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Thursday, May 06, 2021

City and county officials will meet Monday to decide the future of Gainesville’s redevelopment agency.

The Community Redevelopment Agency provides the vision for modernizing Gainesville. In the past, it has helped create the DNA Bridge and Depot Park. Currently, the board overseeing the agency is made up of city officials. But a proposed bill could add county officials.

County commissioners have argued the representation on the board should reflect the funding the agency gets from the county and city. The county commission funds two-thirds of the agency, and hopes the bill will allow them to sit on the board.

The county commission met Tuesday and the city commission met Thursday to prepare to negotiate their proposals.

In addition to negotiating board representation, county officials will ask the city to decrease the county’s tax increment financing, which is a public financing method to fund infrastructure projects, County Commissioner Ken Cornell said.

Gainesville city commissioners discussed the county commission’s requests and approved their own proposal which was organized by City Commissioner Adrian Hayes-Santos on Thursday.

The city is willing to reduce the county’s millage rate, which is used to calculate property tax, for the CRA project behind Midtown and discuss the project’s deadline. The CRA also determines for how long the agency assists areas, and city commissioners plan to offer the county part of the power of those decisions.

The city commissioners voted 5 to 1 in favor of the motion. Commissioner Charles Goston was absent from the meeting.

City Commissioner David Arreola said he voted against the motion because he is opposed to negotiating CRA policy outside of the board.

“I want to see formal action on (the county’s) part before I make policy negotiations,” Arreola said.

Contact Amanda Rosa at Follow her on Twitter at @AmandaNicRosa

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