Happy New Year and welcome to 2022! Here’s hoping that we will return to normal this year. Your city government has exciting plans for 2022. One is an update to our Comprehensive Plan. A comprehensive plan is vital as our city and region continue to grow. There will be numerous opportunities for citizen engagement. You can read more about the Comprehensive Growth Plan here madisonontrack2045.com and sign up to receive updates.
City Council and Mayor are also planning for redistricting due to the Census. For background, every ten years the US holds a Census to gather population information. One of the many purposes is to balance District lines. As our city population has grown there has been a shift in larger numbers to the west of our city. The redistricting will better balance those numbers. In addition to this balance, we have been exploring the advantages of changing our current government structure from a Mayor-Council to a Mayor-City Manager-Council form of government. Mayor Finley formed a Governance Transition Committee to explore the different options. I concur with their findings, that Madison would benefit most from a Mayor-City Manager-Council form of government. Having a degreed professional with many years of experience running the day to day operations of our city would free the Mayor of this time consuming responsibility, and give him (or her) the opportunity and time to better serve the city. This would remove the politics involved in leading city employees. In addition, there would be continuity of operations. The City Manager would serve at the pleasure of the City Concil and would be hired in the same way we hire the Police Chief, Fire Chief, City Clerk and City Attorney. The second task of the committee was regarding staggard terms. I also support staggard terms because Council will always have at least three members with experience and knowledge. You can read more about the report here: GovernanceCommitteeReport
There have been many delays in Recycle pickup over the last few months. RANA has been very responsive in communicating the situation. Here is the December 22 update: RANAUpdate. I encourage everyone to still put your blue bin out the Wednesday before the scheduled pickup. For all of District 1 this is the third Thursday of the month. It may take extra days but it will be picked up. You can also get a second bin. Remember Recycle is a free service to our citizens so there is no charge for the service or bin(s). You can order a second bin here: RANA.
Well it is safe to say that 2022 has started off with a bang. Two bad weather days with lots of rain, our first snow of any significance in over two years, and the Omicron variant of Covid is running rampant. Through it all you guys are managing a city of 57,000 residents while also managing your own situations in your personal life. “Normal” seems to be in a distant past and those of us who thrive on structure and routine struggle to adapt. Those of you that are parents with school age kids….bless you, I don’t know how you continue to do it. Add to our local day to day lives the National news and atmosphere and you can’t help but feel a combination of uneasiness and apprehension.
So, as we start into the unknown of 2022 I first want to tell you how proud I am of our city and of you as the team that manage it. The Big 10 Mayors are meeting in Huntsville tonight and tomorrow morning and I am so proud to represent Madison as we discuss and act on issues that impact our state and respective communities. Madison is an incredible place to live and raise a family and each time the Mayors meet and share I understand even more how special we are.
Monday night I again get to “be the voice” and represent our City Council Members and Department Heads as I bring forth a 2.5% Cost-of-Living-Adjustment (COLA) request under my line item. This increase is in addition to your already approved step increase and both groups have been advocates for you and the job you have been doing, as have I. Again, thank you.
And one last thing before I add a few highlights, a reminder of our mission. 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. Let’s stay focused on what we can control and make 2022 our best year ever!
· Building reports that the permitting division created 42 permits, issued 43 of them, and the inspection division performed 112 inspections.
· Code Enforcement performed 3 inspections/re-inspections, created 19 cases, and picked up 33 signs in the R.O.W.
· Our IT team has started the process of rolling out our MS-Office 365 upgrade with Police and HR. This is a big undertaking that will take several months.
· Madison Fire and Rescue reported 117 incidents, 95 of which EMS related.
· Our Fire Marshall office completed 16 civil plan reviews this week.
· Chief Bailey and Steve Smith met with Jon Howell at HEMSI to discuss options for improved HEMSI response times. Multiple factors are currently contributing to delayed response times and we continue to discuss solutions.
· Court opened 40 cases, closed 57, and issued 5 warrants.
