GAINESVILLE – The first Gainesville City Council work session of the year Thursday morning was very brief (just over 20-minutes) but seemed to contain an abundance of content, at least if you are looking into the future.
“2017 is going to be an exciting year,” Gainesville Mayor Danny Dunagan said.
Dunagan’s zeal was both institutional and personal; after listing some of the projects that the city is expected to tackle he added the personal note that he plans to run for re-election.
“I am planning on seeking one more term,” Dunagan said following the work session when asked about his political future.
Dunagan was elected mayor in 2013 after the city decided to have mayorship determined in the general city-wide election rather than as a position decided on a rotating basis among council members.
“On February the 21st I will do a State-of-the-City report and we’ll spell everything out to the city,” Dunagan said about plans involving transportation, downtown development, and other areas.
On the long-running challenge of storm water management -as in flooding on Green Street during periods of heavy rain - Dunagan said those answers are complex and for the short term problems will be dealt with on an individualized basis.
“We’re just doing that ‘as-need’ right now so it’s still in the hopper,” Dunagan said.
He added that resolving the drainage problem on Green Street is complicated because that section of roadway involves state, county, and federal agencies and is a part of the National Register of Historic Places, as well as containing over a century of infrastructure that lies beneath the pavement.
Determining what lies below ground has been the first step in creating a plan for improving about ground water handling.
“Phase One has been completed,” Dunagan said of the subterranean survey, “and there’s some scary piping going on down there.”
“Phase Two has just been let so we can see what we can do, and what the future of Green Street will be.”
City Manager Bryan Lackey shared Dunagan’s excitement about the coming year. He also pointed towards downtown projects and efforts at improving transportation across and within the city.
He added that financially, capital improvements were staying within budget projections.
“Revenues are just a little bit higher and spending is a little bit down, so we feel good about our track moving towards our planning for FY 2018,” Lackey said in reference to planning that will get underway in February for the next budget.
“It’s going to be a big year,” Lackey said with enthusiasm.