GNV to discuss Eastside sports complex, ARPA funds

The Gainesville City Commission will meet for its General Policy Committee (GPC) on Thursday and discuss or act on a variety of issues including an Eastside sports complex, redistricting and a new city office. 

The GPC meets on the off-week of the commission’s regular meetings. 

Legislative recap: 

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The commission will hear from its contracted lobbyist GrayRobinson on the bills passed during the 2021-22 legislative session. 

Assuming approval by Gov. Ron DeSantis, the city can look forward to receiving funds for its Community Resource Paramedic Program and Alachua Central Receiving Center. 

The city will also look at priorities for the next session. So far, the city is looking at one funding request, totaling $20 million, for redesign and reconstruction of West University Avenue and 13th Street. 

City redistricting: 

Alachua County approved its voting precincts on Tuesday, allowing the city to move forward with its commission voting districts. 

The county commission urged Gainesville to follow the boundaries as close as possible to eliminate split precincts for the next decade. The city commission has worked on several map options over the past couple of months and focused on keeping neighborhoods together

ARPA update: 

Staff will give an update on how the city has used its $32 million of federal American Rescue Plan (ARPA) funds so far. Most recently, the commission approved $6.9 million for nonprofit assistance but still needs to decide how to distribute the funds. 

With that most recent allocation, Gainesville has just under $13 million to spend. So far, it has financed an Eastside Urgent Care Facility, Vision Zero project, energy rehabilitation, violence intervention and utility debt forgiveness. 

Eastside sports complex presentation: 

Commissioner Cynthia Chestnut will present a project to the commission on Thursday that would have the city build a sports complex at the corner of NE 8th Avenue and Waldo Road.

Modeled after two complexes in Hoover and Birmingham, Alabama, Chestnut’s presentation shows the need on the eastside of Gainesville, including a comprehensive year-long recreational calendar, small convention-type multipurpose center for special events and senior citizen center. 

Chestnut recommends the city add an Eastside sports complex to the Wild Spaces Public Places list, direct staff to hire a project consultant, explore traffic calming measures around the area with Rep. Yvonne Hinson and FDOT.

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