The development of new fairgrounds in Alachua County will become a reality, regardless if the state or federal governments give any money to support the project, the county manager said.
Alachua County Manager Lee Niblock made the statement during his 2017 “Looking Forward” presentation to the County Commission Thursday morning. Niblock also talked about accomplishments the county has made and goals the county has set.
Niblock said the county has made many “substantial accomplishments” since he was hired in 2014.
During his almost hourlong presentation, Niblock said the transition from the current fairgrounds off Northeast 39th Avenue to a new fairgrounds site near the Leveda Brown Transfer Station off Northeast Waldo Road, north of 53rd Avenue, will definitely happen, with or without the help of state or federal tax dollars.
The cost is estimated at $25 million to build the new fairgrounds, with a large percentage of that coming from the Tourism Development Tax — a tax on hotel rooms in Alachua County.
The current fairgrounds will become the property of Weyerhaeuser, formerly Plum Creek Timber Company, which to turn the property into a business and commercial district.
Niblock said the development of the current fairgrounds into a business and commercial district will address “two generations” of economic development needs in east Gainesville.
Some of the notable accomplishments Niblock said the county has made during his tenure include:
*$1.2 million in funding for the Children Services Advisory Board in August 2016 to address early childhood…
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