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

Swearing In Ceremony: The Oath of Office will be administered to commissioners-elect David Arreola, Harvey Ward and Commissioner Helen Warren Thursday, May 4 at 12 noon. The ceremony will be held at the Thelma Boltin Center. This event is free and open to the public.

Holiday Closing: In observance of Memorial Day, city offices will be closed Monday, May 29. Additionally, RTS will run its holiday service; only routes 1, 2, 5, 8, 10, 13, 15, 16, 20, 26, 35, 43, 75 and 711 will be running 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.

Sunscreen Dispenser Launch for Melanoma Awareness Month: Through a partnership with Impact Melanoma, and other generous sponsors, PRCA is installing Bright Guard sunscreen dispensers at 50 locations across city parks, pools, playgrounds, ball fields and more! The dispensers will provide free SPF 30 protection to visitors to make it easy to stay safe in the sun. A launch of the program is Wednesday, May 17 at 4 p.m. at the Bo Diddley Plaza, which is located at 111 E. University Ave.

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 began construction in February. The beginning stages of work include utility adjustments, replacement of the stormwater culverts at Sweetwater Branch and the construction of the 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.
Tumblin Creek Wetland and Trash Trap:  Construction is underway on the city’s newest sediment basin and trash trap. A recently completed watershed management plan for Tumblin Creek identified that a significant amount of trash and polluted runoff discharges into Bivens Arm which is listed as an impaired water body by the State. This nearly 300-foot-long regional wetland and trash trap will reduce the amount of pollutants from stormwater runoff from the city being discharged into this impaired water body. The project will consist of a trash trap to filter out heavier trash and a sediment trap to capture sediment that has been transported down Tumblin Creek.  The project is located at 1900 SW 13th St., and is anticipated to be complete by the end of May 2017.  For more information, please contact Betsy Waite, project manager, at 352-393-8405 or waiteed@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 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/.

RTS Routes on Vacation: Beginning May 1, routes, 19, 27, 28, 29, 36, 37, 39, 40, 62, 76, 77, 118, 121, 126 (weekends) and Later Gators D and F will not be running due to reduced summer funding. These routes are expected to return for fall service.

RTS Reduced Service: From May 1-7, RTS is providing reduced service on city fixed routes 9, 10, 12, 13, 20, 23, 34 and 35. An “R” on route schedules (printed and online) indicates buses that run whenever RTS reduces service on a route. There will be no service on city fixed routes 38 and 46. UF campus service will also be suspended. There are no changes in service on remaining city fixed routes, which will follow their normal summer 2017 schedules. Paratransit service will not be affected. Normal summer service will resume Monday, May 8.

RTS Summer Service Changes: The following summer service changes will be in effect for RTS bus service.

  • Route changes: Route 9 (only to Reitz Union), 20 (only front gate service at Cabana Beach), 25 (weekend-only to Commuter Lot and 126 (weekday-Sorority Row to Park and Ride Lot 2.)
  • Decreased frequency (more time between buses):  Routes 5, 9, 12, 13, 20, 23, 34, 35, 38, 46, 117, 125, 126 and 127 during weekdays.  Routes 1 and 20 during weekends.
  • No service Saturdays:  Routes 23, 34, 38, 46, 117, 125 and 127
  • Decreased service hours (start and end times of buses):  Routes 5, 8, 9, 12, 13, 16, 17, 20, 34, 35, 38, 43, 46, 117, 119, 120, 126 and 127 during weekdays.  Routes 5, 12 and 20 on Saturdays.
  • Routes 34, 38, 119, 120, 122, 125 and 126 will not be servicing the Hub at UF due to construction.  These routes will service the Reitz Union on campus.

Quality

Assistant City Manager Receives Credentialed Manager Designation: The City of Gainesville is proud to announce Assistant City Manager Fred Murry recently received the Credentialed Manager designation from the International City/County Management Association (ICMA). Murry is one of more than 1,400 local government management professionals currently credentialed through the ICMA Voluntary Credentialing Program. To receive the ICMA credential, a member must have significant experience as a senior management executive in local government; have earned a degree, preferably in public administration or a related field; and demonstrated a commitment to high standards of integrity and to lifelong learning and professional development. Murry assumed responsibilities as an Assistant City Manager for the City of Gainesville in August 2007. He has more than 30 years of governmental management, administrative and fiscal experience including: internal management systems; strategic planning; and program design and implementation. Murry holds a Master of Public Policy and Administration Degree from Mississippi State University and a Bachelor of Arts in History/Pre-Law from Talladega College, in Talladega, Alabama.

