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.

January Featured Information

Holiday Closings:
January 1 - City offices will be closed to observe the new year Monday, Jan. 1. There will be a one day delay all week in curbside waste collection this week. RTS will run its holiday service Jan. 1 between 7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. on routes 1, 2, 5, 8, 10, 13, 15, 16, 20, 26, 35, 43, 75 and 711. Please visit www.Go-RTS.com for up-to-date route information.
January 15 - City offices will be closed to observe the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday Monday, Jan. 15. There will be a one day delay all week in curbside waste collection this week. RTS will run its holiday service Jan. 15 between 7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. on routes 1, 2, 5, 8, 10, 13, 15, 16, 20, 26, 35, 43, 75 and 711. Please visit www.Go-RTS.com for up-to-date route information.

Jan. 15 CRA Meeting Canceled: Please note that the regularly scheduled Jan. 15 CRA meeting has been canceled.

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, asphalt paving, decorative brick sidewalks and curb and gutter for the new roadway. Construction will take place under local closures to expedite the schedule. The project is about 50 percent complete, and is on schedule to be complete in spring 2018. For more information, please 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. Construction is expected to start in early January, and will 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.
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. The project was bid out in summer 2017 and Florida Safety Contractors, Inc. was determined to be the lowest responsible, responsive bidder as stipulated by the city’s competitive bidding process.  Construction began in early November, and is expected to be complete in fall 2018. For more information, please contact John Veilleux, project manager, at 352-393-8418 or veilleuxj@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. Beville Creek provides wildlife with a connection from Cofrin Park to Kingwood Lake. Construction began in early April and finished in mid-December.  For more information, please contact John Veilleux, project manager, at 352-393-8418 or veilleuxj@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/.

Interactive Bike Map Available Online: An interactive map featuring Gainesville's bike resources is available online. The map includes resources such as multi-use trails, bike lanes, bike boulevards and more!

Winter Pool Hours: Winter pool hours started at Northeast Pool in November, and continue through March 2018. Complete pool hours are available on the Pools webpage.

Quality

Sweetwater Annual Passes Make Great Gifts: Give your family members and friends the present of amazing birdwatching and spectacular views! Sweetwater Wetlands Park is not only a place to connect with nature, it is also a way to protect our environment. 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.).

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.
  • “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

Great Invader Raider Rally Registration: Be a part of this annual tradition to remove invasive plant species from our natural areas! Registration opened in December, and you can sign up online on the Gainesville Greenway Challenge page. The Great Invader Raider Rally will take place Saturday, Jan. 27. Under trained leadership, volunteers will work to restore preassigned natural areas from 9-11 a.m. and then are invited to head to Morningside Nature Center from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. for a celebration which includes music, t-shirts, prizes, environmental booths and games and food ($). You can also visit the Gainesville Greenway Challenge page to find out how you can help our natural areas year-round!

Volunteer at Hoggetowne Medieval Faire: Come be swept away with medieval magic by volunteering at the 30th Annual Hoggetowne Medieval Faire Saturday, Jan. 27; Sunday, Jan. 28 and Friday, Feb. 2-Sunday, Feb. 4 at the Alachua County Fairgrounds. Become a part of Gainesville’s most exciting cultural events. The success of the Faire depends on the commitment and dedication of our volunteers. Volunteer shifts are four hours long and include several different tasks. Volunteers will take tickets, distribute programs or oversee the exhibits in the children’s art and essay contest area. Volunteers will also watch over booths while artisans take breaks. Volunteers will receive a one-day pass for free admission to the Faire. For more information about this volunteer opportunity, contact the City of Gainesville at 352-393-8536 or download an application from www.HoggetowneFaire.com.

Gainesville Greenway Challenge Volunteer Workday on Jan. 6: 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, Jan. 6. 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

Recycle Your Christmas Tree and Gift Wrap: Wrapping paper and gift boxes can be recycled in your curbside orange bin. Christmas trees can be placed at curbside for pick up on your regular trash day. The trees need to be stripped of all decorations, including ornaments, bows, tinsel and lights. If curbside service is not available to you, Christmas trees can be taken to Wood Resource Recycling at 10606 N SR 121 at no charge.

Recycle Your Holiday Lights: Holiday and other ornamental lights can be recycled at the Public Works Center, which is located at 405 NW 39th Ave. There is a green cart by the front door of the main lobby that is available 24 hours a day for your convenience.

Garbage Overflow Bags Available: Yellow bags for holiday garbage overflow can be purchased at any of the Publix Super Markets. Ask for the yellow bags at the service counter.

