City of Gainesville builds on past success

City of Gainesville builds on past success

by Mayor Bob Hamrick, City of Gainesville

Success is defined as the achievement of something desired, planned, or attempted. As a new year begins, our thoughts turn to ways we can build on past successes. Last year we renovated the Georgia Mountains Center, City Hall, Chattahoochee Golf Course, and Green Street Station. We partnered with the Gainesville City School System for the future home of the Frances Meadows Community Center and new Gainesville Middle School. We built sidewalks to make our community safer, and we designated historic districts to preserve our rich heritage. Our success depends on your support and on the work of all city employees. We are thankful for both.

As good as 2006 was, we are confident 2007 will be even better. Just as the streetscape project transformed our downtown a few years ago, we look forward to the same successful transformation of Midtown. As an incentive to aid in the revitalization of some of the city’s aging areas, City Council established Gainesville’s first Tax Allocation District (TAD) within the Midtown area.

A TAD is a financing tool that allows cities to perform strategic infrastructure improvements and pay for those improvements through the property tax values within the district without raising the millage rate. The TAD became effective December 31.

We are in final negotiations with CSX railroad for the purchase of 12.67 acres. Initially, the city will be constructing a greenway (essentially a 10-foot wide sidewalk) along the path of the old CSX rail line which runs from Mule Camp Springs to Industrial Boulevard. In addition to the actual path, the city will include benches, landscaping, signs and some designated parking for the greenway. Long-term plans call for a new park to be built on the old railroad property. We have already received a $100,000 grant from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Recreational Trails Program to help fund the constructions of the greenway once we own the property.

Site work for the Frances Meadows Center is well underway. The project, which is still in the design phase, is currently on schedule for opening in July of 2008. The Frances Meadows Center will boast a state-of-the-art aquatics facility housing an indoor 10-lane competitive pool, 4-lane therapy pool, and a 34,000 square foot outdoor family leisure pool complete with spray fountains, lazy river and zero depth entry features. There will also be a 10,400 square foot community building for receptions, meetings and recreation programming. The project is a result of a successful and ongoing partnership with the Gainesville City School System.

In 2007, we will continue to look for ways to keep taxes down and service delivery up. We will work hard to keep our city clean and our residents safe.
If you want to know what’s going on in Gainesville, sign up for the City’s e-newsletter at and watch TV18 – the Government Channel – for Gainesville-Hall County. If you have any questions, concerns or comments, we hope you will let us know. E-mail: or call us at 770-535-6865.