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Tuesday, January 18, 2022
<p>The bridge over 13th Street, nicknamed the DNA bridge, is empty early Thursday morning.</p>

The bridge over 13th Street, nicknamed the DNA bridge, is empty early Thursday morning.

The Alachua County Commission will be discussing the funding and restructuring of the city’s community redevelopment agency Tuesday morning.

The commission will hold a meeting at 10 a.m. in the Grace Knight Conference Room at the Alachua County Administration Building, at 12 SE First St., to discuss the future of the Gainesville Community Redevelopment Agency, said the Alachua County spokesperson Mark Sexton.

During Tuesday’s meeting, funding for GRACE Marketplace and collaborating with healthcare systems in regards to homelessness will also be discussed.

The agency creates grants to help businesses with small and large improvements, and builds community areas like Heartwood, Depot Park, the Helyx Bridge and Innovation Square, said redevelopment agency manager Andrew Meeker.

The agency oversees four districts: College Park and University Heights; 5th Avenue and Pleasant Street; Eastside; and Downtown, he said.

In a Nov. 1 meeting, the Gainesville City Commission voted to sign an agreement that would combine the four districts into one, said City Commissioner Helen Warren.

Although, the county needs to approve the restructure, they do not plan to vote on it Tuesday, said County Commissioner Ken Cornell. Instead, they will discuss the legal implications of it.

The county needs to approve it because it provides two thirds of the agency's funding, he said.

On Friday, four cities — Hawthorne, Alachua , Gainesville and High Springs — community redevelopment agencies received $4,672,954 in funding, Sexton said. Gainesville received $4,263,682.

Meeker said these funds are recurrent every year but grow annually since all improvements are designed to generate more money. However, the money generated from one district’s projects cannot be reinvested into a different district.

“This inhibits our ability to do transformation projects in areas that need them more,” Meeker said.

The bridge over 13th Street, nicknamed the DNA bridge, is empty early Thursday morning.

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