September 2017 Update

As I have mentioned previously, I am going to try and provide information as often as I can concerning the heroin/opioid epidemic. There was a walk this past Saturday, September 9th at 9 am at Big Springs Park in Huntsville in support for raising awareness for the opioid epidemic that we have in our nation, state and city. This is a crisis for our young people as heroin use is on the rise. You can read more about it here: Not One More Alabama here.
According to news reports there were over 2500 in attendance. I am hopeful that we can continue this discussion between City, Community and School. Stay tuned for further developments.

Mayor Finley’s Weekly Update for August 27th to September 2, 2017

Team,

Good Tuesday Morning,

I hope everyone had a great Labor Day weekend.  The weather was great and our football teams both won…can’t get any better than that!

Here are some of the high lights from the past week;

  • The 2017-2018 budget has now made it through Mayor and the Finance Committee and is in the hands of the full City Council.  Thanks again to all department heads and especially Roger Bellomy for your hard work in making this happen.
  • The City is pleased to welcome new Associate Planner Kevin Bernard.  Kevin comes to the City after having worked at TARCOG for two years as well as having private sector experience.
  • Total sales tax collections for the month of August, 2017 were up 3.16% over collections for the month of August, 2016.
  • Online filing continues to increase with taxpayers filing 2,503 monthly returns online this month.
  • We had a very productive meeting with Huntsville Utilities to discuss several BD opportunities in addition to a franchise fee discussion.
  • We have reworked our traffic light bid and it was advertised on Sunday. We are shooting for a 9/25 award date (9/18 bid opening).
  • We are scheduling the trash collection bid for an October 1 posting date, an October 30th opening, and a November 13th award date (plenty of time to get ready before March 1).
  • I had the opportunity to speak to the residents at Morningside Assisted Living last week.
  • Along with several other community leaders I met with Governor Kay Ivey to discuss areas of opportunity throughout the region.
  • We had another positive meeting with Comcast.  They are looking to “jet fuel” their build out into Madison.  We found one primary area of opportunity for the city and hopefully this will lead to a significant residential buildout in the next few years.
  • I met with ALDOT Director John Cooper to discuss our multiple Madison projects.
  • Our team conducted multiple Town Madison meetings throughout the week, some with the developer and some with the “destination spot” potential tenants.  All went very well.

As I close I wanted to share the new Mission Statement our Department Head team has come up with during our last few weeks working together.  The statement is:

The City of Madison’s mission is to provide excellent services through responsible use of public resources, enhancing the quality of life for our community.

Thanks to all of you who help make this happen each and every day.  Let’s have a great “short week” and continue to make a positive difference for our community.

Sincerely,

Mayor Finley

Mayor Finley Update for September 2 – 9, 2017

Team,

Hope everyone had a great weekend and enjoyed our beautiful weather….not going to be the same come Tuesday.

Here are a few of the high lights from last week;

  • Industrial development is picking up.  City staff and the Industrial Development Board are assisting five businesses in navigating approval processes and receiving funding assistance.  Two are existing manufacturing businesses that are expanding and three will be new businesses in Madison.  The projects are in various stages of development, with some only at the site acquisition stage.  As projects are approved, the City will profile these businesses on the website.
  • We provided water quality test kits for both Bob Jones and James Clemens high schools environmental teachers. Each school will use them for their normal classes but instead of testing random locations, each school will monitor three lakes and a stream and provide the test data to the City as a part of our MS4 ADEM permit.
  • Court processed 204 payments at the service windows this week in just 4 days.
  • We had our 2nd recent Madison Visionary Partners (MVP) meeting last week and continue to game plan for restarting this nonprofit 501-C-3 to support our city
  • Along with Mayor Battle and Chairman Strong I enjoyed a tour and briefing of the SMD Command.  Under the leadership of LT. Gen. James Dickenson they manage all of our ballistic missile programs worldwide, including the radar systems in the South Pacific.  It is simply amazing to learn what many of our citizens are involved with.
  • Along with most of Madison I attended the Bob Jones-James Clemens football game Friday night.  Thanks to Police & Fire for a great job of crown control and safety.
  • Our new Madison Library project is coming along nicely and is on schedule for a November finish.  This is going to be a fantastic asset for Madison!

As we start the week let’s all be weather alert.

