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

Town Hall Meeting on Race Relations Initiative on Aug. 11: The Office of Equal Opportunity (OEO) is hosting a town hall style meeting as a follow up to “Understanding Inequity in Alachua County Study,” the racial disparity report that was released approximately seven months ago. Save the date for Saturday, Aug. 11 from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. at the Thelma Boltin Center. The goal is to work toward the elimination of silos and create collaborative partnerships. By bringing together community leaders/members who are actively involved in moving the needle on equity issues, we will share and discuss: 1) what we are doing; 2) what still needs to be done; 3) possibilities for collaboration and, 4) an assessment of resources a needed to move forward. For more information, please contact Gwendolyn Saffo at 352-393-8490 or

Save the Date for the Mayor's Book Club - Sept. 16: Join Mayor Lauren Poe and your community for the next book club! The mayor has announced his next selection is "Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City" by Matthew Desmond. The next meeting of the Mayor's Book Club is Sunday, Sept. 16 from 1-2:15 p.m. in meeting room A of the Headquarters Branch of the Alachua County Library District, which is located at 401 E. University Ave. in downtown Gainesville. The public is invited to read and participate in the discussion.

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

  • Monday, Aug. 6 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: Construction is complete for the Southeast Depot Avenue project. Upgraded stormwater system, streetlights, asphalt paving, decorative brick sidewalks and new curb and gutter are in place for the new roadway. A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held in June, and a short video of the event is available for viewing online. For more information, please visit the project website or contact Stefan Broadus, project manager, at 352-393-8406 or
SE Fourth Street: GRU continues to relocate the existing overhead utilities underground within the project limits. 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 began in February and is expected to be complete in September, with roadwork to follow. More information is available on the project website, or you may contact Stefan Broadus, project manager, at 352-393-8406 or
Norton Trail Phase 2: Construction continues on the Norton Trail project as the trail alignment is being graded through the previously cleared utility corridor. Upcoming tasks include placing the lime rock base in preparation for asphalt paving, as well as some minor drainage improvements. The existing segment of the multi-use trail connects NW 53rd Ave. to NW 45th Ave. at the 2300 block near Norton Elementary School. The segment now under construction will connect NW 39th Avenue to NW 45th Avenue to create a one-mile continuous paved trail. Construction is approximately 20 percent complete, and is expected to be finished this October. For more information, please contact Stefan Broadus, project manager, at 352-393-8406 or

Wild Spaces, Public Places Project Updates:
Albert “Ray” Massey Westside Park Improvements: This WSPP project consists of multiple improvements to athletic fields that are more than 40 years old.  One improvement that is soon to be underway is the installation of netting between baseball fields one and two and the concessions area, which will improve safety. The contract for the netting installation has been signed, and work is expected to be complete by the end of September. Further field improvements are in the planning stage. For more information, please contact John Weber, project manager, at 352-393-8186 or
SW 47th Ave. Multi-Use Trail Construction: This WSPP project consists of the construction of a 1,619 foot paved multi-use trail on the north side of Southwest 47th Avenue from Southwest SW 40th Boulevard to Southwest 34th Street. The trail will connect high-density residential areas to activity centers off of Southwest 34th Street. The trail will be constructed by Commercial Industrial Corp., with construction tentatively scheduled to begin in September 2018. For more information, please contact Betsy Waite, project manager, at 352-393-8187 or
Westside Pool Improvements: This WSPP project consists of the installation of geothermal heating and cooling pumps at H. Spurgeon Cherry “Westside” Pool.  The installation of geothermal pumps, in conjunction with solar blankets, will allow the pool to remain open all year long. The pump installation will take place in August and September.  It is anticipated that the pumps will come online in October 2018. For more information, please contact Betsy Waite, project manager, at 352-393-8187 or
Fred Cone Park Improvements: Design for drainage improvements at Fred Cone Park track infield are in the final stages, and construction is anticipated to take place in the spring 2019.  The city is also working on installing shade structures at the western spectators’ area of Fred Cone Park. No completion date has been set, but contract documents are being processed. For more information, please contact John Weber, project manager, at 352-393-8186 or

