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ALACHUA ‒ The Alachua City Commission at the Sept. 28 meeting approved the City’s budget of $45,346,264 for the 2020-21 fiscal year. The Commission authorized the final millage, final budgets and Capital Improvement Program (CIP) for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1, 2020 and ending Sept. 30, 2021. The millage rate, which is renewed for each budget year, determines the City budget as funded through General City Purpose Ad Valorem Taxes. The General Fund rolled-back rate is 5.1416 mills with the final millage rate set at 5.3900 mills. The final millage rate is more than the rolled-back rate by 4.83 percent.

Some streets in the city of Alachua may be resurfaced if the city is successful in receiving funds through a Community Development Block Grant. On Aug. 10, 2020, a Citizen Advisory Task Force (CATF) meeting was held to discuss Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding opportunities. A public hearing was subsequently held by the City Commission directing City staff to pursue applying for CDBG funding in the Neighborhood Revitalization category. At the Sept. 28 meeting a second and final public meeting was held before approving the application.

Grant funds must be used to prevent or eliminate slum or blight conditions and benefit low to moderate income residents. The $700,000 grant is funded through the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity and the City must provide matching funds of $50,000.

The funding would be used to mill and repave approximately 9,000 linear feet of existing streets. Those streets include Northwest 167th Place, Northwest 142nd Terrace, Northwest 166th Place, Northwest 125th Street, Northwest 148th Avenue, Northwest 147th Lane, Northwest 122nd Lane, Northwest 121st Terrace, Northwest 121st Terrace, Northwest 148th Place, Northwest 147th Place, and Northwest 146th Terrace. The project will include any necessary risers for manhole adjustment and will provide for replaced driveway aprons, as necessary. The final project locations will be determined by project costs, income survey data, and eligibility of the area. At least 51 percent of the residents who benefit from the revitalization project have to have low to moderate income status.

The Commission approved the preliminary plat of the proposed Baywood Centre Lot 3 to provide better road access to future businesses and improve traffic flow. The proposed Baywood Centre subdivision is located north of U.S. Highway 441, south of Northwest 157th Lane, and west of the Campus USA Credit Union, Alachua Branch. The proposed road would come north off Highway 441and up to Northwest 157th Lane to provide direct access to Highway 441 for the Baywood Centre subdivision. It provides a 52-foot private ingress/egress and public utilities easement over the western portion of Lot 3. This easement would also serve Lots 2, 3 and 4 with additional access.

The Commission also approved ratification of FY 2020-21Alachua Police Department (APD) Collective Bargaining Agreement between the City and the APD. The contract includes merit increases for those who qualify in all APD Bargaining Unit ranks and classifications.

The Commission also accepted Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) funding of $16,488. APD will use the funds to purchase of law enforcement equipment.

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