Third Quarter 2018

Hello Friends, while it has been a long and hot summer, it has been a productive one for your City Government. We have accomplished much this summer including….

Welcome Rocket City Trash Pandas!

No one was more surprised than me with both the top 10 names and the final selection. Minor League Baseball is a unique world of its own and marketing and merchandising is geared to the under 30 crowd. As you can imagine, I have received a LOT of feedback. The consensus was if you were over 40 you hated it and if you were under 30 you loved it! It will be an exciting adventure for sure! You can read more about the Trash Pandas here: Rocket City Trash Pandas.

The first retail for Town Madison has been announced and it will be the Duluth Trading Company. Other than Louiville Kentucky, this is their first location in the south and we welcome them to Madison! Check them out: Duluth Trading Company.

Wall Triana Multi-Use Path

We had a wonderful turnout for the Wall Triana Multi-Use path Public Hearing on Wednesday, September 13. We had close to 40 residents in attendance. The design is complete and construction will start next year.

Here is a graphic of the Wall Triana Multi-Use Path: WallMultiUse200scale

Here is information about the 2018 Capital Improvement Program: Capital Improvement Program.

Weekly Update from Mayor Finley for July 7-22

Team,

We have had a busy couple of weeks in the city…want to pass along some of the good news and activities that we have accomplished during this time.

  • Public Works has completed the site work for our new substation on Kyser Blvd.
  • A final Steering Committee meeting for the City’s Industrial Area Plan was held.  The consultants will now finalize strategy recommendations for review by the Industrial Development Board and complete preparation of the document.
  • Ballcorps LLC, our minor league baseball partners, obtained their Madison business license and opened their headquarters on Madison Blvd.
  • I learned Friday that the Zierdt Road project has been signed by ALDOT Director Cooper and that it will now move forward as planned.  The bid came in someplace around $17 million, in the neighborhood that allowed ALDOT to continue. The walking path is still included. Now the fun begins!!
  • City officials and staff attended the ribbon cutting for Madison Utilities’ Terris Tatum Tennessee River Intake Facility on July 13.  The intake facility ensures Madison’s water independence into the future, allowing Madison to not solely rely on underground well water.  The facility can currently draw up to 16 million gallons per day and can be expanded as Madison grows.  This was a forward-thinking infrastructure project that took over 11 years to get permitted through the federal and state regulatory agencies and then constructed.
  • The Planning Commission has approved a new 20,000 sq. ft. building on Hughes Road that will be occupied by SportsMed.  The two-story building will be located south of the Remax building on the east side of Hughes.
  • The 2019 5K/10K Conquer the Hill race has been moved to April 27, 2019.  We are not aware of any conflicting events on that date.
  • The outdoor pool will close for the season on August 5, 2018.  The reason for closing early is due to school beginning and to assemble the air structure for inflation the week of August 13, 2018.
  • The name-the-team contest should start up again soon with the final 10 names submitted to the public for their vote.

Let’s have a great week!

Respectively,

Mayor Finley

Weekly Update from Mayor Finley for July 22-29

Team,

Hope everyone has enjoyed their weekend so far and is ready for a great week.  Lots happening in and around our city…here are just a few of the high lights;

  • Ballcorps announced the finalists for the baseball team name. You can go to northalabamabaseball.com and submit your vote.  Our goal was to create a buzz….as of last night we already had 12,000 entries.  That is compared to 3000 name submissions.  The list will be narrowed to 5 in mid-August and we will vote again.  The team name will be announced September 5th.
  • With the vast majority of sales taxes having been collected for the month, July, 2018 general fund sales taxes are currently up 20.85% over July, 2017 general fund sales tax collections.
  • Another milestone has been reached regarding online filing of sales, use, rental and lodging tax returns.  For the month of July, 2018, 3,033 returns have been filed online so far.  This is the first time that online filing of returns has exceeded 3,000.
  • Sergeant Clayton Jordan, Officer Weston Taets, Officer Archie Ange, Officer Al Bryan, Officer Diana Cienfuegos, Officer Ralph Dawe, Officer Patrick Ewing, Officer Patrick Hamilton, Officer Shane Kyker, and Officer Sam Scott attended the Civil Rights Museum in Birmingham.
  • Chief Jernigan and Corporal Townsend began “Operation Copsicle” in the community by passing out popsicles to the children and adults. Don’t know about you guys but I am thinking they might need to practice at City Hall one day this week! J
  • Our city team responsible for planning and carrying out our July 4th day celebration held a post-event meeting.  Even as good as the event was we continue to work together to discuss ways we can make it better.  Proud of everyone involved for your professionalism in working together as a team!!
  • We continue to upgrade our audio/video capabilities in council chambers with very positive results. Thanks to Jason, Samantha, and the entire IT team for their work in helping us communicate with our community better.
  • We had a very productive meeting with our Madison Schools team to discuss growth and our plan for a possible property tax referendum next year.
  • Recreation continues to work with the school system on the correct time to put the air supported structure up.  At this time the optimal time looks like mid-September.
  • Online program and facility registration/reservation went live Saturday.  Parks and Recreation had a booth at the Business Expo to show citizens how to use the program.
  • We also had a very productive meeting with our banker (Synovis) to discuss opportunities to improve our interest rates for longer term bond accounts.  This hopefully will help us maximize our rate of return, adding $$$ to our city bottom line.
  • Our department heads are working diligently on the 2018-2019 budget.

