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Gainesville City Council to update park rules, hold first budget hearing
Lake Lanier at Clarks Bridge Road at Olympic Park. - photo by Scott Rogers

Beginning July 1, Lake Lanier Olympic Park will officially be a city park, and the city may change its parks rules to reflect the addition. July 1 is also the start of the new fiscal year, and officials will hear public comment on the proposed budget Tuesday.

Updated parks rules

Gainesville officials want to update the city’s parks ordinance to reflect the addition of Lake Lanier Olympic Park and allow for lighting along the Highlands to Islands Trail.

The new ordinance would allow alcohol in city parks for events that have received a special events permit from the city or have been organized by the city. Currently, someone can only have alcohol in a city park if the parks and recreation board has approved it.

The city will take over Lake Lanier Olympic Park on July 1, and the city hopes to host events, including the Beach Bash on July 13, at the venue.

The rules would also allow people to be on the Highlands to Islands Trail at night if the trail is lighted. Highlands to Islands is a trail network that is being planned in Gainesville and South Hall, with some portions currently open. Most other parks facilities would be closed at night.

The ordinance also specifies that people can only swim in designated areas at waterfront parks. Lake Lanier Olympic Park would be the first waterfront park for swimming.

Budget hearing

Council members will also hear public comments on the proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year, which begins July 1. While the meeting begins at 5:30 p.m., the budget hearing will start at 6 p.m.

The proposed budget includes a rollback millage rate to accommodate for increased property assessed values. The proposed millage rate of 3.322 mills reflects what the average resident would need the rate to be in order to avoid a property tax increase based on their assessed property value.

The Council will vote on the budget and millage rate on June 18.

Gainesville City Council

When: 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 4

Where: Public Safety Complex, 701 Queen City Parkway

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