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.

October Featured Information

Sign up for alertGNV!: Hurricane season continues through November. Now is a great time to sign up for alertGNV.org, a new alert system that will help keep residents, city staff and emergency personnel safe and informed with fast and reliable emergency notifications and public service announcements. alertGNV will alert residents to a variety of events, ranging from severe weather, fires, floods, hurricanes and other emergencies, to more routine announcements such as road closures and utility maintenance. Messages will be sent to residents on their preferred method of contact – cell phone, SMS, home phone, email, fax and more – to ensure real-time access to potentially lifesaving information.

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

  • Wednesday, Oct. 17 at 2 p.m.: Equal Opportunity Director Candidate Interviews in the City Hall auditorium

Construction and Capital Projects:
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 October, 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 broadusm@cityofgainesville.org.
Norton Trail Phase 2: Construction continues on the Norton Trail project. Upcoming tasks include finishing the sod installation and beginning asphalt paving. 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 70 percent complete, and is expected to be finished this October. For more information, please contact Stefan Broadus, project manager, at 352-393-8406 or broadusm@cityofgainesville.org.

Wild Spaces, Public Places Project Updates:
SW 47th Ave Trail: This Wild Spaces and Public Places project consists of the construction of a 1,619 foot paved multiuse trail on the north side of Southwest 47th Avenue from Southwest 40th Boulevard to Southwest 34th Street.  Construction began in September 2018, and is anticipated to be complete by June 2019.  The trail will connect high-density residential areas to activity centers off of Southwest 34th Street. For more information, please contact Betsy Waite, project manager, at 352-393-8187 or waiteed@cityofgainesville.org.
City Pool Improvements: This Wild Spaces and Public Places project consists of the installation of geothermal heating and cooling pumps at H. Spurgeon Cherry “Westside” Pool.  The pump installation began in August and was completed in September.  Westside Pool is now open year round!  For more information, please contact Betsy Waite, project manager, at 352-393-8187 or waiteed@cityofgainesville.org.
Duval Park Boardwalk Replacement: This Wild Spaces and Public Places project consists of the replacement of 959 linear feet of boardwalks in Duval Park.  The boardwalks at Duval Park have been closed to the public since Hurricane Irma.  Fallen trees coupled with severe wood rot created a safety hazard that was beyond the capacity of staff to repair.  Work will begin on site in late November.  For more information, please contact Betsy Waite, project manager, at 352-393-8187 or waiteed@cityofgainesville.org.

Quality

Westside Pool Will Be Open Year Round in Fall: PRCA is facilitating the installation of geothermal pumps at H. Spurgeon Cherry “Westside” Pool. Work began in early August, and it is anticipated that the pumps will come online in October 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. For more information, please contact Betsy Waite, project manager, at 352-393-8187 or waiteed@cityofgainesville.org.

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 https://tinyurl.com/StarAwardsGNV2018. Nominations are due by Oct. 31, 2018.

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. and the second Sunday at 5 p.m.

Teamwork

Gainesville Greenway Challenge Volunteer Workday on Oct. 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, Oct. 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 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 www.facebook.com/gnvgreenwaychallenge. For more information, email gnvgreenwaychallenge@gmail.com or call 352-393-8428. Check out the Challenge on Instagram @gnvgreenwaychallenge!

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

"Free Fridays" Concert Series Concludes for the Season: The region’s longest-running and largest free outdoor concert series concludes for the season this month. 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 www.FreeFridaysGNV.com.
Oct. 5: Both Sides Now: A Tribute to the Music of Joni Mitchell by Cathy DeWitt & Friends
Oct. 12: Woodstock Era Tribute Highlighting the Work of Jimi Hendrix by The Relics & Michael Derry & Friends
Oct. 19: UF World Music Ensembles featuring Jacaré Brazil, Agbedidi Africa, Sunshine Steelers and Pazeni Sauti Africa Choir

Depot Park parkrun 5K on Saturdays: Depot Park Parkrun is a free, weekly 5k for people of all abilities (whether you walk, jog, run or volunteer). We invite you to join us and experience the parkrun community for yourself. Register one time at https://www.parkrun.us/register/ and bring the printed barcode with you to any of the thousands of parkrun events worldwide.

