• 70°
The Madison Record

Horse-drawn carriage owner unhappy with city

Michael Claridy is not happy with City Hall and showed his discontent today.

Claridy, who lives in Toney, owns a horse-drawn carriage company and wants to offer rides with his horses Big Annie and Daisy on holidays and special events in Madison.

Last summer, he applied for a business license in Huntsville and was approved promptly. Claridy said he applied in Madison last August but is still waiting for a firm answer from City Hall.

“Huntsville took it and ran with it,” Claridy said.

Claridy claims the Madison revenue office thought his request was no problem. When he checked back, he was told that his request had been turned over to city attorney Kelly Butler.

“On Sept. 28, 2011, I emailed the mayor and told him that we were having an issue,” Claridy said. “This rocked on a few more weeks and then I enlisted help with Madison County legislators.”

After another month, Claridy called Butler, who he claims was angry about his consulting the legislators. “We had a heated argument,” Claridy said.

“I’m a small business, and it’s costing me revenue,” Claridy said. “We’ve added another carriage and the support of the community (in Huntsville) has been overwhelming” for his rides downtown and at Big Spring Park.

On Feb. 21, Claridy and Daisy came to Madison and rode down Hughes Road to City Hall. “I asked the mayor to ride with me to the historic district,” but Finley declined, Claridy said.

For his carriage, Huntsville requires hydraulic brakes, flashing lights, slow-moving vehicle signage and horse diapers, and he has complied. Claridy charges $30 for a couple to ride for 15 minutes. Wedding prices vary.

“When it comes to public safety issues such as these, we will err on the side of caution,” Mayor Paul Finley said.

“Working through the details of an original request like this and creating an appropriate ordinance that addresses all issues for our citizens often takes longer than entrepreneurs are willing to wait, which they consider dragging your feet. I can live with that,” Finley said.

Claridy has not filled out any paperwork, Finley said. “Also, during his verbal requests, he has gone from wanting to offer rides in historic downtown only to offering rides in areas across the city at unspecified times, making governance a problem for us.”

The City of Madison is “not prepared to extend a carte blanche license for horse-drawn carriage rides anywhere, anytime throughout Madison,” Finley said. “Areas of concern including traffic congestion, public safety, proper cleanup and buggy inspections are all being discussed.”

Harvest

Partnership giving away Fentanyl test strips

Madison

Sheriff: Man flees from Limestone deputies in stolen ambulance, stolen fire truck

Madison

Triana, Madison libraries offer Makerspace for hi-tech crafts and more

Harvest

Art Tour of Homes expands into Madison with Estes and Overcash houses

Bob Jones High School

Neha, Puja Chopade’s research with Harvard mentors published in journal

Madison

Wroblewski in 15-mile swimming challenge for Wounded Warriors

Huntsville

Huntsville Ballet Company announces new season

Digital Version

Check out the August 2022 issue of Madison Living

Madison

Madison teen charged with murder after allegedly shooting brother

Bob Jones High School

Madison Area Lions’ donations help school nurses

Madison

Trash Pandas hang on, beat Lookouts 3-2 in finale

Madison

NewsNation network lauds Rodney Smith’s free lawn care

Madison

UPDATE: Madison man accused of killing former girlfriend

News

RD3 Legacy 3-On-3 Basketball Tournament Set For August 13

Madison

Trash Pandas bounce back against Lookouts with 5-2 victory

Bob Jones High School

Beautification board issues awards for well-kept sites

Madison

Auburn alum Sonny DiChiara joins Trash Pandas

Madison

MPD: Family dispute leads to shooting in Madison

Business

Former Huntsville business executive charged with wire fraud

Madison

Man charged with ex-girlfriend’s murder in Madison area

Huntsville

HPD makes drug bust in traffic stop

Huntsville

City of Huntsville mourns loss of Huntsville Fire & Rescue cadet

Madison

Weather ends Trash Pandas’ comeback bid in 4-3 loss

Bob Jones High School

PTA advises starting now for Reflections entries

x