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Madison Mayor Paul Finley poses for a photo with the Young Marines after proclaiming Oct. 23-31 Red Ribbon Week. (Record Photo)

Madison mayor proclaims Oct. 23-31 Red Ribbon Week at city council meeting

MADISON — Madison Mayor Paul Finley proclaimed this week Red Ribbon Week, and the Madison City Council approved all items on the agenda at their Oct. 22 meeting at city hall.

Two members of the Young Marines, a national non-profit, joined Finley at the front of the room for the proclamation.

“There is hope in winning the war on drugs, and that hope lies in the education and drug demand reduction coupled with the hard work and determination of organizations such as the Young Marines of the Marine Corps League to foster healthy, drug-free lifestyles,” Finley said in his proclamation.

One Young Marine explained the organization’s “drug demand reduction” (DDR) initiative, which aims to warn youth about the dangers of legal and illegal drugs, such as alcohol, tobacco, marijuana and cocaine.

“This is our huge focal point that we really pound on for America’s youth,” he said. “ … Red Ribbon Week, as they are presenting it—it’s an amazing thing that we’re getting just a little bit higher, a little bit stronger through this, and it’s being recognized more throughout the U.S.”

The campaign was established by Congress in 1988 “to encourage a drug-free lifestyle and involvement in drug prevention and reduction efforts.”

In regards to approval of the Oct. 8 meeting’s minutes, District 1 Councilwoman Maura Wroblewski was the sole member voting “nay.” She requested the minutes be changed concerning the MCDAB appropriation from saying that the board did not go through the typical process to clarify that the Mayor’s Office granted an extension that the Finance Committee declined. That measure failed 5 to 2 with only Wroblewski and District 6 Councilman Gerald Clark supporting the correction.

MCDAB needed an extra week to turn in their request, Wroblewski said. The board ended up receiving the appropriation.

There was one board appointment at the meeting. Curtis Cook was appointed to Place 1 of the Recreation Advisory Board.

The council approved all items on the consent agenda and finance committee report. In addition to all regular and periodic bills, these included:

  • a payment of $173,155.72 to Populous Group for construction documents, bidding and construction services phase for the new stadium
  • a payment of $7,360 to J.W. Kennedy & Associates for boundary and topography work performed for the widening of Huntsville Brownsferry Road from Burgreen Road to County Line Road
  • a payment of $1,335 to 4Site Inc. for civil services performed in the widening of Short Street related to the Kyser Boulevard improvements project
  • a payment of $5,000 to the Madison City Disability Advocacy Board (MCDAB), which was discussed at the Oct. 8 meeting

All donations were also approved, which consisted of two $500 donations from the Madison Street Festival for the Public Works and Fire departments’ help.

In the presentation of reports, Finley reminded everyone about the upcoming BallCorps unveiling party for the new baseball team, the Rocket City Trash Pandas. The new logo and team colors will be revealed at the event, and merchandise will be available. Teddy Powell, district 3 councilman, said he was looking forward to the reveal, and “things are going really good” between the council and BallCorps.

Finley also discussed his experiences as part of North Alabama’s delegation to Japan to meet with international business partners like Toyota and Mazda.

District 2 Councilman Steve Smith had two items of which the council voted in favor. The first was a resolution amending the City of Madison’s schedule of capital improvement projects to reflect an update for library parking. The second was an ordinance authorizing the refinancing of warrants for the Madison City Board of Education. The warrants in the ordinance refer to “general obligation school warrants” in the principal amount of $11,955,000 to be paid via a funding agreement with MCBOE.

According to Smith, MCBOE refinanced a 2009 issue with the help of the city’s legal and bond counsel and did not reduce any payments or the time in which they have to pay, but they were able to “bring some cash out” and put that toward some of their capital projects.

The council also voted in favor of District 7 Councilman John Seifert’s item, which authorized a fund not to exceed $30,000 to the Madison Baseball Association to help them bid on baseball tournaments this summer.

Three public hearings were on the agenda for the meeting, and all were approved. One was regarding an assessment of the weed liens on four properties. These properties were in violation for having overgrown weeds, which the city had to take care of when the owners did not. These fees have not yet been paid back to the city, according to City Attorney Megan Zingarelli.

The there two hearings were for ordinances to rezone two properties, both on the east side of Hughes Road and south of Old Madison Pike, from residential to commercial. One would become food services, and the other would become a sewing shop. Clark raised concerns about potential liquor sales at the food service property if it was close to a residential area, but Planning Director Mary Beth Broeren said there were no grounds to legally restrict the liquor sales there.

Council also approved all resolutions on the agenda for Engineering, Fire, Information Technology and Legal departments. These respectively include:

  • the acquisition of properties for the Oakland Spring Branch Greenway Project
  • temporary construction easements for public drainage improvements south of Arnett Street, with donations for that from property owners
  • awarding the Madison Fire Department uniforms bid to NAFECO Inc.
  • an agreement with Light Bulb Technology Inc. for virtual reality program software used as a training simulation program in the amount of $15,725
  • an amendment to the Comcast agreement made last year for the 911 Call Center Network Circuit based on a new FCC ruling that allows IT to prove that the traffic is being used in a certain way
  • the renewals of two agreements with Huntsville Utilities and Athens Utilities. The former is to update billing fees to 56 cents per month per household in the HU service area for trash pickup, and the latter is to update those billing fees to 95 cents in that service area.

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