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Mayor Finley announces two new projects for Madison during “State of the City” address

MADISON – The City of Madison announced two major purchases at the Celebrate Madison event Friday night. Mayor Paul Finley addressed the crowd during his State of the City Address to deliver details regarding the purchases of Sunshine Oaks acreage as well as a pending purchase on the Hexagon campus.

Celebrate Madison was held tonight as a way to highlight many of the city’s recent accomplishments and announce upcoming goals. Held at Toyota Field, the festivities was billed a free family-fun type event with food, activities, fireworks and the state of the city address. It was hosted by the city and the Madison Chamber of Commerce.

“Our signature ‘State of the City’ event, formerly known as ‘Connect’, was re-branded into ‘Celebrate Madison’,” said Chamber Executive Director Michelle Epling. She said after two years of social-distancing due to COVID, the event was planned as a time to “get back together to celebrate all the accomplishments of the last two years of our city.”

Focusing on the near future, Mayor Finley said the city of Madison recently finalized a purchase with a local resident to acquire 40 acres located off Mose Chapel Road. “The property known as ‘Sunshine Oaks’ honors the previous owners’ dedication to the city,” Madison Communications Director Samantha Magnuson said in a press release.

Located adjacent to Bradford Creek greenway, Sunshine Oaks features a standing house and barn on the 40 acres. Once additional funding is defined, Magnuson said the city plans to renovate the barn into an event space, add other amenities including a large pavilion, disk golf course, and playground within the large passive park area. The property was acquired for approximately $3 million.

“We are pleased to secure additional green space within the city of Madison,” Mayor Finley said. “Through managed growth in our area, prioritizing this acreage was paramount for our residents.”

Magnuson said public safety and green space continue to be two priorities for the city.

Working with Hexagon officials, the city is in-process of purchasing building 23a on the Hexagon campus. “The building will be transitioned into Fire Station 4 and a police substation to support the southern side of Madison,” Magnuson stated. “Additionally, the city will also acquire the adjoining parking lot for Toyota Field overflow parking and the surrounding field space for our adult Parks and Recreation programs.”

Officials say once additional funding is defined, the city will improve the softball and baseball fields and build a pickleball complex for this growing sport. Finalization of the purchase should occur by the end of 2022

“These properties have a direct and positive impact for our residents, adding over 60 acres for residents to utilize,” said Steve Smith, City Administrator and point person for both projects. “Additionally, we will now have the space needed to continue our focus of public safety, and we are proud to partner with the Hexagon team to better serve our community.”

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