It has been a busy spring so far for Council and the Mayor’s Office. Tonight at our City Council meeting Mayor and Council welcomed Chief David Bailey to the Madison family as our new Fire Chief. Chief Bailey brings a wealth of experience including over 36 years with the Chesterfield County Fire and EMS in Virginia (with 485 personnel) serving as Dispatcher, Firefighter, Sergeant, Lieutenant, Captain, Deputy Director of Training and Safety, Administrative Officer and 10 years as Battalion Chief. He has also served as the Deputy Coordinator of Emergency Management in Powhatan County, Virginia. Chief Bailey has also completed the Executive Fire Officer Program with the National Fire Academy. As one Fireman put it during the open community interview Chief Bailey is a “Fireman’s Fire Chief”.
Mayor Finley’s Weekly Update for April 24- May 6
As seems to be typical throughout our departments we have had a busy yet productive two weeks. Here are just a few of the high lights:
- MPD Officers collected 580 pounds of drugs at the “Drug Take Back” event last Saturday.
- Officer Matthew Kingsolver earned the 2017 Madison Police Top Gun Award
- I attended an Awards Ceremony at Tyonek, a Madison business on Palmer Road, where they were awarded the Sikorsky Supplier of the Year award. Sikorsky has over 1600 suppliers worldwide so being named “the best” is an incredible honor.
- Planning announced there will be a new, almost 12,000 sq. ft., shopping center constructed on the west side of County Line Rd, north of Watterson Way. Also, Austin Furniture, which was significantly damaged by fire in 2016, has been approved for rebuild by the Planning Commission
- IT has helped install Wi-Fi to our Public Works facility.
- Keller Williams has selected Kid’s Kingdom for their Red Day Community Project. They will spread new mulch (among other projects) May 1st.
- We conducted 8 interviews for our Communication Specialist and made an offer that was accepted late this week. We will announce our choice Monday at the Council meeting and expect them to start May 30.
- We have also conducted ½ of our Police Chief Interviews. Second ½ will be completed next week.
- We are excited to announce two new officers, Officer Jasmin Carthen and Officer Kyler Michael, started working with MPD. Both are Alabama Certified Officers.
- Detective Corporal Christie Gover taught a RAD (Rape Aggression Defense) class with 17 participants.
- Cheri I wanted to acknowledge the court security team for handling a disruptive outburst yesterday; they quickly got control of the situation and removed the defendant from the courtroom. Our security team is always prepared and handles situations in a very professional manner. Kudos guys on a job well done!
- Our Fire Department conducted a very successful truck show and tell for the kids at the YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day last weekend.
- I had the honor of Speaking at NASA’s MSFC Monthly Luncheon and the kick off of the Huntsville Chambers Small Business Week.
- The Downtown Phase III project, improvement to Martin St and the City Parking Lot, has begun, with utility poles currently being relocated. Project completion is anticipated for early October.
- Mill Road Bridge replacement over Bradford Creek was bid. Low bidder was Miller & Miller for $363,688. Budget was $450,000. We will add guardrails to the cost at a later date. This project was bid last year as an arch bridge and the cost was in the $800,000 range. We rejected those bids and redesigned as a box culvert.
- Bids were opened for the air supported structure for the outdoor pool. The low bid was from Arizon from St. Louis, MO in the amount of $259,000. The cost should decrease when they measure the pool and determine the structure does not have to be as large as specified. We included the worst case scenario in the bid.
- I spent three days in Washington DC supporting the Annual Huntsville Madison County Chamber trip along with just under 200 others from our area.
Thanks to all of you for your hard work and effort. I am proud to be your Mayor and excited to continue to see the positive impact you guys are having on our city.
Have a safe and enjoyable weekend.
Mayor Finley’s Weekly Update for May 7-14
I hope each of you has had a positive and productive week. Based on the departmental reports it looks like we again have been extremely busy. A few of our high lights are:
- We finalized our Police Chief interviews and will now be working on the down select for the Council interviews, possibly as early as 5-20. What a great group of candidates!
