I hope this finds you all doing well and staying safe in these uncertain Covid-19 times. I have found a couple of helpful resources. This Dashboard provides clear, up to date information: BamaTracker. The Alabama Department of Public Health also has a wealth of information: ADPH. Our Madison City School System is providing information on school reentry for the fall on their website: MadisonCitySchools, I hope these links will provide valuable information as you decide what will be best for you and your family this school year.
I shared this last quarter but it is still relevant this quarter. I have officially announced 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 shared 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 has finished construction and is now open. 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.
Here is a listing of new businesses in Madison since 2016:
o Duluth Trading
o Ace Hardware
o Publix on Hughes
o Phase 3
o Shrimp Basket
o Tom Browns
o Once Upon a Child
o Chuckwagon relocate
o Goodland’s Pour House
o Chicken Salad Chik
o Hughes Plaza Redo
o Two IGA stores (Old Madison Pike and at the corner of Wall Triana and Gillespie
o Bigfoot’s Little Donuts
The Crown Jewel of Madison is our Madison City School System. While we are separate entities with separate budgets (The School Sysytem is about 120M and the City is about 36M) we strongly support the schools in every way. Here are a few examples:
We Supported Limestone County Property tax mediation
We formed the Madison City Growth Impact Committee
We had multiple joint meetings with the Board of Education
We formed a Madison Schools Growth Impact Committee led by Mike Potter (former Council Member and Dr. Terri Johnson (former School Board President).
The Committee consisted of 12 Community members
They reported out to community with 2 community meetings
Full report was accepted by Council and added to our website Madison-Schools-Growth-Impact-Committee
Mayor and City Council supported 12 mil property tax increase
The Mayor’s Office and Council President had multiple meetings with school system to determine the mileage request/
The City funded election at city expense (approximately 25K_
There have been no new annexations from Limestone County into the City of Madison over 3 acres since 2016
All new Agreements that change zoning now have a Development Agreement with them. Part of the DA now have designated GreenSpace.
The Kyser rezoning included $2 million from the developer for an extension of Westchester Road that will benefit the MCS Transportation Bus Depot and $2 million for Bradford Creek Greenway connection to downtown in support of the Singing River Trail (Singingrivertrail)
We have provided Middle school infrastructure support
The City will invest at least $1.5 million in supporting their chosen location
The City pays the salary for all SRO’s (School Resource Officers). There is a SRO at every school and two at both Bob Jones and James Clemens High Schools. The City spends about $500,000 per year in support of SRO’s in schools
The City pays the salary for all School Crossing Guards. There is one Crossing Guard at every School and two at several schools/
The City now receives SSUT Internet $$$$
The City will give schools about $225,000 cash in Fiscal FY19 directly to schools
The 2020 Bond Refinance accounting for over $1,000,000 for schools
We performed an Impact Fees analysis at City cost
We Funded Clift Farm Impact study if/when it is brought to us. TBD
PLEASE MARK YOUR CALENDAR FOR AUGUST 25th!
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 the map and will show you who your Council Member is that represents you: Council Districts.
Several of you have said you are concerned about voting in person during this pandemic. Here is the link to the complete Municipal Election Information including the Absentee Ballot. MadisonMuniciapalElectionInformation The instructions are on the Ballot Request.
If you live in District 1 and would like to support me with a yard sign, please send me an email to email@example.com. I am also accepting financial contributions toward advertising (yard signs, campaign cards) 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!
I have discovered some Madison area resources that may be of interest to you. All Things Madison is a new website (AllThingsMadison ) where you can “Learn the ins and outs that make Madison the best city to live, work, and play in!”
Mayor Battle publishes a Weekly Newsletter. You can go here (Mayor Battle’s Newsletter. and click on Mayor Battle’s Weekly eNewsletter. You can subscribe for every email delivery every Friday.
Weekly Updates from Mayor Finley
Weekly Update for June 29 to July 12
As I sit here and write this the sky has turned dark and the rain is eminent. I am thankful both for the rain and that our family was able to get most of our outside work done yesterday!
