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Growth committee forecasts enrollment, housing to 2040

MADISON – Madison Schools Growth Impact Committee has issued its Interim Report.

The 12-member committee and two co-chairs are developing a plan “to keep our Madison City Schools the best K-12 educational value in the State of Alabama by understanding the impact city growth has on MCS and determining the needs MCS will have over the next 10-20 years,” according to the report.

To view the report, visit www.madisonal.gov. In the “New & Announcements” section, click “view all news.” Then, scroll and click “Madison Schools Growth Impact Committee Report.”

Starting with the existing/current households at 18,859, the committee studied three cases in future growth scenarios:

* Case 1: Included approved home construction and strategic annexations. Projected total growth between 2017 and 2040 is 3,645. “We counted roof tops to show the existing and approved home sites,” Mike Potter told Madison City Council on Aug. 28. Potter and Dr. Terri Johnson are committee co-chairs.

* Case 2: Growth per Master Plans (including Case 1). By 2040, total growth is estimated at 10,765.

* Case 3: Growth with no plan constraints. This forecast projects 13,323 in total growth and “building out every piece of property in Madison,” Potter said.

As of Aug. 28, MCS enrollment was 10,541 students. Capacity is 12,155.

The committee has reached these conclusions:

* “Even under the Case 1 scenario (growth that is already approved), MCS will exceed capacity in middle and high schools by 2025 and all schools before 2040.”

* “MCS cannot finance a new construction bond before 2029 due to current debt (approximately 173 million).”

* “Economic development in Madison and the Tennessee Valley is enhanced by excellent schools.”

* “Advantages and challenges of growth need to be fully explained to all residents.”

“Stopping growth can’t be done,” Potter said. “About 41 percent of the city’s operational revenue comes from sales taxes, and there is a significant portion due to building material sales. In addition, construction permits account for about $1.8 million in city revenue. Accounting for building material sales, and adding the construction permits, the building industry accounts for 12 to 13 percent of Madison’s operational revenue.”

Next, the committee will “determine any ‘wiggle room’ in school capacity, incorporate demographic data from MCS, consider impact of future BRACs, consider implications of ongoing City Transportation Study, review PARCA data to compare revenues for Madison to other Alabama cities and analyze pros/cons of limiting future growth.”

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