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Council evaluates feasibility of stadium/multi-use facility

MADISON – In a lengthy meeting, Madison City Council dealt with proposed construction of a multi-use facility/stadium and with city signage, both topics generating numerous public comments.

In a first reading (no voting), City Attorney Megan Zingarelli presented a proposed ordinance to authorize license, lease and management agreements with BallCorps LLC for a baseball stadium/multi-use facility.

In public comments, Bebe Oetjen asked how much money that BallCorps would pay annually to the city. Mayor Paul Finley said BallCorps will pay $1 million each year, and the stadium would have five revenue streams — lodging tax increase, attendance, lease agreement, naming rights and sales tax.

Thomas Scovill asked about the stadium’s effect on roads to access Town Madison. Supporting the stadium, Mallory Murray semi-pro baseball would be a “good opportunity.”

James Samuelson pointed out that the project involves a ‘multi-use facility,’ which will accommodate events in addition to baseball. District 6 Councilman Gerald Clark said the council should focus more on Madison City Schools’ overcrowding instead of entertainment.

Mary Beth Broeren, Director of Planning and Economic Development Ball, summarized the feasibility study for a professional ball park. Brailsford & Dunlavey Inc. determined the population within 30-minute drive time is almost 400,000. Compared to comparable markets, Madison residents’ average household income is second highest, while incomes greater than $100,000 are third.

“All the study factors create a scenario for attendance projections,” Broeren said. Madison’s advantages are income and lack of similar attractions in the study area. Brailsford & Dunlavey recommended a smaller, near-capacity facility compared to a larger facility with rows of empty seats. The analysts’ recommendations said the ball park would be successful, and their next step is a revenue projection.

In a 4-3 vote, council approved the proposed ordinance for amendment of sign control regulations. Several realtors voiced concerns from local real estate professionals who need temporary signs to advertise homes for sales and asked for a delay in voting on the sign ordinance.

Payment of regular and periodic bills included these larger sums:

* Brailsford & Dunlavey Inc. — Venue study and schematic design for a multi-use facility, $16,414.

* Croy Engineering LLC — Design of traffic signal at intersection of Lena Cain Boulevard and County Line Road, $10,750.

District 2 Councilman Steve Smith’s request was approved for $8,000 maximum to install a warning sign for Kentucky Drive at Balch Road.

District 5 Councilman and President Tommy Overcash’s request was approved for amending Section 12, “Compensation and Benefits,” in city personnel policies.

Matt Powers was appointed to North Alabama Land Trust Board. Jackie Wilson-Bradley, Michael Daniel and Cole Kelly have joined Madison City Disability Advocacy Board.

The engineering department will accept utility/drainage easement from B.L. Moffett LLC, Brookridge Drive.

Public works will purchase a 2018 CAT 304E2 mini-excavator. Public works also gave first readings for amending trash fees, parking restrictions on specific residential streets, vacating a portion of right-of-way for Business Park Boulevard and cooperative purchasing agreement with Houston-Galveston Area Council.

Sandy Patel, vice-chairman of Industrial Development Board, updated council about 2017 projects. “IDB is a self-sustaining entity that does not request funds from the city,” Patel said.

Gigi Smith, Administrator for Madison County Health Department, said 12 to 17 percent of the department’s work involves Madison. The department completes approximately 50 food inspections, five dog-bite responses and 13 motel/hotel inspections monthly in Madison. Finley presented $20,000 for the health department’s annual appropriation.

Jan Burelson donated $100 to Madison Senior Center.

All council members complimented the work of Madison Chamber of Commerce to coordinate Connect 2018 as an impressive and a successful event.

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