Second Quarter 2020

Dear Friends,

What an unusual, surreal, unprecedented time we are living in now! I am aging myself but it feels like we have stepped into The Twilight Zone! I’m sure you have done research and found the best precautions that work for the best for you and your family. Personally, I am still not going anywhere that I don’t absolute need to go and I am avoiding any crowds. Ron and I have enjoyed supporting food trucks and takeout from favorite and new to us, Madison restaurants. The City of Madison has jointly purchased 250,000 masks for our citizens. Madison has been allocated approximately 50,000. If you need a mask please send me an email  (Email Maura) and I will be able to give you directions to receive one.

Reelection Bid

I am officially announcing my reelection bid. I would like to serve one more term to see some projects through to completion. These were my original goals in 2016 that I published on my Maura for District 1 Facebook Page (MauraforDistrict1):

My priorities for Madison:

1. I’d also like to see an increase in the number of sidewalks, multi-use paths and bike paths particularly from the new Kroger on Browns Ferry north on Wall Triana to Gillespie Road.

2. Continued improvements for roads and infrastructure, particularly for Wall Triana, Balch, Gillespie and Browns Ferry Roads. Engineering and Public Works has done a fabulous job with several Madison Roads. I would like to see the same for these four critical roads..

3. I would want to continue the positive retail growth by bringing new businesses to Madison by filling vacant storefronts through incentives to businesses.


I am pleased to say that my personal #1 Goal for our District has been accomplished with the (near) completion of the Wall Triana Multi-Use Path. This path will most importantly provide a safe way for folks that live in the apartments to safely walk to Kroger or to walk their children to West Madison. Secondly, it will increase our “green way” space where folks who want to walk, jog, bike or roller blade they will also be able to do this safely. Residents in the many subdivisions along Wall Triana will be able to leave a bit smaller carbon footprint should they want to walk or bike to Kroger. Thirdly, with the addition of West Madison now being a PreK Center and the new Midtown Elementary School, parents will be able to safely walk or bike with their older children, to and from school. This will hopefully help with the congestion at morning and afternoon school dismissal times. I cannot thank Mayor Finley enough because this project would not have happened without his support and leadership.

As for road construction, Browns Ferry has been slightly widened and repaved. Balch Road has been an evolving process. After, years ago, agreeing to partner with the State (ALDOT) to install a Roundabout at the intersection of Balch and Gillespie (in which the State first agreed to paying 100% for it and then the percentage dwindling to an unacceptable split) Mayor Finley is recommending that the Engineering Department design a traffic signal. There will need to be major modifications to the intersection with each head having a designated left turn lane as well as a straight lane. Balch Road will be slightly widened from near Browns Ferry north to just past Gooch. I remain hopeful that this will start in 2020.

For my third goal, I am pleased to see the renovation at the shopping center across from City Hall. Here is a link for more information. Fleet Feet. There will be several other retail establishments in this shopping center and I will share that information as they announce. Culvers is almost finished construction and should be open very soon. They are on the corner of Wall Triana and Browns Ferry Road. They will be a welcome addition to Madison! Bojangles will be on Madison Blvd. just west of the Firestone Store. Waffle House will be going in on County Line Road near New Bristol Lane and across the street from Last Resort Guns. Lastly, Tom Browns Restaurant, an upscale dining experience, will be going into the Target Shopping Center in the old Pie in the Sky location. Town Madison is an ever evolving, continuing work in progress. Here’s a link to information as of today: Town Madison.

The Municipal election will be on Tuesday, August 25, from 7 am to 7 pm. District 1 will vote at Faith Lutheran Church. If you are not sure of your District here is the link to your Council Member: Council Districts.

If you live in District 1 and would like to support me with a yard sign, please send me an email to maurafordistrict1@gmail.com. I am also accepting financial contributions toward advertising costs. Please make out your check to Maura Wroblewski for District 1 and mail it to: 230 Avian Lane, Madison, Al 35758. Thank you for your support!

Weekly Updates from Mayor Finley

Weekly Update for April

Team,

OK, let’s start with I know a weekly update is supposed to be….weekly! No question I drop a category on my internal communication performance evaluation. As things start to morph into our new normal I will restart our weekly messages as I enjoy sharing what you guys are doing in each of your departments. With that said here are a few of the highlights from April, 2020.

