County.

Change Your Clocks, Change Your Batteries: Daylight savings time (DST) officially ends at 2 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 5, which means we turn our clocks back one hour. Gainesville Fire Rescue wants to encourage residents to change the batteries in their smoke alarms when you change your clocks every time there is a time change. This is the perfect time to adopt this simple, life-saving habit. The National Fire Alarm Code recommends a minimum of one smoke alarm on each level of a home, including one inside each bedroom for new construction and one outside each sleeping area. Homes should also have at least one working carbon monoxide detector. Through Project: Get Alarmed!, Gainesville Fire Rescue offers free smoke detectors including installation to homeowners who apply. Call 352-334-5065 or stop by any fire station for an application. Once the application is submitted, you will be contacted for an installation appointment.

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

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

  • Monday, Nov. 6 at 3 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, the partial completion of the new stormwater conveyance system, upgraded streetlights and curb and gutter for the new roadway. Once complete, the project will feature a roundabout at Southeast Seventh Street, decorative lighting, brick sidewalks, improved drainage and a reconstructed 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
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 December due to the impacts of Hurricane Irma.  For more information, please contact Betsy Waite, project manager, at 352-393-8405 or

SW Sixth Street Re-striping (Depot Ave. to SW Fifth Ave.): Work is complete on the re-striping project on Southwest Sixth Street, from Depot Avenue to Southwest Fifth Avenue. This project was a City Commission directive, and it provides 108 on-street parking spaces. Back-in, angled parking has been striped on the west side of the roadway and parallel parking on the east side of Southwest Sixth Street. 91 spaces are signed as neighborhood decal only, 13 spaces near the basketball court are two-hour parking and there are four handicap accessible spaces at the mid-block crosswalk. The tree islands and the mid-block crosswalk were completed in late September after experiencing delays associated with Hurricane Irma. For more information, please contact Betsy Waite, project manager, at 352-393-8405 or

SW Sixth Street Reconstruction (SW Fifth Ave. to W. University Ave.): The primary objective of this project is to reconstruct West Sixth Street between Southwest Fifth Avenue and University Avenue. Other components include reconstructing existing sidewalks in compliance with current width and side slope requirements, adding concrete curb and gutter in areas that currently have roadside drainage, landscaping improvements including low impact development techniques, a large stormwater pipe upgrade and a proposed roundabout at the intersection of Southwest Sixth Street and Fourth Avenue. Construction is anticipated to begin in November 2017 and be complete in fall 2018. For more information, please contact Betsy Waite, project manager, at 352-393-8405 or

Citizen and Customer Satisfaction

Sweetwater Wetlands Park Annual Passes Available: Enjoy Sweetwater Wetlands Park all year with an annual pass. The annual pass costs $75, and is valid for one year from the date of purchase. Passes allow a vehicle to enter the park with any number of persons in the car. Passes are available for purchase in person at the PRCA Administrative Office, which is located on the third floor of the Thomas Center, Building B, (306 NE Sixth Ave.).

Holiday Service Observed for Veterans Day (Nov. 10): RTS will have holiday service on Friday, Nov. 10, in observance of the Veterans Day holiday. Only routes 1, 2, 5, 8, 10, 13, 15, 16, 20, 26, 35, 43, 75 and 711 will run from 7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. depending on the route. All other routes will be suspended; however, ADA service will between the same hours of service.

Reduced or No Bus Service Nov. 22-24: Due to the Thanksgiving holiday, RTS will have reduced service Wednesday, Nov. 22. During reduced service, 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. Reduced frequency will occur on routes 9, 10, 12, 13, 20, 23, 33, 34, 35 and 43. Routes not listed will run their normal service. Routes running during reduced service are marked with an ‘R’ in the printed and online versions of the RTS schedule. All Santa Fe routes will stop at 5:45 p.m. UF and Later Gator routes will also be suspended. All bus and paratransit service will be suspended Thanksgiving Day. RTS will provide holiday bus service Friday, Nov. 24. Routes 1, 2, 5, 8, 10, 13, 15, 16, 20, 26, 35, 43, 75 and 711 will run between 7:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. All other routes will be suspended.

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 for more information.

Winter Pool Hours: Winter pool hours start at Northeast Pool Monday, Nov. 13 and continue through March 2018. Complete pool hours are available on the pools webpage.


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 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.


Gainesville Greenway Challenge Volunteer Workday on Nov. 4: 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, Nov. 4. Pre-registration is required; you may fill out the form online. For more information, email 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 For more information, email or call 352-393-8428.