Citizen and Customer Satisfaction

UF Rental Welcome for Student Move-Ins: On Wednesday, Aug. 29, Solid Waste Inspectors will work with Code Enforcement Officers, Gainesville Police Department Officers and UF Housing Representatives to welcome and educate the students who have moved into the College Park area. The teams will go door-to-door to hand out information and personally explain about City Of Gainesville ordinances such as parking, noise, refuse and any other vital information. This is also a good time for the students to ask any questions they may have about city ordinances.

Fall RTS Service Begins Aug. 20: RTS's fall bus service begins Monday, Aug. 20. The fall schedule is available for print or viewing on the RTS website, under the schedules tab.  Routes back from summer break are 19, 21, 27, 28, 29, 36, 37, 39, 40, 76, 77, 118, 121 and Later Gators D and F. Routes that have changes to the frequency, start or end times are 5, 10, 27, 28, 35 and 117. Routes that have new service alignments are 33 and 122. Route 800X is a new route that offers express service (non-stop) from the Butler Plaza Transfer Station to Santa Fe College. The route will run every 60 minutes, Monday-Friday, between 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Please visit the RTS website at 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 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


Westside Pool Will Be Open Year Round in Fall: PRCA is facilitating the installation of geothermal pumps at H. Spurgeon Cherry “Westside” Pool. Work will begin the week of Aug. 6, and it is anticipated that the pumps will come online in November 2018. Service to the pool will not be disrupted. Geothermal pumps, together with solar blankets, will allow Westside Pool to remain open all year long, starting this fall.  Westside Pool historically has the highest usage of all three city pools, with 56,651 people visiting in 2017! Westside Pool will be the second city pool open year round. The Dwight H. Hunter “Northeast” Pool has been open year round since 2010 after geothermal pumps were installed. This project is funded with the Wild Spaces & Public Places half-cent sales tax.  The half-cent sales tax is being collected in the county from Jan. 1, 2017 to Dec. 31, 2024, and is used to create, improve and maintain parks and recreational facilities and acquire and improve environmentally-sensitive lands.

Nominations Sought for Environmental Contributions: PRCA and the Nature Centers Commission citizen advisory board are seeking nominations for the annual Star Awards. Nominations are accepted in the categories of Star Volunteer, Star Good Neighbor and Star Green Business. The Star Volunteer Award honors the volunteer who has contributed the most time, energy and enthusiasm volunteering in City of Gainesville nature parks or programs during the year. The Star Good Neighbor Award recognizes the efforts of individuals, groups or organizations that help to maintain and preserve natural areas within the City of Gainesville. Awardees are recognized for their positive impact in promoting environmental awareness, environmental stewardship or other environmental contribution. The Star Green Business Award recognizes environmentally-friendly businesses operating within the City of Gainesville. For more information, including how to nominate, please visit

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. and the second Sunday at 5 p.m.


City of Gainesville and Bob Graham Center Announce 2018-2019 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 2018-2019 fellows for a joint fellowship opportunity. More than 15 students applied for the four spots. In collaboration with the Graham Center, staff from 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, Communications Office, Human Resources, the Department of Doing and others. The fellows selected are Austin Knipper, Nina Kumar, Andrea Mora and Beatriz Ramon, and they are working in the areas of research and prototyping, digital services, visual design and engagement, respectively.

Gainesville Greenway Challenge Volunteer Workday on Aug. 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, Aug. 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 warmer 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. Check out the Challenge on Instagram @gnvgreenwaychallenge!