·        IT has been extremely busy during this pandemic. One addition early this month was the new transfer switch installed in the Server Room.We now have power redundancy to all critical systems again….which is nice!

·        IT has also now installed an internet circuit at the Three Springs facility and anyone over there is able to connect to City resources via VPN.  This isn’t  a permanent solution, but it immediately helps our Fire Department utilize this building to support our COVID response.

·        Seeing the need for an online driving school option, our Court Team obtained  Judge Parker’s approval to allow defendants to take an online driving school to settle their tickets. This allows them to take it online, many whom are now at home anyway, and pay all fees and court costs online, by mail or in person.  Once finished, they email the court their completion certificate and then Judge Parker dismisses the ticket. This is a better alternative than just having people wait to the next driving school is held in person to handle their ticket.  They can do it now from home and settle their ticket.  It can also be done on a mobile device. Nicely done….!

·        While reading the public works reports nothing stood out, and everything stood out. Daily activities including sinkhole repairs, sidewalk repairs, drainage improvements, removal of ginormous downed tree, temporary road patches, cemetery maintenance, and tons of storm debris removal are completed time after time. Thanks PW for all that you do on a daily basis.

·        While our Senior Center has been closed our Senior Center team is still supporting our community. The MARS buses continue to transport clients on a daily basis and the Senior Center staff are delivering shelf stable meal packs of 7 to homebound clients.

·        Fire reports that they have received and added 119 storm shelter registrations to our GIS.

·        The City sold the Old Library facility for $1.6 million which when completed will go back into our General Fund.

·        Revenue reports our April sales tax was on par with the current yearly average, up about 13%. It will be really interesting to see what May brings as this will be the first full month under our Pandemic situation.

·        Quick thanks to our HR team for their efforts throughout this Pandemic. Each day brings new information that must be disseminated and acted upon to take care of our city and employees.  A lot of extra work on top of normal operations.

·        Our Madison City Council approved a thank you meal for all employees working to support our efforts during the Covid pandemic.

·        I asked Recreation for a quick list of what they had been able to accomplish while our facilities were shut down. Here was their list;

o   DUBLIN PARK

§  Deep cleaned the walking track – 2 days

§  Pressure washed locker rooms

§  Painted Kid’s Kingdom Parking Lot

§  Painted Dublin Park parking spaces (at building and lower parking lot)

§  Pressure washed and painted curbs (handicap & fire lane)

§  Painted 5 crosswalks

§  Cleaned kitchen and refrigerators

§  Cleaned meeting rooms and room dividers

§  Painted interior doors (upstairs)

§  Cleaned/organized special event shed

§  Mulching at entrance and trees

§  Helped maintenance with shrub trimmings

§  Removed leaves for KK, inside and outside

§  Removed leaves from tennis courts

§  Pressure washing the KK entrance

§  Sanding and painting of KK (in progress)

§  Cleaned carpets in main office

§  Cleaned all the windows at Dublin

§  Touch up paint in gym, meeting rooms

§  Addition of mulch added to swings and needed areas

§  Mulching of some playgrounds (next week)

§  Sorted Easter Eggs for possible drive thru event

§  Pressure washed bleachers

o   PALMER PARK

§  Cleaned all restrooms at Palmer Park

§  Removed rocks from MBA 7 & 8 (continue)

§  Laid sod at WestCo pavilions

§  Daily field prep (dragging of fields)

§  Fence repairs on gates at Palmer Park

§  Removed light bulbs from old lights (savings)

§  Used blower to clear dirt, gravel at all quads

§  Cleaned upstairs on all concession stands

§  Installed temporary fencing on MBA 5 and then took it down a few weeks later

§  Landscaping work on the entrance and around some of the trees

§  Checking neighborhoods parks, trailhead and greenway at least 3 times a week for trash, signs, etc.

