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Commissioners Discuss Creating New County

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The red line shows the new county line on State Road 121, where the boundaries of Springs County and Alachua County would meet. Jonathan Munoz / WUFT News
The red line shows the new county line on State Road 121, where the boundaries of Springs County and Alachua County would meet. The idea of creating a new county was discussed at a joint meeting held on Monday. All five county commissioners were present. Jonathan Munoz / WUFT News

Newberry City Commissioner Tim Marden wants to create a new county.

Marden proposed drawing a line through Alachua County, making the western portion its own county.

The idea was discussed at a joint Newberry-Alachua County meeting Monday where all five county commissioners were present.

“It’s about time that we have a more serious discussion,” Marden said.

Residents in smaller towns, like Newberry, are in support of the idea.

“The county commission is very Gainesville centric,” said Newberry resident Tony McKnight. “The smaller municipalities don’t feel like they get the representation they deserve.”

McKnight says initiating single-member districts might solve the representation issues

The envisioned county, called Springs County, would include the cities of Alachua, Archer, High Springs and Newberry.

The line would run through 34th Street in Gainesville. It could mean the west section of Gainesville might be a part of the new county.

“34th Street just seems to be a good natural barrier,” Marden said. “It runs all the way through the county and you’re not kind of going in between property lines and things like that. It’s very definitive.”

Alachua County Commissioner Ken Cornell wants to see the county stay intact as is.

“It is my hope that we can work out any issues or problems that prompted this direction. I believe we are stronger as a community when we work together,” Cornell said.

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