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Madison City Council meets monthly on the second and fourth Mondays at 6 p.m. in City Hall. CONTRIBUTED

Madison City Council approves more appropriations, project payments

MADISON — In addition to recognizing the fifth-grade winners of the annual Arbor Day Poster Contest, Madison City Council approved two more annual appropriations and several payments for city projects at their Feb. 25 meeting.

The two appropriations included $30,000 for WellStone Inc. and $45,000 for the Madison Chamber of Commerce.

Pam Honeycutt, executive director of the Madison Chamber of Commerce, recapped the chamber’s “busy” 2018, which included nearly 60 ribbon cuttings, five groundbreakings, dozens of networking opportunities and several special events. Some of the highlights were Taste the Spirit of Madison, the Business Expo and Kids’ Day, the Best in Business Awards and the first-ever Tee Up Fore Business golf tournament. This year has already gotten off to an impressive start as well with the huge Connect 2019 event and a quarterly luncheon featuring Col. Kelsey Smith, the garrison commander on Redstone Arsenal.

Honeycutt said the chamber’s goals for this year include expanding their reach and influence in North Alabama and continuing to support the city of Madison with donations, student scholarships and the continued integration of local students at events.

“I just really appreciate all that Pam and her team have done,” said Madison Mayor Paul Finley. “They have really done a strong job this year with what we’ve asked them to do, and I appreciate it.”

Jeremy Blair, CEO of WellStone Inc., explained to the council that WellStone is the only public, non-profit, community health center in the area. Last year, they served more than 13,000 people, and Blair said about 800 of those are Madison City residents. More than a quarter of adults served did not have any kind of insurance, according to Blair, and appropriations like the one from Madison City Council help to cover those costs so that people can still receive the help they need.

WellStone is in its 50th year. While the opioid and mental health crises present challenges in the community these days, Blair said “there are bright spots.” Blair mentioned WellStone’s new jail diversion program—in cooperation with several local law enforcement agencies—as one of these bright spots that “is showing great results.”

Debbie Overcash also gave an update at the meeting regarding the local Alabama 200 and Madison 150 events, noting that this week’s Arbor Day events are part of the sanctioned sesquicentennial events. She also mentioned the Madison Station Quilters Guild’s new quilt featuring the historic logos in celebration of the two anniversaries. “We hope that it will take a tour of the school system and then the hospital, and then, hopefully, city hall,” Overcash said.

To view a list of Madison 150 events this year, visit madisonal.gov/madison150.

In addition to regular and periodic bills, council also voted to approve nearly 20 payments listed under the consent agenda and finance committee report. Most of these payments were related to road improvement projects, with a few others linked to Palmer Park, the library, the new Public Works facility and the multi-use venue stadium at Town Madison. The following is a list of the approved payments relating to city projects:

  • about $2 million to Hoar Construction LLC related to the multi-use venue stadium
  • $300 to Geo Solutions for NPDES monitoring in January related to the multi-use venue stadium
  • nearly $32,000 to Huntsville Utilities related to the ballpark
  • nearly $29,000 to 5R Design for architectural services related to the new Public Works facility
  • property tax ($18.94) for the new Public Works facility
  • $4,000 to Commercial Landscape Service Inc. for irrigation services related to the library’s Children’s Garden
  • nearly $20,000 to Foley Products Company Inc. for a drainage pipe supplied for the library land and parking project
  • nearly $1,700 to Vulcan Materials Company related to the library land and parking project
  • about $765 to OMI Inc. for earthwork consulting services for the Palmer Park rejuvenation
  • $36,000 to Croy Engineering for corridor and cross section design relating to the widening of Sullivan Street from Madison Boulevard to Kyser Boulevard
  • $1,335 to 4-Site for civil services on the Kyser Boulevard improvements
  • $2,000 to Croy Engineering for ROW acquisition documents relating to the Sullivan/Brownsferry intersection signal
  • $687 to S&ME for peer review on the widening of Huntsville-Brownsferry Road from Burgreen Road to County Line Road
  • about $16,000 to S&ME for professional services completed on the widening of Hughes Road from Plaza Boulevard to Millsford Drive
  • about $771 to S&ME for environmental assessments relating to the widening of Balch Road

Other payments on the agenda included the purchase of goods and services from state bids, as well as a travel advance of $76.50 each for two records clerks to attend customer service training. The council also voted to help fund the costs for five new defibrillators for the Fire Department. A sizable portion of this cost has already been secured by Madison County Commissioner Steve Haraway.

In the presentation of reports, Finley said he felt that Madison was “very well prepared” for the recent storms. He commended those who coordinated with the Emergency Management Center, as well as those from the police, recreation, public works, building, engineering departments and all others who dealt with issues that came up during that time.

Finley said Public Works has been addressing some of the clogged drainage ditches and potholes, already filling several on the main thoroughfares this week with plans to take care of potholes on secondary roads soon after.

“Thank you guys for everything that you did,” Finley told everyone dealing with the effects of the rain. “Great job being prepared for it, and great job now afterwards, and we’ll stay on it until we get it back to where it needs to be.”

Council President Steve Smith and District 7 Councilman John Seifert echoed Finley’s sentiments.

Only one item was up for council approval under department reports. The council approved that resolution, which entailed funding in the amount of $10,500 for Shoals Electric to temporarily relocate the existing traffic signal at the Zierdt Road-Mountain Brook intersection during construction of the southbound lanes of Zierdt Road. Engineering Director Gary Chynoweth called this an “immediate safety requirement.”

The council also heard two first readings from the Planning Department—both involving annexations of property on Patricia and Hardiman roads—and one first reading from the Legal Department concerning an ordinance that would regulate the permitting, siting and construction of wireless telecommunications facilities. The council will vote on these at their next meeting on March 11.

Madison City Council typically meets on the second and fourth Mondays of every month at 6 p.m. in the council chambers on the main level of Madison Municipal Complex, located at 100 Hughes Rd. Stay up to date on city and council matters at www.madisonal.gov.

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