Enterprise zone to be formed on U.S. Highway 72
By By Thomas Tingle
Record Managing Editor
The city of Madison wants businesses and property owners along a stretch of U.S. Highway 72 from Wall-Triana Highway to County Line Road in its corporate limits – not in Huntsville.
To lure them in, Mayor Jan Wells said a letter has been sent out to property owners along the stretch of roadway informing them that the Water and Wastewater Board has agreed to wave all impact fees on commercial development along the corridor.
"Huntsville has aggressively annexed a lot of property along Highway 72. Here in Madison, we've been discussing what we can do to get the property owners who currently live in Madison County to consider annexing in the city of Madison and not in Huntsville," Wells said. "I would like to see the formation of an enterprise zone created along the stretch of Highway 72 from Wall-Triana Highway to County Line Road. This zone would be 1,000 feet back on both sides of Highway 72.
Councilman Marc Jacobson said the stretch of Highway 72 west to County Line Road is very important to the city of Madison for economic and commercial development.
"Huntsville has beaten Madison to the punch in annexation. We've got to do something to keep our investment out there – some $250,000 in infrastructure by the water department. We could stand to lose more than $400,000 in revenue from businesses along this corridor if we don't do something to bring those businesses into the city limits of Madison."
Jacobson said it makes good business sense for the water board to agree to wave impact fees in order to promote annexation in the corridor.
Mayor Wells said she would continue to talk to property owners to see what it will take for them to consider annexing into Madison.
Councilmember Cynthia McCollum said she would like the city council to discuss what they can do promote the mayor's plan. Councilmember David Buschmann said better traffic signals are crucial at the Highway 72 and County Line Road intersection. As a developer, Buschmann said he is constantly reminded of the need for improved signalization at the intersection.