Thanks to all of you for your continued efforts in making our city a great place to live and work.  Hope you have a great week!

Respectively,

Mayor Finley

Weekly Update from Mayor Finley for August 5 – 19

Team,

It has been an incredibly busy two weeks throughout City Hall and our city.  I continue to be amazed at all that we continue to accomplish and proud of the multiple positive emails and calls we have received in the Mayor’s office.  Plenty of great things to share…here we go……….

  • MPD, after months of incredibly hard work, supported officials who conducted our CALEA on site assessment. We were rewarded with a very positive response on our policies and procedures and will hear later this year about certification.  Congratulations Chief Jernigan and team for a job well done!
  • Madison Fire and Rescue unveiled our new Virtual Reality project this week.  Led by Captain Sedlacek, our team now has a state-of-the-art trailer and setup for training “in today’s world.”
  • Planning staff met with the development community to discuss a new zoning category for low density residential development as part of the ongoing discussion related to growth.  The meeting was productive, with continued discussion and input expected on open space requirements.
  • City staff met with the Sealy development project team to discuss pre-construction activities.  Site work is expected to begin by the end of August. Also, designs have been presented for our upgraded Home Place Park between the Sealy project and Madison City Stadium and will be brought to Council for discussion at the upcoming board meeting.
  • The indoor pool will be closed August 29 and 30 to replace a large pipe leading to the filter.  Staff will make the outdoor pool available for use during this time weather permitting.
  • The Senior Center hosted a Christmas in July.  The Madison Record published an article about the event.
  • Public Works completed a week’s long drainage and shoulder clipping project for the Rolling Hills subdivision.
  • During the last two weeks our Madison City Schools began a new school year; SRO’s and patrol assisted with driving issues; each day there is positive improvement!
  • We are now broadcasting a new and improved “Channel 42” experience to both YouTube and the old Wow Channel 42.  Viewers will see various information videos, animated slides, and background music.  During public meetings, the feed will be switched to an HD video and audio stream of the meetings.  In addition, we will be able to display any maps or graphics that are discussed so that viewers of the digital version of the meetings will be able to see them as well.  We are still ironing a couple of wrinkles, but viewers can already see the changes at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6LIu4vfA6rekXzD72c3JSw/live
  • We had 219 applicants apply for the open Court Administrative Magistrate position.  Cheri and HR are reviewing the applications and hope to soon be setting up interviews.
  • Public Works installed reflective center line markers on Huntsville Browns Ferry, Hardiman and Burgreen Roads along with completing drainage improvements on Lime Quarry Road.
  • MPD and Chief Jernigan sworn in 6 new officers at our City Council Meeting and the Madison Police Foundation provided a small reception for the officers and their families afterwards.
  • Parks and Recreation full-time, part-time, and seasonal staff are in the process of becoming first-aid and CPR certified.  The first training session took place on Tuesday, August 16, 2018.
  • Gayle Milam, Kelly Johnson, Samantha Magnuson, and Kory Alfred met with Ballcorps about Dublin Park hosting the reveal of the team name on October 27, 2018.  Staff is working to coordinate the event with the already scheduled activities in the Park.   Ballcorps would like to have live music and fireworks.  We anticipate using the event template for the July 4th
  • Several members of Madison Fire and Rescue were recognized at this week’s city council meeting for successful resuscitation of a 23 y/o male on June 17th. The Star of Life award was presented to Lisa Dowdy (HEMSI), Aileen Corrales (HEMSI), Captain Tidwell, Firefighter Sowers, and Firefighter Duane Clemons. The Unit Citation award was presented to Captain Kennington and Driver Mehok.
  • The City held a pre-bid meeting for the Multi-Use Venue and Ballpark this week, which was well attended by the pre-qualified contractors and sub-contractors.  Bids are due August 30th.