§  Landscaping work (cutting grass, weed eat, picked up trash) at the new trailhead

·          

o   AQUATICS

§  Vacuum Indoor Pool

§  Skim Baby Pool

§  Drain Baby Pool

§  Pressure Wash Baby Pool

§  Cleaning & Organization of Indoor Pump Room

§  Cleaning & Organization of Outdoor Pump Room

§  Sweeping & Blowing Off of Indoor Back Deck

§  Pressure Wash Indoor Back Deck

§  Wiping Down of Walls in Indoor Men’s Locker Room

§  Wiping Down of Walls in Indoor Women’s Locker Room

§  Wiping Down of Foyer of Indoor Pool

§  Wiping Down of Walls in Dyer Room of Indoor

§  Sweeping & Blowing Off of Outdoor Deck

§  Sweeping, Blowing Off & Organizing of Outdoor “Vending” Area

§  Organizing of Storage Building

§  Wiping Down of Outdoor Patio Furniture

§  Cleaning & Organizing of Indoor Guard Lounge

§  Installation of Screen Door for Guard Lounge

§  Cleaning of Locker Room Light Fixtures

§  Replacement of Bulbs for Locker Room

§  Clearing Out & Prep Work for Dome Dismantling

§  Wiping Down of Bleacher of Indoor Pool

·        Fire has now approved all plans for the new Dunkin Donuts County Line Road location……J

·        The Madison Chamber of Commerce conducted a Community Fundraiser to “Feed the Frontline”.  Fundraiser was very successful allowing  MCC to purchase gift cards to restaurants for each employee.

·        Court has also taken this time to repaint major parts of the Council Chambers/Courtroom. It looks great……….!

·        Our Madison City Schools have started construction on the new Midtown Elementary school on Wall Triana. We are also working with them on several final pieces dealing with the proposed middle school site on Celtic. Hopefully we can get these resolved allowing them a safe location with proper ingress/egress.

·        Quick Update on our Palmer Park Project

o   The General Contractor has been selected and started some of the grading at the site.  This work has been significantly delayed by the wet weather.

o   The design for the restrooms should  be complete this week.  The project will go out for bid and awarded in May.

o   Soccer field lights have been ordered.   

o   Our goal is to have this project 100% completed by August, 2020 (pending weather).

·        Quick Update on our Bradford Creek Trailhead Project

o   The parking areas are complete.

o   The walking path around the pond is complete.

o   Reed Contracting is in the process of finishing up the at-grade creek crossing.

o   We are working with public works to connect the at-grade crossing to the existing Bradford Greenway.

o   The Restroom project will go out to bid in May.  We plan on completing the restroom this summer.

o   Trash cans have been added.  Staff is planning on adding benches and dog waste stations.

o   The cutting of the trailhead grass areas has been added to our mowing contract.

o   We are working on a sign for the area

o   We will plant additional trees at the site later this fall.

As I close I first want to acknowledge that I am sure I missed many things….sorry again for my limited communication. Each of you has a different perspective of this Pandemic and its impact on you, your family, our city, and our country. From germs to financial impact to missed events to Netflix binge watching we all are in a unique place that hasn’t occurred in our lifetime. I am proud to be a part of the Madison City team that was here day after day for our citizens and community. You helped them feel safe and secure during this tough time….thanks again for your commitment to our city!!

Have a great rest of the weekend.

Respectively,

Mayor Finley

Weekly Update May 3-10

Team,

Hope each of you have enjoyed this beautiful weekend. And, Happy Mother’s Day to all of our Mothers.

We had a few high lights this week;

·        Huntsville Utilities has completed its removal of the former substation on Sullivan Street.  The developer of the mixed-use project that is under construction can now move forward with the street improvements to extend Shorter St to Sullivan and complete the overall project, which should occur by late summer.

·        Commercial projects that have recently been approved include a complete rebuild of the Taco Bell on Hwy 72, a new Bojangles on Madison Boulevard, a Waffle House on County Line Road, and two new medical office buildings.

·        Building maintenance has assisted court in the painting of the back courtroom lobby, finished installing the tempered glass for the sneeze screen in front of the Judges Podium, changing out locks at the old PW site for storage, cleaned out the service vents at the Judges Podium and installed a new ADA compliant drinking fountain in PD.

·        Building reports this week that permitting created 78 permits issuing 82 of them and issued 8 Certificate of Occupancies for new houses and 1 Commercial CO for a new restaurant:… CULVERS!!!!! There were 155 building inspections performed and Code enforcement inspected and re-inspected 38 cases, created 32 new cases and picked up 16 signs.

·        Public Works had another busy week of removing downed trees, repairing trench failures, cleaning our ditches, repairing damaged sidewalks, and fixing potholes. As always thank you PW team!!

·        Police reports they conducted In-Service training for several our officers in the areas of pistol qualifications, Taser Re-certification, tourniquet practical, defensive driving, stop stick, less lethal ammunition, building clearing and felony traffic stops

·        MPD also will move vehicles and equipment from the parking lot to the old Public Works bays which will jointly be utilized by Fire and Police.

