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The City of Gainesville is hosting a visioning session to receive community input on future services, development concepts and ideas for formally naming the former Gainesville Correctional Institute (GCI), which is located at 2845 NE 39th Ave. (also being referred to as the GCI Project and/or the Empowerment Center). Please join us Saturday, Jan. 11 from 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Thelma Boltin Center (516 NE Second Ave.) for a facilitated visioning session to identify opportunities, challenges and visions for the adaptive reuse of the former GCI campus. The visioning session is free and open to the public, but due to limited seating you must RSVP (by 7 a.m. Saturday) by responding via Eventbrite.
Individuals interested in touring the GCI site prior to the visioning session are able to tour the grounds Friday, Jan. 10 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (tours take approximately 30 minutes). As most of the buildings still need renovation, and a few may be under construction at that time, only adults are able to tour the site. Please note that this is a tour only (no meeting or materials) and staff providing the tours may not have answers about the project; the project managers will be at the visioning session on Saturday.
The City of Gainesville Planning and Development Services Department; the City Beautification Board; Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department and the Four Seasons Garden Club invite the media and the public to the free Florida Arbor Day 2014 celebration. It will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 16 at the Depot Building, which is located at 201 SE Depot Ave., in Gainesville, Fla.
The City of Gainesville, the City Beautification Board and the Four Seasons Garden Club will celebrate its 30th year as Tree City USA and will honor these years by planting 68 shade trees. Music, tours of Depot Park, shade trees giveaway and light refreshments will be provided.
For additional information, please contact Earline Luhrman at 352-393-8188. Please RSVP to Ella Bernhardt-Brooks at 352-393-8181 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The City of Gainesville and the Florida League of Cities (FLC) are pleased to announce City Commissioner Susan Bottcher (District III) from Gainesville, Fla. has graduated from the inaugural class of the Institute for Elected Municipal Officials (IEMO) III: The Leadership Challenge. Created 21 years ago as a way to educate newly elected officials on the intricacies of municipal government in a cost-effective manner, the IEMO emerged from a partnership between the Florida League of Cities and the John Scott Dailey Institute of Government. A second level was created in 1994 as the Advanced Institute, and now a leadership-based course has been developed as IEMO III. Bottcher previously completed the basic and advanced IEMO courses since 2011.
City of Gainesville officials anticipate that severe weather conditions, including temperatures that are expected to fall to below 45 degrees Fahrenheit, will cause the city to reactivate its Cold Night Shelter Program beginning Monday, Jan. 6, 2014, until overnight low temperatures rise above 45 degrees. The program normally runs from Nov. 1 through March 31 each year.
St. Francis House and the Alachua County Coalition for the Homeless and Hungry will provide services to people in need of shelter as local temperatures drop. The Alachua County Coalition for the Homeless and Hungry will provide motel room vouchers to serve additional persons in need of shelter so that homeless families and individuals desiring shelter will have a warm place to stay. St. Francis House will also serve additional persons with temporary shelter, bed/blanket and hot breakfast. Funding for the fiscal year 2014 Cold Night Shelter Program is made available through a $25,000 City of Gainesville Community Development Block Grant and $25,000 in funding from the Alachua County Board of County Commissioners.
With the freezing temperatures predicted this week, the City of Gainesville Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department will continuously run its backflow preventers throughout the parks and facilities system. This means that the irrigation systems continuously drip in order to prevent freezing, which can damage the irrigation components. The backflow preventers are set to drip from the evening of Monday, Jan. 6 through the afternoon of Wednesday, Jan. 8.
Due to this procedure, the department typically receives calls referencing "leaking pipes and faucets." Please help us inform the general public of this practice. Please contact Linda Demetropoulos at email@example.com or 352-393-8445.
The 2014 calendar (pdf) is now available for downloading. Photographs in the calendar are finalists of the Fifth Annual Gainesville Photography Contest: One Gainesville. The pages are 8.5"x14" and cardstock is recommended. Please note, the size of the file is large since it is a printable, hi-resolution calendar. To download the pdf, please
The December edition of the City Manager's electronic newsletter, Municipal Minutes, is now available. This monthly e-newsletter provides information about upcoming activities, projects and meetings in the City of Gainesville.
The January edition of the City Manager's electronic newsletter, Municipal Minutes, is now available. This monthly e-newsletter provides information about upcoming activities, projects and meetings in the City of Gainesville.
In observance of the holiday season, city offices will be closed Wednesday, Dec. 25 and Thursday, Dec. 26. There will be a schedule change in curbside waste collection for Christmas week. Monday and Tuesday’s waste collection will be as scheduled; however, there will be a one day delay for Wednesday and Thursday collection. RTS will run its Sunday service on Christmas Eve, Dec. 24. Route run times are indicated by a “U” in the online and printed schedule. Paratransit service will be available between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. In observation of the Christmas holiday, RTS offices will be closed and there will be no bus or paratransit service on Dec. 25.
The "City Manager’s Biweekly Report to the City Commission" provides information about significant upcoming activities, projects, and meetings in the City of Gainesville over the course of the next two to three weeks. In addition to brief descriptions on each of the upcoming activities, you can click on hyperlinks for more information regarding the presented topic.
The Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department will host Downtown Countdown, a New Year’s Eve celebration concert, at the Bo Diddley Community Plaza. Headlining the concert is the Beatles tribute band, The Impostors, a six-piece group comprised of some of the area’s most popular musicians. Band members include Mike Boulware (guitar/vocals), Don David (guitar/vocals), Michael Derry (guitar/vocals), Ron Thomas (bass guitar/vocals) Brad Bangstad (keyboards) and Rob Rothschild (drums). Sitting in for Rothschild on the drums will be Larry Thompson. The Impostors were hatched by keyboardist Mark Loveland and guitarist Michael Derry in 1984. That year, they formed a 14-piece band that played a two-show night at the Thomas Center to a rave response. At that concert, Ron Thomas joined the cofounders with 11 other musicians. Don David joined in 1985, Mike Boulware joined in the early ’90s, Rob Rothschild joined shortly after and the newest member, Brad Bandstad, joined this year. The Impostors play a full range of Beatles’ music from the popular hits of the early heydays, through the experimental era of “Revolver” and “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” to the final rooftop appearance and “Abbey Road.”
The Thomas Center Galleries invite the community to the opening reception for the A BARE THREAD Art Quilts by Amy Vigilante exhibition Friday, Jan. 17, 2014 at 6 p.m. The reception will be followed by a concert at 7 p.m. featuring popular local singer-songwriter Ricky Kendall and his friends. Both events are free and open to the public. The A BARE THREAD Art Quilts by Amy Vigilante exhibit will be on display in the Main Gallery Jan. 10-Mar. 22, 2014.
On Dec. 1, the City Gainesville Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department’s Pop Warner Cheerleading Team, the Gator Jr. Midget Team, placed first at the Southeast Region Cheerleading Championships in Orlando, Fla. This first place finish grants the Gainesville Gator Jr. Midgets Team an opportunity to compete for the national title at the Pop Warner National Cheerleading Championship that will be held Wednesday, Dec. 11
The Thanksgiving Day holiday will be observed by the City of Gainesville Thursday, Nov. 28 and Friday, Nov. 29. All city offices will be closed and RTS will have no fixed route service. RTS will provide reduced service Wednesday, Nov. 27. Please visit
for complete scheduling details. Curbside collection of solid waste, recycling, yard trash and bulk items normally collected on Thursday will be collected on Friday. No other collection day will be affected by the holiday.
Come be swept away with medieval magic by volunteering at the 28th Annual Hoggetowne Medieval Faire. Step back in time at the Alachua County Fairgrounds on Saturday, Jan. 25, Sunday, Jan. 26 and Friday, Jan. 31 through Sunday, Feb. 2. Become a part of Gainesville’s rich tradition of community service while enjoying one of the area’s most highly anticipated events. The success of the faire depends on the commitment and dedication of our volunteers. We need your help to make this year’s event as grand as ever.
The City of Gainesville’s Affordable Housing Advisory Committee (AHAC) is holding a public hearing on the proposed recommendations for the State Housing Initiatives Partnership (SHIP) Program. The hearing is Monday, Dec. 2 at 6 p.m. in room 201 of Thomas Center “B,” which is located at 306 NE Sixth Ave. Staff will present information about the proposed Incentives and Recommendations Report (IRR), and is seeking feedback from citizens about the proposed IRR.
On Saturday, Dec. 7, the City of Gainesville Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs is hosting its annual Holiday Tree Lighting Celebration at the Historic Thomas Center. Gainesville Mayor Ed Braddy will join the celebration to light up the tree and wish all of the revelers a happy holiday season. The free program will run from 6-8 p.m. and will feature caroling by the Singers of the Reformation and the Gainesville Harmony Show Chorus, as well as holiday music on the hammered dulcimer and autoharp by Jim and Joyce Lillquist of the Gypsy Guerrilla Band.
The holidays are approaching quickly. Have you started your letter to Santa? The Jolly Old Elf himself wants to hear from you! The City of Gainesville Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs (PRCA) is collecting letters through its Operation Letters to Santa program this year for all children in kindergarten through third grade (or any child that still “believes”). This is a free program and is open to all Gainesville residents. Staff will make sure Santa reads and responds to each letter. Letters must be postmarked or received by Friday, Dec. 13, 2013.
The Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department is getting geared up for another season of great games for Youth Coed Basketball. Through fitness, fair play and sportsmanship, the program teaches youth, age 5-14, how character counts on and off the court. There are no try outs, and each participant gets to play. Practice starts Monday, Dec. 2 at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Multipurpose Center, which is located at 1028 NE 14th St., from 6-8 p.m. Games will begin in January, and will run through March 2014, taking place in Alachua County and the surrounding areas.
For the sixth consecutive year, the City of Gainesville’s three municipal swimming pools exceeded attendance goals, once again shattering attendance records! For the 2013 aquatic season, which ended Oct. 31, 123,704 patron visits were recorded at all three pools, up 10 percent from 2012 (112,512 patron visits). For each individual pool, the greatest increase came from Andrew R. Mickle Pool, which had a 17.5 percent increase over 2012, due in large part to the installation of a new aquatic climbing wall, expanded marketing promotions and expanded programming and operating hours. This was followed by H. Spurgeon Cherry (Westside) Pool with a 13.3 percent increase, and Dwight H. Hunter (Northeast) Pool with a 5.6 percent increase.
Beazer East, Inc., the responsible party for the contamination at the Koppers portion of the Cabot-Koppers Superfund site, will begin a pilot soil removal and replacement action at one property in the Stephen Foster Neighborhood. It is located at 436 NW 30th Ave., adjacent to the western boundary of the former Koppers site.