I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend…enjoy!

Mayor Finley

Weekly Update from mayor Finley for August 19-26

Team,

What a busy and exciting week….I know many of you are like me and just trying to take a deep breath after all that was accomplished last week. Thought I would share a couple of the high lights;

  • Revenue reports that with the vast majority of sales taxes having been received for August, general fund sales tax is up 8.06% over the same month last year.
  • Online filing of tax returns continues to increase with 93.67% of sales, use, rental and lodging tax revenue being filed and received online.
  • Business license revenue has reached a new milestone as over $3,000,000.00 has now been received this fiscal year.  Currently, $3,017,269.09 has been received through August 24, 2018.
  • Our public works team started the drainage and turn lane improvements at Wall Triana/Gillespie. This is the first of many turn lane improvements we will be making throughout the year.
  • Chief Perry attended the 3-day UAS Program Development Regional meeting. He presented at the meeting. and participated in a panel discussion representing local public safety agencies.
  • Recreation reports that two of our new adult leagues are growing with Pickleball up to 37 members and Volleyball up to 80.
  • Good news and bad news…two of our four MARS vans have exceeded 300,000 miles. This is a huge benefit to so many of our citizens!
  • The Bradford Creek Trailhead project has now been fully designed and bids for completion will go out next week.
  • The City Council held a 3.5 hour work session on topics including growth, improved working space at city hall, CIP projects, economic development projects, and then back to growth.
  • Ace Hardware officially opened on August 23rd!
  • The City hosted the Technical Committee meeting for the Redstone Arsenal Joint Land Use Study, which is a year-long effort to address compatibility around military installations.  The multi-jurisdictional planning study examines actions that can be taken to ensure Redstone is able to maximize its potential for job creation and mission completion and continue in its role as an economic driver.  Fortunately, the study has not identified any impediments in the City of Madison.
  • I participated in the United Way’s 75th year celebration. This is a fantastic organization that supports 32 non-profit agencies county wide. Thanks to everyone who gives part of their paycheck to help make a difference for others.

As I close I want to share just a couple of the emails that we have received this week concerning our employees.

“Hi there.  I just wanted to let you know about an encounter with one of your officers that one of my employees had this morning.  Our DHR therapist needed to step out to get some food because her blood sugar was getting low.  In her haste, she was ultimately pulled over for speeding by an Officer.  She explained her situation to him, and rather than citing her, he followed her to McDonald’s where he paid for her meal and let her move on with a warning.  While they chatted at McDonald’s, she told him where she works, and he told her that he knew because he had seen her at our facility before.  She told him that we really appreciate what the police department does for the community, and he said that he really appreciates what we are doing as well.  I just wanted to share that with you to say thank you and let you know (even though you’re well aware) that you have some truly goodhearted people working for you.  Thanks…hope all is well!”

From our Fire Department to Public Works after an accident dictated quick support……  “I wanted to send you a short message and let you know how much we appreciated your guys help this morning.  They responded promptly and quickly got the job done.  Each and every one of your guys jumped right in and they were a perfect example of good people and good leadership at work!  Please thank them all for us and let them know that their professionalism did not go unnoticed!  You guys stay safe….”

If given the opportunity I know I could share countless examples each week where you guys go over and above the call of duty for our citizens. Please know how much you are appreciated…thanks for all that you do to make Madison, Alabama an incredible place to live.

Enjoy your weekend….Parrots of the Caribbean tonight if you want to enjoy some good food, beverage, and company!

Sincerely,

Mayor Finley

Weekly Update from Mayor Finley for August 27 – September 2

Team,

As our Labor Day weekend closes out I hope each of you had a fantastic weekend. As we head into our short week I wanted to take a quick minute and document several of the happenings from last week…we were a bust group!

  • Bids were opened for the Multi-Purpose Venue and Ballpark, and the City will move forward with a recommendation to award the low bid in September.
  • The City presented its 2040 Transportation Master Plan to the MPO Board and MPO Citizen Advisory Committee this week.  The City was pleased to report that over 10 projects recommended in the Plan are either in design or under construction.
  • A final project walkthrough for the Downtown Parking and Street Improvements was conducted this week.  Punch list items will be completed within the next two weeks.   A ribbon cutting / block party to celebrate completion of this project is set for Friday, September 7th from 5:00-7:00 p.m. at Martin St.
  • Robin Watson, Senior Activities Coordinator has moved to her new office in Dublin Park.  She is focused on developing recreational programs, events, and activities to attract a new segment of active seniors.
  • Recreation reports that the MARS program averaged 42 trips per day in August.
  • Over the past 3 Saturdays, all shifts of Madison Fire worked at Kroger to collect funds for MDA.  The shifts raised over $10,000 this year.  This is a great partnership with Kroger management, and great work by our members to help people that have this disease.
  • Madison Fire also reported that they put out a small Cooking fire which smoked up a house. The 2nd grade daughter followed her Fire Safety house training and immediately left the house following her fire escape plan.  Positive re-enforcement for our Community Risk Reduction efforts!
  • After almost 7 years of planning, rethinking, designing, starting over, and now installation, IT reports that the data communications lines between the MPD and the 911 Center have been implemented.  This new data line, which is 70 times faster than the old one, will greatly improve the abilities of our Public Safety personnel to meet the needs of the public.
  • IT & Samantha also report that the Channel 42 video is exactly where we had hoped to be, we are also now able to send any maps or presentations out to the end users, and have greatly improved the public information rotation and videos.
  • Chief Jernigan and Captain Wilkerson attended the School Safety and Security Meeting at the Board of Education offering subject matter expertise and guidance as the Schools continue to work to improve safety.
  • The contractor will start tomorrow (Tuesday) on the ADA compliance modifications for the lower level bathrooms.
  • Engineering reports that the Arnett Street drainage project has been completed, the Eastview maintenance improvements between Wall Triana and Hughes Road has been completed, and the design of the pedestrian crossing at Countyline and Palmer is ready.

Thanks to everyone for their hard work….let’s have a great week!

Sincerely,

Mayor Finley

Weekly Update from Mayor Finley for September 2-9

Good rainy Sunday evening. Great night to get a few things done inside and share a few of the high lights from last week.  Here goes;

  • Our Public Works team completed a much needed drainage/turn lane project at Gillespie and Wall Triana. This is the first of many of these projects that support our recently completed Transportation Plan, helping to make a positive impact on traffic throughout Madison.
  • Court reports that our online payment transactions with the new company, Five Point Payments, are going great.  Their website is more user friendly and charges a lower online payment fee than what the other online payment service did, both benefitting our citizens.
  • Our Fire Department shifts delivered several sessions (Lesson 1 out of 5) of the new 3rd Grade Safety Program with 3rd grade classes of all Madison Elementary Schools throughout the week.  Each company maintains the same classes throughout the year….a great and exciting benefit to our community.
  • Fire also reports that all companies completed Trench Rescue Training using a trench dug at the new Public works site on Palmer Road – Much Thanks to Public Works folks for digging the trench and working around us for 3 days; and to our in-house instructors. All companies received excellent hands-on training.
  • Our Madison Police supported two major community events this week…the Baseball Team naming event and the Bob Jones-James Clemens football game.
  • IT has been working to improve the audio in the council chambers. Hopefully the fix put in place this week will get us where we want to be.
  • Recreation met with Steve Haraway, Kent Smith, and Mathis Sneed regarding the Palmer Park Phase 1 project.   Public Works has agreed to assist with some of the site work for the project which should result in significant cost savings for the project and move it forward.
  • We have placed the ad for the Bradford Creek Greenway trailhead project, documenting the bid opening on 10/3 and the award on 10/8.
  • Quick reminder that LGHIP Flu Shots for LGHIP members are scheduled for September 24th, 8am – 1pm. IN addition the Madison County Health Department will be administering flu shots for employees and the public on October 30, 9-2pm in the Council Chambers.
  • Our City/Schools tiger team continues to have very positive meetings discussing the management of growth. We will meet one more time next week and then plan on presenting our game plan forward to council in the week to follow.
  • Engineering attended the Zierdt Road pre-construction meeting last week. This project is finally getting going!

Hope everyone has a great start to the week….thanks for all that you guys do for our city and citizens.

Sincerely,

Mayor Finley

Weekly Update from Mayor Finley for September 9-16

Team,

Hope everyone had a great weekend and enjoyed some great weather. Lots going on last week……………..

  • Team Madison played to a 12-12 tie vs. the Wounded Warrior softball team, very respectable against that team.  We are proud that we could field a competitive team to play them and participate in such a great event.
  • Public Works completed two project on Palmer Road, ADEM erosion control at their new complex and drainage landscaping on Palmer Road.
  • Madison Police Department and Madison Fire Department participated in the 9-11 Ceremony at Fire Station 2….they did a fantastic job.
  • Jordan, School Resource Officers, Traffic Unit, Reserve Officers, and many of our Public Works team successfully worked traffic control for the James Clemens Homecoming Parade.
  • 60 Volunteers from Just Serve spread mulch at the Kid’s Kingdom playground in Dublin Park on Saturday, September 8, 2018.
  • Registration for the Youth Basketball program has ended.   612 have registered for the programs.  Participant registrations from this point forward will be placed on a waiting list.
  • Along with Mayor Battle I had the honor of meeting with the Consulate General of Canada Nadia Theodore to discuss multiple issue including business development opportunities.
  • I also represented Madison at a dinner with Executive Officers from Toyota and Mazda, both of which were in town to start the set-up process of inkling management teams.
  • The public hearing for the Wall Triana multi-use path was held at city hall with about 40 attendees.
  • Madison participated in opening ceremonies for Redstone Arsenals Octoberfest celebration.  I hope some of you were able to attend this weekend.

Looking forward to the start of a great week. Thanks again to all of you for your efforts in taking care of our citizens!

Sincerely,

Mayor Finley

Weekly Update from Mayor Finley for September 17-23

Team,

Hope everyone had a great weekend. Great to have Alabama, Auburn, and yes Kentucky all score wins this week. Now, for a few of the high lights that we accomplished last week;

  • The 2019 City Budget will be presented to City Council Monday night for approval. Again, thanks to all of our Department Heads for their support and to Roger Bellomy for his hard work throughout the process.
  • The City’s 2nd annual FREE LGHIP Wellness Screening was held this week and we had 188 employees tested. Thanks to HR for getting this set up. If you are still interested in having yours done please contact Laura Brake in HR for more information.
  • The Planning Commission approved a 15,000+ square foot Duluth Trading Company store for the west side of Town Madison.  This will be Duluth’s first retail store in the Southeast.  Site work is anticipated to begin within the next month, with the store opening in Spring 2019.
  • The City awarded the construction contract for the new Multi-Purpose Venue and Ballpark to Hoar Construction Co.  Their work will begin in October and is scheduled to take approximately 14 months.
  • IT received the first of two shipments of wireless equipment that we will begin deploying in the MPD.  This new wireless system will allow better coverage, faster speeds, and more simultaneous users.  This should provide faster video uploads, and better access to software and files throughout the police department.
  • Several City and Council members attended the Madison City Schools 20th Anniversary Celebration and strategic presentation by Mr. Parker.
  • Chief Jernigan, Lt. Kamus, and Corporal Townsend attended Pebblebrook Subdivision Homeowner’s Association Meeting to discuss safety concerns. These events are great opportunities for us to build trust and support citizens in planning for stronger home security.
  • Chief Jernigan conducted a Department Meeting to discuss with employees the accomplishments over the past year and goals for the next year.  Madison County Sheriff Blake Dorning was a guest speaker sharing his experiences in law enforcement over the past  35 years.  Numerous employees were presented certificates for their outstanding achievements
  • The Bradford Creek Trailhead project pre-bid meeting was held Wednesday, September 19, 2018. Request for bide should go out next month.
  • Recreation welcomes Chris Lund…he began as Aquatics Director on Monday, September 17, 2018.
  • Site work has restarted at the Palmer Park Extension project.  The cleared trees and brush is being removed and Public Works crews are beginning the dirt work.

Let’s get started with a great week…Fall is just around the corner someplace!

Respectively,

Mayor Finley

Rachel Hammer’s Show

I had the pleasure of being on the Rachel Hammer’s radio show on Tuesday, September 12 in advance of the Public Hearing and Opioid Forum. You can hear the 13 minute interview here: The Rachel Hammers Show.

Opioid Forum

On Tuesday, October 9th at 6:30 I will be cohosting along with the James Clemens PTA, an Opioid Forum in the James Clemens auditorium. The event will be moderated by Kristen Conner with WHNT. WHNT will also be live streaming the event. The Not One More Resource trailer will be there at 6 pm and the forum will begin at 6:30. The Resource Trailer is designed to look like a drug abuser’s bedroom. Please plan to attend the event as it will be informative for all. There will be parents of addicts who will be sharing their stories. Patty Sykstus, President of Not One More Alabama, Tina Taristano, a Registered Pharmacist, members of the Madison Drug Task Force, Candice Dunaway with a Partnership for a Drug-Free Community, Rachel Hammers with the Rachel Hammers Talk Radio Show and Tyler Berryhill, Madison County Coroner will all be present. There will also be an opportunity for questions and answers.

FY2019

On September 24th we passed a very strong budget for FY2019. Please watch Mayor Finley’s video Mayor Finley presents the 2019 Budget.

As always, I can be reached at Email Maura or 256.337.2408. Thank you again for your continued support!