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Saturday, January 28, 2023
<p dir="ltr">Fred Cone Park’s main playground had a shade sail installed in early 2018.</p>

Fred Cone Park’s main playground had a shade sail installed in early 2018.

The fate of park improvement and abandoned shopping carts will be decided by Gainesville’s General Policy committee on Thursday. 

Members of Wild Spaces and Public Spaces, a city program funded by the one-half percent sales tax, will present an update on projects related to parks and multicultural development throughout Gainesville. The meeting will take place at 1 p.m. in the GRU multi-purpose room in the GRU Administration Building. 

The city receives about $484,000 per month from the sales tax to improve local parks and recreational facilities, said Elizabeth “Betsy” Waite, the program’s department head. 

Potential projects include constructing observation towers to look over the prairie at Sweetwater Wetlands Park and purchasing the Masonic Lodge, at 215 N. Main Street, to use as an event space for weddings and meetings, Waite said. The commission will decide which of these projects will be approved. 

“There’s a lot of options on the table,” Waite said. “I think that the culture of Gainesville is really shaped by a lot of the parks and recreational amenities.”

City Commissioner David Arreola said that abandoned shopping carts, which are generally found near supermarkets after people take them off the property, will also be discussed. 

One solution that has been implemented at some stores already is a mechanism that locks the wheels to prevent them from going off property, he said. 

“I’m not sure if that’s something we can mandate, but I’m just looking forward to hearing what options are out there,” he said. 

Fred Cone Park’s main playground had a shade sail installed in early 2018.

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