- I had the privilege of representing the City when our State Attorney General came to Madison last Monday to present Bob Jones High School with one of only 13 State of Alabama Safe School Awards. The Attorney General specifically mentioned our SRO’s as one of the positive determining factors. What a huge honor…congratulations to Sgt. McRae and the entire SRO team.
- Court hosted our 5th Annual Seminar for Municipal Court Judges, Court Clerks and Magistrates. They had 30 participants who all received their mandated certification hours, including 7 our City of Madison personnel. Kudos to Cheri and team for putting this together, minimizing costs and maximizing our subject matter learning.
- Council approved the purchase of the pool air structure (bubble) with Arizon. Once the contract is signed, we will coordinate with the engineers from Arizon to measure the Dublin outdoor pool, so design of the structure can begin. This short term solution doubles our city pool space year round, allowing the schools to move their $3 million to support the Liberty Middle School expansion.
- Recreation support two community improvement projects, one by Girl Scout Troop #35 (planted 180 flowers on Saturday 5/6 for their Bronze Award in Dublin Park) and one by Keller Williams (Red Day Community Project on May 11 spread mulch at Kids Kingdom while also picking up trash along the Bradford Creek Greenway totaling 20 bags).
- Building had an incredibly busy week issuing 80 assorted building permits, opening 72 new code enforcement cases, and conducting 150 building inspections.
- I spoke to three groups (Committee of 100, Leadership Masters, and Intuitive Leadership) on the state Madison and our vision forward.
- Several new buildings and expansions have recently been approved by the City, including a 3,000 sq. ft. expansion to Accurate Machine on Celtic Dr., a 3,400 sq. ft. expansion to West Madison Dialysis on Huntsville Browns Ferry Rd. and a new Verizon building on Madison Blvd.
- Corporal Tanner Ward and Detective Wesley Grigsby received a 1st place and 2nd place award in two events at the White Feather Invitational Sniper Team Competition
As I close I again want to thank each of you for your time and efforts. I know many of you are in the trenches doing the basic “day to day” activities that make up City Government. They aren’t bullets, they are done each and every day. Please know how much we value and appreciate these efforts too. Please keep up the good work.
Lastly, to all of our Mothers….Happy Mother’s Day!!
Hope you all have a great weekend!
Mayor Finley’s Weekly Update for May 15-22
I hope each of you has had a great week. I know based on watching the activity and listening to the discussion it has been crazy busy. Here are just a few of the high lights;
- I have had the honor of attending James Clemens, Bob Jones, Discovery, and Liberty’s awards ceremonies this week to give the Mayor’s Award. At the high schools this also includes a scholarship of $5,000 for the winning student, sponsored by Lockheed Martin and managed by our Madison Chamber.
- We will be ready tomorrow to conduct our 5 Police Chief interviews. Interviews start at 8:00 in the morning and go through 1:00….they are open to the public.
- Engineering is reviewing the shop drawings for the Mill Road bridge over Bradford Creek now and will return comments to the Contractor tomorrow. Their notice to proceed date is May 30th.
- The Planning Commission approved three new retail centers this week: a 10,300 sq. ft. IGA Convenience Grocery Store with drive thru restaurant and fuel station at NEC of Wall Triana and Gillespie, a 10,200 sq. ft. IGA Convenience Grocery Store with drive thru restaurant and fuel station at SEC of County Line and Mill, and a 16,500 sq. ft commercial center at NEC of County Line and Continental. They also approved a 10,000 sq. ft. office building on Sun Temple Dr.
- Planning and Engineering held the first Steering Committee meeting for the Transportation Master Plan, a seven month process to take a comprehensive look at the City’s transportation needs.
- Public Works completed the required storm drain improvements at Walton and Marion Drive and have now resumed their work at the Bradford Creek Trailhead.
- The Dublin gym floor has been refinished. The gym will reopen to the public this weekend.
- Building issued 94 assorted permits, conducted 159 building inspections, and finished repairing all of the railings at city hall to meet ADA compliance.
