Happy New Year everyone!
I hope everyone had a wonderful, relaxing holiday with family and friends. And now it’s back to work!
Our first event of the year will be the fourth annual ReadyFest event. You can read more about the event here ReadyFest. This is one of my favorite events of the year and is such a benefit to our community. My many thanks to Steve Perry, our City Emergency Manager and Battalion Chief and his team for organizing this popular event!
Madison Civic Awareness Academy
The City of Madison launches their inaugural Civic Awareness Academy this Spring. The program is currently taking applications. Apply today!
The Madison Civic Awareness Academy, held every Spring and Fall, will be an engaging 6-week discovery program for Madison residents that provides participants with an in-depth look at the City of Madison. Participants will be given an insider’s view into the roles of municipal government, city operations, programs, departments and services, emerging issues, and volunteer opportunities. Participants will be encouraged to share their thoughts and discuss concerns during the round-robin part of each session.
The academy may include guest speakers, classroom instruction, civic simulations, class discussion/ engagement activities and facility tours within the City of Madison. Sessions will be conducted in-person.
Scheduled Spring 2024 Dates:
Orientation: March 21st 5:30pm-7pm
March 28th 5:30pm-8pm
April 4th 5:30pm-8pm
April 11th 5:30pm-8pm
April 18th 5:30pm-8pm
April 25th 5:30pm-8pm
May 2nd 5:30pm-8pm
Graduation: May 13th 6pm
More information can be found here
At the January Work Session, Mayor Finley provided an update to our CIP (Capital Improvement Project) list. You can see the presentation here: CapitalImprovementProject. Also at the same work session it was decided we would move forward with a new animal shelter for our Madison Police Department and residents. You can see the location in the very first slide of the CIP presentation. I am very grateful to Mayor Finley and the Madison City Council for beginning the steps to achieving this goal. A very special thanks also to Steve Smith, City Adminstrator, Gerald Smith, Director of Facilities and Chief Gandy, MPD for their support.
Mayor Finley Updates
December 30th to January 7th
Happy New Year!
2023 was a fantastic year for the City of Madison, and I can’t wait to see what 2024 holds for our city. Here are a few of the highlights from last week.
- IT received 47 work orders this week, as well as multiple calls and in-person requests. IT is also working with the Recreation Department on implementing RecTrac at the City Wellness Center, transitioning from the previous software that was used for visitor check-in.
- Our Recreation team is working on their city-wide plan for facility usage that will include the Wellness Center and our Community Center. We expect this to take a few more weeks before it can be brought before City Council for approval.
- Madison’s Civic Awareness Academy is taking shape. I will discuss more details of the program at the upcoming City Council meeting Monday night and if approved will announce that the application process will open January 29, 2024. This Academy will be led by Economic and Community Affairs Officer Traci Gillespie and most likely will start in mid-March.
- We will hold a ribbon cutting for our Safe Haven Baby Box at Fire Station 1 Wednesday, Jan 10. This project is led by Kid’s to Love and Madison will be the first city to implement a station.
- Our sales tax collected in November 2023 increased by 10.15% compared to November 2022. Additionally, the year-to-date collections are up 11% as compared to the same period in the previous fiscal year.
- The Leave Conversion program approved by City Council in November was a huge success, with a total of 126 employees requested conversions, most coming from Fire (40) and Police (46).
- Our Facilities and Grounds team completed 43 work orders during the week, including multiple electrical issues at Fire Stations 1, 2, and 4.
- Our Court team shared that they opened 197 cases, closed 95 cases, and issued 21 warrants during the week.
- Our Madison Police team shared that they responded to 1125 calls for service, made 37 arrests, issued 114 citations, and gave 186 warnings during the week.
- Madison Fire and Rescue responded to 121 incidents last week, 100 of which were EMS related.
- Our Public Works team poured 100’ of sidewalk and framed 200 more feet on the Lime Quarry Road sidewalk project. They also installed parking stops at Kid’s Kingdom and worked on the driveway expansion at Sunshine Oake
- MARS completed 127 trips and Dublin had 707 member/walk ins during the week.