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

Sparks in the Park Dec. 31: Kick off New Year's Eve at Depot Park! At 5 p.m., bring blankets and chairs and find a spot in the park to enjoy the last sunset of 2017 while DJ Billy Beats hosts a family-friendly dance party on the main stage. At 6:30 p.m., the fun continues in Depot Park with “Sparks in the Park,” a musically choreographed fireworks show over the main pond. Following the fireworks display, guests are invited to “GLOW Downtown,” where the sidewalks connecting Depot Park to Bo Diddley Plaza will be lined with glowing luminaries.

Downtown Countdown Dec. 31: Every New Year’s Eve, downtown Gainesville rocks as the New Year is rung in with live music provided by the area’s most popular bands. Local ska/reggae band The Duppies opens the concert at 9 p.m. The Downtown Countdown begins at 9 p.m. and this year’s headliner is The Savants of Soul, who will play a mix of blues, soul, jazz, rock ’n’ roll, punk and ska. A countdown to the New Year at midnight is celebrated with free noisemakers and merry making all-around. This year's event returns to the Bo Diddley Plaza, located at 111 E. University Ave. in downtown Gainesville.

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).
-- Rodney Dillard and the Walker Brothers: Thursday, Jan. 4
-- Kenny and Amanda Smith: Thursday, Feb. 8

Florida Arbor Day Celebration Jan. 19: The City Beautification Board and the City of Gainesville Department of Doing and Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department, together with the Matheson Museum and the Gainesville Garden Club, invite the community to celebrate Florida Arbor Day Friday, Jan. 19 from 11:45 a.m.-1 p.m. The Florida Arbor Day celebration is at the Matheson Museum, which is located at 513 E. University Ave. Please RSVP to Ella Brooks at 352-393-8181 brooksel@cityofgainesville.org.

The Doris Bardon Gallery Dedication Jan. 26: In recognition of the generous endowment to the Gainesville Arts & Parks Foundation from the Arts Association of Alachua County, the Thomas Center Mezzanine Gallery will be named The Doris Bardon Gallery in honor of the late arts leader. The gallery’s inaugural exhibit will be the Alachua County Public Schools Visual Arts Program Showcase, which offers young artists the opportunity to show their work. The gallery dedication is Friday, Jan. 26 at 6:30 p.m.

32nd Annual Hoggetowne Medieval Faire: The Alachua County Fairgrounds is transformed into a bustling medieval marketplace for the 32nd Annual Hoggetowne Medieval Faire. Come be swept away by medieval magic as troupes of actors, street performers and musicians journey back to the days of yore on Jan. 27, Jan. 28 and Feb. 2-4. Join the crowd and cheer for your favorite contender as mounted knight’s joust in full plate armor on the tournament field. Applaud street performers who dance, juggle and jest for your amusement. Listen to minstrels playing period music and enjoy continuous live entertainment on eight stages. Browse through the bustling medieval marketplace for that perfect gift or trinket. Come early to enjoy a day packed with excitement and medieval merriment. Faire hours are 10 a.m.-6 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, and 9 a.m.-5 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 2. Admission is $18 for adults, $8 for children age 5-17 and free for children under 5. Tickets on Friday are $9 for adults and $4 for children age 5-17. For more information, call 352-334-ARTS or visit http://www.hoggetownefaire.com/.

School Day at the 32nd Annual Hoggetowne Medieval Faire: Toss aside your textbooks and become immersed in history during the 32nd Annual Hoggetowne Medieval Faire. The Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department invites all schools and home-school groups to enjoy a field trip filled with magic, history and adventure at the Alachua County Fairgrounds Friday, Feb. 2. Schools that register in advance will receive discounted admission for students and chaperones and a 50-page educational guide to supplement classroom activities before and after the faire. Ticket prices are $2 for students and $6 per adult. Individuals with disabilities, children under five are admitted free. The deadline for advanced registration is Friday, Jan. 5. For more information call 393 - 8536 or visit www.hoggetownefaire.com.

Spring Adult Coed Softball: Registration for the Adult Softball League is open until Friday, Jan. 26. Teams can play on a Monday Men’s League or a Tuesday and Friday Coed Leagues. Joining a softball league is a great opportunity for offices, church groups and other organizations to network, have fun and meet new friends. The Monday Night Men’s League begins Feb. 5, the Tuesday Night Coed League begins Feb. 6 and the Friday Night Coed League begins Feb. 9. The season for each league is estimated to last 12-13 weeks, including playoffs. A mandatory team manager meeting is at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 1 at the Martin Luther King gymnasium’s meeting room, located at 1028 NE 14th St. All team managers are expected to attend, as well as individuals still looking to join a team. All forms and information are available on the Adult Athletics 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 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 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.

-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 is Friday, Jan. 26 through Saturday, Aug. 18. The opening reception is Friday, Jan. 26 from 6:30-9:30 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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