- Each week I receive information from Court, City Clerk, Finance, and IT on the number of “normal Business” transactions they accomplish. Were they not opening and closing cases, work orders, invoices, etc each week city government wouldn’t function properly. Thanks to everyone in each of these departments for their strong efforts.
Please enjoy your weekend and thanks again for all you do for our citizens.
Mayor Finley’s Weekly Update for May 22-29
I hope each of you has had a great week and that you are ready to have an even better Memorial Day weekend. Here are just a few of the high lights from last week;
- Council, Mayor, and many others attended the BJHS and JCHS graduations. Of the 850ish combined graduates over 140 scored 30 or higher on the ACT, over $50 million dollars was offered in scholarships, and over 50% of the graduates walked across stage with scholarship money. Two incredible schools, one proud city!
- HR reports we had 151 wellness screenings completed the week before. Please review the email Laura Brake sent out earlier this week for further instructions if you are still interested in obtaining your free health screening.
- Along the same “health” lines I attended a meeting at Hudson Alpha today with Mayor Battle and Chairman Strong to discuss some of the cutting age technology Hudson Alpha is performing with genetic sequencing. Cool, cool stuff that we as cities will be learning more about in the months to come.
- Engineering held the pre-construction meeting for the Mill Road bridge project. Work will begin May 30 and the road will close to through traffic the same day.
- The Town Madison project now has an active website, townmadison.com, which contains the latest news and plans for this important economic development project.
- Revenue reports we are continuing to sell and renew business licenses. For this week, license collections were approximately $6,000.00. Of note, at this point in the fiscal year, we are only $24,000.00 short of meeting the yearly business license budget of $2,825,000.00.
- Revenue also reports that collections of sales taxes for the month of May, 2017 are currently up 5.46% over collections for the month of May, 2016.
- Lastly, revenue reports that online filing of sales, rental and lodging tax returns continues to increase. So far for the month of May, 2017, 2,463 returns were filed online. For comparison, during February, 2017, 2,389 returns were filed online.
- I had the honor of helping to kick-off the Madison City Schools 6th grade sports spectacular this week. My small effort pales in comparison to the efforts Gayle Milam, Kelly Johnson, and many more from recreation have put in this year to make this event a success. Thank you guys for such great effort!
- As school comes to a close Summer Day Camp will begin on Tuesday, May 30, 2017. The registration for the camp is full for the first week.
- IT reports that as of this week, we are 100% moved to the new e-mail system. The old system has been “decommissioned” and the memory, drive space, and processors will be reallocated to improve other systems throughout the City’s infrastructure.
- The parking lot has been repaved and will be restriped this weekend. Thanks to the finance committee for approving the funds and a big thanks to the employee’s for their cooperation in moving vehicles to make this all happen.
- Also, now that the school year has ended for the Madison City Schools our school Resource Officers are preparing for 3 weeks of Kid’s Camp.
- At our Council meeting Tuesday night we signed a franchise agreement with Comcast for internet and Cable TV. While they will start with the business community first we will eventually have a 2nd choice for cable once they fully build out their network.
- Legal reports that our Prosecutor worked 49 cases this week. We rarely report on this but that is a typical number on a week to week basis.
A quick reminder that two events are happening in the city this weekend.
- Art 4 Paws and DiscDog World Qualifier Competition Saturday May 27th and DiscDogathon World Qualifier Sunday May 28th in Dublin Park.
- Our Memorial Day celebration will take place at 11:00 Monday downtown at Veterans Park.
Thanks to each of you for all that you do for our citizens. Have a great Memorial Day weekend.
Council has agreed with the Mayor’s request to add a Communications Specialist to the Administrative Staff. With Taylor Edge assuming the duties of City Administrator there has been a void in being able to effectively communicate with stakeholders in the City of Madison. On Monday, May 8th Mayor Finley announced that Ms. Samantha Magnuson will be assuming the duties effective May 29th. Her duties will include updating the City website, performing all Social Media tasks (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Next Door to name just a few) and helping to market Madison with news that our residents and business owners care about. I am especially looking forward to the Madison City website being updated.