· Madison Police responded to 1030 calls for service. In addition our SRO’s got out in the field and focused on traffic control and issues.
· Sales tax collections for the month of December, 2021 were up 9.76% over December, 2020 collections and fiscal year to date sales tax collections are up 11.92% over the same period last fiscal year.
· The Governance Transition Committee will report out at Monday’s Council meeting, sharing their recommendations on staggered terms and optimal form of government.
· I had the opportunity to meet with Dr. Chuck Karr, Interim UAH President and learn about their upcoming plans. Personally I think UAH is in great hands.
· Mayor Battle, Chairman Strong, and I met with our State Legislative Delegation and ALDOT Director Cooper to discuss our community road priorities.
Let’s enjoy a great week…..thank you again for what you do for our employees and Madison citizens.
Hope you are staying warm and enjoying your Martin Luther King Day.
A lot of activity already happening in 2022, here are just a few of the highlights.
· The City Council passed a 2.5% Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) for employees effective immediately.
· The City Clerk’s Office and our Human Resources Team partnered to secure two key hires, our Deputy City Clerk and our Afternoon Front Desk Receptionist. Both should start soon!
· Our Building Department shared that there were 347 new homes and 108 Commercial businesses CO’d in 2021.
· Permitting, also under Building, shared that there were 3,960 residential type permits and 476 commercial permits issued in 2021.
· In addition we performed 6492 building inspections and Code enforcement opened 511 cases and performed 558 code enforcement inspections in 2021.
· Ballcorps and the City of Madison will start their normal 2021 audit process next week. Once completed Ballcorps will come to the next City Council meeting to present their 2021 Season finances and accompanying payment schedule. They also will share the good news that their 2022 home season will include 69 home games, up from the 48 home games they played in 2021.
· Everyone deserves an update on our Hughes Road project, which currently is stopped to resolve our multiple Utility conflicts. The full locations and extents have been determined and action plans are being finalized. We hope to have this project restarted and a schedule outlined by our next City Council meeting.
· Our Sullivan Street project is farther along as discussions on the timeframe for the asphalt wearing surface installation are underway. While they will be weather and crew dependent we also hope to have this schedule ready by our next Council meeting.
· The website for the Comprehensive Plan update is live. A link is https://www.madisonontrack2045.com/ and a page will be added to the City Website.
· Work on the Oakland Springs Pump Station continued as our Public Works CIP Crew transported the remaining pipe to the job site, installed 200’ of ductile iron pipe, and completed the road crossing.
· The remainder of our Public Works team could be found cleaning our drainage ditches and/or preparing for our continued weather days. Great job PW Team.
· Due to the large amount of rain the Dublin Park Fountain has clogged. The electrical engineer advised turning off the fountain and wait a few days for the sediment in the water to settle before operating the fountain.
· MARS completed 166 trips this week, an average of 33 trips per day this week.
· We are waiting on Huntsville Utilities for aid to construction at the Palmer Park Extension. This will provide power to the site.
· Kory Alfred met with Croy Engineering concerning the Kids Kingdom renovation project, Palmer Park renovation design, and park development of the former Three Springs property grounds. In addition Kory and Steve Smith met with our Architects for the former Three Springs Building renovation. They presented the initial floor plan and potential schemes for the entrance of the building.
· Our Court Team stayed busy and opened 61 cases, closed 77 cases, and issued 45 warrants.
· Our MS-Office 365 rollout is going well and IT expects to be 100% implemented by the end of January, 2022.
· The IT Department has been assisting with remote meetings, in person meetings, and webinars for nearly every department in the City. Jason Colee shared that “This is becoming a daily operation and we are going to be researching methods to be certain that we are efficiently leveraging the different technologies available at the meetings, and make sure that we streamline and educate our users on what is available and how best to utilize these technologies.”
· Our Madison Hospital President Mary Lynne Wright gave a hospital update to the Board, including their current Covid numbers. The 10-year anniversary of the Madison Hospital opening is this year, after hearing all Madison Hospital has going I am reminded of what a positive game changer this facility has been for Madison.