Thanks,

Mayor Finley

Weekly Update from Mayor Finley for September 10 -17, 2017

Good Friday afternoon,

Looks to be a fantastic weather weekend….hope everyone stays safe and has a great time.

Here are a few of the high lights for the week;

  • Our 9/11 Ceremony took place Monday morning at Station 2. Thank you to everyone that attended and helped with the event. As always, PD and Fire’s Honor Guard did a great job!
  • Council passed the 2017-2018 City budget Monday night.  Among many positive items for our city and citizens it includes a step increase for employees and supports all capital requests made by departments.
  • Council also approved two safety features…guard rails for the new Mill Road bridge over Bradford Creek and warning signals for the two 90 degree turns on Shelton Road.
  • Council also approved the development agreement for the new Publix Shopping center on the old Kroger site.  They will tear down the existing facility and build a 54,000 square foot Publix and about 20,000 additional square feet of retail.  Lastly, the developers will be responsible for road and intersection improvements on Old Madison Pike.
  • Council also approved the fueling station professional development agreement which hopefully will now jet fuel this project.
  • Lastly, council approved the engineering for the Balch Road round about and widening.
  • Registration for the Youth Basketball program has ended.  We have around 700 participants in the program.  Participation is on track with last year’s numbers.
  • The IT server room HVAC unit is now complete and the temperature is stabilized. We now have a permanent backup in case one unit goes down to protect the server from overheating. Thanks to Jason and his IT crew for working around the contractors and their patience in this matter and for Dustin & team for staying focused on making this happen.
  • The bid opening for our three traffic lights is scheduled for Monday.
  • Led by legal we are on track to put out the trash bid on October 1 and award it on November 13th.
  • Palmer is hosting a Playmaker baseball tournament at Palmer Park this weekend.
  • We hosted the North Alabama Fire Chiefs Association’s monthly meeting at station 1. Detective Stacy Thomas from Madison PD was our guest speaker. She gave a presentation about the Mental Health Challenges in our communities.
  • Our Madison Economic Development team led by Mary Beth and Taylor conducted multiple meetings on the Town Madison destination spot.
  • I had the honor of speaking at the monthly Madison Chamber event and shared our many accomplishments with the crowd.
  • Also, I had the honor of meeting 1 on 1 with Lt. Gen. Daly, the new 3-star over for AMC who in essence presides over Redstone Arsenal.  He and his family are Madison residents and we discussed many opportunities for us to partner.
  • I attended the awards dinner for the Enrichment Center where five Madison educators were awarded for their work with our students.
  • Public works completed their drainage improvements at Garner and Shorter
  • Lastly, our Madison City Schools had 20 (10 from BJHS and 10 from JCHS) national Merit Semi-Finalists.  No district had more!!

As I close I wanted to share one of the pictures that was sent into us for our photo contest.  It was taken at the Heritage Plantation pond…hope you enjoy it as much as I did.  Photo credit to Amy Jupin. (photo not available)

Thank you for helping to make Madison a great city! Enjoy your weekend.

Sincerely,

Mayor Finley

Mayor Finley’s Update for September 18 – 30

Team,

What an exciting two weeks of mostly fantastic weather….and it should only get better over the next couple of days!

Here are just a few of the activities and achievements we have accomplished and celebrated as a city during the past two weeks.

