GNV commission to tackle traffic, trash, contracts

The Gainesville City Commission will hold its regular meeting at 1 p.m. on Thursday at City Hall. This will be its first regular meeting since the fall recess and the first without former Commissioner Gail Johnson.

You can watch in person or at the city’s website and Facebook page. The agenda is also available online.

The agenda for the meeting runs 54 pages, including 30 items on the consent agenda. Here’s a rundown on some of the items.

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Contract Approval for New Charter Officers

The commissioners will vote to approve the new contracts for the interim city manager and the interim city attorney.

The commission picked Daniel Nee as the interim city attorney at its Sept. 27 special meeting. He has worked for the city since 2001, serving as the litigation attorney since 2009. Nee’s contract stipulates an annual salary of $197,000.

The commission picked Cynthia Curry to take over as the interim city manager once current manager Lee Feldman leaves on Nov. 15 following his resignation announcement on Sept. 13.

Curry was selected for the role at a Oct. 12 special meeting. She currently works as a diversity officer with The Everglades Foundation. Her first day at citall will be Nov. 15 with an annual salary of $250,000.

Both of these contract approvals are in the consent agenda, meaning the commissioners will not discuss the items unless pulled into the regular agenda.

Violence Interrupters Task Force

Also on the consent agenda, this item allows the city manager to approve the contract between the City of Gainesville and the Florida Department of Corrections.

With the contract, the state will reimburse Gainesville up to $230,000 for its NSPIRE Interrupters Program. The program seeks to prevent gun violence using the CDC’s public health approach.

The city is responsible for creating four part-time NSPIRE Interrupter positions, providing training and equipping the positions with the necessary equipment.

Gainesville has seen an increase in gun violence this year, prompting a gun buyback on Oct. 30 along with other law enforcement measures.

Daily Traffic Map - in body

West University Avenue Presentation

The commissioners will hear a presentation by HDR Engineering, Inc., about its safety study of West University Avenue between NW 22nd Street and NE 3rd Avenue and between NW 5th Avenue and SW 9th Avenue on West 13th Street.

The city hired the company to perform the study given the number of pedestrian incidents that have occurred.

Staff recommend the commission hear the presentation, authorize the city manager to find a way to fund the design phase of any road changes the commission decides to adopt and hire a design consultant for the work.

The design phase is estimated to cost $500,000 while the actual construction would total closer to $20 million, the amount the city asked for in a funding request.

Since January, the city reports having retimed traffic signals, installed better crosswalks, improved signage, trimmed overhanging trees, installed speed tables, reduced the speed limit and added one-way pairs.

The deaths of two pedestrians on West University last winter sparked the changes.

Mainstreet Daily News correspondent Camille Broadway reported on potential mid-block crosswalks that may get approved on West University Avenue.

Study Limits - in body

GRU Trash Can Survey

Commissioners will discuss approving a new, month-long survey of resident’s trash usage. The program would hire community members from the city’s BOLD program to record what percentage of their trash cans residents are filing.

The program would apply to all residents with 65 and 96 gallon carts. After four weeks of reporting, the survey would place informational tags on carts that are consistently underutilized that inform the owner how to save money by swapping out their trash can for a smaller one.

This program would cost $44,000 to run.

Changes to SW 62rd Boulevard

The commission will also vote to move forward with changes to SW 62nd Boulevard. The project would include the Florida Department of Transportation, who would pay the majority of the $15.1 million cost, and Alachua County.

The construction would add a 1.1 mile road from SW 43rd Street to SW 52nd Street, consisting of 11-foot travel lanes, 7-foot bike lanes and a 10-foot multi-use path.

The project would relieve the traffic congestion to I-75, SW 34th Street, Archer Road and Newberry Road.

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