- Our Woman’s Basketball League registration has opened and our Fall Pickleball league is in full swing.
As I close and we roll into 2024 let’s please keep our Mission Statement in mind.
The City of Madison’s mission is to provide excellent service through the responsible use of public resources, enhancing the quality of life for our residents.
Thanks to each of you for all that you do, and that you will do, to help make this a reality.
January 8th to 14th
Happy Rainy Friday Afternoon,
It has been a rainy beginning and ending of the week, and a cold snap is headed here next week. Welcome to January weather in North Alabama.
Our team had a very busy week, here are just a few of the highlights.
- Thanks to our Public Works team for their proactiveness in cleaning our drains and ditches before the storms.
- Along with City Clerk Lisa Thomas I met with representatives of Madison City Schools and Limestone County officials to investigate the possibility of using a portion of James Clemens High School for our 2024 Limestone County voting precinct. Our school officials are looking at all student and safety aspects and we hope to have an answer as early as next week.
- We were proud to have the ribbon cutting for Alabama’s first ever Baby Box at Fire Station 1. Chief and team were 100% on board with supporting this project, giving another option and anonymity for mothers unable or unwilling to keep their newborn baby.
- The Mayor’s Office unveiled the Civic Awareness Academy, a six-week program focused on inspiring positive change through community engagement and involvement. Classes will be limited to 30 participants and start in mid-March with applications being taken starting January 29th.
- Our Court team shared that they opened 171 cases, closed 138 cases, and issued 24 warrants during the week.
- IT received 80 work orders this week, as well as multiple calls and in-person requests. In addition, IT has been working with Comcast setting up new fiber point-to-point circuits at eight city locations.
- Our Fire Marshall’s office shared that they conducted 30 annual fire inspections (bringing their total to 672 in FY24) and they permitted 25 new construction inspections (bringing their total to 186 in FY24) this week.
- Madison Fire and Rescue responded to 133 incidents, 109 of which were EMS related this week.
- Our Recreation team worked with Fantasy Playhouse to support Fridays with Fantasy in Madison. It will be a summer program housed at Dublin Park…..more information to follow.
- Our Senior Center had 975 event sign ins, served 280 meals, and had 1339 hours of programs/activities this week.
- MARS completed 182 trips this week and Dublin had 769 visitors.
- Our Madison Police team responded to 1221 calls for service, made 54 arrests, issued 93 citations, and gave 147 warnings last week.
- Officer Shannon DeFazio and Sgt. Ralph Dawe spoke at Rainbow Elementary School’s Truth about Drugs and Alcohol graduation for 5th graders last week.
- Rain kept our Facilities and Grounds team busy, with roof leaks at City Hall, the Wellness Center, Fire Station 3, and Building 23-A. In addition, the team completed 32 work order requests.
- The Public Works CIP team built another 100’ of sidewalk on Lime Quarry Road and they continue to make progress on the driveway widening at Sunshine Oaks.
- This week included Law Enforcement Appreciation Day. HR led a thank you celebration that included yes, donuts and coffee. A huge thank you to our men and women in blue!
As I close, I again want to thank you for another incredible week in the city of Madison.
Have a great weekend and Martin Luthur King Day, we will see you Tuesday!
January 12th to 26th
As I think back over the last two weeks, I recognize they have included rain, sleet, ice, cold, rain again, overcast skies, heavy rain, and today, sunshine! Welcome to January in Alabama!
Our City of Madison team worked diligently throughout our week of ice to support our city and I am so proud of our efforts. Public works, police, fire, facilities and grounds, court, communications, and multiple others did everything they could including pretreating roads to support our community as expected snow instead came in the form of ice. Our after-event assessment will provide us with additional ways we can prepare and improve our support as we know in Alabama, we will see this again.
So, once we got back into our full swing a lot happened this week. Here are a few of the highlights.
- Within two weeks of our ribbon cutting for our Safe Haven Baby Box at Fire Station 1 a baby was dropped off by a courageous mother. Immediately our team opened our side of the door, and the baby became “ours.” Our team verified the baby’s health, transported the baby to Madison Hospital, and with a couple of days the baby is now with an adoptive forever family. What an incredible success story.
- We held a City Council work session Wednesday and discussed our CIP projects, our Fund 38 projects, and we received an update on our 565/Town Madison ramps. This PPT has been uploaded to our website.
- A joint effort by our HR and City Clerk teams helped to clean out and destroy 59 old HR records boxes and our HR and facilities teams cleaned out removed/donated numerous old seasonal decorations.
- Facilities and Grounds finalized our new public safety annex plans, repaired parking lights at the Wellness Center, fixed roof leaks (Senior Center, City Hall, and Palmer Park), and completed 27 other work order requests throughout the week.
- Our Building team shared that they created 112 permits, issued 128 permits, and the inspection division performed 257 inspections during the week. Also, we would like to welcome Doug Varella to our Building Inspection team!
- Code Enforcement performed 31 inspections/re-inspections, created 9 new cases and removed 21 signs out of the right of way.
- Recreation will be meeting with an adjuster from AMIC concerning the wind damaged backstops at our WESTCO fields. This will help us define next steps.
- MARS completed 193 trips this week and Dublin had 536 visits.
- Our Court team shared that they opened 193 cases, closed 263 cases, and issued 3 warrants during the week.
- Our Madison Police team shared that they responded to 2036 calls for service, made 57 arrests, issued 142 citations, and gave 167 warnings during the week.
- MPD also added two dispatchers to our team, welcome Daniel Lash and Brady Rublee.
- Madison Fire and Rescue shared that they responded to 144 incidents during the week, 106 of which were EMS related.
- Our Community Risk Reduction team started their 1st session with 3rd graders.
- IT received 60 work orders this week, as well as multiple calls and in-person requests.
- Comcast completed all 8 point-to-point circuits this week, and we hope to have the city running on these new circuits in the next 30 days.
- Our Public Works team worked throughout the week to clean up after the ice storm. They then work mid-week to support the city throughout the rain.
Thanks to each of you for your continued focus on our city. Madison is a great place to live, and I am proud to be your Mayor. Enjoy your weekend!
Work Session Update January 24, 2024
CIP FUND 38 PROJECT UPDATES
Eddie Lobdell, PE Associate Vice President of AECOM presented a slide show
presentation of the City of Madison Interchange on I-565
Phase 2 of the Interchange to access the Town Madison development on I-565
Let to construction – August 17, 2022
Successful contractor – McInnis Construction LLC/Miller & Miller Inc. JV
Contract amount – $37,299,751
Duration – 724 calendar days
NTP – January 12, 2023
Anticipated completion – January 2025 – Project is running on time
Liquidated damages (3k/day)
Approximately 50% complete (time – 12 months and 18.7M amount paid to date)
o Several photos were shown of the different ramps that are both completed
and under construction
o The steel structure of the bridge was explained how it will be constructed and
the different phases it will be done in
Critical Path Items – Next Six Months
Traffic shifts – next weeks to 10days
Ramp C & D steel bridge construction and detour (Spring)
Council Member Seifert questioned the margin of safety on the steel beam. Mr.
Lobdell explained that in design, his company always has a margin of safety from 1.5 to 2.
Mayor Finley presented a slideshow of the Capital Improvement Project updates. He
started by thanking Communication and External Affairs Officer Samantha Magnuson for her
hard work in putting the slideshow presentation together with such little time due to the ice
storm. He also thanked everyone else who provided the data necessary to assist with the
Celtic Drive Fire Station
Budget – $250k
Spent to date – $0
Project balance – $252,941 (due to interest accruing)
Cash in bank – $252,941
Celtic Drive Complex
Installation of storage racks (racks will be going in this week)
o Christmas inventory
o Toyota Field inventory
o Library inventory
o Archived files
Determine Animal Control Building next steps
o Estimated cost of complete facility – $100k-$175k
o Sullivan St Old Fire Station complex appraised at $350k
o Request Council approval to sell Sullivan property and to engage architect to
design Animal Control building
Mayor Finley explained Facilities Director Gerald Smith will head the Animal Control
project and at this point they can only estimate the costs without the help of an architect
until one is hired.