National Day of Prayer
On Thursday, May 4th I was honored to represent Mayor Finley and my Council brothers at the Huntsville/Madison County Prayer Breakfast. There we joined together with over 300 to pray for our City, State and Country. It was a privilege to welcome everyone there along with Commission Chairman Dale Strong and Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle.
This message was posted on the City’s website on May 8th:
Trash Service (yard debris and large items)
Please be advised that the City of Madison trash service is running behind. Crews are currently finishing up last Thursday’s route and will soon start Friday’s route. If you have debris out please do not take it back to the house. They will most likely run at least a day late all week. We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience.
Also at our May 8th Council meeting we approved a bubble/dome (or more accurately an Air Supported Pool Structure) for the outdoor pool at Dublin Park. This structure will effectively double our water space for all swimmers throughout the fall, winter and spring season. This project has been requested by both Bob Jones and James Clemens Swim Programs but also by many in the community. This will be our first step in addressing the need for more recreation facilities as our city continues to grow. My personal thanks to Taylor Edge for spearheading this effort.
Kelly Johnson (Program Director Parks and Recreation) has confirmed that we will be partnering with an Ultimate Frisbee League for adults. She is in the process of confirming dates and locations. This meets one of our goals of offering more adult activities and leagues. Get you team ready!
My very special thanks to Senator Bill Holtzclaw for his appropriation of $5,700 to go towards much needed soccer equipment at both Dublin Park and Palmer Park. Bill we greatly appreciate all of your support, both financial and for advocating, for Madison in Montgomery!
The concrete sidewalks have now been poured at the Hand-in-Hand Playground in Palmer Park. This should wrap up all the ADA issues brought forward by the MCDAB Board and myself concerning the Special Needs playground area. Our Easter Eggstravaganza was a huge success with over 100 children and young adults participating. I spoke with a family from Franklin, Tennessee who came down to visit Madison specifically for this event. Hats off to Ms. Gayle Milam for another fabulous hunt!
Also at our May 8th meeting we had our First Reading of Proposed Ordinance No. 2017-108 Comcast Franchise Agreement Ordinance. This is an exciting opportunity for your City as we will be able to offer a greater media provider selection to our residents for the Cable, Internet and Landline use.
I am pleased to announce that your Fire Department was able to purchase both a new Pumper Truck and a new Ladder Truck for this fiscal year. These purchases were achieved through the diligence of Council Member Steve Smith and the Finance Committee using funds on hand. It is a tremendous accomplishment to be able to buy these trucks without having to get any type of loan.
The process continues on track for hiring a new Police Chief. The Mayor’s office and HR have narrowed the candidates to 11 and then on Saturday, May 20th Council will interview the top 3 to 5 finalists. These interviews are open to the public.
On April 20th I attended the MPD Community Drug Awareness Program. It was truly eye opening and disheartening to hear the challenges our Police Department have in tackling this issue. The most astounding fact to me shared was that in 2015 (the most recent year of data) six young men between the ages of 23 and 29 died from a heroin/fentanyl overdose in the Madison city limits. All these men had one thing in common: white, college educated and living at home. I am saddened that so much potential was lost to both their families and our community. I will continue to publicize the future dates of these forums and encourage all to attend.
On Saturday April 29th MPD held a “Drug Take Back” event where residents could bring in expired or no longer needed medications for safe disposal. Over 580#’s of medication was turned in to be disposed of in the optimum environmental fashion.
There will be a new, almost 12,000 sq. ft., shopping center constructed on the west side of County Line Rd, north of Watterson Way. Tenants to be announced soon!
Austin Furniture, which was significantly damaged by fire in 2016 has been approved for rebuild by the Planning Commission. Construction should begin soon.
The Movie Theater and Fresh Market continue to be on track after previous delays. We continue to believe that both will open on their new target dates of this spring/summer.
That’s all for now. As always if you have any questions or concerns I can be reached at Email Maura. or 256.337.2408. Thank you for your continued support!