GNV commission to discuss housing, redistricting

The Gainesville City Commission will meet at 10 a.m. Thursday to discuss issues ranging from affordable housing to solar projects.

Commissioner-elect Cynthia Chestnut will sit on the dias for the first time, following her 9 a.m. swearing-in ceremony on the steps of City Hall.

Little Hatchet Creek Stabilization project

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On the consent agenda, the commission will vote to allow the city manager to enter an agreement with TSI Disaster Recovery, LLC to complete the projects, slated to cost $1,181,400.

The creek is prone to erosion, and the project would add an engineered wall, protecting the Airport Helicopter Hanger.

Commission redistricting

At 10:15 a.m. the commission will hear a presentation from Michael McDonald and Daniel Smith, professors of political science at UF, on potential redistricting options.

Staff recommends hearing the presentation, discussing recommendations and setting future meeting dates to discuss the commission’s options.

Recharge wetland project

The commission will decide to give approval for Gainesville Regional Utility (GRU) to move forward with a joint recharge wetland project with the Suwannee River Water Management District and Florida Department of Environmental Protection.

The plan would have GRU pump reclaimed water from GRU’s Kanapaha Water Reclamation Facility to recharge Florida’s aquifer. The project cost is capped at $10 million with cost shared between organizations.

Staff recommends allowing a contract between GRU and the company doing the construction. Three firms advanced to a final ranking with staff selecting Wharton-Smith, Inc. as the top choice.

Solar power agreement

Staff recommends extending the contract for a planned 50 MW solar facility to be built by Florida Solar 6, LLC. The project stalled and failed to meet a December deadline, making an extension necessary. Alachua County rejected the application for the 638-acre facility after citizen pushback.

Affordable housing

A discussion initiated by Commissioner Desmon Duncan-Walker to cover affordable housing with no specific recommended action or specifics.

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