Budget – $11,205,460
Spent to date – $6,639,117
Project balance – $4,566,343
Appropriated cash still in the bank – $747,300
MVP Fundraised to date (including pledges) – $1,100,000
Madison County Donation (pending Commission vote) – $1,000,000
Cash needed to complete – $1,719,043
HWY 72 cash available if needed – $3,280,000 currently in bank
Mayor Finley explained that the Community Center is about 55% complete and has an
estimated completion date of August 2024. The City has made solid progress on owner
supplied equipment and furniture. The City was able to move the pool table and kitchen
equipment from the Senior Center over. There was a surplus of furniture from the Hexagon
facility that was moved over to use as well as gym equipment. Additional parking will be
available on the Bradford Creek Greenway connection in late Spring of 2024.
Fire Station 4 Town Madison and Hexagon – Building Only
Budget – $4,738,000
Spent to date – $0
Project balance – $4,738,000
Cash in bank – $4,865,692
Mayor Finley showed a map of the layout of the project. Facilities Director Gerald
Smith would like to bid this project in March of 2024 and estimates 8-10 months to complete
the office side of the project, and 14-18 months to complete the Fire Station.
Hexagon – Adult Sports Complex (including pickleball, baseball and softball fields)
Budget – $1,000,000
Spent to date – $519,360
Project balance – $480,640
Cash in bank – $501,250
Mayor Finley further explained that the field lights, which have been approved, will be
completed in March of 2024, the softball fencing replacement will be completed in March as
well. The solar lights on the pathway from the Public Safety annex to the courts will be
completed in the Summer of 2024.
Mayor Finley provided an update on the Hardiman roundabout. The project has been
budgeted and is about 65% complete. The Developer is responsible for the construction of it
and the City is paying monthly reimbursements to the developer.
Huntsville Brownsferry & Burgreen Roundabout
Budget – $1,840,000
Spent to date – $0
Project balance – $1,840,000
Cash in bank – $1,861,647
Mayor Finley detailed that the project is currently in the design phase, at 85%
complete. The goal is to bid by March 2024 and to begin construction by Summer 2024.
Hughes & Portal/Mill Signal Upgrade
Budget – $500,000
Spent to date – $0
Project balance – $500,000
Cash in bank – $505,882
Mayor Finley explained that this project is currently 60% complete and will add a lot
of pedestrian safety functions that will make that intersection safe.
Mill Road Erosion Mitigation
Budget – $3,000,000
Spent to date – $48,500
Project balance – $2,951,500
Cash in bank – $3,035,295
Pumphouse Road – Storm Pipe/Transmission Main Project (Gillespie Road)
Budget – $680,000
Spent to date – $0
Project balance – $680,000
Cash in bank – $688,000
Mayor Finley explained Pumphouse Road is East of Wall Triana and Gillespie and is a
joint Madison Utilities/City of Madison project that helps Madison Utilities with their
transmission of drinking water and helps us with areas in the city that are being flooded. The
original bid came in too high, so Madison Utilities will make some adjustments and it will be
Royal Drive Construction Project
Budget – $1,500,000
Spent to date – $0
Project balance – $1,500,000
Cash in bank – $1,543,623
Mayor Finley detailed that they do anticipate the cost to be higher, but they wanted
to get that money in to start. He showed an arial view of the area to give a better picture of
the project. This East-West connector will help not only citizens, but the schools in an
effective way. He further explained the two phases that will take place during this project.
This is a partnership with the Developer on Economic Development, they will construct it and
we will reimburse. Construction has not yet started, but we continue to have discussions with
Madison City Schools for complete connection to Westchester.