We had another busy and productive two weeks…..here are just a few of the highlights;
· Public Works stayed busy “connecting” Madison. Work is almost complete on the Gooch sidewalk from Hughes to Wall Triana, the trailhead on Mill at Bradford Creek, and they continue to make progress on our Mill Creek greenway extension.
· Court reports that since the start of the pandemic (approx. March 15), the Court has recalled 158 warrants, allowing people to get the outstanding matters cleared up without having to get served with a warrant and get arrested. This truly makes a positive impact in quality of life for these citizens!
· Lt. Clayton Jordan (Patrol Division) retired with 29 years of dedicated service to the Madison Police Department. Clayton has made an incredibly positive impact for our community and so many of our kids….thanks you Clayton for a job well done.
· Due to the Covid pandemic (and our inability to bus folks in from Bob Jones to Dublin) our July 4th celebration was moved to Toyota Field. Over 2,300 folks enjoyed activities inside and the fireworks show was absolutely our best one ever!
· Fire and Police both documented in their reports “drive byes” for some of our citizens Birthday’s. At a time when parties are cancelled this small act makes a huge difference for so many people!
· As I read the Public Works reports a was amazed at how many “cut and cleaned out ditch” activities occurred. With the amount of rain we continue to receive this is a critical, many times unnoticed, activity that helps keep water flowing.
· Building reports they created 121 permits and issued 132 during the last two weeks.. The inspection division performed 236 inspections and Code enforcement performed 97 inspections and re-inspections.
· Court opened 137 cases and closed 200 during the two weeks.
· Marc Jacobson and Kory Alfred had a conference call with Lifespan Design. Lifespan Design specializes in design of Senior Center facilities. They are putting together a scope of work for the redesign of the Three Springs building and existing Madison Senior Center that we can bring to council for moving forward in the new utilization of Three Springs.
· Resurfacing of the indoor pool deck is planned to begin on July 27, 2020. The pool will be closed for approximately two weeks. The outdoor pool will be made available for use during this time.
· Adult COED Softball is scheduled to begin on Monday, July 13, 2020. The league consists of six teams.
· MPD reports that they had 2059 call for service during the two weeks. Also, our community continues to support MPD & Madison Fire with food and snacks in appreciation of their outstanding service.
· Our Fire Marshall reports that they have conducted 769 hydrants inspections thus far this year in support of our Hydrant Maintenance plan.
· Council is pleased to announce the refunding of two bonds, one each for the Madison City Schools and the City. The school bond amounts to over $1,000,000 that can be used for infrastructure and building support for Madison’s new elementary and middle schools while the cities amounts to over $2,000,000. Kudos to Roger Bellomy in Finance, Greg Shaw and the Finance committee, and Steve Smith as City Council president for helping to make this happen.
· Covid-19 has not gone away and as a matter of fact is in high gear right now. The Madison County Health Board has issued a mask requirement for Madison County. Please continue to be diligent in your focus on staying healthy by taking precautions of masking, distancing, and sanitizing.
· I had the honor of representing Madison at the Change of Command ceremony for the Army Material Command where General Ed Daly took over for General Gus Perna. General Perna will now move on to lead our nation in the logistics of vaccinating over 300 million citizens once the vaccine is finalized. He is a season ticket holder for our Trash Pandas and as we left he assured me “we will be playing baseball next year.”
Let’s have another positive and productive week, focusing on what we can control and supporting our citizens in all facets possible. I am proud to be your Mayor and proud of our community of Madison, Alabama!
Weekly Update for July 13 – 26
Happy Sunday Evening to you! Hope you were able to dodge the hit and miss showers and enjoy a beautiful July summer weekend.
Lots happening throughout the last two weeks…here are a few of the highlights;
· Our Covid-19 team led by Marc Jacobson, Roger Bellomy, Jon Howard, and Steve Perry were able to get our CARES funding requests into the State with very positive results. Our reimbursement will help us in multiple ways….thanks guys!
· Madison Visionary Partners completed their River of Hope. Several of our departments and employees participated and the river id really something to behold. It is located on the hill right in front of the outdoor pool…..take a few minutes soon to investigate and enjoy.
· Adult COED Softball began this week at Palmer Park. Six teams are participating in the league.
