ALACHUA – City commissioners unanimously approved an interlocal agreement between the City and Alachua County, which would allow the city to use $500,000 of Alachua County Tourist Development Council tax funding toward an expansion of the Hal Brady Recreation Complex.
Last month, county commissioners preliminarily agreed to provide the funding, which was needed for the 105-acre expansion. The county’s contribution of $500,000 is being taken from bed taxes, fees collected on hotel, motel, campground and similar rentals. The total cost of the land purchase is $1.2 million.
Part of the agreement requires the construction of three sports fields within a three-year period. Construction must be finished by Jan. 1, 2015. Then there will be an additional three years to increase operations before an analysis on the amount of tourism generated from the facilities will be conducted. The city expects construction of the three fields with lighting and seating to cost about $300,000.
After the measure was approved, Mayor Gib Coerper said he would like to “invite everyone to go down there,” and jokingly said to commissioners, “Thank you gentlemen for not opposing.”
One audience member said there is a strong need for a swimming pool in the community and pointed out that the city logo has a swimmer on it but there is no place to swim. She suggested that the sports complex should include a public pool to host swimming lessons and events.
Known as “Project Legacy,” the expansion of the recreation land was made possible through private donations, the county’s $500,000 contribution and $500,000 from Wild Spaces, Public Places.
Approval of the agreement will allow the city to close on the purchase of the property by a Dec. 31 deadline.
City commissioners also gave approval for City Manager Traci Cain to move forward with the purchase of the property.
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