·        Dublin Park reopened on a limited basis beginning Monday, May 4, 2020.    The building is open Monday – Friday, 6:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.  The pool is open for lap swim only and walking track is limited to 5 people at a time.  The gym area remains closed.  The building averaged 135 patrons per day.

·        The pre-bid meeting for both the Palmer Park Extension and Bradford Creek Trailhead projects took place on Tuesday, May 5, 2020.  Four contractors attended the meeting.

·        Madison Baseball Association communicated if they can start by June 1, 2020 they will be able to play a full season.  Madison Girls Softball and AYSO Soccer have both canceled their spring seasons.

·        Recreation, along with Marc Jacobson from the Mayor’s office, has started the process of inventory and assessment of the Three Springs facility. We hope that they can present their initial findings and next steps to council at a June work session.

·        We continue to discuss with Acting Superintendent Eric Terrell the new middle school infrastructure plan. Our goal continues to be maximizing required road improvements with $$$$ available from bond refinancing and city support on water retention.

Looking forward to some great weather throughout next week as we “open back up” many of the activities that have been shut down.

Thanks again to all of you for your efforts in supporting Madison.

Respectively,

Mayor Finley

Weekly Update May 10-17

Team,

I don’t know about you, but it sure was good to have a week that included a lot of actionable activities that did not center solely on “Covid.” We aren’t close to normal yet but we are closer than we were a week ago.

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

·        Town Madison will welcome another commercial project along Zierdt Road that includes a Starbuck’s drive-thru and a four tenant commercial building.

·        AutoZone will be occupying a vacant tenant space on Madison Boulevard, just west of Hughes, once their interior renovations are complete.

·        Chick-fil-A plans another renovation at their Hwy 72 property – converting to a dual lane drive-thru operation.

·        Public Works completed the sidewalk project on Gillespie that connected Hughes and Wall Triana. They have now started the sidewalk on Gooch that will connect Hughes with Balch.

·        The Air Structure over the Dublin Park outdoor pool was dismantled this week and put away for the summer.

·        We continue to make progress on our Bradford Creek Trailhead project. Public Works is scheduled to pour walkways from the at-grade bridge to the Bradford Creek Greenway and Parking lot the week of May 25, 2020.

·        Weather has finally allowed Eidson construction has start work on the Palmer Park Expansion project.

·        IT has started the process of upgrading our downtown Wi-Fi, allowing faster speeds and better coverage.

·        Court reports that we will resume activities next week. They have used this down time to repaint a large portion of the courtroom and rather than re-carpet they had Stanley Steamer clean the carpet.

·        Fire continues to stay busy as our Fire Marshall restarted school inspections, calculated occupant loads for several businesses, and inspected lead-ins for the new elementary school sprinkler system.

·        Fire also cleaned and sanitized the city gym, which is now back in service.

·        We were officially able to give Ballcorps the Certificate of Occupancy for the multi-use venue this week. In addition the parking lot at the multi-use venue is getting closer to completion.

·        With the kick-off complete our team is working on developing our Three Springs game plan.

·        The Madison City Schools school board chose Ed Nickols as our new Superintendent. Ed was previously the interim between Dr. Fowler and Robby Parker. He will be coming in Monday for an update on our Growth Plan and policy.

As always thanks to each and every one of you for your focus and support our our city. Each week we offer the stability our community needs during this pandemic allows us to get closer to more of an acceptable “new normal.”

Let’s have another great week……!

Respectively,

Mayor Finley

2020 Census

It is critically important that every Madison household be counted in the 2020 Census. The Census will determine if we can keep our representation in the House of Representatives or if we will lose a seat. This will also heavily impact federal funding for our area. Did you know that National and even International businesses use Census Data for entry into different markets? Our demographic information is very favorable to many organizations. If you have not received your computer generated code in the mail, please click here 2020 Census and provide your address and information. I have been asked if any personal information will be released? It will not. Aggregate, total data, will be released but not individual personal data. This will not be released until 70 years after the date. As one who enjoys Genealogy as a hobby, I am looking forward to the 1950 Census information being released in 2022.

In closing, I will be updating this blog throughout the second quarter. Please check back for updates.  I can be reached at Email Maura or 256.337.2408. Thank you again for your continued support!