· Our Fire Marshall’s Office shares that they permitted 22 New Construction Inspections this week and have completed 190 in FY 22.They also completed 5 New Zoning Inspections this week and 48 in FY’22.
· Madison Fire and Rescue reports that there were 123 incident responses this week for an average of 17.6 calls per day. In addition 93 (or 76%) were EMS Incidents. One of these 123 incidents was a fire at the FedEx facility. Our quick actions saved millions of $$$ in property…..great job MFR.
Let’s make the most of our short week. Thanks for all that you do for our citizens and employees!
I hope everyone has stayed warm and enjoyed your weekend.
Also, for any of you (or your family) who are fighting Covid or any other ailment we are thinking about you….hang in there.
It has been a very, very busy two weeks and I am excited to share a couple of the high lights.
· Our City Council passed a new Asphalt Paving bid and we hope to get them going immediately to help us pave over $4,000,000 in neighborhood roads. First project up is Highland Drive and the Miller/Mahan intersections. Having a direct bid (rather than working off of the County’s) gives us more control on these critical projects.
· Madison Fire ordered new SCBA Air Compressor for the Department. Estimated time of delivery is 10-12 weeks.
· Madison Fire and Rescue responded to 198 incidents during the two weeks, 141 of which were EMS related. Also, our Fire Inspectors have already reviewed 83 civil plans in FY22.
· Our Court team shared that they opened 86 cases, closed 115, and issued 20 warrants during the two weeks.
· Madison Police had 2073 calls for service and issued 69 citations during the two weeks.
· Captain Allen received a donation check from Madison County Commissioner Steve Haraway to purchase an additional Ford Explorer Police Vehicle for the Madison Police.
· The Madison Citizens Advisory Committee held a community meeting which included a presentation by Agent Josh McCreadie from Homeland Security on Human Trafficking. Thanks to City Attorney Megan Zingarelli and Police Chief Gandy for their continued leadership in supporting this committee.
· The fountain in Dublin Park is back in operation. We will continue to shut it down after heavy rains to prevent the pump from getting clogged with sediment.
· Kory Alfred met with the vendor of the shade structures to determine the location of each structure for four neighborhood parks that are on our list to upgrade this year.
· On recommendation of Huntsville/Madison County Senior Center, the City of Madison Senior Center has been closed for disinfecting and sanitizing. Current plans are for the Madison City Senior Center to reopen on February 1.
· The Tennis Court lighting project at Madison Park located on Hughes Road is complete. Musco Lighting conducted lighting measurements and found there is not light spillage to the houses to the south or Hughes Road. The lights are set to turn on at dusk and shut off at 9:00 p.m.
· In December, the Planning Commission approved a redesigned Marriott Hotel for Town Madison. The combination Residence Inn and Courtyard Hotel will be five stories with 208 rooms. The project had originally been approved with seven stories and 212 rooms, but the corporation developed a new floorplan due to COVID. Construction is anticipated to start by this summer.
· The City has approved the site plan for a Circle K for the northwest corner of Hughes Rd. and Madison Blvd. Next step will be building permits, with construction expected to begin by mid-year.
· The City has approved Shoot 360 – a personalized basketball practice/training facility that will be located on County Line Road, south of Huntsville-Browns Ferry. This will be their first location in Alabama. Also, Taco Mama is coming to Town Madison!
· Community meetings start next week for our Madison On-Track 2045 Comprehensive Plan. More information can be found at https://www.madisonal.gov/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=1256.
· Members from the Governance Transition Committee presented and answered council questions at last week’s work session. All information has been posted to the city website and we will discuss next steps in a couple of weeks after our initial On-Track 2045 Comprehensive Plan meetings. More information on the committee recommendations can be found at https://www.madisonal.gov/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=1254.
· Thanks to our Madison Public Works team for their work before, during, and after the weather events that we have had during the past two weeks.