Royal Drive Signal
Budget – $560,000
Spent to date – $26,875
Project balance – $533,125
Cash in bank – $535,000
Sunshine Oaks – Phase 1
Budget – $550,000
Spent to date – $34,560
Project balance – $515,440
Cash in bank – $529,856
Mayor Finley presented a slide of the plans for this project and went over each area of the
plans in detail. He explained that Public Works is in the process of widening the entrance and
building the parking lot. The barn conversion, addition of pavilions, bathrooms and
playground are to be completed by April 2024. Disc Golf is 95% complete. Council Member Wroblewski questioned if the barn will be used for storage and Mayor Finley said that part of
the barn will be and to bring equipment in and out.
Wall Triana & Gillespie Signal
Budget – $550,000
Spent to date – $0
Project balance – $550,000
Cash in bank – $556,471
Budget – $300,000
Spent to date – $0
Project balance – $300,000
Cash in bank – $314,587
o Due to increased costs, we will need to phase project
o Phase 1 – bids opened January 23; low bid – $292,123
Award bid for Phase 1 at February 12 th meeting
First phase promotes downtown with 27 sign distributed throughout
Estimated completion within six months
o Phase 2 – Requests for FY 25 budget – $400,000
o Phase 3 – Request for FY 26 budget – $400,000
Mayor Finley closed his presentation with a graph of the Toyota Field Revenue for
- The total for the calendar year was $3,437,691.01 and the Bond payment was
$3,138,302.00. He also clarified that Ball Corp. is up to date on all bills.
Council Member Seifert asked the question if the funds from selling the Fire Station
will be used to build the Celtic Drive Complex and the surplus who go somewhere else.
Mayor Finley responded by saying that is his suggestion. Mr. Seifert asked how confident we
are in knowing exactly what our inventory is and where it is. Mayor Finley answered saying he
is comfortable in knowing where the files are.
Director of Development Services Mary Beth Broeren gave an update on the 1.4 acres
Farley-Wann House property. She stated the biggest interest in this home is that it’s one of
the oldest homes in Madison. The City has had the house cleaned out and while doing so,
they found some historical documents. Architects have walked through the home and have
drawn up some potential plans. Ms. Broeren believes it should be simple from a floorplan
standpoint to convert the home into a museum. Ms. Broeren shared a slide of the Master Site
Plan for the home, which has been reviewed by City Staff and the Historic Preservation
Commission. She asked Council if they would like to move forward with this project. Council
Member Powell questioned if the Structural Engineers physically walked through the home,
and Ms. Broeren assured him that they did. Mr. Powell expressed his concerns over the
potential problems that may be uncovered because of the age and complexity of the project.
Council Member Wroblewski mentioned possibly using the Council Special Project funds for
some of the smaller areas of the project.
Having no further business to discuss, the work session adjourned at 7:05 p.m.
January 26 – February 11
We have had a couple of full weeks of activity with a lot going on….here are a few of the highlights.
- The Mayor’s office welcomed Deidra Brisco to our team this week, filling our second Communications and External Affairs position. Welcome Deidra!
- Registration continues for the inaugural Spring 2024 session of Madison’s Civic Awareness Academy. We hope to have a full class of 30 and citizens can sign up at Civic Aawreness Academy
- A couple of months ago we started a “Handle With Care” program where first responders let school officials know when a student might need additional support due to a traumatic incident at home (which is generically shared). Last week one of the schools sent a note to our team praising the program and letting us know the positive impact that resulted. I am proud of our team for continuing to look for programs like this that enhance our community.
- Our Facilities and Grounds team was busy during the two weeks installing pallet racks at Celtic Drive, plumbing repairs to Fire Stations 2 and 3, a stove repair at Fire Station 3, fixing roof and wall leaks at City Hall, and fixing water pressure issues at Palmer Park. They also met with architects for our Public Safety annex, budgetary pricing for Toyota Field and our animal control building, and completed 49 other work orders.
- Our Building team shared that they created 263 permits, issued 234 permits, and the inspection team performed 808 inspections during the two weeks.
- Code Enforcement performed 83 inspections/re-inspections, created 22 new cases, and removed 106 signs out of the right of way during the two weeks.