Downtown Festival & Art Show Call to Artists: Join a tradition of artistic excellence by submitting an artist application for the 36th 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, Nov. 11, and Sunday, Nov. 12, 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 $22,000 in cash prizes and purchase awards. Applications for the Downtown Festival & Art Show are available upon request at 352-393-8536 or online at www.gvlculturalaffairs.org. The application deadline is Thursday, May 4, 2017.

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. and the second Sunday of each month at 4 p.m. (new time!)
  • “Wednesday Bird Walks at the Wetlands”: This new tour is every Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. for 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.

More information is available at www.sweetwaterwetlands.org or by calling 352-393-8437.

Spring Pool Hours - Two Pools Open!: Due to warmer weather, the H. Spurgeon Cherry (Westside) Pool opened Friday, April 28. The Northeast Pool is a year round pool and remains open. The Andrew Mickle Pool reopens Friday, May 26. Spring hours are posted on the pools webpage.

Bus Sign Replacement: RTS is replacing all of its bus stop signs beginning in May, and continuing through the summer. The new bus stop signs are reflective, easier to identify and read. There are more than 1,100 bus stops in the greater Gainesville area. 

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.

Teamwork

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, May 6. Pre-registration is required; you may fill out the form online. 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

Private Swim Lessons Available: 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.

Baseball for All Continues: Baseball for All is a free, adaptive program is 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. For additional information, please contact Noah’s Endeavor at 352-275-9639 or info@noahsendeavor.org or visit their website at www.noahsendeavor.org. Baseball for All is at Westside Park, Ball Field #3 (1001 NW 34th St.) the following remaining Sundays from 2–4 p.m.: May 7 and May 21.

"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:
May 12: Fast Lane (funk, soul, R&B)
May 19:
Grateful Dead tribute (by The Couch Messiahs, The Shambles, Uncle Mosie and more)
May 26: Nancy Luca Band featuring Anna Marie Kirkpatrick (classic rock)

Pop Warner Football & Cheerleading Registration Through July 20: Registration for Pop Warner football and cheerleading opened in Apri 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.

Plan for Summer Camps: Plan ahead for summer and check out the several options offered by PRCA to make it a great week for kids, and convenient for busy parents. During camps, kids will enjoy games, activities and crafts that encourage achievement, a sense of community, good health and strong character!
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. Each camp has three, three-week sessions starting June 12.
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. Each camp has three, three-week sessions starting June 12.
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

Aquatic Leadership Summer Camp: Formerly Junior Lifeguard Camp, the purpose of this fun summer camp is to increase self-confidence and promote safe behavior in the aquatic environment. Throughout the course, campers learn a wide range of skills, including first-aid, CPR and rescue techniques. The program will encourage campers to take on leadership roles as well as challenge them mentally and physically. Besides learning the primary responsibilities of a lifeguard, this course is action-packed with fun activities, games and free swimming. Registration is open, but spaces are limited, so register early!
Hours: 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
Cost: City residents:  $82.75, Non-city residents: $124.25
Ages: 11-15

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 starts June 13, and 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.
Ages: 11-18 (18, if still in school)

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.

Free Environmental Education Programs - Final Month: The free, educational and fun-filled programs at Morningside Nature Center conclude in May at Morningside Nature Center, but will return in September. 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 remaining Saturday date is May 6. 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. in the Education Building. The final Frogs and Friends Friday date is May 5. 

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 7-8:30 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:
--82ºW / Six Degrees of Separation showcases the work of eight contemporary Cuban artists, and is part of the regional Bulla Cubana celebration of Cuban culture. It continues in the Main Gallery through May 12.
--Showcasing Student Art - Secondary Exhibition includes works of art that were created by Alachua County students during the 2016-2017 school year. It continues through Tuesday, May 4, and the reception is Thursday, May 4.

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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