· The City Council had a very productive Work Session that was focused on Governance Transition, CIP projects, and an Economic Development project discussion. In follow up to that meeting we are working to complete a roads update report for our community along with a CIP list update for council and both should be ready next week.
Let’s have a great week….thanks for all that you do for Madison, Alabama, THE best city in the State of Alabama!
January 31 – February 6
I hope everyone is staying warm as we roll into February….January 2022 was a tough year. J
Seriously, I want to start by thanking all of you for your extra efforts during the past few weeks. Covid has caused disruption throughout our city and city hall and you guys have picked up shifts, tasks, and action items whether you wanted to or not. Our city continues to see a high level of support from all of you and on behalf of Council we thank you for your extra efforts and positive attitude.
We have a lot to share….here are some of the highlights;
· The City kicked-off the Comprehensive Plan update with a public workshop on February 2nd and 14 stakeholder roundtables throughout the week. An interactive mapping exercise to obtain citizen input on Madison assets and opportunities is available on the project website: www.Madisonontrack2045.com through February 18th.
· Downtown business owners met this week to start planning activities for 2022. After a successful Wassail Fest in December, they are looking forward to having at least quarterly events. Stay tuned!
· This month is the 10 year anniversary of Madison Hospital’s opening and they continue to be a major asset for our community. Last year alone they had over 50,000 ER visits. This week they had 47 positive Covid patients and a census of 102 on the day that they shared their report to their board.
· Madison Police responded to 1050 Call for Service, issued 19 citations and 18 warnings last week.
· Dublin Park hosted the Kyle Parker Invitational swim meet January 29-30, 2022. Temporary heat units provided heat to the pool area. The new HVAC system for the indoor pool is planned to be installed this upcoming spring.
· A big shout out to our Public Works teams who spent three straight days last week “cleaning ditches and drains.” When that was all that was on your daily report you know it was a llooonnngggg day! Thank you!!
· Building shared that the permitting division created 73 permits and issued 73. The inspection division performed 238 inspections.
· Code enforcement performed 6 inspections/re-inspections, created 14 new cases and pick up 42 signs in the ROW.
· Court opened 77 cases for the week, closing out 48. They also issued 36 warrants. In addition our City Prosecutor had 70 city and 1 county case this week.
· Engineering shared that our Sullivan Street project completed paving of South section (Kyser to Spenryn) and that the signals at Royal & Kyser are anticipated to be turned on 2/21/22.
· This was Catholic Schools week and almost every department was visited by one of their grades at St. Johns with goodies and appreciation cards.
· Madison Fire and Rescue has already conducted 330 Annual Fire Safety Inspections this Fiscal year. These are critical in supporting businesses to prevent fires and safety hazards.
· Madison Fire responded to 142 incidents, 81 of which were EMS related this week.
In closing I wanted to share the last lines from Lt. Stout’s Interwatch report earlier this week. His last entry was “Officers also conducted numerous RP’s and CPI’s during their shift and actively patrolled all residential areas and businesses throughout the city.” I always appreciate our focus on the heart of our community, our neighborhoods!
Let’s have a great week…stay warm!
Good Morning City of Madison Team,
Before I give a quick list of our accomplishments I wanted to go back 10 years to 2012 and the opening of three major projects, Madison Hospital, James Clemens High School, and The Shoppes of Madison anchored by Target. I can’t imagine Madison without them! The Madison Team that was in place at the time helped three $65,000,000 projects through completion and each opened on their scheduled opening date. If you were a part of our City of Madison team from 2010-2012 and helped support these huge quality of life enhancers we thank you….great job.
We accomplished a great deal during the two weeks, here are a few of our successes;
· Building services installed a new heater in the boiler room to help temper the cold air coming in from the outside that was affecting the hallways downstairs. Also, the new TRANE software is almost 100% installed to allow us easier access to the controls for the HVAC system.
