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Public Works eyes road work, beautification projects for Gainesville
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Government agencies are presenting their proposals for the fiscal year 2015 budget that begins July 1.

Gainesville: Public works department

FY 2015 request: Undetermined
FY 2014 budget: $4.8 million from general fund, $11.5 million overall
What’s new: Expansion of sidewalk and street paving, beautification along Exit 20

The Gainesville Public Works Department presented its goals and priorities to the city council for the coming fiscal year on Thursday, but its funding requests remain to be determined, Director David Dockery said.

That’s because the department is waiting to see what capital improvement projects the city council is prepared to support.

The department is broken up into eight divisions, with five — engineering, public lands and buildings, and street maintenance — receiving support from the general fund. The remaining three are supported by enterprise funds.

The department received about $4.8 million in general fund support this fiscal year, with about $11.5 million in overall funding.

Dockery said the department faced many weather-related challenges recently, including heavy rains last summer and two snowstorms this winter.

“I feel like we rose to those challenges,” he said.

Dockery said the primary focus for his department in the coming fiscal year is completing sidewalk improvements along state routes, replacing storm water infrastructure, repaving city streets, implementing the new transportation plan and increasing its vehicle fleet.

Acquiring grant money is important to meeting the department’s needs, Dockery said, particularly when it comes to transportation and beautification projects. The department received about $235,000 in federal and state funding for transportation initiatives so far this year.

With this in mind, Dockery said the department would explore opportunities to work with the Georgia Department of Transportation to improve roadways and medians.

Finally, Dockery said it was a priority to find efficiencies in employee scheduling and processing customer work orders.