Old Florida Seed and Story Swap – Oct. 6: Join us at Morningside Nature Center’s Living History Farm for the Old Florida Seed and Story Swap Saturday, Oct. 6 from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Help us preserve our precious agricultural heritage, and diversify your own garden by bringing your seeds to swap with others in our gardening community. Please, no live plants, seeds older than five years or seeds from invasive exotics. No seeds to swap? Come on down anyway and meet fellow gardeners, while enjoying Morningside’s historic farm.

Wildflower Walks – Saturdays in October: Participants will enjoy the spectacular fall wildflower bloom in the piney woods of Morningside Nature Center during a guided walk. The Jean Dorney Memorial Wildflower Walks are free and take place every Saturday in October, starting at 9 a.m. at Morningside Nature Center’s education building. Wear comfortable walking shoes, and bring water and any field guides you would like to use. These walks are courtesy of a grant from the Friends of Nature Parks in honor of charter member Jean Dorney. For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/events/1004290589750244/.

Hogtown Creek Headwaters Nature Park Ribbon-Cutting - Oct. 12: You’re invited to celebrate the recent park improvements for Hogtown Creek Headwaters Nature Park Friday, Oct. from 10-11 a.m. The public is encouraged to dress comfortably, stay for the guided nature walk after the dedication and try out the new park amenities! Staff will be on hand demonstrating the fitness equipment.  Light refreshments will be provided. Public parking provided at Baha'i Center (4451 NW 19th Ave.) with shuttle service to the park. ADA and VIP parking available at the park at 1500 NW 45th Ave. For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/events/242235896459557/.  

Tom Petty Birthday Bash at Depot Park Oct. 19-20: The Tom Petty Birthday Bash is a music festival celebrating the life and legacy of Tom Petty through diverse music performances, art and community engagement to share his music for generations to come. The Tom Petty Birthday is a free festival, and everyone is welcome to celebrate. In addition to the fee ticket, you can upgrade your experience to a Petty Package to benefit the UF Health Shands Arts In Medicine, and receive cool merchandise, festival perks, and an invitation to an exclusive pre-party. For full event information, visit https://www.facebook.com/events/247349996086519/.

K9 Splash Bash - Oct. 20: Come out for a paw-some time Saturday, Oct. 20 from 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m. to H. Spurgeon Cherry (Westside) Pool, which is located at 1001 NW 31st Dr., for a great day at the pool for your pup! Admission is $5 per dog. This is the one day of the year that your canine pal can enjoy dogs-only swimming and fun activities all around the pool deck and splash pad. For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/events/2217503641828260/. Please note, swimming is for dogs only.

Westside Pool Celebration - Oct. 27: We're hosting a pool part to celebrate H. Spurgeon Cherry “Westside” Pool’s 50th birthday and the completion of installation of geothermal heating and cooling pumps, which allows the pool to remain open year round. The celebration is Saturday, Oct. 27, from 12-5 p.m. at Westside Pool, which is located at 1001 NW 31 Dr. During the celebration, admission to the pool is free!  In addition to a free afternoon of family fun, you have a chance to win free giveaways such as pool passes, golf at Ironwood Golf Course and Hoggetowne Medieval Faire tickets. Come enjoy the afternoon, grab some cake and we’ll meet you in the pool! This project was funded with the Wild Spaces & Public Places half-cent sales tax. 

Fall 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.
-- The Grascals: Thursday, Nov. 1
-- The Curry's Christmas Show: Wednesday, Dec. 19

Fall 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 through 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. October highlights include new weekly 5Ks (free!) and the Tom Petty Birthday Bash! For a full lineup of events, visit http://www.depotpark.org/events and follow us on https://www.facebook.com/depotpark/.

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 https://www.facebook.com/pg/BoDiddleyPlazaGNV or www.bodiddleyplaza.com

Art Exhibitions at the Thomas Center Galleries:
-RockPaperScissors | Playing with Material Change RockPaperScissors | Playing with Material Change is what happens when artists are inspired by the very materials they hold, stitch, carve, fold, print, cut, weave or shape. Each piece in the RockPaperScissors exhibit telegraphs a bit of creative obsession with tactile satisfaction — from the way pigment integrates with the fiber of cotton rag paper, to the touch of silk threads intertwining, to the cold smooth feel of alabaster as it is endlessly polished by the artist’s hand. Materiality itself acts as muse in RockPaperScissors, giving viewers a glimpse into how artists both command and yield to their materials in the creative process. The exhibition continues through Friday, Jan. 4, 2019.

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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