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Sunday February 14th, 2016 6:27PM

GCC gets ready for big grant approval

By Jerry Gunn Reporter
GAINESVILLE - Gainesville City Council marked several grant resolutions for approval at next Tuesday's regular meeting during their work session Thursday morning.<br /> <br /> Mayor Danny Dunagan said the grants should save the taxpayers a great deal of money on everything from downtown planning to transportation improvements to public art work.<br /> <br /> "It adds up to just over $600,000, Dunagan said. "We'll start our transportation plan and the other grants are just to make our city better."<br /> <br /> The $522,000 state transportation grant calls for 50/50 matching funds from the city.<br /> <br /> Public Works Director David Dockery said the local funding match is in the budget for three major intersection improvements along Jesse Jewell Parkway.<br /> Dockery said the intersections at E.E. Butler Parkway, Auburn Avenue and West End Avenue are slated for those improvements.<br /> <br /> "This will be the first project identified in the transportation master plan," Dockery said. "This will provide 50 percent of the funding."<br /> <br /> Dockery said after engineering and right-of-way acquisition, the improvement work should start early next year.<br /> <br /> Grant approval resolutions for a state Gateway Grant and an economic development grant also went before City Council.<br /> <br /> Special Projects Manager with Community Development Jessica Tullar made the requests, including permission to apply for a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts for public art.<br /> <br /> "The intent of this first project is to do a sculpture piece in front of the Civic Center," Tullar said. "We will do an official call for artists and have a selection panel."<br /> <br /> Tullar told City Council matching fund grant amounts range from $10,000 to $100,000. Arts Council members and Quinlan Arts Center members would make up the panel.<br /> <br /> The $48,000 Gateway grant would finance right-of-way restoration of the city's community forest at the Exit 20 entrance from I-985. The city would match $20,000 from the Appalachian Regional Commission to help fund a downtown strategic master plan.
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