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 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

Downtown Festival & Art Show Weekend Information (Nov. 11-12): North Florida’s art scene swings into high gear on Saturday, Nov. 11, from 10 a.m.-5 p.m., and Sunday, Nov. 12, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. with the arrival of the highly acclaimed Downtown Festival & Art Show. The streets of historic downtown Gainesville, from City Hall to the Hippodrome Theatre will be transformed into a celebration of art and creativity complete with live music, performing arts and a spectacular array of food. More than 100,000 art lovers will fill the streets to enjoy and purchase one-of-a-kind artwork. The festival features 240 local and national artists displaying original oils and acrylics, vibrant watercolors, unique sculptures, dazzling jewelry, decorative ceramics and vivid photography. Children can create their own art at the Imagination Station, a free hands-on art activity. For music lovers: enjoy continuous, live entertainment on four stages by local bands and solo musicians. Dance companies also catch the eyes of the crowd with ballet, jazz, modern and international dance performances. The festival weekend kicks off with a free Downtown Blues Concert Friday, Nov. 10 from 7-10 p.m. at the Bo Diddley Plaza, featuring three incredible blues performances. This soul-moving show kicks off with local blues musician Mr. Aullie. On stage next are The Deviljays, a blues and R&B band based in Lake City, and fronted by Kirby Stanley on vocals and guitar. This year’s headliner, Gracie Curran & The High Falutin’ Band, takes the stage at 9 p.m. Boston native Curran has rocked houses all across the country, becoming a crowd favorite, known for not only her amazing voice, but also her comedic stage banter and hugely entertaining live show.
Entertainment Schedule
Festival Map
2017 Artist Listing

Renowned Urban Artist Maser to Create Mural on Santa Fe College Campus: 352walls/Gainesville Urban Art Initiative and Santa Fe College Department of Fine Arts present Irish-born graffiti artist Maser.  The acclaimed international muralist will create a mega-work on the exterior walls and structures of the Fine Arts Department Nov. 12-20, weather permitting. Maser will envelop the college’s two-story Fine Arts Department Building (Building E) with a dramatic mural in his signature colorful, graphic style. The project will be the largest of the more than 30 artworks the 352walls has undertaken to date, and the first public art work produced at Santa Fe College by an outside, internationally-renowned artist. More information is available at

Candlelight Vigil at the Survivors of Suicide Memory Garden - Nov. 18: The 5th Annual Survivors of Suicide Candlelight Vigil is Saturday, Nov. 18 at the Survivors of Suicide Memory Garden in Cofrin Nature Park (4810 NW Eighth Ave.). Activities start at 4 p.m., with the ceremony beginning at 5:45 p.m. This event is free and open to the community, and refreshments will be provided. Parking is available at the University City Church of Christ parking lot, due east of Cofrin Nature Park at 4626 NW Eighth Ave. Parking is available at the park for those with a disabled parking placard. The Survivors of Suicide Memory Garden was dedicated in 2013 with the purpose of serving those who have experienced the loss of a loved one to suicide. The garden offers a space for peaceful reflection to those who have experienced any kind of loss, and is also open to the community for those who wish to find retreat amidst the beauty and comfort offered by the garden. Please visit the Facebook event for more information.

Annual Cane Boil and FiddleFest on Nov. 25: Join us at Morningside Nature Center Saturday, Nov. 25 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. for the Annual Cane Boil and FiddleFest. This event combines traditions of giving thanks and fall harvest with live fiddle, banjo and string-band music, which were major influences on American entertainment for more than 150 years. Bring your holiday guests, friends and family out to Morningside’s beautiful Living History Farm to experience the making and bottling of sugarcane syrup, biscuits hot from the wood cookstove, live roots music, horse-drawn wagon rides and living history interpreters and demonstrators bringing a country day in 1870 to life. The Longleaf Pine Youth Fiddle Contest is for musicians 18-years-old or younger. Contestants may register online at before Wednesday, Nov. 22 (recommended), or may register on-site the morning of the event from 9-10 a.m. Pre-registered contestants should also check-in during this time. The contest starts at 10 a.m., concluding with judging and presentation of prizes, awarded to first, second, third place winners and runners-up in each of the three divisions. Traditional music played by talented, local musicians will follow all afternoon. Make this event part of your Thanksgiving weekend tradition! Event admission is free!

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:

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

Soccer for All: Soccer for All 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 on the field while they have fun and learn important safety skills. Soccer for All is offered Sundays from 2-4 p.m. at Albert “Ray” Massey (Westside) Park, Ball Field #3. This month's dates are: Nov. 5 and 12. Registration is on site. For additional information, please contact Noah’s Endeavor at 352-275-9639 or or visit their website at

Youth Coed Basketball Registration Open Through Dec. 1: 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.

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.

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 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 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 continues through Saturday, Jan. 6.

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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