· Huntsville Utilities began installing the service for power at the Palmer Park Extension. We anticipate the ball field lights being operational by the end of the month. Our Bradford Creek trailhead project is also in-process of getting power to the site and constructing a pad for the portable restroom trailers. We anticipate this project being completed this spring.
· Our Senior Center staff shared that our MARS bus made 307 trips during the two weeks, and average of 153 trips per week.
· Our Court team shared that they opened 163 cases, closed 139, and issued 59 warrants during the two weeks.
· Madison Fire and Rescue shared that they responded to 192 incidents, 143 of which were EMS related. In addition they responded to 5 fires during the two weeks.
· Our Fire Marshall has competed 44 plan reviews and 46 new build out construction reviews in FY22.
· MPD hosted the APOST Implicit Basis Train the Trainer course for 8 agencies in North Alabama.
· MPD also shared that they responded to 2354 call for service during the two weeks. They also issued 140 citations and 112 warnings.
· Chief Gandy spoke to our Madison Rotary Club and Jason Colee spoke to the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) last week, both with very positive feedback.
· Our City Council approved a Guaranteed Energy Cost Savings agreement with NORESCO which included working with Huntsville Utilities to switch over the city street lights to LED.
· The City Council also approved contracts to replace the roofs at Fire Station #1 and Dublin Park, both in follow up to hail damage.
· Investment in the City’s industrial area continues at a steady pace: Miyamoto, LLC is adding 8,000 sf to its Kenco-Toyota warehouse; an industrial subdivision has been approved at the intersection of Royal Drive and Westchester, in part made possible by the extension of Westchester that is currently underway; the Industrial Development Board approved incentives to facilitate the construction of four new warehouses, totaling approximately 44,000 sf on Palmer Road; and a 25,000 sf warehouse is proposed for Jetplex Circle.
· Our Public Works team stayed busy through two storms, cleaning out ditches, cutting up downed trees, repairing trench failures among multiple other supporting activities.
· I attended the ribbon cutting for the new Advanced Manufacturing Innovation & Integration Center (AMIIC) in Research Park.
· We are thrilled to have Zachary Cole, a senior at Bob Jones, started as an IT intern last week. His main focus will be scanning old plans into a digital archive to free up space in the building department. In addition, he is helping with various IT projects around City Hall.
· The IT Department ran the new meeting streaming and archiving system for the first time during the Monday, Feb 14th council meeting. While we are still ironing out some of the wrinkles, we did successfully stream and archive the meeting to http://www.madisonal.gov/709/View-City-Council-Meeting . Our goal is to be completely on this system and away from YouTube by the Feb 28th meeting.
· The Planning Commission approved an additional 46,000 square feet of commercial space for Town Madison this week – four new restaurants are planned along with other shop space.
· The City has approved a drive-through coffee shop, PJs Coffee of New Orleans, at the corner of Browns Ferry and Landers Roads, behind the commercial center next to Kroger.
· Our City Prosecutor Becky Grimes handled 185 city cases and 4 circuit court cases during the two weeks. That is a lot to take care of and we appreciate her, our Judge, and the Court team for everything they do each week.
As I close I want to again thank each of you for what you do for our community. Before the council meeting last week I spoke to Cub Scout Pack 83, comprised of 9-11 year olds. Over half of them were born at Madison Hospital, born in the first year Madison Hospital opened. Our city continues to mature with family “roots” growing deeper and deeper. You guys are making a positive difference…..thank you again!
Have a great “short” week.
February 21 to March 6
City of Madison Team,
Happy Sunday morning to you. We had a great deal of activity throughout the city during our last two weeks…glad to be able to share a few of the highlights with you.
· The ground breaking ceremony for a 337,000 square foot FedEx Ground facility was held on March 3rd. The facility represents an expansion of the Company’s operations in Madison in response to the growth in e-commerce and the region. Over 120 full time jobs will be added, as well as seasonal and driver jobs. The project will generate not only jobs and support local businesses but will also add over $1 million in tax revenue for schools (city and county) in just its first year. Congratulations to Mary Beth Broeren and team who helped to land this exciting project.
