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Gainesville City Council, school board hold joint meeting
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The Gainesville City Council and the Gainesville school board met Monday to discuss matters that affect both.

Gainesville Schools Superintendent Stephen Ballowe told the City Council that the school system was considering making April 23 a half-day for the school system. Releasing Gainesville students early on April 23 would avert any possible conflicts with the arrival of the Tour de Georgia and after-school traffic.

Gainesville City Manager Bryan Shuler told the board that whether or not the city can use school tax monies to fund Gainesville’s Tax Allocation Districts depends on the state legislators’ decision on Senate Resolution 996, which was passed by the state Senate on March 4 and has been favorably reported on by the state House Committee. David Syfan, the school board’s chairman for March, asked whether the new legislation would require the city and the school board to come up with another agreement to use school tax funds for the district. But Shuler said they would have to consult a lawyer on whether the state Supreme Court’s decision nullified their previous agreement.

Syfan asked the city to help the school system encourage recycling systemwide by making it easier for families in apartments to recycle.

Shuler told the school board that the improvements on Touchdown Drive are 80 percent complete, and paving on the road’s two new lanes should begin this week.

School board member Sammy Smith asked the council to decide the name for the street that will lead to Gainesville Middle School and the Frances Meadows Center. The school’s sixth-graders have held a contest to name the street, and Smith asked the council to consider their suggestions.

Ballowe told the council that construction on Mundy Mill Academy has been on hold, but it will begin in the next few months. Ballowe told the council the school should open by August 2009.

Regional events