  • The President of the United States and the Vice President of the United States visited our communities within four days.  I have a pretty good feeling I may not ever be able to write that again!
  • Our recreation staff has been busy planning the upcoming Youth Basketball season.  674 participants have registered to date and the use of the school gyms have been confirmed.
  • We conducted a safe and enjoyable JCHS Homecoming Parade down County Line Road.  Council would like to thank their driver Chief Bailey and we all would like to thank police and public works for their safety support.
  • I want to make a special mention about our Court personnel and City Prosecutor.  During the past two weeks several “very special” people have either visited their offices or had cases that were brought to trial.  As with all of us it sometimes takes a great deal of patience to support our citizens…..thank you!
  • Planning Commission approved a new hotel off of Wall Triana, just south of I-565.  Home2Suites will operate a 97 room extended stay hotel, which is expected to be under construction within the next two months.
  • Construction started and was completed (except for striping)on the front sidewalk to make it ADA compliant.
  • The Three Springs facility conducted its first Advisory Council meeting with Chief Jernigan, Councilwomen Wroblewski, and myself in attendance.  We will now move to a larger audience next month that includes community members.
  • We finished September, 2017 with general fund sales tax collections up 5.65% over the September, 2016 general fund sales tax collections.
  • Our building inspections team has averaged just a little under 200 building inspections during the last few weeks.
  • We are pleased to report that as of yesterday morning, IT has all mission critical servers backed up at our offsite “co-location”.  This varies from the traditional backup model as we essentially have a live server running offsite for every live server we have running at City Hall.  Should City Hall lose connection, resources, etc., we could, in theory, be completely operational again in a matter of hours at an offsite location.  We are now in an extremely good position in terms of continuing the business of the City in the event of a catastrophe.  Great job Jason and team!
  • Christie Gover conducted a Rape Aggression Defense Class for 24 participants.  This is a valuable activity for our community.
  • Corporal Tanner Wilkerson, Corporal Tanner Ward, Officer Russ Owens, and Officer Teresa Taylor-Duncan participated in the fundraiser at Dunkin Donuts on Hwy 72 for the Law Enforcement Torch Run to benefit the Special Olympics
  • I participated in an announcement at Toyota Motor Manufacturing where they announced a $106 million investment for their four cylinder engine line.  This facility is the only one in the world where four, six, and eight cylinder engines are built under one roof…to the tune of 3000 per day.  This will also bring at least 60 more jobs.
  • I also attended (along with Councilmen Overcash & Seifert and Councilwoman Wroblewski) Governor Ivey’s State of the State address at the VBC.
  • Our brand new ladder truck striping is complete and we plan to put Ladder 1 in service Monday 10-2-17.

As we close out fiscal 2016-2017 I hope you guys are as proud of our accomplishments for our citizens as I am.  Please have a great weekend…War Eagle and Roll Tide!!

Sincerely,

Mayor Finley

The Mill Road Bridge is now officially open to traffic. This does remain an active construction site as final striping and guardrail placement is still needed. Please proceed with caution.

At tonight’s City Council meeting Council approved Engineering’s request for the design, survey and geotechnical services for the widening (to 13’ lanes with improved road side ditches) of Balch Road (From Mill Road to just north of Gooch Road) and the addition of a roundabout at the intersection of Balch and Gillespie. I will keep you posted as this process moves forward. Additionally at tonight’s Council meeting we approved the budget for fiscal year 2018. I am pleased to say that we have included a step raise for all employees that work for our City.

It has been officially announced that Publix Supermarkets will be going in to the old Kroger location on Hughes Road. As part of the agreement there will be improvements made along Browns Ferry Road. In addition to the Publix there will other retail tenants. So far Golden China and Papa Jacks are confirmed to move in to this new shopping center space that is in the same shopping center but not physically attached to the Publix. Demolition is set to begin later this month or in October. The plan will be to remove to Kroger portion of the shopping center while concurrently building the new Papa Johns and Golden China portion. Then when the new strip is completed the remaining Golden China to the old Kalidescoops will be torn down. Along with the new shopping center Browns Ferry will be widened and improved to Plaza Blvd. You can see the link here: Publix

We have received encouraging news that the Limestone County Tax Settlement is hopefully near completion. Superintendent Parker’s Announcement concerning the Limestone County Tax Issue here.

It is with sadness that I share that our city had its first (and hopefully last) murder of 2017 on the night of August 14th. Two young men escaped from Three Springs, a privately owned company that develops and operates programs for young people with behavioral, emotional, or physical challenges on Browns Ferry Road near County Line Road. Our Madison Police Department acted swiftly when notified by the facility and captured the men without incident. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Mr. Van Johnson’s family during this time. Three Springs/Sequal has formed a task force with citizens from the community, MPD Chief Jernigan, our City Attorney Megan Zingarelli, our Communications Specialist Samantha Magnuson, Mayor Finley and myself. We will be working swiftly to increase security and safety measures from the minimum currently in place to the maximum possible. It is also my hope that this facility could be relocated to a less populated area of Madison County or Limestone County.

The new Madison Library is still on target for November completion. This will be a wonderful new addition for services in Madison with increased meeting space, a bookstore and more space for books and DVD’s.

I hope everyone continues to enjoy this cool, fall weather and until next time thank you for reading and I can be reached at Email Maura or 256.337.2408. Thank you for your continued support!

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