· The Comprehensive Plan consultants completed follow-up virtual stakeholder meetings to accommodate those who were not able to attend February’s in-person meetings. They will compile all the feedback and make it available on the project website this month. The interactive mapping exercise was a success, with about 600 inputs on assets and opportunities in Madison.
· Hopefully many of you have been able to meet our IT Intern Zachary Cole. His primary focus will be digitizing our building files making life easier for many when complete.
· During the two weeks Building shared that the permitting division created 200 permits and issued 186 of them. The inspection division performed 381 inspections. Code enforcement performed 45 inspections/re-inspections, created 35 new cases, and picked up 44 signs in the right of way.
· Our Court team shared that they opened 126 cases, closed 166 cases, and issued 31 warrants during the two weeks.
· IT has worked on upgrading all tech in the Mayor’s conference room over the last week. Updated displays, cleaner cabling, and better video have been added.
· As we continue to finalize our new community center needs the IT Department met with other stakeholders involved in the redesign this week at the facility. Network, Wi-Fi, camera system, door access systems, and cable television are all areas that they hope to assist with as this building renovation moves forward.
· Our Madison Fire and Rescue reports that they have already conducted 94 Civil Plan reviews and 379 annual fire inspections in FY22. During the two weeks they responded to 221 incidents, 144 of which were EMS related. Our EMS teams are adding a great deal of additional value to our community as COVID has wreaked havoc on hospital availability and HEMSI staffing.
· The Recreation Advisory Board met on Tuesday, March 1, 2022. The Board approved a concept of a community garden at Brass Oak Park and reviewed the proposed floor plan for the Madison Community Center project.
· Due to the large demand for more pickleball courts, staff is in the process of painting pickle ball lines on two tennis courts at Dublin Park. This will add eight additional pickleball courts.
· Steve Smith and Kory Alfred had several meetings concerning the Madison Community Center project. They met with Police, Fire, and IT concerning the proposed layout of the buildings and grounds and also met with a potential interior designer for the facility. Finally, they met with the construction manager and architect for the project to finalize floor plans.
· The playground equipment that was purchased for Neighborhood Parks is expected to arrive next week. This project was approved and funded by Council last year. We anticipate it being installed within the next two weeks.
Ø Our Madison Police responded to 2316 calls for service during the two weeks. Our MPD also continues to have a very positive partnership with our Madison City Schools and this week Chief Gandy, Captain McRae, and Sgt. Dawe attended the “Too Good For Drugs” graduation at Rainbow Elementary School.
· We are in the final stages of completing the Ballcorps audit and we expect their General Manager Garrett Fahrmann to share some great news at our March 14 Council meeting.
· The City has approved The Big Chill, a dining and event venue, for Town Madison. The 26,000 sf space will include an open lawn area, small stage, and covered and semi-covered dining areas with a variety of dining options. The venue will be located next to Toyota Field and across from J. Alexander’s. Construction is expected to begin by this summer.
· Due to a delay in the construction process, Journey Middle School will not be ready for the start of the 2022-2023 school year. The Madison City Board of Education agreed at its Feb. 24th meeting to reschedule the opening to the 2023-2024 school year.
· Revenue shared that total sales tax collections for the month of January, 2022 are up 2.89% over collections for the month of January, 2021 and year to date collections are up 9.34% over the same period last fiscal year.
· Revenue also shared that total sales tax collections for the month of February, 2022 are up 6.74% over collections for the month of February, 2021 and year to date collections are up 8.88% over the same period last fiscal year.
Enjoy the rest of your weekend and thanks for all that you do to help make Madison a great place to raise a family.
As always, I will be updating this blog every couple of weeks. Please check back during the the first quarter of 2021 for new information. You can also provide your email address in the box below for a subscription and be notified when the blog is updated I can be reached at Email Maura or 256.337.2408. Thank you again for your continued support!