· Recreation staff power washed, mulched playgrounds, and performed general clean-up of Madison Point, Madison Trace, Fieldcrest, and Stewart Street Parks.
· The Planning Commission has approved a 17,000 sf commercial center on County Line Rd, in front of the Ashbury subdivision. The center will have a fitness use, restaurant and other commercial businesses. The Commission has also approved a second apartment project for Town Madison, which will consist of 286 one and two bedroom apartments and be located across from The Station apartments. The project developer completed the Twickenham apartments in downtown Huntsville.
· We received some new information from the Realtors Association….thought I would pass along some of their key information:
o The local housing market continues to avoid most negative consequences of the COVID-19 economic downturn when compared to other sectors of the Madison County economy.
o This quarter saw a significant increase in the median sales price at $248.680.
o Days on Market dropped to another record low of 29 days, compared to 45 days this time last year.
o Listings remain low, but there was an increase of 295 from the first three months of 2020.
· During the two weeks Court opened 129 new cases and closed 272. They continue to work hard and to catch up after the long closure for Covid.
· Police had 1986 calls for service during the two weeks.
· Fire is continuing Hydrant Maintenance and to date has completed 1225 of the 2644 in the Madison Utilities system
· Fire also reports that they logged 169 incident reports during the two weeks.
· The Senior Center will resume hot food service to homebound clients on August 3, 2020. Staff is contacting clients of the center to make them aware of this service.
· The Madison Dolphins hosted a swim meet on Thursday, July 23, 2020 at Dublin Park. The meet was conducted in a manner to ensure social distancing. The Bob Jones swim coach was at the meet and communicated he will use the same protocols for High School meets this upcoming season.
· Legal reports that the City Prosecutor conducted 199 city cases during the two week period.
Thanks to all of you for your focus on our community….let’s keep working hard to make a positive impact for each and every resident!
Have a great week.
Weekly Update for July 27 to August 9
Good Sunday Evening,
Well there is no question we are in the dog days of summer….it certainly was a hot one! Hope you and your family enjoyed your time together this weekend….here are a few of the high lights from the past two weeks.
· Our online Driving School continues to be a huge success. It has proved to be a useful tool in helping people resolve their citations without having to appear in court and attend class in person. Our court personnel must put in extra effort but the end results for our citizens is well worth it!
· Building services and HVAC have replaced two new units and coordinated with TRANE to update the control boards in City Hall to prevent some future failures due to software issues.
· Work continues on the Palmer Park expansion project. The general contractor communicated the project should be completed by the middle of October weather permitting.
· The fence project between Huntington Chase and the Bradford Creek Trailhead has been completed.
· AYSO communicated they rescheduled the start of their fall season to mid-August.
· Officer David Mariano retired after serving the City of Madison for over 24 years
· Building reports that during the two weeks they created 271 permits and issued 219, conducted 431 inspections, code enforcement performed 180 inspections and opened 75 new cases.
· I continue to appreciate all that our public works team does, especially in this heat. Can you imagine a city without cleared ditches, removed debris, repaired sidewalks, removed fallen trees, repaired trench failures, or cut ROW ditches, just to name a few!
· Court opened 107 new cases and closed 249.
· The pool deck at the Dublin indoor pool has been resurfaced and painted. The drain covers have been replaced and new pool depth markers have been installed.
· The Senior Center started a ceramic pick up and drop off program. Seniors will pick up their project, complete it at home and drop back off at the Senior Center to be fired.
· During the two weeks our Madison Fire and Rescue responded to 160 incidents throughout the city.
· I was able to make a City Coin presentation to Mr. Winkler, a volunteer in Court who continues to make a very positive impact for our community.
· Our Madison Police responded to 1958 calls for service during the two weeks.
· All departments have worked throughout the weeks on the 2020-2021 budget. Thank to everyone for their hard work and focus on our city.
Let’s have another great week…..appreciate everyone as we continue to make a positive impact for our citizens!
As always, I will be updating this blog throughout the third quarter. Please check back for updates. I can be reached at Email Maura or 256.337.2408. Thank you again for your continued support!