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The Local Agenda: Personnel additions, alcohol ordinance alterations on council agenda
Dump the Pump to be held this week
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Gainesville City Council will consider increasing staffing levels for the fire department, funding for proposed renovations to Roosevelt Square and a probation services contract for the municipal court at Tuesday night’s meeting.

Council also will vote on proposed amendments to the city’s alcohol ordinance, which include changing the definition of a brewpub and approving tours for a local brewery set to launch later this year.

Council meets at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday in the municipal courtroom of the Public Safety Complex, 701 Queen City Parkway.

Dump the Pump Day this week

Gainesville will participate in the 10th annual National Dump the Pump Day on Thursday to promote public transportation as gas prices rise.

“The 2015 National Dump the Pump Day is a day that encourages people to ride public transportation to take them where they need to go instead of driving a car,” said Phillippa Lewis Moss, director of the Gainesville-Hall County Community Service Center.

Public transportation, such as the Gainesville Connection bus system, is a critical part of the local economy, Moss said. Every $1 invested generates up to $4 in returns, powering urban growth and revitalization, she said.

Gainesville Connection will offer free popcorn and drinks to riders during the event at its administrative office, 687 Main St., in Gainesville.


County budget hearing Thursday morning

Hall County will hold the first of three public hearings on the 2016 fiscal year budget Thursday morning.

The re-evaluation of commercial properties contributes to a potential 4.43 percent increase in the amount of property taxes levied if officials do not roll back the millage rate.

The property tax millage rate must be rolled back to 5.735 to remain budget neutral and account for increases in revenue from reassessments of commercial, industrial and residential properties.

The Board of Commissioners has left open the option of keeping the tax rate in place at 5.989, which amounts to a tax increase under state law and would generate an estimated $1.6 million in additional revenue for the general fund.  

With a full rollback, the projected revenue for the general fund is $92,179,874, while maintaining the current tax rate would produce an estimated $93,828,878.

Officials will conduct additional public hearings June 22 and 25.

The budget hearing begins at 11:30 a.m. Thursday at the Hall County Government Center, 2875 Browns Bridge Road, in Gainesville.

Joshua Silavent covers government issues for The Times. Share your thoughts, news tips and questions with him: