NEWBERRY ‒ The City of Newberry is one step closer to establishing a Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA). In 2019 after years of attempts by the City to establish a CRA, the City and the Alachua County Board of County Commissioners entered into an interlocal agreement establishing criteria for formation.

The first was developing a “Finding of Necessity” to determine if this area would benefit from the creation of a CRA. A report has now been prepared to fulfill this requirement in accordance with Florida Statutes and was presented to the Newberry City Commission. The report is based on field observation and data and analysis, in order to make a determination that “slum” or “blight” exists within the study area. In addition to data and analysis, a photo documentation of the study area is also included as part of the report.

Commissioners unanimously adopted the Finding of Necessity as part of a Legislative Hearing of Resolution 2021-13 during the May 10 regular City Commission meeting. In addition, Commissioners voted to name the Commission as the Community Redevelopment Agency.

In other business, the City received an unmodified or “clean” opinion on its Annual Financial Report. Barbara Boyd and Kevin Smith of Purvis, Gray & Company, the City Commission’s independent audit firm, presented the results of the 2019-2020 fiscal year audit process.

The opinion reflects the best level an organization can receive on its financial statements. This is the fifth consecutive year of receiving this distinction. “There were no written comments or findings of non-compliance,” said Boyd.

Looking forward, the Commission approved a number of workshops during the summer to receive community input on the Fiscal Year 2022 City Budget. The workshop times are all at 6 p.m. The dates are June 16, July 21, Aug. 4 and Sept. 1. All workshops will take place at City Hall.

#     #     #

Email cwalker@