by Tom Kay
On Tuesday, Nov. 8, Alachua County voters will have the opportunity to protect the water and wildlife habitat in Alachua County and to improve parks and recreation facilities in all our cities and unincorporated areas by voting for Wild Spaces & Public Places.
This one-half percent sales tax is expected to generate $16.3 million annually or $130 million over eight years starting January 1, 2017.
If voters approve passage of Wild Spaces & Public Places this November, the revenues it generates will help implement the City of Gainesville’s Recreation Master Plan and the 352 Arts Roadmap.
Funds from the measure will also pay for recreational projects in all four quadrants of the county. In June 2016, the County Commission approved the project lists from each of its municipalities.
The County’s intention is to expend the bulk of its share – $74.4 million over eight years – on land conservation. While Alachua County has historically been a leader in the state for land conservation, with no local funding and very little state funding available over the last five years, new conservation land protection in Alachua County has dwindled.
With this new source of funds, Alachua County Forever will once again lead in land conservation at a time when it is most needed. As Gainesville and Alachua County continue to grow, both new and long-time residents will need new and improved places to recreate and enjoy the outdoors. It is part of what makes Alachua County unique.
Wild Spaces & Public Places will help protect our drinking water and ensure that the quality of life that drew so many of us to call this place home will continue to be exceptional, but this county-wide measure needs your support.
Let’s keep Alachua County wild and active. Please VOTE FOR Wild Spaces & Public Places on Nov. 8.
To Learn More about the Campaign, visit wildspacespublicplaces.org.