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.

September Featured Information

Holiday Closing: In observance of the Labor Day holiday, city and GRU offices will be closed Monday, Sept. 4. RTS offices will also be closed, but will provide holiday bus service. 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.; no other routes will run. ADA service will be available during the same service hours. Residential curbside collection of garbage, recycling and yard trash will not be affected.

Hurricane Season: Hurricane season officially began in June and continues through Nov. 30. September is an active month, 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:

  • Wednesday, Sept. 13 at 6 p.m.: Gainesville City Commission workshop in the GRU Multi-Purpose Room

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 and the partial completion of the new stormwater conveyance system. Once complete, the project will feature a roundabout at Southeast Seventh Street, decorative lighting, brick sidewalks, improved drainage and a new 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 will be complete in September.  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 underway on the re-striping project on Southwest Sixth Street, from Depot Avenue to Southwest Fifth Avenue. This project is a City Commission directive, and it will provide 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. Ninety-one spaces will be signed as neighborhood decal only, 13 spaces near the basketball court will be two-hour parking and there will be four handicap accessible spaces at the mid-block crosswalk. The tree islands and the mid-block crosswalk will be completed in early September. For more information, please contact Betsy Waite, project manager, at 352-393-8405 or

Citizen and Customer Satisfaction

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.

Route 5 Gameday Detour: For each home football, University Avenue will be closed in the vicinity of Gale Lemerand Drive. Route 5 will detour up Northwest Sixth Street to Northwest Eighth Avenue to Northwest 34th Street and back to University Avenue. The detour will be reversed heading downtown. This detour will start about three hours prior to kickoff and last until about two hours after the game.

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

Pool Hours - All Three Pools Open!: All three city pools are open for the summer season! For the most up-to-date hours, visit 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. Ranger Tours are held the first Saturday of each month at 8:30 a.m. More information is available at or by calling 352-393-8437.

Accepting Applications for Michelle Park Family Recreation Scholarship: Now in its third year, the Michelle Park Family Recreation Scholarship provides a low to-moderate income family an opportunity to participate in nature, recreation and cultural activities, which are provided by the City of Gainesville and other providers in the community, such as the Samuel P. Harn Museum of Arts and the Florida Museum of Natural History. The criteria of the scholarship are that the family resides in Gainesville, demonstrates financial need and volunteers at least 20 hours for the City of Gainesville during the fiscal year. Application packets are available at Albert “Ray” Massey Westside Recreation Center, Clarence R. Kelly Community Center, Eastside Community Center, MLK Multipurpose Center, T. B. McPherson Center, Porters Community Center and the PRCA Administrative Office at the Thomas Center, Building B on the third floor. The packets are also available online at Applications are due by 5 p.m. on Sept. 30. For more information, please contact Gigi Simmons at or 352-393-8524.


Gainesville Greenway Challenge Volunteer Workday on Sept. 2: 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, Sept. 2. Pre-registration is required; you may fill out the form online. For more information, email or call 352-393-8428.

Giveback Thursdays: 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


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 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:
Sept. 1: Heavy Petty/HEDGES (Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers tribute and original music)
Sept. 8: The Duppies (ska, reggae)
Sept. 15:  The Impostors (Tribute to The Beatles)
Sept. 22:  Wild Blue Yonder (classic rock)
Sept. 29:  JP Latin All Stars (Latin fusion)

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.
-- Billy Dean: Friday, Sept. 8 at 7 p.m. (doors open at 6 p.m.). Tickets are $20. Billy Dean is a Florida Artists Hall of Fame member, Academy of Country Music and Country Music Association award-winner and Grammy nominee, and this concert is certain to be an up close and personal performance.

Touch-a-Truck Returns Sept. 23: Touch-a-Truck returns to Gainesville Saturday, Sept. 23 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. (quiet hour from 9-10 a.m.). This year’s event is at Santa Fe College’s north field (corner of NW 39th Ave. and NW 91st St.). This free community event provides children with a hands-on, educational experience by giving them an opportunity to climb into and/or on vehicles and to talk with the operators. They learn about the vehicles and pedestrian safety around large vehicles. Help feed a hungry child by bringing a donation of non-perishable food items for the Food4Kids Backpack Program of North Florida. Bring some spending money for things such as Sweet Dreams Ice Cream, lunch or activities like the water balloon slingshot. Funds from this year’s Touch-a-Truck event will support programs at Gainesville Fire Rescue and the Kiwanis of Gainesville’s Safety City! Safety City, which opened in 2002, hosts fire safety and accident prevention programs for Alachua County kids in pre-K through high school. These programs emphasize controlling preventable injuries. In this safety venue, children learn fire and life safety through a hands-on teaching experience. For regular updates, check out the Facebook event page.

2017 Gainesville Dash & Splash Summer Series Concludes Sept. 30: The final Gainesville Dash and Splash Summer Series race is Saturday, Sept. 30 at the Westside Pool. This year, the four races will have a variety of formats and new routes. Test the hills of Eighth Avenue or get out on Gainesville’s wooded trails! Each race has a running and swimming component. Don’t wait - sprint to enter! When you register early (more than two days before the race), you’ll save money and receive a unique t-shirt for each race. The entry fee for each race for early registration (more than two days before the race) is only $18.25 for city residents and $24.25 for non-residents. After early registration ends, the fees are $24.25 for city residents and $36.25 for non-residents. Proof of residency, a GRU bill or voter ID card is required at time of registration. You may register online at

Fall Adult Softball Leagues: Batter up - it’s time for adult softball! Registration for the Adult Softball League is open until Wednesday, Sept. 6. Teams can play on a Monday Men’s League or Tuesday and Friday Coed Leagues. Joining a softball league is a great opportunity for office workers, church groups and other organizations to network, have fun and meet new friends! The Monday Night Men’s League starts Sept. 11, the Tuesday Night Coed League starts Sept. 12 and the Friday Night Coed League begins Sept. 15. 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, Sept. 7 at the Martin Luther King Center’s meeting room, located at 1028 NE 14th Complete information is available on the Adult Athletics webpage.

Private Swim Lessons Continue Through October: 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.

Group Swim Lessons Available: Make a splash at one of the city pools this summer learning or practicing your swimming skills! There are convenient group lessons that continue through September. Sign up early to guarantee your spot. For times, fees and other information, visit our swim lessons webpage.

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 from Monday, Aug. 21-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.

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 DJ from 8-10 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 and follow them on

Free Environmental Education Fall Programs Resume in September: The free, educational and fun-filled programs at Morningside Nature Center resume Sept. 1 and 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 Sept. 2, Oct. 7, 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 Sept. 1, Oct. 6, Nov. 3, Dec. 1, Jan. 5, Feb. 2, March 2, April 6 and May 4.

Art Exhibitions at the Historic Thomas Center Galleries:
--UNCONTAINABLE | Urban Art from Vandalism to Movement features a collection of work from 26 globally-recognized urban artists, some of which has never been exhibited. The roots of urban art can be traced to late 20th century graffiti - the stealth "writing" and tagging on buildings and train cars. The exhibition is in both the Main and Mezzanine Galleries and runs through Saturday, Sept. 9.
--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 is Saturday, Sept. 29-Saturday, Jan. 6. The opening reception is Saturday, Sept. 29 from 7-10 p.m.

Companion Events to Cross Creek Rising Exhibition: In September, two events will be held as companion pieces to the Cross Creek Rising | The Consciousness of Land & Water exhibition. A Hotel Thomas Porch Party is Saturday, Sept. 16 from 1-4 p.m. on the porch of the Thomas Center. Our ‘Hotel Thomas Porch Party’ will treat guests to traditional music and unconventional tunes by Sam & Eden, as well as Jessie & Lee Townsend, percussive dance demonstrations, Crankie Theatres, an oldtime music jam, readings, food trucks and pie. On Sunday, Sept. 17 from 1-3 p.m., Eden MacAdam-Somer and Sam Bartlett are holding a concert at the Historic Thomas Center. Eden MacAdam-Somer and Sam Bartlett present tunes inspired by a sense of place in tribute to Rawlings finding her storytelling muse in Cross Creek. MacAdam-Somer and Bartlett return to the historic Thomas Center after their highly-popular, audience-favorite 2015 Jewel Box Concert.

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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