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Madison City Council outlines infrastructure projects and community initiatives for 2023 at first meeting of the year

By Maria Rakoczy

MADISON – Madison citizens can look forward to several infrastructure improvements in the new year. At the first city council meeting of the new year, the council approved items that allot $96,990 to Garver, LLC and $448,257 to Miller & Miller for repairs to Madison Boulevard bridges over Bradford Creek and $3,600 to J.W. Kennedy for survey and preparation work for sidewalk additions along the north side of Gooch Lane.

Council member Greg Shaw commented on the sidewalk improvements in his district, “Thank you for bringing that forward and getting that into this year. I know that will be very nice to connect folks on the west side of Wall Triana [Highway] all the way to Hughes [Road] to the multi-use path as well as some folks from there can now probably walk to school.”

The Rebuild AL Gas Tax Funds will be used once again for regular maintenance projects including utilities, street lights, signs, road repairs, and to a major resurfacing project of a section of Sullivan Street between Front Street and Mill Road, which is expected to begin in the summer.

Melanie Thornton of Madison Visionary Partners presented MVP’s plans for the coming year. Last year, the organization raised close to $700,000, a seven-hundred fifty percent return on investment for the city over a two-year period, used for community improvement projects including the major Kid’s Kingdom refurbishment. As for the new year, 2023 will feature the first annual Madison Visionary Awards, two fundraising partnerships with businesses looking to start programs requiring charitable donations, and a fundraising campaign for the new community center.

“Madison Visionary Partners will continue to work enthusiastically to support our growing community. Our work in Madison comes at a pivotal time for growth for our region and for our city. What we do everyday matters to the overall fabric of Madison’s future” Thornton stated. She went on to thank the city council for their support and partnership, “We appreciate your work and look forward to continuing to work together to not only meet the needs of our community but surpass them.”

The city council granted MVP $50,000 out of the city’s General Operating account for the organization’s endeavors in the 2023 fiscal year.

Debbie Overcash from the Madison Station Historical Preservation Society presented the awards from the 2022 Madison Station Polar Express Christmas on Main tree trail in downtown. Overcash thanked MSHPS’s city partners, the Rotary Club, Lowe’s, Madison City Library and many others for making the tree trail and Christmas Capers event successful. The winners of the Madison Station Polar Express Christmas on Main were the Rocket City Curling Club for Mayor’s Choice Award, Filthy Gorgeous on Main for Most Creative, and Madison Public Works for Honorable Mention.

Mayor Paul Finley also issued a proclamation designating January National Mentoring Month in collaboration with Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Tennessee Valley in the Presentations and Awards section. The proclamation designates January National Mentoring Month “where everyone remembers someone special, a neighbor, a teacher, a relative, or friend who ignited or defended our potential…[and] calling on all adults across America to get involved with a mentoring program.”

In public comments, Jim Ross of Madison Forward provided an update on the city manager initiative. Ross shared that Madison Forward has collected the required number of signatures on the petition for the transition from a city council and mayor format to a city manager system of local government directly to a probate judge who is working through validating the signatures.

You can read more about the petition and drive to alter Madison’s form of government in the Jan. 18 issue of The Madison Record.

In presentation of reports, Mayor Finley, council members Maura Wroblewski, Connie Spears, and Ranae Bartlett thanked the police and fire departments for their work keeping the community safe during the holidays.

Wroblewski also thanked those who worked to refurbish Hughes Road, announced Ready Fest, an educational event with first responders on February 25, and a library book club conference, and thanked public works for their extraordinary efforts in the surprise winter event. Council member Spears echoed Wroblewski’s gratitude to public works.

Additionally, Karen Denzine announced the Police Citizen Advisory Committee’s upcoming demonstration on traffic stop etiquette, and invited applicants to the vacancies on the Madison City Disability Advisory Board and the Police Citizen Advisory Committee.

Other items considered at the meeting include the following:

  • The allotment of $20,000 for the removal of sediment from retainage ponds
  • First Reading of an ordinance changing the name and designation of Halsey Road to Madison Branch Boulevard
  • An annual appropriation of $75,000 to the Madison Chamber of Commerce for the 2023 fiscal year
  • An annual appropriation of $5,000 to KTECH for the 2023 fiscal year
  • An annual appropriation of $4,500 to Madison City Disability Advocacy Board for the 2023 fiscal year
  • An annual appropriation of $5,000 to Huntsville Hospital for their contracted services for the 2023 fiscal year
  • Acceptance of the donation of a 2013 Chevy Tahoe from the Monrovia Volunteer Fire Department
  • Acceptance of a donation of $36 from Chambers Bottling Company
  • Resolution authorizing signatures on Synovus accounts
  • Acceptance of $30,000 from Chairman Dale Strong for the purchase of Lifepack 15 defibrillators for the Fire Department

The next Madison City Council meeting will be held at the city hall, 100 Hughes Drive, on Jan. 23 starting at 6 p.m.

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