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 returns to feature local and regional musical talent at Bo Diddley Plaza. Our 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. Each Friday night from 8-10 p.m., a new band brings their original and cover tunes to the Bo Diddley Plaza concert stage. Free Fridays – it’s where to be on Friday nights! The full schedule is available at
Aug. 3: Bridget Kelly (blues)
Aug. 10: The Duppies(ska, reggae)
Aug.17: Heavy Petty and HEDGES (tribute to Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers and original songs)
Aug. 24: Tribute to Buffalo Springfield and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young by Other Voices, Mark Miale, Tony McMahon and friends
Aug. 31: The Progressive Rock Experience (a tribute to ‘70’s progressive rock with covers of Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Deep Purple, Genesis, Kansas, Styx and Elton John)

Summer Heatwave Championship Basketball Games Aug. 2: Come out Thursday, Aug. 2 for the Basketball Championship Games when the Summer Heatwave basketball teams have their championship games. These games are the culmination of hard teamwork that has been happening since mid-June. Come out the cheer on these talented players! Games start at 6 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 Mickle Pool (1717 SE 15th St.) Sunday, Aug. 5 from 2-6 p.m. At Summer Heatwave Pool Parties, participants can swim, dance, listen to music and enjoy food grilled up by officers and cadets from GPD. Participants must sign in at the front entrance to the pool to receive a wristband. Check out the Facebook event and share with friends.

GFR Station 1 Open House on Aug. 11: Gainesville Fire Rescue (GFR) is hosting an open house Saturday, Aug. 11 at 8:30 a.m. at the new Fire Station #1, which is located at 525 S. Main St. The community is invited to attend the dedication ceremony and open house and tour downtown's newest fire station!

7th Annual Porters Block Party on Aug. 11: Join the Gainesville community at the 7th Annual Summer Block Party Saturday, Aug. 11 from 4–7 p.m. The Block Party includes something for everyone, including backpack giveaways for kids, train rides, bounce houses, information booths, food and live entertainment and other fun activities for kids. The fun is located at the Porters Community Center, 512 SW Second Terrace. Join the Facebook event and invite your friends and family!

Fall Jewel Box Concert Series Kicks Off: 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.
-- Sam Pacetti: Thursday, Aug. 23 at 7 p.m. (doors open at 6 p.m.). Tickets are $20 (general) to $30 (VIP). Sam Pacetti brings it all together: a fingerstyle guitar wizard, a deft songwriter, capable of haunting depth and wry humor in the space of one song. There is no way to describe Sam’s performances at the Thomas Center. The room is filled with the magic in Sam’s playing and singing, leaving you with a one-of-a-kind experience. Don’t miss this chance to be up close to one of Florida’s true treasures.
-- Verlon Thompson: Friday, Sept. 21
-- The Grascals: Thursday, Nov. 1
-- The Curry's Christmas Show: Wednesday, Dec. 19

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.

Sign Up for Foundations Academy and Lay the Groundwork for Success: Consider choosing Foundations Academy for your child's after-school enrichment program. A foundation is an underlying basis, principle or groundwork for something. At Foundations Academy, we strive to lay the groundwork for success by creating an atmosphere where students, parents, staff and community members work together to create an inspirational and safe place for students to learn and grow. Foundations Academy takes place from Monday, Aug. 20-Friday, May 31, and is open for kids in grades 1-8. 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.

Events on the Promenade at Depot Park: Come out for Events on the Promenade with fun activities all month long. August highlights include boot camp class, interactive children’s theatre with Gainesville Community Playhouse, storytime, family-friendly bike rides, games and more! For a full lineup of events, visit and follow us on

Bo Diddley Plaza Activities: Head to Bo Diddley Plaza to decompress after work, listen to great music or find an amazing variety of seasonal produce! There’s Yoga on Mondays and Thursdays at 6 p.m., the Union Street Farmers Market on Wednesdays (4-7 p.m.) and free Capoeira classes on Saturdays at 11:30 a.m. There are also many community events taking place at the plaza. Check out a full listing of events at or

Art Exhibitions at the 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 in the Doris Bardon Gallery through 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.

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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