- Our Court team shared that they opened 338 cases, closed 303 cases, and issued 125 warrants during the two weeks. Thanks to the entire Court team…we know the ice storm created a ton of extra rescheduling!
- I attended the Redstone Community Lunch this week. The work force on Redstone is over 45,000 and has a $30.8 billion economic impact on Alabama. The FBI also shared that their workforce has topped 2000 on Redstone, and it is headed to 2400 by the end of the year. Also, their training programs continue to grow rapidly, bringing many hotel room visits to our area.
- Madison Fire and Rescue responded to 257 incidents, 206 of which were EMS related during the two weeks.
- Our Madison Fire and Rescue Community Relations team was also busy delivering Fire Safety Lesson 2 to 16 3rd grade classes totaling 321 students.
- We have completed 791 annual fire safety inspections and permitted 208 new construction inspections in FY24.
- IT received 196 work orders during the two weeks, as well as multiple calls and in-person requests.
- We still have not received a response from AMIC concerning the backstop claim at the Westco Complex in Palmer Park. Staff reached out to our claims representative to push the process forward again.
- Two additional shade structures were added to the Kids Kingdom playground last week and it is now back open.
- The total sales tax collected in January 2024 increased by 7.09% compared to January 2023. Additionally, the year-to-date collections are up by 9.88% as compared to last year.
- A big shout out to our HR team for a very strong hiring week, especially for Recreation!
- The lights at the Hexagon Ball fields have been installed and are now operational. The fence contractor is expected to begin work next week removing the old fencing and installing the new fence.
- MARS completed 194 trips this week. Dublin had 461 membership visits and 315 walk-in visits last week. The Wellness Center had a total of 276 visits last week.
- Madison Police responded to 2167 calls for service, made 61 arrests, issued 181 citations, and gave 199 warnings during the two weeks.
Thanks again to our HR team for leading our Potluck Super Bowl lunch Wednesday. And thanks to each of you for your continued focus on our employees and community. I am proud to be your Mayor and proud of what we continue to accomplish together….stay dry and enjoy your weekend!
Happy President’s Day!
I hope everyone has enjoyed their long weekend. Our team accomplished a lot last week….here are just a few of the highlights.
- IT received 152 work orders last week, as well as multiple calls and in-person requests.
- Our Building team shared that they created 107 permits, issued 118 permits, and the inspection division performed 380 inspections during the week.
- Code Enforcement performed 31 inspections/re-inspections, created 9 new cases, and removed 21 signs out of the right of way during the week.
- IT has successfully migrated the city’s wellness center network to the city’s network. This allows for centralized management of the wellness center’s network and computers.
- Our Facilities and Grounds team shared that they repaired plumbing at Dublin Park and Fire Station 2, finished installing pallet racks at the Celtic facility, met with architects to discuss Toyota Field, the Public Safety Annex, and the Animal Shelter, and addressed 28 additional work orders during the week.
- Our Public Works team spent a great deal of time before and after the storms cleaning out ditches. They also continue to work to fill potholes from our winter weather.
- Madison Police responded to 1036 calls for service, made 36 arrests, issued 71 citations, and gave 72 warnings during the week.
- 36 trees are planned to be planted near the Kids Kingdom playground in Dublin Park next week weather permitting. These trees are between 6-10 foot tall and are conducive to the North Alabama climate.
- A surveillance system was installed at the Kids Kingdom playground this week.
- Our Court team shared that they opened 121 cases, closed 138 cases, and issued 71 warrants during the week.
- Our Fire Marshall’s office completed 45 annual fire inspections (871 for FY24) and permitted 21 new construction inspections (241 in FY24) during the week.
- Our Community Risk Reduction team delivered Fire Safety lesson 2 to 16 classrooms (334 3rd graders) during the week.
- Madison Fire and Rescue responded to 144 incidents during the week, 122 of which were EMS related.
- MARS completed 192 trips this week and Dublin Park had 899 visits.
Thanks to each of you for your continued focus on Madison. Looking forward to another great week!
As always, I will be updating this blog every couple of weeks. Please check back during the the fourth quarter of 2022 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!